Local News | Sports - High School
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 9:32 AM

My wife and I recently enjoyed several days in Spring Valley at the time of Ag Days.  Per usual, it was a treat to return to my hometown to visit family, friends and classmates.

  • In January, President Obama declared that despite congressional logjams, “America does not stand still — and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”

  • Despite these last few months of hot and lazy days, it’s been hard not to notice a cold political wind blowing through the country. The magazine Foreign Affairs captured it with its latest cover, a mockup of a travel poster featuring a crumbling U.S. Capitol with the tagline, “See America: Land of Decay and Dysfunction.”

  • What explains the never-ending justifications for U.S. involvement in Middle Eastern conflicts? In a word: Oil.

  • As students everywhere gear up to go back to school, so are 20 AmeriCorps LEAP (Learning Early Achieves Potential) program members. These members work one-on-one in pre-school classrooms with children who are at-risk of falling behind in the skills necessary for success in kindergarten. Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) has been a sponsor of the AmeriCorps LEAP for the past 20 years. And we are proud of to have been a leader in Minnesota in dedicating this program to early childhood education.

  • Sign at ball field needs to go back up

    My wife and I recently enjoyed several days in Spring Valley at the time of Ag Days.  Per usual, it was a treat to return to my hometown to visit family, friends and classmates.

  • With so many homeowners and businesses making greener energy choices, private utilities — along with big oil, gas, coal, and nuclear companies — see the writing on the wall.

  • One of the fundamental lessons of the 9/11 tragedy was that our government carried a share of blame for the failure to stop the attacks. Not because it was asleep at the switch or ignorant of the dangers that Al Qaeda posed, but because the agencies charged with our safety did not share what they knew, either up and down the chain of command or with each other. The attacks were preventable with shared information.

  • Each year, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) awards approximately $1 million in grants to schools, communities, and nonprofits in order to strengthen early childhood programming and economic development efforts throughout southern Minnesota. 
  • A population of 100,000 is substantial. Five states don’t even have one metropolis that large. Some cities that size, like Fargo, N.D., are their state’s biggest. Others, like Lansing, Mich., are state capitals. 
  • You perhaps more or less remember what congressman and former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said on a radio talk show a few months ago about "work" and "culture." It led to a midsize flap about whether he is a racist.

  • I would like to say that it is too bad the council got rid of Mayor (Lyman) Hare. No one is perfect and if there were problems they should have discussed them with Lyman and given him a chance to work it out. He is a good man and did a good job and would still be doing a good job if given the support he needed.

  • Thousands of armed teenagers (mostly boys) descended upon Alexandria, Minn., earlier this month for five days, June 6 to 10. It sounded like something out of "The Wild Ones" or worse. Since my liberal friends and the media always say that boys and guns are a bad mix, I figured I'd check it out. 
  • Since 1998 Valspar Corporation, headquartered in Minneapolis, has partnered with the six Minnesota initiative foundations for the "Minnesota Beautiful" program. This grant provides free paint to communities and nonprofits for beautification and restoration projects. 
  • In 2011, I authored legislation to address the issue of income tax reciprocity between Minnesota and Wisconsin. This legislation was passed, signed into law and gave the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Revenue the authority to negotiate a new reciprocity agreement with the State of Wisconsin. Since then, efforts have been made each year to reach a new agreement; however, a compromise has not been finalized between the two states. 
  • Talk about being kicked to the curb. A little-known, under-financed tea party challenger crushed seven-term Congressman and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in an unusual primary loss. 
Propane Shortage

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