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There’s a lot to like about Shakopee. We have a lively downtown with retail, restaurants, and other businesses. Southbridge offers additional stores, dining and entertainment opportunities, and more grocery shopping. We have several parks, a few lakes, more than 80 miles of trails, and are b…

One of the few foods everyone in my house likes, if not craves, is doughnuts. We each have our own preference for where to buy them and our favorite types, but we agree they’re part of an ideal breakfast. We’ve been known to spend a morning in pursuit of the perfect doughnut. Sometimes it ta…

I see a lot of incredibly stupid comments on social media and also hear them in person on occasion. It made me wonder if people are becoming less intelligent or if people have always been this ignorant, they just now have more avenues to showcase their stupidity because of the internet and m…

For the first time, I feel a lot of anxiety about our country. It’s because of recent events. I suspect that most people, regardless of their political views, have seen, read, or experienced events that left them shaking their head if not sick to their stomach. I worry that we’ve become so b…

Nature has so many different ways to accomplish just one task — reproduction. At this time of year, it seems that everywhere I look I see baby birds. It’s a blizzard of baby birds being fed by their parents. From a small backyard pond to the large expansive lakes and wetlands to suburban bac…

Last Monday, June 15, the tent outside Turtle’s Bar & Grill was bustling with people enjoying food, drinks and a live band. They were celebrating Turtle’s 30th anniversary in business. I caught up with Bryan Turtle, the owner, a couple days later to talk about his three decades in downto…

A couple weeks ago, on a beautiful Thursday evening, many of the high school track coaches and a couple of booster club members showed up at our house to wish our graduating son good luck after high school. The caravan of coaches stopped by the home of every graduate who would have competed …

I often find the most interesting things in nature are the most mundane aspects of nature. For example, I am sure many of you are seeing turtles crossing roads or perhaps crawling across your yard. Why do these reptilian friends do this at this time of year and not at other times? Where are …

I have a lot of respect for police officers. I have an uncle, neighbors, and friends who are current or former cops. When I was a kid, my grandmother told me if I was ever lost or in trouble, to look for a policeman or fireman. The advice always stuck with me.

It’s hard to believe that more than 13 years have slipped by since we were filled with the anxious excitement of buying new school clothes, filling backpacks, and sending our graduating seniors off to their first day of kindergarten. We smiled admiringly and assured them they would have fun …

Marshall Field, who created the once-popular department store chain that bore his name, is credited with popularizing the slogan “The customer is always right” starting in the nineteenth century. Scholars debate whether Field actually coined the phrase, but he is recognized for implementing …

May 1 is Mother Goose Day. Most people don’t know that the legendary author of nursery rhymes and fairy tales has a day dedicated to her. It’s not the type of day when people exchange gifts or enjoy a day off, but she deserves some press nevertheless.

I’m a big fan of the band Pink Floyd and the solo work of founding member Roger Waters. His third solo album is “Amused to Death.” Based on a book with a similar name, “Amusing Ourselves to Death,” Waters’ album has the profound lyrics and mesmerizing music that made him famous and causes li…

When Shakopee resident Patty Kutina opened her hair salon two years ago, she was fulfilling a dream to own and operate her own business. With more than three decades of experience as a stylist and manager, she was thrilled to make the leap to small business owner with Sola Salon Studios in E…

My older son Ethan is home from college because the coronavirus shut down his campus. We’ve been having a lot of conversations about a range of topics. He and I agree on most issues, except politics. It’s caused me to pay more attention to why people in their early 20s, whether you call them…

A lot of people seem to think they’re experts in other peoples’ professions. Whether it’s saying how a business should be run, how journalists should write headlines and stories, or how snowplow drivers should clear our roads, they don’t let a lack of experience or even a lack of intelligenc…

This rule could have been named, “the smartest person in the room is the room.” This expression and the title for this column both share my affinity that results are almost always better when a group works together in strong collaborative fashion. Such efforts usually lead to far better resu…

There doesn’t appear to be an antonym for the word microaggression, which is a term with negative connotations meaning subtle and prejudicial comments or actions. Even if a word doesn’t exist that’s the opposite of that, the general idea still persists of small but meaningful comments or act…

Most of us are familiar with the term “bucket list.” It’s a list of things you want to do before you die, whether they’re experiences, accomplishments, or something else. The term was popularized in the 2007 movie “The Bucket List.” In the film, Morgan Freeman’s and Jack Nicholson’s characte…

One of the biggest roadblocks to getting better at something is being too worried about making mistakes. Or being too worried about looking foolish by trying to do something new and failing miserably, possibly embarrassing one’s self in the process.

When I heard a story about a teenager in our area who’s reluctant to reveal that she’s Muslim because she’s worried about being harassed, it bothered me for several days. No one should have to hide their religion, or any other beliefs or personal attributes, to accommodate others or to avoid…

As far as I know, Ali Styba is the only female in the Shakopee High School senior class to be a triple sport athlete. She competes in cross-country, hockey and lacrosse. After fielding several scholarship offers, she accepted one from Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey, to p…

One perk of the Shakopee school system is that it offers programs such as College in the Schools, Project Lead The Way, and Post Secondary Enrollment Options that let high school students take college-level courses for free. Some classes are through the University of Minnesota, and they’re t…

I love everything about Christmas. I love that people are generally happier at this time of the year, typically spend time with family and friends, and have a feeling of generosity. There’s something special and uplifting about holiday lights, caroling, and having a decorated tree in our hom…

When Cameron Withrow graduated from Shakopee High School in May 2017, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. He was working as a pizza delivery driver to earn some spending cash, but didn’t know what he wanted for a career. Like many others in his class, he felt pressure to go to college.

Three sport athletes are rare these days, especially in a big high school like Shakopee. It’s even rarer for a tri-sport athlete to be successful at the highest level of competition in the state in all three sports, yet that’s exactly what Shakopee High School seniors Connor Raines and Jack …

The Golden Rule is great. I love the Golden Rule. The point of this column is not meant to be detrimental in any way to the tremendous value found in the Golden Rule. The thought behind this post is that the Platinum Rule builds upon the foundation of the Golden Rule, going one step further …

Most days I don’t pay much attention to what I wear. It’s one of the perks of working at home — I don’t have to dress to impress. I probably wear 10% of my wardrobe 90% of the time. My favorite jeans, a handful of faded T-shirts, and two comfortable sweatshirts get the most wear.

I saw a social media posting recently that said, “Sometimes the greatest gift you can give another person is simply to include them.” It’s one of those pieces of good advice that’s spot on, simplistic, and doesn’t require a lot of effort to put into action. Inclusion can be incredibly impact…

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