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I have a dear friend visiting from Mexico, so I’m serving up the classic Vanni family summer dinner tonight. Pete’s cheeseburgers on the grill, with the option of a roasted sahuaro green pepper from Marshall’s farm stand plopped on top. Fresh corn (although thanks to this year’s rain, that w…

Five words from the oft-quoted challenge to the nation by President Kennedy in his inaugural address is the title of this column. These words inspired me to pose a question for all who drive on our Minnesota roads. More about that quote and my question a bit later.

When I was younger, I binge-read the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series, which is written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney. Not only were the novels roll-on-the-floor hilarious (and very relatable), but they’ve inspired me to start a journal.

I have a whole new definition for streaming TV. A couple years ago, I installed a tiny color camera complete with audio inside one of my purple martin houses. This allows me to observe and study the nesting behavior of our largest swallow species. The camera also has infrared-emitting diodes…

As we enter Summer, Minnesotans might spot our state bird (the loon), state fish (the walleye) or state flower (the pink lady slipper). Now, we can take notice of the newest addition in the state pantheon: the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis), just appointed state bee by Gov. Tim Walz.

There is a group of birds that I find so very interesting and exciting. They are not tiny and colorful, or sing a beautiful song, but rather look plain and sort of familiar. In fact, they look much like a chicken.

There’s no denying the amazing religious pluralism in this country. Driving in our southwest suburbs, we not only pass churches and synagogues but mosques and mandirs. In spring, our neighbors are celebrating Easter (Christian) and Passover (Jewish), and they also celebrating Ridván (Bahai) …

I am no stranger to getting up pre-dawn, stumbling around in the dark and finding remote locations that I have never been to before. So, it was “just another day at the office” when I recently went to Wyoming and Colorado to visit an old friend, the Greater Sage Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus).

Ever since I first watched one, I’ve been fixated on short films. Each motion picture conveys a meaningful message, through mellifluous music, expressions, and very little dialogue (or none at all). However, short films are not set on the same standards as your typical-length movie.

Two weeks ago, a beached whale in the Philippines was discovered with 88 pounds of plastic in its intestines. This shocked; even by whale standards, 88 pounds is extreme. In February, a whale in Spain died with 64 pounds of plastic, netting and other trash in its intestines. In Thailand last…

According to preliminary estimates from the Office of Traffic Safety, the current count of traffic fatalities stands at 65 for 2019. At the same time last year, the corresponding number was 53, which was worse than the previous year. Review of data from 2017 to 2019 shows the fatality count …

Each month at the Senior Care Community where I serve as Chaplain, we focus attention on an essential value to uphold as staff and residents. This March the value proposition around which we rally is integrity. We raise questions like, “What do we think, say and do that gives identity to int…

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