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Wednesday, October 19, 2016 11:03 AM
“Basically, Trump is everything wrong with America’s culture, and Hillary is everything wrong with our government,” Janae Petitjean, 19, a North Carolina community college student who will be voting for the first time this year, told the Boston Globe recently. 
  • Calm down: Whatever happens in the election won’t be catastrophic
    “Basically, Trump is everything wrong with America’s culture, and Hillary is everything wrong with our government,” Janae Petitjean, 19, a North Carolina community college student who will be voting for the first time this year, told the Boston Globe recently. 
  • Firefighters are more than just ordinary volunteers in community
    During a presentation on fire safety to elementary school students who were bused to the local fire hall this week during National Fire Prevention Week, a volunteer firefighter had to remind them that the firefighters don’t live on the premises. That fire halls always house firefighters may be the perception of kids, and many adults, too, due to television, but it’s not the norm. The National Fire Protection Association reports that 69 percent of firefighters in the United States are volunteers.
  • Dysfunction of national politics creeping up in local campaigns
    The dysfunction of national politics is creeping into all corners of Minnesota as big spending and negative campaigning are making an impact on the race for House District 28B, which includes all of Fillmore and Houston counties. It’s a trend that has been building over the last few elections, but seems to have taken a significant step forward this year.
  • Don’t worry, be happy: You’re living in Minnesota
    Minnesota is the second happiest state in America, behind top state Utah and ahead of third place North Dakota, according to an analysis by WalletHub, a personal finance site. Although there are all sorts of rankings out there, this one has a lot of data and scientific analysis to support its findings, making it more than just a novelty to share on social media.
  • Have you read the Constitution?
    Sept. 17 to 23 is Constitution Week, a time to commemorate America’s most important document. The resolution, petitioned by the Daughters of the American Revolution, was adopted by Congress and signed into law in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
  • Connection strengthened on a  26.2 mile journey in South Dakota
    As I was making my way through the early part of a marathon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Sunday morning, a man ran up next to me and asked me if I was Dave Phillips from Spring Valley. As I confirmed my identity to a man I didn’t recognize, my brain was quickly searching its sometimes forgetful resources trying to figure out how he knew me. Was he a running acquaintance from Rochester, someone I talked to at one of my newspaper offices or someone I met briefly at a local gathering?
  • Clueless freshmen still have shot at fulfilling life
    At my grandson’s ninth grade orientation last week, the principal talked to the students about their entry into high school, which means things get more serious as a certain number of credits are required for graduation and a certain amount of planning is required for the future.
  • Still hope for special session?
    As a follow-up to last week’s column, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce is still holding out hope, or at least trying to put some pressure on the possibility, that state leaders will come to an agreement on holding a special session to deal with the issues — tax relief, bonding and comprehensive transportation funding — that were left unresolved last session. 
  • Rare compromise now dead  as partisan politics wins again
    It’s official. The $800 million tax bill, which would have given relief to many Minnesotans, is dead. That’s because Gov. Mark Dayton said Aug. 18 he won’t call a special session to try to resolve tax relief, along with transportation and bonding bills that were also included in negotiations.
  • Bat somewhere in the house leads to mostly sleepless night
    Although bats flying about outdoors create a somewhat eerie atmosphere, I realize they really want to avoid humans plus they also provide many benefits, including controlling mosquitoes and other insects. So, I’m OK being in the same vicinity as bats in the wide open spaces — or even a cave when they are hibernating.
  • Many small towns with a population of more than 1,000 have revolving loan funds through an economic development authority (EDA) to aid small businesses in town with gap financing. This aid helps entrepreneurs start or expand their operations that may not qualify for enough conventional financing to achieve their dreams.
  • When you think of someone who enjoys gardening, the first thing that comes to your mind probably isn’t superhero. Yet, gardeners may just have the power to help save the world.
  • Torii Hunter provides  insight on baseball — and life
    The ballpark can be a type of sanctuary, a venue insulated from the surrounding world to showcase the talents of baseball players in a tradition that is, as the saying goes, as American as apple pie. 
  • Cops killing citizens. Citizens killing cops. Individuals mowing down others in mass shootings. Suicide bombers detonating their explosives in crowds. The last few weeks have been full of enough horrifying events to overwhelm many people.
  • Forget broadband, what about phone service in rural Minnesota?

    Although there is a push to bring rural Minnesota into the 21st century with improved broadband, many areas are still struggling to keep on a level playing field for 20th century technology — the landline telephone.


Are politics today still able to meet the challenges our country is facing?


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