ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's financial picture is improving, Governor Mark Dayton proclaimed in his Wednesday night State of the State address, but policies in the last decade have hampered progress. His solution? Approve the $38 billion two-year budget he proposed two weeks ago that includes more than $3 billion in higher taxes on the rich and a reworked sales tax. "My proposals have already aroused considerable controversy," Dayton said. "Such debate is healthy in our democracy. The genius of our system of governance is that no one gets to have it all her or his way.
The things I miss most in mid-winter are fresh herbs and veggies from my garden. Although I still have canned and frozen produce, there's nothing quite like fresh culinary herbs added to your recipes direct from the plant. Herbs are an easy indoor plant to start from seed and can be a wonderful family project on these cold winter days. Start with a sterile pot: clean yogurt cartons, clay pots, egg cartons, or any vessel that suits your fancy. If your container doesn't have adequate drainage, punch a few small holes in the bottom. Add a good basic potting mix.
MINNEAPOLIS - President Barack Obama says citizens must make their opinions heard on gun violence issues for change to be possible, and Monday he had the support of at least one member of an audience of law enforcement officials, lawmakers and local leaders on that point. "We need to do our duties and have a voice in the discussion and be at the table," Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels said. It was a sentiment Obama emphasized in his speech to more than 200 people who filled a gymnasium in the Minneapolis Police Department Special Operations Center. "We don't have to agree on everything
ST. PAUL - Governor Mark Dayton said tax changes he proposed Tuesday would not cost middle-class Minnesotans more money. Dayton said his state budget and tax reform plan is a starting point for conversation as the Minnesota Legislature works to set a two-year budget by May 20. While he highlighted key proposals, questions remain. Dayton's plan, which would bring in $2 billion in new revenue over two years, would reduce the sales tax rate from 6.875 percent to 5.5 percent in a year but expand what is taxed to include most services, such as haircuts and auto repairs.
Now that the busyness of the holidays is behind us and the New Year is under way, it's time to start planning for this year's garden. Before selecting seeds, perennials and annuals to include in your ornamental or vegetable bed, why not assess the state of your garden tools and decide on a few new ones to add to your repertoire. Following is a list of tools I can't live without. Shovels: Pointy shovels, flat shovels, long narrow shovels, garden trowels of all sizes and shapes. Make sure the handle length is good for you and that the grip fits your hand.
A heart attack can seize its victim and leave him or her dead within minutes. In fact, 40 percent of women do not survive their first heart attack, and heart disease kills more than all forms of cancer combined. This is why it is important for women to recognize the symptoms of heart attacks and learn ways to prevent heart disease. It is typically believed women and men display the same warning signs of an imminent heart attack. This is false. The presumed most significant warning sign of an impending heart attack is chest pain.
This time of year, more than any other, our thoughts turn to gift giving and gift receiving. We consider what we will give to whom, and wonder what we would like to receive. It's a curious thing, this emphasis on the urge to give gifts, driven by advertising and retailers. Why just this time of year? Is it a response to what the Wise Men did as gift giving about 2,000 years ago? Do we even consider them as the standard bearer of gift giving?