Dew Days has come and gone, and despite the trials of weather, the celebration was a resounding success for Farmington. People enjoying cheese curds, live music and iconic cans of Mountain Dew packed the downtown streets. After the uncertain economic times of the past four years, it is a relief to see our small town moving forward, bringing the traditions from our town celebration into the future. What a beautiful sight that throng of people downtown was, a testament that Farmington is alive and doing well.
Almost everyone will have a pet sometime during their life. Animals bring so much happiness and fun; they really change the overall feeling of a house. No matter what kind of pet, I think all pets are good. Pets make a house happier; they're always there waiting for you when you get home, they won't ever judge you for anything and -- my personal favorite -- they don't ever stay mad at you. Their attention span is so short that they would forget if you screamed at them, and turn around and lick you 30 seconds later. That's something called unconditional love and commitment.
In the past two weeks I've enjoyed the distinct pleasure of driving across Iowa twice. Iowa's reputation is much maligned by rumors about the state being an endless sea of corn, yet I find it scenic and tranquil. Driving south on US-52 through Iowa you pass through picturesque towns such as Guttenberg, perched above the Mississippi River. The Iowan painter John Vander Stelt called Guttenberg "a page ripped out of a Mark Twain novel where the Main Street storefronts face the mighty Mississippi." I stopped at one of the scenic outlooks in Guttenberg, about an hour north of Dubuque.
A Ravenna Township man earned the DFL nomination last week to oppose Republican incumbent Pat Garofalo in this November's election. Jim Arlt will face Garofalo, of Farmington, for the District 58B seat. Arlt, who is 54 years old, retired from law enforcement in March and knew he didn't want to pass the time being idle. "I've always enjoyed working," he said. "I can't just retire and sit at home. This is just another avenue for me to be able to serve the citizens of Minnesota." For more than 20 years, Arlt has lived in the Hastings area.
Minnesota Reps. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) and Tom Rukavina (DFL-Virginia) got into a heated debate over tax policy during a meeting of the House Taxes Committee on Tuesday. Each accused the other's party of "sticking it" to the middle class. The exchange came during a hearing on a Republican bill aimed at cutting statewide business property taxes.
Snow day? Last Wednesday the Farmington School District had a snow day for the first time in a couple years. Funny thing about it was, there was only about two inches of snow and tons of ice. I'm not complaining, I just think it's funny. The snow was very wet and heavy -- perfect snowman building snow. I'm surprised my little neighbors didn't build any, but I guess they were too busy sledding. Girl Scout cookies The one thing that makes this frigid time of the year manageable is when a cute little girl comes around selling Girl Scout cookies.
A problem like drug abuse doesn't recognize borders. It happens everywhere, and its effects spill over from one community to another. That is true when you are talking about drugs like marijuana, cocaine or heroin and it's particularly true of prescription drugs, the abuse of which law enforcement officials say is increasingly becoming a problem. That's why it makes sense for the public safety departments in Dakota County to team up with their counterparts in Washington and Ramsey counties.
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said the prospect of jail time alone is not enough curb the growth of prescription drug abuse. "I can lock these guys up all day long, but it's a public health issue," Orput said. Orput and fellow east-metro prosecutors are pledging to work together with law enforcement and other service agencies to fight criminal activity. They formed the East Metro Crime Prevention Coalition and plan to improve their communication, share educational resources and crime prevention tactics and coordinate their response to emerging criminal activity.
The Farmington City Council finds itself in a difficult position. At a time when budget cuts have become a fact of life, the city also sees a pressing need for a new fire truck. It's no small expense -- a new fire engine is expected to cost the city between $500,000 and $600,000 -- but it also appears necessary. On Monday Farmington City Council members agreed to find a way to pay for a new truck.
Nearly everyone feels anxious when facing a test, and for some, crippling anxiety accompanies every test throughout school. Test anxiety haunted me for the past six months, as my Graduate Record Examination loomed on the horizon. The GRE, is a 4 1/2-hour marathon of identifying synonyms and calculating the area of triangles off the top of your head. The GRE is used by schools to predict if you are ready for graduate school. Of course, I've already taken the test and made it through graduate school twice.