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On Tuesday, Sept. 21 the Scott County Board of Commissioners approved a maximum levy increase of 3.99% for property taxes payable in 2022. While all five commissioners voted to approve this maximum levy amount, in watching the board meeting it was obvious that commissioners were looking for …

When it comes to confusing common names for animals, I think the American elk has got to be near the top of the confusing list. This came to light last week when I was in northern Montana to film and photograph elk. I ran into a guy from Europe who was also looking to capture images of elk, …

Every now and then I get an opportunity to work with a species that I don’t have much hands-on experience with. These are often rare or endangered species or a species that is difficult to access and lives in areas that makes it hard to get close to.

I am no stranger to traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles to see, study and document some of nature's most wonderful events. For over 35 years I have traveled to see the epic migration of sandhill cranes in Nebraska, stunning flocks of snow geese in North Dakota and remarkable monarc…

No matter where you live in the seven-county metro area, if you drive a car, you will eventually get stuck in traffic on Interstate 494. It is one of the region’s most vibrant, growing areas with the Mall of America, the airport, hotels, businesses — even IKEA. Trucking and freight associati…

The complexity of nature is sometimes hard to understand and even harder to justify or feel good about, especially when seen through the human lens. I was reminded of this the other day while filming a family of American redstarts (Setophaga ruticilla) that is nesting on my property.

Every year, and sometimes more than once a year, I see in the paper that our electeds (there are no royals in Minnesota) are deadlocked over some issue or another. Every year I read that they may need a special session to resolve the deadlock. And just about every year I read that if the dea…

For well over one year the taxpayers of Scott County have been subject to the unconstitutional and wrongheaded actions of our governor and his one man rule-by-decree. The business crushing, job killing, education robbing, life-sucking policies of the governor have only been allowed to contin…

Legislators in the 2021 session had one major task before us: How do we recognize the sacrifices our families and businesses made over the past year in crafting a budget that helps all Minnesotans recover from the pandemic? I am sorry to say that the budget reached by the governor, speaker o…

We’ve become a nation of people who all too often don’t know each other, and that leads us to not trust each other. Which would be no big deal except that we end up putting our faith in people we don’t know. We punch up Google when we want an answer, and Amazon when we want a product. Easier…

We have the best local library. I believe the previous statement is true for a variety of reasons. First, since the moment I moved into town the staff have welcomed me and my growing family. They also did an excellent job sending out summer literacy packets to encourage families to still rea…

I’m not big on conspiracy theories, but what’s going on in the Twin Cities metro has me wondering. Is somebody slipping mind-altering drugs into the metro water supply? How else would you account for the strange goings on in the metro area lately?

This year we seemed to zip right past Groundhog Day without even noticing. Perhaps this is because during COVID time, every day seems the same, just like the movie "Groundhog Day." Nothing new or different. Just one day like the other. But for the groundhog, also known as the woodchuck, spri…

I attended the March 15 Jordan City Council meeting, much of which was spent talking about the fire hall exercise room. Simply put, firefighters want to formalize use of the facility by spouses, significant others, and retirees. This shouldn’t have been an issue needing an hour-long discussion.

For those I have not yet had the chance to meet, I’ve had the privilege of serving as your mayor since January. I am a husband, father, small business owner, and former councilmember. I am honored to serve you in this new role. My “default setting” is to be conservative in philosophy and dem…

As winter loosens its grip on the northern states and it finally feels like spring, my mind turns to all the changes in nature. In particular, the animals in the northern climates that change the color of their coats (pelage) or the birds that change their feathers (plumage) from brown to wh…

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