One year ago, you sent me to Congress to begin the most important job of my life: fighting for you in Washington, D.C.
I am sitting here on Dec. 31 thinking about 2019 and what influence my actions or inactions will have on my behavior in 2020.
You may have noticed my columns have largely centered around our theme for this school year, “Relationships Matter.” I believe this is true not only within our school walls but outside, too, with community stakeholders.
This year on Dec. 14, we will mark the seventh anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 little first-graders and six adults were killed by a disturbed individual armed with a Bushmaster XM-15 assault rifle.
In this season of thanksgiving, it is fitting that American Education Week is also celebrated this month, November 18-22. I want to share my gratitude for the amazing staff at Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools and for our community that provides ongoing support for the work we do in educating s…
This is fast becoming my favorite time of year, but not because of the change of seasons or the artificial time-change nonsense. Why? Because we get to share with the community what we in the Prior Lake Rotary Club do with the monies we raise from the Lakefront Music Festival.
Last weekend I held a listening session for members of the community and advocates on the issue of affordable insulin. I want to thank everyone that came to share experiences and frustrations about affording insulin and managing life with diabetes. I thought one of the people who attended su…
Minnesota has a proud history of the highest voter turnout in the nation, and on Nov. 5, we have the opportunity to continue that tradition by showing up to vote in our local elections.
Last fall, more than 125 school and community members came together to review the most important document in Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools: our strategic plan that defines our mission, core values, vision and strategic directions. It was a great opportunity to share all that we are doing in…
Earlier this year, when I met with leaders from several southern Minnesota rural electric cooperatives, their communities were still reeling from the devastating blizzards and high winds that knocked out hundreds of power lines across the region and left thousands of families and businesses …
As summer turns to fall, the Prior Lake Lions are getting ready, with the help of boys and girls scout troops, to hold our annual food drive Saturday, Oct. 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lunds & Byerlys parking lot in Prior Lake. The scouts will be going door to door collecting non-peri…
With the changing of the seasons, the Lions of Prior Lake turn their attention to many community-involved projects.
Grievously, we lost a very spirited and sincere man, Joe Vaughan. Mr. Vaughan was a kind, warm-hearted person who brought caring-ness to others, including me. Who was Joe Vaughan to me and others? Mr. Vaughan was the CEO of CAP Agency, a loving friend, a rock solid mentor, a gracious helper,…
Last Friday it was reported over 4 million people across 163 countries participated in a global climate strike. It included students from all over Scott County who joined thousands of others and marched to Capitol Hill in St. Paul demanding that their elected officials act. These students ar…
The 2019-20 school year is well underway with students settling into their routines. The start of this school year was extra special as we opened new learning spaces and continue construction to benefit our growing student population.
We know there are very real emotional, mental and physical health risks that come with social isolation in seniors. It can lead to higher blood pressure levels, higher rates of mortality and a quicker cognitive decline. The debilitating consequences of this are only amplified when compounded…
Homelessness is an utmost need within our state and Scott County. There are over 7,000 homeless people in the state each day with over 16,550 public school students homeless at some point each school year, according to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.
As of Aug. 4, we have had more mass shootings in 2019 than we have had calendar days: 251 shootings in 216 days, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
On the day after the Rotary Lakefront Music Fest, I wondered what it is that makes a successful event. I think it is a number of things.
I enjoy reading the varying opinions expressed by letters to the editor and seldom feel the need to respond. However, two recent letters I think deserve a response. The first letter (“A tale of two presidents”) makes claims that are presented as facts but are preposterous regarding both pres…
The clock was about to hit midnight, and it would signify July 1. Unless it is your birthday or anniversary, there was little significance. But if you are a Rotarian, July 1 signifies the start of the Rotary year.
The science is clear: Carbon emissions sent into the atmosphere from a variety of human sources threaten to upend our economy, our health, our national security and our very way of life.
Promise yourself to think only the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best. The fifth stanza of the Optimist Creed summarizes the wish we have for all of the new graduates as they embark on the next stage of their lives. Congratulations to the class of 2019!
It is the unofficial start of summer! School is out and nearly 700 Prior Lake High School and Bridges Area Learning Center students have been launched into the world, poised to do great things after receiving their diploma on June 7.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The purpose of the month is to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of mental illness. Through research, it is known that mental illnesses come from genetic, biological, psychological and/or environmental factors. It is not a personal choice or a charac…
Commitment to continuous improvement and strong customer service is not unique to the business world; school districts also look for ways to measure progress on our mission. One of the ways we do that at Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools is by conducting an annual survey of parents, staff and s…
I’ve learned the lessons of depression the hard way. It’s something I experienced first in my late teens and then again in my 30s.
Air is all around us. We feel this air in everything we do, and it’s moving right now through your nose, into your lungs and back out. This air makes up the skin of our planet. Our planet’s skin is thinner comparatively than the skin of an apple. From your backyard, it may look infinite, but…
You may have heard the proverb that says home is where the heart is. This year, my family and I are celebrating 12 years calling this beautiful country our home.
As winter finally loosens its grip and we begin to embrace spring, at Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools we are already thinking ahead to fall and kindergarten registration. This means we are asking parents of incoming kindergarten students to register online now.
Save the date: Saturday, April 6, the Prior Lake Lions will host our annual Easter Bunny Pancake Breakfast, serving pancakes and sausage from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Archangels Hall of St. Michael Church in Prior Lake.
Try as I might, I cannot find one good reason for this invention: A Minnesota man has designed a two-shot derringer that fits in the frame of a cell phone. Why any legitimate person with a concealed-carry permit would want a junk gun like this is beyond my comprehension.
Thanks to our community, our new elementary school, Hamilton Ridge, is taking shape. Dozens of staff, parents and community members have either served on the building design committee or have taken the time to submit a school name idea. Now we are looking forward to breaking ground this spri…
Nearly 200 scientific organizations and national academies of science acknowledge the climate is changing, that humans are responsible and that some form of action should be taken to address the risks to people and the planet, by NASA’s count.
The Prior Lake-Savage Optimist Club was recently named business of the year by the Prior Lake Chamber and its members. On behalf of the club, we want to thank the chamber members for awarding us this designation. We are honored as so many wonderful businesses and organizations were nominated.
Friends, it’s been another busy couple weeks at the Capitol, and we are now over a full month into the 2019 session. Time flies when we are working through blizzard and frigid conditions in St. Paul. I hope everyone has stayed safe on the roads and nice and warm inside their homes.
Every February, we celebrate love and friendship and we use a small or big part of our budget to demonstrate our feelings to our loved ones. We all know that those feelings and our demonstrations shouldn’t be reserved only for this month. It should be an everyday thing, and I am not talking …
As Minnesotans, we love talking about the weather, and our recent snow followed by an extreme cold snap launched plenty of conversations. It also set in motion a series of messages from me to staff and parents announcing the delay or cancellation of school.
As we turn the calendar to the start of 2019 we have the opportunity to think about new goals, new dreams and new action. This is also a perfect time to update you on new construction that is in full force.
I’m angry. No, actually I’m downright mad. I had hoped to write a commentary about all of the positive things that happened in 2018 in Prior Lake. There are many to write about. But the federal government shutdown weighs heavy on my mind this week.
As we enter into 2019, we have grand ideas of the healthy foods we will eat, exercise routines we will enjoy, the cigarettes we will stop smoking, the control we will regain in our home. Maybe you have resolved to not create a New Year’s resolution — me, neither.
The beginning of the fifth-grade school year is one all students look forward to. It’s their last year of elementary school, and it’s finally their turn to participate in the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center experience near Finland, Minnesota.
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