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
- 2 years 5 months
The heat of summer arrived in a steamy blast. After a frigid winter and snowy spring, summer arrived unexpectedly. Or as unexpectedly, I suppose, as a season might arrive. I haven't taken a summer vacation since 2008, other than visiting family for a weekend, here and there. Last year I worked around 70 hours a week the whole summer, and for fun I took an accelerated accounting class. The year before that I was on mandatory overtime the entire summer. At the demands of various managers I've cancelled summer vacations to Florida and Washington, D.C.
Minnesota's three top budget negotiators walked from the governor's office Thursday evening to announce a state budget deal frowning like their best friend just died. In a way, each had lost a political friend: Democratic Gov.
The Farmington School Board will add back at least some of the pay it cut earlier this year. Board members voted 5-1 Monday night to amend the district's policy on board member reimbursement. The change will restore a $30-per-meeting stipend cut at the board's organizational meeting in January. Board members did not reverse cuts to salary also made at the January meeting. The policy proposed Monday would have raised the board chair's salary from $4,500 to $5,250 and board members' salaries from $3,600 to $4,200.
The crowd was small at the Farmington School Board's first public listening session, but there was no shortage of conversation. Board members Julie Singewald, Melissa Sauser and Brian Treakle met for about an hour Monday night with the three district residents who showed up for the informal discussion period. The conversation covered ground ranging from the district's use of consultants to the state's open meeting law to how Farmington schools can best prepare students for life after high school.
With one quick vote and three signatures, the Farmington School District officially has a new superintendent. Board members voted unanimously Monday to approve a three-year deal that will pay Jay Haugen $180,000 in the first year -- prorated to $172,500 because he is starting two weeks after the deal's official start -- $184,500 in the second year and $189,000 in the third year.
Back in my early days with this newspaper I occasionally wrote movie reviews. I did it mostly because I saw a lot of movies at the time, and putting reviews in the paper seemed to somehow justify all of the time I spent sitting in dark rooms watching mediocre stories about comic book characters. Also, there were a lot fewer people looking over my shoulder to make sure I wasn't sending anything offensive out to our subscribers.
When the Farmington School Board launched an investigation into the behavior of board member Tim Burke last year, Burke argued that while he might sometimes have been unpleasant to deal with, he never did anything illegal.
The name of Farmington's new ice cream shop originated as a 10-year-old's knock-knock joke, but the people behind the business are plenty serious about their plans. Sam Bontrager and Sue Reische see their new Cow Interrupted, scheduled to open Friday in downtown Farmington, as the first step in a process that will eventually include more offerings, more locations and more unique flavors. For now, though, they're keeping things simple.
When the Dakota County Gun Club held its first shooting event for kids five years ago, three people showed up. Two were the grandchildren of one of the event's planners. The third had never shot a gun before. But that third kid became a regular. He attended just about every youth shooting event the club held until he got too old to participate. Eventually, plenty of other young shooters joined him. These days the gun club's twice-monthly summer youth shoots draw 100 or more kids who want to try their hands at shooting rifles, shotguns and bows.
If you don't meet Farmington's new superintendent in the next year, it won't be because he didn't make an effort. When Jay Haugen took over five years ago as superintendent in the West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan School District ago he made a pledge to meet 2,000 people in his first year on the job. Now that he's coming to Farmington, Haugen is making similar plans.