Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.
- Member for
- 4 years 3 months
One year can make an extraordinary difference in life. During this week last year I was giving final exams for four classes I was teaching, and meeting daily with our college president about student advising. In the same week, I was struggling to finish the final projects for my two graduate classes. And a whole year stretched ahead of me until graduation, filled with the same grinding level of work and stress. Then this morning, after a long journey of reading, slaving over PowerPoint presentations and writing papers, I am finally finished.
It's not always easy being a nonbeliever. In a society where personal faith is still important to many, people who identify themselves as atheists often worry how they'll be perceived if friends, family or employers find out they don't believe in God. Bill Lehto knows what that's like. He's been active in the Minnesota atheist community for the past three years, but there are still members of his family he wouldn't want to know about his lack of faith.
There was a time, and it wasn't all that long ago, when I would have told you I didn't need an iPad. I might have told you I really, really wanted one. That each new generation was shinier and faster and looked even more than its predecessor like the absolute best option for reading magazines in the bathroom. But needed? No. I already had an iPhone, and that does most of what the iPad does but in a handier pocket size. I might have told you all of those things, and I would have meant them. But that was before I got an iPad. It's not even a fancy iPad.
The glass is back in the front door at Gerster Jewelers, but inside there is still work to do following an April 19 break-in. As of Tuesday morning there was still no glass in the front of the counter display cases, and store owner Jim Gerster said he is still ordering merchandise to replace what was taken. Gerster expected to have new glass in place by Tuesday or Wednesday. One or more people broke into the store around 10:30 p.m. April 19. They smashed the front door and most of the display cases.
A grassroots effort to defeat an amendment outlawing same-sex marriage in Minnesota kicked off Sunday afternoon in Dakota County. Nearly 200 people from around the county came together to launch the Dakota County Votes No effort, the first of several such efforts that will be organized statewide with the help of Minnesotans United for All Families. Participants shared the personal stories about how they got involved, and went through training meant to help them spread their message to the wider public.
Most years around this time there would be a three-bedroom house taking shape on the grounds of Dakota County Technical College. This year, though, the students who do the building have something a little bigger on their minds. The students, who travel from Farmington High School and other schools around the county for an Intermediate School District 917 construction trades program, are lending a hand with the construction of a storage and concession building as well as two dugouts at the school's new baseball complex.
After three years of talking, planning and dreaming, Ed Endres finally has some tangible evidence of his effort to bring another sit-down restaurant to downtown Farmington. Endres, who has owned Farmington's Pizza Man for the past 10 years, broke ground with business partner Phylicia Schindler last week on an expansion that will add seating for 42 inside and room for another 20 on a patio behind the Third Street building. The change, which will include an expanded menu that has been in place for the last three months, has been a long time coming.
Many things have propelled us into the future and helped the expansion of technology. From the cell phone to the iPod and now on to tablets, there is no stopping the computer revolution. So, why just limit the accessibilities of a computer just to the home or workplace? How about we, as students, trade in for an upgrade ourselves? For us to be able to carry around an iPad instead of numerous amounts of books and notebooks would not only be kind to the environment, but kind to our backs as well. The average college student uses roughly 320 pounds of paper a year.
There are a lot of challenges for newspaper employees these day. Subscriptions are declining as people get used to reading their news online for free. Advertising dollars have dwindled as other businesses suffer in a weak economy. And it's almost impossible to find a good fedora with one of those press cards stuck in the brim. It's a lot to think about, and now it appears there's another concern to add to the list. According to the current issue of Wired magazine, there are two competing companies working to create robots that can do our jobs. They've already got a decent start.
Farmington School Board members had lukewarm reactions to three methods the district could use if it chooses to equip all of its students with iPads, and some raised questions about whether the district was moving too fast. At a board workshop Tuesday, finance director Carl Colmark presented rental fees, enrollment growth and a one-time payment from the Farmington School District's general fund as ways to help pay for the purchase of iPads if the district chooses to proceed.