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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Education has been on a quest to create schools where every student is successful, meeting and exceeding the standards, while achieving their highest aspiration. While this is a noble goal it is complicated by today's student who comes to school with widely different sets of knowledge, skills, talents, strengths, motivations and support.
What exactly do the Minnesota Wild have to do to put more tallies in the win column? This past off season they acquired star forwards Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi from the San Jose Sharks, which was quite a bold move for the Wild -- usually, new names on the ice are those "developing players" from the Houston Aeros. Why has this year been another horrible season for scoring goals? We fans need to send a message to the Wild's head honchos who have the ability to make a change.
Consider this: When the Great Depression began in 1930, Walter Klaus was 18 years old. It was 55 years ago that voters in rural Dakota County first elected Walter Klaus as their representative. On April 19, that man turned 100 years old. Klaus, a longtime Farmington resident who has lived in Hastings for the past four years, had a birthday party in his honor Saturday at Augustana Health Care Center.
I have something of a poster problem. I'll admit, as problems go, this falls somewhere on the low end of the scale. It's not a serious illness. It's not a family tragedy. It's not even as bad as being strapped into one of those Clockwork Orange machines and forced to watch reruns of Mike and Molly. Well, not quite. Still, it's a lot of posters. And I'm not quite sure what to do with them. This is not a new problem. It started maybe eight years ago, when I went through a bit of a concert-poster phase. I bought them at concerts.
The Farmington School District has a pretty good idea where it would like to be in five years. Now superintendent Jay Haugen is looking for some help figuring out exactly how to get there. Haugen presented a draft of the district's new strategic plan at an April 9 school board meeting, but he's turning to the public to provide some of the concrete steps to make the plan's seven overarching strategies reality. He's looking for a group of 150 to 200 volunteers from school staff and the community to work on the project over the next several months.
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.