Opinion

On the lower level of Anoka City Hall, to the left of the staircase is a large community room, used for public gatherings. I first made its acquaintance when Anoka County Historical Society held one of its annual meetings there. As you enter, you see the windowed wall to the right overlooking a stretch of the Rum River that is bookended by the Rum River Dam to your right and the Main Street Bridge to your left. Running the length of the opposite wall is a timeline dating from 1682—long before Anoka was a city and Minnesota a state; when France lay claim to the vast territory west of the Mississippi that was formerly a possession of Spain, giving up its claim to England in 1763. England held it for the next 120 years or until the American Revolution when the Crown lost claim to all of its possessions in what had now become the United States of America. By 1783 this vast expanse of land had become known as “the Northwest Territory.”

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There are hundreds of beautiful towns in the United States. And each of them has a claim to fame. Whether it’s the Fire Hydrant Capital of the world in Albertville, Alabama, the giant statue of Paul Bunyan welcoming visitors to Brainerd, Minnesota, or the giant ice cream sundae statue in LeMars, Iowa, every city has a desire to be known for something.

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When I saw on the Minnesota Ornithological Union’s website that there was a Rufous Hummingbird spotted down near Le Sueur, Minnesota I was immediately intrigued. The only hummingbird that I had ever seen in Minnesota was the Ruby Throated. I had noticed on the Ornithological Union’s checklist (under accidental species) five other species of hummingbirds which included the Rufous. Those only rarely passed through our state.

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As we begin cleaning up our yards and flower beds, it seems like fall would be a good time to prune the trees, shrubs and plants before they go into winter dormancy, and we would be wrong.

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Knowing whether you are in a bull (up) market or bear (down) market solves half the problem in selecting stocks because the general market influences most stocks. If the Dow Jones Industrial Average goes into a major downtrend, you can expect three out of four stocks to follow.

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Inscribed on the wall behind the receptionist’s desk at city hall are the words, “Anoka City Hall: A Gift to the City of Anoka from the Federal Cartridge Corporation. 1955.” On the landing of the stairwell as you walk from the first floor to the second is a bigger-than-life portrait of a handsome and distinguished looking man. Wearing a gray suit with vest, red tie, and matching carnation in his lapel, the commanding presence of this slightly balding man is accentuated by his waxed mustache.

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From May through Halloween my fellow docents from the Anoka County Historical Society and I guide brave and curious souls through the darkened streets of Anoka relating the history of the homes and places of business we encounter during our 1 mile walk — and speculating about some of the unexplained phenomenon that has occurred within those premises.

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Riches and rogues! The more I look, the more I find some of each, and a lot between, on the Internet. Families and educators have a huge task helping young people learn how to gather information on the Internet. Here are five guidelines to consider.

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