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The things you love about Minnesota are on the ballot


Fri, Oct 24th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

On November 4, Minnesotans will have a chance to invest in a better life for future generations by voting for a proposed constitutional amendment to fund Minnesota's water quality, wildlife, cultural heritage and natural areas.

The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment is a bill advocating for a slight increase in state sales tax by three-eights of one percent of taxable sales. If approved by voters, this slight increase would raise approximately $291 million per year, beginning to be available in 2010, of which 33% will go to an outdoor heritage fund to restore, protect and enhance wetlands, prairies, forests and habitat for fish, game and wildlife; 33% will go to a clean water fund to protect and restore water quality in lakes, rivers, and streams to protect groundwater; 19.75 for arts, arts education, arts access and to preserve Minnesota' history and cultural heritage; and 14.25% to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.

As an artist living and working in Lanesboro I know what the arts and the Root River Trail have done for my local community and our economy so I am particularly interested in how the arts and culture will benefit. This amendment would also raise $58 million annually for the arts as a whole. Funding to the Minnesota State Arts Board (one of Cornucopia Art Center's grantors) and Regional Arts Councils (like the Minnesota Arts Council which funds projects for the Lanesboro Community Theatre, the Lanesboro Arts Council and a variety of local individual artists, to name a few) now is about $10.2 million/year and would increase to about $30M/year. Arts organizations and activities in the state will benefit from a doubling or tripling of arts funding to help them serve Minnesotans statewide. Currently there is no direct state funding for arts education. Money from this new pool will also potentially fund Minnesota's historical societies.

Passing this amendment would be a resounding statement of how we as Minnesotans value the environment and the arts, which are important pillars of our identity as a state. Over 65% of Minnesotans are devoted outdoor enthusiasts while our arts and cultural programming generates billions of dollars annually for Minnesota's economy.

On the 150th anniversary of our state, Minnesota voters will have an historic opportunity to make a nationally prominent move to preserve our environment and cultural heritage that will bring benefits for the next 25 years. .....
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Violence and the media

Fri, Oct 24th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

There's much to be said about violence, not only in October - which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month - but all year long. When I was asked to write an article about violence and its affect on children, I thought that I would focus on violence in ..... 
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Don't fall into the Palin trap

Fri, Oct 17th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

My family recently returned to Minnesota, the home of our birth, after nearly 13 years of dairy farming outside of Wasilla, Alaska. The straw that broke the camel's back - our Alaska Governor Sarah Palin!

It's a long story how we got to Alas ..... 
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Why do people vote against their own self-interest?

Fri, Oct 17th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

In 2004, Thomas Frank published "What's the Matter with Kansas". It was an attempt to explain why Kansas, once a bastion of cultural liberalism has become a fortress of conservatism, both culturally and economically. Reading the book, one can't help ..... 
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So, you're a Maverick

Fri, Oct 10th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

As we know all too well, Senator McCain and Governor Palin like to characterize themselves as mavericks. And, as many of you know, the first definition of a maverick is a calf that has strayed from its' herd. In other words, some poor little creatur ..... 
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People need to take responsibility for their actions

Fri, Oct 3rd, 2008
Posted in Commentary

On my walk to the Post Office and back each day, I glance at the sidewalks, gutters, window sills, and planters along those three blocks. I pick up and discard cans, bottles, cigarette packs, and candy wrappers. Yesterday, I picked up three cans wit ..... 
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Embarrassed and unfortunate

Fri, Oct 3rd, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Embarrassed

Well, after the party comes the hangover. The Sarah Palin rise to political stardom - beauty queeen, hockey mom, bear shootin', corruption fighting governor - is grinding back to an ugly reality; as vice-president in waiting she's ..... 
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Going back in time

Fri, Sep 26th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Sarah Palin? Really? I get a regular side dish of news from Colbert Report and Jon Stewart because a little bit of humor makes the nonsense go down so I thought this idea was perhaps a new South Park pilot or something but it seems the GOP means it. ..... 
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Politics and prejudice

Fri, Sep 19th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

After watching the Democratic and Republican conventions, I realized that the word impartial does not apply to me. I watched the Democrats with what I hoped was a critical eye and liked what I heard and saw. I watched the Republicans with an attempt ..... 
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