Opinion

I read many times the much loved book “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, and saw the movie as well. I would never try to kill a mockingbird but for the last few years I’ve made repeated attempts to find one with no luck. The northern mockingbird, while common in the southern latitudes and out east, is relatively rare in Minnesota.

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“Slop the pigs.” That’s an old saying you don’t hear anymore. Right by the old sink there was always the old slop pail where the potato peelings and other kitchen scraps were tossed. Each day, after supper, someone had to take it out to the pig pen or chicken coop and toss it over the fence. Many folks who were into gardening would bury it between the rows in the garden. I suppose we could call that the original recycling.

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The great rise in the stock market during the last years of the 1990s led many investors to forget the inevitable link between risk and return. This is because they had the return first and had, until the Dotcom Bubble busted, yet to wake up to the risks. If history was anything to go by, and there was not an alternative guide available, it was likely that the market would fall sufficiently to affect people’s short-term attitude about the market. And that happened.

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Today, more than ever there are more words and acronyms on Wall Street that leaves even the Pentagon in the dust. This is especially true in regard to many of the New York Stock Exchange’s procedures, operational departments and electronic trading vehicles. For your convenience some of these words and acronyms are reviewed below.

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Have you seen that TV ad that says, “People don’t have to think about where electricity comes from, they just flip the switch and the light comes on.” That made me think a lot about when the city Anoka first got electricity, which was about 1889. That was when a company in Minneapolis called Sykes and Company contracted with Anoka to install a water system of close to 5 miles and 50 water hydrants for fire protection. Along with that came fourteen arc lights for downtown. They were to be 2,000 candle power and would be on until 1 a.m. Compare that with what we have today.

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Two things are clear about Minnesota’s charter public schools. Growing numbers of families are selecting these schools for their children. And, as someone told me many years ago, “when you’ve seen one charter, you’ve seen one charter” – as opposed to the observation, “when you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.” Because President Barack Obama proclaimed May 4-10 as National Charter School Week, this seems like a good time to look at what’s happening in this part of Minnesota’s public education system.

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