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Winter can be a challenging time for wildlife, especially when deep snow blankets the land and the wind blows bitterly cold. Birds fluff up their feathers and search high and low for anything to eat. Squirrels are extra plump and fuzzy and dig down through the snow in hopes of finding a forg…

What should a church do when well-loved art causes new pain? In the last few years, personal accusations against popular church musicians, authors, media creators and artists have rocked faith communities around the country. Public allegations of sexual, emotional, and physical abuse brought…

Have you ever watched Rick Steves on PBS? Rick Steves gets my wife, Deb, and I excited about our next trip every time we watch his show. Mr. Steves also has a website with abundant travel information online. Deb and I love to travel as a gift to ourselves, but I never totally realized the be…

My professional purpose has always been to provide life chances for all students. As Superintendent of Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools this means I am committed to ensuring all students have what they need to be successful; each student feels a sense of belonging and all students and staff ar…

How’s your personal economy going? Are you employed? Do you have more money in the bank than last year at this time? Have you started your holiday shopping? If you answered yes to these questions, you are part of the economic recovery that we are seeing across the country. And it’s no accide…

The Sunday before Thanksgiving I’d already fallen into the holiday abyss. I woke up worried about how many pies to bake. Normally, that could be a legitimate concern, but there were going to be only four of us for Thanksgiving this year. Why did I feel obligated to make, never purchase, a pu…

The holidays are a time for family, community and friendship bonding. However, we need to further this and think beyond the comfort of our close circles. We need to start noticing the circumstances of our community, by thinking beyond our needs and start thinking about others. This is a toug…

On a cold, windy, rainy night in early September, 1977, my very late flight landed in Fargo, North Dakota. After 32 hours of travel, I was tired, nervous, excited and apprehensive. When I didn’t see anyone from my college waiting for me at the arrival hall, I asked the person at the car rent…

Yet another white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) mating season is behind us now. This year I spent a truckload of time in the woods following several large bucks who were actively searching for mates. I was able to capture a pile of images of the most interesting mating behavior.

“Your call will be answered in the order in which it was received.” I lost track of how many times I heard the voice repeat that phrase as I waited on the phone to schedule a doctor’s appointment. After about five minutes, I memorized the recording, including its encouragement to use the web…

I am always drawn to unique animals. You know, the kind of critters that are different from all others such as the Virginia opossum, which is the only marsupial in America. Or the osprey, a fish-eating raptor that is the only raptor to dive feet first into the water, often completely submerg…

Recently, we decided to remodel our bathroom. Our cheap, plastic shower stall was yellowing and cracking, while our bathtub looked like it was never used because, well, it was hardly ever used. That tub was a waste of space, so it was time to redesign a bathroom that worked for aging adults …

In the geopolitical arena, some nations fan the winds of nationalism and embrace a “me first” strategy. While this garners the populist votes, this does not work unless nations pragmatically interact with other people and nations. The reason is simple: we have only one world, and we are all …

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, …

I have acted as a voter protection lawyer during many elections. Minnesota has very fair voting laws, which allow Minnesota residents to vote if they follow reasonable voting rules. Minnesota laws are reasonable, but also protect the integrity of the voting system. According to a federal cou…

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.

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