Opinion

It seems hard to believe, but in Independent School District 15, there was less than six months between school closings last spring and this fall. School was closed April 16 due to snow and then again on November 9 for the same reason. The recent weather events left no doubt that we are indeed in the season of unpredictable and even dangerous weather. It seems prudent to take a moment and remind our students, parents, staff and residents about the process that occurs when determining school closings or delays.

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Not long ago we had the opportunity to have breakfast with Oak Grove Mayor Mark Korin. Mark also owns and manages a manufacturing plant in Ramsey. It was refreshing to listen to an elected official who uses good common sense. Mark eliminated the city manager’s job and a few other jobs, saving the city a ton of money.

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Here’s some good news, looking ahead to the 2015 Minnesota Legislature’s discussions about improving public schools. Two leading Minnesota Senate Democrats described several of their priorities as similar to those described last week by leading House Republicans. While this doesn’t ensure agreement, it’s encouraging that these leaders share some similar priorities. They include a review of testing and funding formulas, along with efforts to strengthen the teaching profession.

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The Project For Student Debt released data on Nov. 13 that the average amount of debt for a Minnesota state college student was $30,894 last year. The unfortunate thing is that about half of the 20-something college graduates are either unemployed or underemployed. An underemployed person is one who works in a low-paying position that does not require a college degree.

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Have you seen pictures of the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and wondered what is going on down there? It may seem chaotic to a visitor with people taking calls at phones, brokers gathered at trading posts, pages pushing through the crowd and electronic equipment everywhere. While it may seem disorganized, the operations that occur on the floor are orderly and systematic as all get out.

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Last week this column focused on the deadly Spanish Flu that spread across the globe like wildfire, killing millions in 1918. The medical community was helpless, and scientists searched for some clue to fighting this mysterious disease. While thousands of soldiers sickened in Europe, doctors at home were hampered by limited knowledge, a cloak of wartime fear, and by a shortage of medical personnel.

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In her Oct. 31 letter, Barb Anderson again uses claims from websites such as David Barton’s Wallbuilders that just do not stand up to scrutiny. Barton and others publish Christian nation “proofs” that are either logical fallacies or distortions. Not one proves this is a “Christian nation.” In fact, only one item even mentions Christ.

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