Tom West

So there I was, 65 feet above the ground, swaying on the scaffolding just outside the Minnesota State Capitol Building, attending the largest convention of stone carvers in the nation. Or so someone said. The ECM Editorial Board received a personal tour April 10 of the ongoing restoration of “the People’s Building.” When you see [...]

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It’s official. The winter of 2013-14 was the second worst since the winter of 1900-01, 114 years ago. You can tell your grandkids about this one. This is not just subjective complaining. This is based on the tabulations of West’s Winter Misery Index (WWMI), which, using historical data from the National Weather Service, combines the [...]

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I had a bad day recently, dealing with the mysteries that come with the end of life. They got me thinking about how I’d like to check out when the time comes. I know, that’s not anyone’s favorite topic, but I have long admired the way an uncle of mine exited. He had a heart [...]

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When I worked in Duluth, the paper that I worked at had a policy to endorse candidates in every race for the city council, school board, county board and state Legislature. It was a big production, and we would do two-day marathons, interviewing every candidate for 30 minutes each, breaking only for lunch. At one [...]

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In the last two weeks, I had the opportunity to participate in a conference call with Gov. Mark Dayton and also to sit in on a Q-and-A session with one of the Republican candidates seeking his job, Marty Seifert. The conference call with Dayton came while he was in his car returning to the Mayo [...]

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There’s a story, I’m sure, behind every one of the 375 parcels on the Morrison County delinquent tax list. The list is being published this week under the public notices in the Record. Some people are having financial difficulty. Some people forgot. Some people sent in a check for the wrong amount. Some people don’t [...]

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Until a couple of weeks ago, I had never given my full attention to a hockey game between 5-year-olds. However, grandparenting pulls us in new directions — and this one pulled me to Sauk Rapids. This was the first hockey road trip for our grandson, also known as Mr. President. A year ago, he was [...]

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More than 30 years ago, a judge in Fillmore County in the southeast corner of Minnesota had an affair with his secretary. The affair led to the secretary divorcing her husband, and the judge presided over part of the divorce proceedings. The husband complained to the state Board on Judicial Standards, which censured the judge [...]

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There is a lesson to be learned here, and mine is: Don’t mock the weather gods. Last month, I wrote a column suggesting that all the whining about the weather was unwarranted. As of that date, the winter had been about average. Things have changed quickly since. According to West’s Winter Misery Index (WWMI), we [...]

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