Columns

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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The recent Ebola scare brings to mind the horrible devastation caused throughout history by diseases, especially during wartime. Soldiers, who were always moving and crowded together in unsanitary conditions, provided (and still continue to provide) the perfect vehicle for transmission of contagious pathogens. The “Spanish flu” as it came to be called, was an example of this method’s deadly efficiency.

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“These teachers have dedicated their lives to serving students and been recognized for outstanding work. As we examine how to improve public policy, it’s important to hear from some of the best of the best. We need to learn from their success.” That’s how state Sen. Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, explained a recent hearing he convened at which seven recent Minnesota Teachers of the Year shared suggestions about strengths and priorities for public education.

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Regional airport managers in the Twin Cities area are concerned because there aren’t enough young men and women flying private and commercial airplanes to replace the retiring pilots. There also is a growing shortage of trained people to fill the aeronautical jobs of the future.

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Behind the rhetoric of November elections, lies a nearly universal desire for community. Historically, Anoka County’s citizens have always had a handle on that concept. From the communal cabin raisings of our earliest pioneers to the many civic organizations that exist today, Anoka County folks have always known that grass roots efforts can achieve what government often cannot.

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