Columns

Mon
22
Dec

A Christmas to remember


Christmas morning 1993, Christopher poses with the cheerful chairs hand-painted by his aunt Teresa Alto, pictured, and uncle Jeremy Faden.

When I rummaged through storage boxes labeled “Christmas” last week, I unexpectedly found myself on a journey into the past 22 years.
I had been hoping to quickly locate the glass ornaments painted by my twin sons in early grade school, but instead was pausing to look at drawings of little stick-figure Santa Clauses and reindeer, construction paper ornaments decorated with macaroni and popsicle sticks, and clear plastic balls containing photos of the boys grinning from ear to ear. I couldn’t pinpoint what years they made any of these treasures, but each one was a tender reminder of their childhoods.

Fri
19
Dec

The McNaughton Rules: Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity

People sometimes get frustrated with our criminal court system when a person charged with a horrific crime enters a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. There seems to be a common belief that this is a legal loophole that routinely allows guilty people to escape responsibility for their crimes. 

Fri
19
Dec

Low or no-cost gift ideas

They say it’s the thought that counts when it comes to gift giving, but quite often it’s the cash that counts, too. According to the National Retail Federation, the average consumer spent $730 on gifts, food and decorations for the winter holidays in 2013. With costs expected to rise this year, savvy holiday shoppers are finding smart ways to save while still making the holidays memorable.

Wed
17
Dec

My wonderful life

Vonny Roloff
Vonny Roloff

At some point during the holiday season, I usually watch the 1946 classic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Mon
15
Dec

Water, water everywhere, but ...

When the White Bear Lake Restoration Association and the White Bear Lake Homeowners’ Association sued the DNR two years ago over declining lake levels, very few expected the settlement that was reached this week between the two parties.  This rift between not only these associations and the DNR, but also between commercial developers and life-long residents are very complicated.   

Thu
11
Dec

It’s in your court: don’t be a Grinch

Here come the holidays, so it’s probably timely to again make some comments on child holiday visitation or “parenting time.” Many children of divorced parents will be happily splitting the holidays between their loving and cooperating parents. Other children become the focus of the annual ritual, that is, the “fight” over which parent is entitled to have the child with them for Christmas. One would think rational parents could resolve these issues, but unfortunately during the  two weeks before Christmas, our court will likely see several such disputes make it on the court calendar. Some parents go so far as to retain a lawyer and bring an “emergency motion” to resolve the issue, basically asking the judge to “play Solomon.”

Thu
11
Dec

Fruit source all dried up for winter?

Want to avoid getting sick this winter?
Keep your immune system up and running by making sure your diet is full of essential vitamins and minerals. One of the best ways to accomplish this is with a variety of fruit in your diet. Fruit is full of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are great for keeping your body healthy. But what do you do if fresh fruit isn’t always available?
Once winter rolls around, fruit seems to take the back burner in our everyday diet. It can be hard to find fresh fruit in a cold environment like Minnesota, but there are ways to still get the fruit you need.

 

Mon
08
Dec

It’s in your court: What is alternative dispute resolution?

Over the past month the news has been filled with coverage of the NFL’s discipline of players Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice and the review of that discipline by an arbitrator.  Professional athletes have contracts providing that disputes be submitted to binding arbitration, which is generally outside of the judicial system and not appealable to a court.  You probably have an arbitration provision in your health insurance contract, auto insurance contract or credit card contract.

Sat
06
Dec

Wearing high heels in the winter and other things you shouldn’t do

Rule of thumb: if this much salt is left over after the ice melts, you’ve used too much.
Rule of thumb: if this much salt is left over after the ice melts, you’ve used too much. (Submitted photo)

One night recently, I had an experience that most women will be familiar with – a fashion crisis. I was scheduled to be a panelist at a roundtable discussion the next day and struggling to find an outfit that would be professional, look good, and yet still allow me to wear flat boots that would keep me warm and upright while walking several blocks from my car to the building the next morning.

Thu
04
Dec

Setting the stage for a growing economy

As Minnesota continues to make job gains – October’s unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent—communities across the state are thriving.  The Department of Employment and Economic Development announced recently that Minnesota employers added 9,500 jobs in October.
Over the past three months the state has added an impressive 28,300 jobs. This impressive growth has contributed to Minnesota’s recent recognition as one of the best states in the country for business growth.

 

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