Columns

Fri
10
May

Arson causes millions of dollars in damage annually

Arson destroys more than buildings, it can devastate a community. 
Over the past 23 years arson fires have caused 56 deaths and more than $333.7 million in property damage in Minnesota. During National Arson Awareness Week – May 5 -11 – State Fire Marshal Jerry Rosendahl wants to focus public attention on a crime that affects every Minnesotan.  

Fri
10
May

Plenty of ballpark chatter

Now that I’ve become one myself, I have a deeper appreciation for Little League coaches. It wasn’t until this spring that I realized a youth baseball coach isn’t so much a coach as he is a wrangler of howler monkeys.

Thu
09
May

Putting our kids on the path to the world’s best workforce

It’s an honor to be a part of this historic education session in the Minnesota Legislature. Our education budget invests in our future and sets the goal of building the world’s best workforce. A world-class education system is the gateway to a world-class economy. 

Thu
02
May

Online short-term loans may get you in deeper

“Payday” lending and short-term consumer loans have nearly doubled in the past five years, reaching a high of 350,000 in 2011.
Minnesotans may turn to payday-lending companies to make ends meet during difficult economic times, but the Department of Commerce urges consumers to beware if committing to a payday loan online.

Wed
01
May

After the Party – DWI Basics in Minnesota

“What a party,” you think as you drive yourself home.
Suddenly the night sky is filled with flashing red and blue lights and you worry that you may be in trouble. Did you drink too much to be driving legally?
DWI law confuses a lot of people. The name itself is confusing. DWI is sometimes called DUI. But in Minnesota the acronyms DWI (meaning “driving while intoxicated”) and DUI (meaning “driving while under the influence”) are used interchangeably. Each refers to the laws that prohibit someone from driving, operating, or being in physical control of a motor vehicle when they have had too much alcohol to drink.

Wed
01
May

Climate change requires bold response

With the growing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and virtually the entire scientific community expressing deep concerns about human-caused climate change, our energy policies appear to be racing towards a climate cliff, driven by those who profit from our consumption of fossil fuels.

Mon
29
Apr

Your legal rights: how to assert your rights as a consumer

Most companies understand that it is usually beneficial to try to find a solution to a consumer’s concerns. Companies don’t want unhappy consumers to complain and use a competitor’s service or product. Keep in mind the following points when filing a complaint about a product or service with a business.

Mon
29
Apr

High school project teaches financial life lessons

A staggering 220,000 or 4.1 percent of Minnesotans are “unbanked” and currently without access to a bank account.
As part of Financial Literacy Month, I visited Tartan Senior High School in Oakdale to tour the school’s newly-opened branch of the Postal Credit Union, the first credit union branch entirely run by students, to promote the importance of youth savings and financial education.

Thu
25
Apr

Addressing shrinking water supplies

DFL lawmakers in the Minnesota House of Representatives recently passed an Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture omnibus bill that included an amendment I authored to address shrinking water levels at White Bear Lake and other communities throughout Minnesota.
I cannot overstate the necessity of getting this problem under control.

Thu
25
Apr

Financial literacy education at work

The economy may be showing signs of improvement, but research shows employees are still not confident about their own financial situations.
In fact, according to the Federal Reserve, American workers spend an average of 28 hours a month stressing about finances. It’s a situation that can cost employers $5,000 a year per employee in lost productivity. Help for struggling employees may be right outside their cubicle through workplace financial education.

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