viewpoint

It’s time for suburban legislators to use their power in numbers to pass legislation and meet needs suburban residents have in common. A quick analysis shows that there are 86 senators and House members who represent suburban communities. That’s 42 percent of the total 201 legislators. Suburban legislators need to unite and organize caucuses in [...]

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Picture, if you will, the following encounter: You are walking down the street when you see an old, familiar friend. He walks up to you, and you embrace. It’s a long embrace in which he pats you on the back, grabs you by the upper arms, looks you in the face, smiles and says, “It’s [...]

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Elections matter. If so, why are we seeing a flurry of appointments to city councils and school boards? It’s because appointing someone to a vacancy is an easy way out with little cost and there are no election campaigns. The appointment process takes the decisions away from the voters and leaves it up to a [...]

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Sheriffs in the Twin Cities metropolitan area believe children in schools are as safe as possible, and plans are in place if they are called to a major disturbance. Most high schools and middle schools have armed police officers either on site or nearby. Only on occasion do they go to an elementary school. Since [...]

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There’s evidence that the education system in Minnesota needs to be examined and strengthened. Improving it is always evolving, with the goal of providing the best education possible for all students. The state constitution says a general and uniform system of public schools should be established through taxation or otherwise to secure a thorough and [...]

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County sheriffs in the Twin Cities area would rather talk about the need for earlier identification and better treatment and housing of people with mental illness, than discuss more restrictions on guns. It is the county sheriff who grants the permit for an applicant to carry a gun in public, concealed or visible. (Permitting gun [...]

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What are the top recommendations to the Minnesota Legislature from superintendents, charter public school directors and other leaders?  More than 90 percent of 51 leaders responded when I contacted them recently. They have clear, strong suggestions about the most important steps the Legislature can take to help students and schools. Of the 48 responders, more [...]

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On Monday mornings, at a coffee shop in Mounds View, Tim Budig, Howard Lestrud and I meet to discuss their plans for the week ahead. Tim and Howard represent the commitment of ECM Publishers to provide more than strictly local news in our 51 newspapers. When I started reading ECM’s Thisweek Newspaper after moving to [...]

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Before lambasting our Minnesota state legislators, give them a grade of A-plus for being able to efficiently navigate through the State Capitol and through the other connected buildings or buildings nearby. I am spending more time at the Capitol these days with my new assignment helping with Capitol news coverage. The Capitol, I have always [...]

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