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Today’s paper includes an insert about the city’s proposed use of franchise fees to fund street maintenance and replacement. As your city, we are responsible for clean water, sanitary sewer and safe streets. The initial cost for this infrastructure was born largely by development. Developers…

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.

The summer of 1990 found my wife and I staying in Rockland, Maine at a hotel overlooking Penobscot Bay. We’d been at a conference in Boston and decided to take a few extra days to explore the Maine coast and Acadia and Mount Desert Island National Parks.

During COVID-19, sentences like “Everything is OK!” “Look on the bright side!” and the infamous “Everything happens for a reason,” have been more prominent. Especially since we have been unable to see people in person, these messages have swarmed social media and have increased how much we h…

Words have meaning, but they’re imprecise. It’s why there are poets. Google the phrase, “small town feel” and you’ll find over one billion entries. Prior Lake is said to have a “small town feel.” But does a collection of buildings and humans in a political subdivision have feeling — except m…

Call it “The Big Lie,” or “Alternate Facts.” Tell a nation and a people who gave the world Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Martin Luther and Goethe that “You didn’t lose the War. You were stabbed in the back.” Make them yearn for a “savior” to avenge all the “wrongs.” Then sit by and watch …

They were special places for special occasions: Harry’s Café, Charlies, the Criterion, Blue Horse, Gannon’s, Birch’s Café and more. It was the late 1940s and early 1950s, and I remember all of them because, at one time or another, I was there.

At Prior Lake-Savage Area schools we transitioned our secondary students back to in-person learning on April 15 so now all students, E-12, have the opportunity to be back learning in our schools. We also continue to provide distance learning for families who choose that model.

At one time developers paid local fees, built their subdivisions, pocketed their profits and walked away — but that wasn’t enough. They got greedy and wanted more. One of them sued the city of Woodbury over its road fees, and, in 2018, the Minnesota State Supreme Court ruled that local commu…

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…

In 1950, at a time when long distance telephone calls were reserved for special news and family emergencies, the U.S. mail was the most reliable way for most people and families to communicate over long distances — and that communication, everything from the handwriting to its grammar and se…

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…

In just a couple weeks, we will experience the vernal equinox — one of the two times in the year when the sun is exactly above the equator. Apart from this astronomical anomaly, though, the equinox is mostly known as the beginning of spring — a fresh beginning and the time to spruce things up.

The bison turned quickly, ready to charge. The two feet of snow didn’t slow its powerful hooves, but rather kicked up a rooster-tail of shiny ice crystals into the cold winter air, highlighting the bison’s efforts.

The bison turned quickly, ready to charge. The two feet of snow didn’t slow its powerful hooves, but rather kicked up a rooster-tail of shiny ice crystals into the cold winter air, highlighting the bison’s efforts.

For many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic may be putting a hold on dinner at the charming local bistro, but the spirit of Valentine’s Day cannot be extinguished. This year, perhaps more so than in the past, you may want to make your Valentine’s Day gifts even more meaningful. So, for example, wh…

The events of Jan. 6 were a bad omen and a disappointing start to 2021, but I’m staying optimistic. COVID-19 numbers are trending down. My wife, Marcia, and I had our first COVID-19 shots — and hallelujah for that. We may live through 2021 and greet 2022. Still, I needed a distraction and in…

I enjoy watching most sports, especially football. During college bowl game season and now as we head into Super Bowl Sunday, a variety of storylines dominate talk radio and sports news. Oftentimes what I find personally inspiring or motivating is not necessarily what’s grabbing the headlines.

It’s Monday, Jan. 18 and I’m writing this as I watch the morning news programs — especially some disgusting, new videos of Jan. 6. It’s a national holiday, Martin Luther King’s birthday. It’s also an unhappy irony as we recognize and celebrate the meaning of Dr. King’s work and reflect on th…

The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, “Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion, but not his own facts” — a distinction that gets more difficult in direct proportion to the popularity and proliferation of social media.

Many seniors will be alone this holiday season, some separated from family and friends because of COVID-19, some afraid for the future. An experience I had as a middle-aged adult helps me understand what being alone and afraid feels like.

George Schultz is a Republican and a distinguished fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute. He is among the grand old men of 20th century public service, having worked for three US presidents serving on the Council of Economic Advisers, the Office of Management and Budget and as sec…