West Words
The tides of history ebb and flow. Today’s hero may be tomorrow’s goat. So it is that the U.S. Treasury has decided to cast Alexander Hamilton, chief architect of the U.S. financial system, onto the dust bin of history. Hamilton, who most of us have gotten to know only through his face on the $1...Read More
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One of my fundamental beliefs about the world is that we are all tribal. The anthropologists theorize that we came out of the sea eons ago, and then began one long camping trip. We wandered around hunting for food, until one day we discovered if we just stayed put and raised crops, we wouldn’t hav...Read More
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Who won and who lost in the recently concluded special session of the Minnesota Legislature is open to interpretation. From this viewpoint, it looks like DFL Gov. Mark Dayton was the biggest winner, DFL Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk was the biggest loser and Republican Speaker of the House Kurt Da...Read More
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School is out. Every time I hear those words, it brings back happy childhood memories of being sprung for a glorious three months. But as much as I enjoyed baseball and swimming, summer was also the time when I had my first jobs in the work world. By third or fourth grade I was the [...]...Read More
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Before the legislative session began, I asked several state lawmakers if they thought any possibility existed of another state government shutdown. Every one of them said it wouldn’t happen. I asked them what had changed, because I did not and still don’t see much willingness to compromise in mo...Read More
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Last fall, regular readers will recall, the first annual family Great Pumpkin Contest did not end well for this editor and his grandson. The largest pumpkins we produced were ceramic, supplied by neighbors who took pity on these men of soil who otherwise raised pumpkins the size of marbles. We were ...Read More
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Memorial Day is upon us, and I find my thoughts somewhat diverse as I think about how war has affected my family, my friends and even me. I’ve never made a big deal about my military service. A few years ago, they had a special program at Camp Ripley to honor Vietnam vets. A couple [...]...Read More
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At this writing, the Minnesota Legislature is in the final wrangling of this year’s session. With the return to divided government after a two-year hiatus of total DFL control, some are speculating that we are heading for another government shutdown like we saw in 2005 and 2011. I’m not too worr...Read More
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Each spring, a group of editors from our parent company, ECM Publishers, spends a day at the state capitol in St. Paul, meeting with the governor, legislative leaders and other state officials. We come prepared with our questions, and we learn a lot. This year’s agenda included a discussion of pre...Read More
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Big plans are in store for the Minnesota Fishing Museum-Hall of Fame and Education Center. At the eighth annual “Fishing With the Pros” fundraising event at the Falls Ballroom April 17, the vision for a new facility was revealed. To back up, a year and a half ago, the Minnesota Fishing Museum in...Read More
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If ever there were a winter that revealed the shortcomings of the West Winter Misery Index (WWMI), it was the one just past. The WWMI is all about creature comfort, or the lack thereof on the frozen tundra otherwise known as winter in Minnesota. The WWMI was invented because everybody talks about th...Read More
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Several weeks ago, Gov. Mark Dayton announced that he wanted a 50-foot buffer zone on every shoreline in Minnesota. It was almost a textbook example for budding politicians on how to take a good intention to address a critical issue—and present it all wrong. Instead of doing his homework and makin...Read More
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Three weeks ago, it was reported that a woman who had been working in Utah for two months, returned to her home in Princeton. Upon arriving, she discovered that her two sons, ages 2 and 3, whom she had left in the care of her husband, were suffering from starvation and neglect. The children were [.....Read More
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