Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.
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The media tells us the world is going to end, we're not good enough and everyone is crazy. What ever happened to optimism? The whole, "The world is your oyster," philosophy? In high school, being a pessimist isn't even an option. It's basically setting yourself up for failure. Whether it's about schoolwork, athletics or relationships, having an optimistic view on life can make the world of difference in any situation. High school can be a horrid breeding ground for pessimistic thoughts. Girls beat you down, guys beat you down and everyone seems to always have it out for somebody.
It starts, as these things often do, with a mad dash. Children scramble across four adjoining yards in search of the colorful plastic eggs that dot the grass and sit nestled in tree branches. Younger kids scour the nearby yards, while older hunters sprint to the far end of the field. It's a little bit noisy and a little bit chaotic, but it also looks like a lot of fun. Gina Meihofer is definitely enjoying herself, and she's not even involved in the hunt. She's the one who organized the event, which took place Thursday in a yard filled with neighbors, friends and relatives.
I've spent a lot of time in recent years riding my bike. Maybe you know that already. I tend to mention it a lot in this space because, well, I don't have a whole lot of interesting stuff going on. I've taken my bike on long rides and short rides, hilly rides and flat rides. I've gone on rides that ended with people being hauled away in an ambulance. I don't recommend that. It turns into a big hassle. Hills are kind of a pain too, now that I think about it. Through all of the years and all of the rides, though, I've never tried to commute by bike. There are reasons for that.
There are stories hidden away in Farmington homes. There are colorful ceramic plates handed down from grandmother to mother to daughter. There are meat cleavers that belonged to a long-ago ancestor who was a butcher. There are bits of the past tucked away in cabinets and chests and closets, and the organizers of an event this weekend at Faith United Methodist Church would like to hear all about them. The church's Women of Faith group will hold a brunch and antique appraisal event starting at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The latest plan for the Farmington School District's German program could shift the language entirely to the high school, a move that has at least one board member concerned about the long-term future for the class. Superintendent Jay Haugen presented a plan Monday that would move the first offering of German I to ninth grade. He hopes the move will make it easier to offer the class to what has been a shrinking population of interested students. About 40 students signed up for German I for the 2012-13 school year, but they are spread among two middle schools and Farmington High School.
From the age of 2 through the age of 18, we reach for more independence. Whether that means learning to walk on our own, or to going off to college to live on our own, independence is what we seek. However, independence is not something to be taken lightly; it can either help you or hurt you. It all depends on what you do with it. First off, let me tell you what my definition of independence is. Independence in my book is freedom to do what you please. This could be anything from deciding what you want to make yourself for dinner to what you want to do while your parents are out of town.
After our sultry weekend, it feels like summer has already arrived in full force. Yet Easter is just around the corner. Even though I'm looking forward to the chocolate bunnies and hard boiled eggs, I always feel a little sad bidding Lent farewell. I enjoy fish on Fridays, especially the $1.49 fish sandwich at Kwik Trip. I like fish so much that I celebrate Fishy Fridays year-round. This leads me to a dilemma. Every year I need to give up something other than just meat for Lent, because eating fish is no sacrifice for me. This year I gave up complaining. I was more or less successful.
A standoff last month between Dakota County Sheriff's deputies and a 46-year-old Farmington man ended peacefully but with several charges against the man, who was described as drunk, possibly suicidal and in possession of a handgun. Deputies found Cameron Ackland parked near Blaine Avenue in Empire Township around 2:30 p.m. March 11. The sheriff's department had received calls about a man staggering around a car parked by the road. When a deputy found the car and ran the license plate the report showed Ackland was suicidal and possibly in possession of a gun.
When Jenny Olmanson's husband bought her a camera for Mother's Day four years ago, he was supporting a hobby. Olmanson liked taking pictures. She had since she was a kid, when she bought a film camera to take on vacations. At first, a hobby is all Olmanson's photography was. She took photos of her children, and of other activities in her life. She had fun with it, and as time went on, she kept doing more and more pictures. Eventually, friends and family started asking Olmanson to take pictures for them, too. So, she did. Then more asked, and more.
A Republican plan to begin repaying school districts for payments the state has delayed heads to hostile territory in Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton's office. The Minnesota House and Senate Monday approved a proposal to repay schools $430 million. However, that would leave about $2 billion yet to pay. Money would come from reserves that just now are being built up after a budget deficit drained them. Rep.