Here are some heartening stories from mid-continental states: Let's start with Iowa. After that state flipped to Republican control of the state House and Legislature in 2016, the Legislature passed, and Gov. Terry Branstad signed, a law that curtailed bargaining rights for nearly all public sector workers. They forbade union negotiating for health insurance, pensions and teacher evaluation standards, and required public employee unions to hold recertification elections at the end of every contract. Yet, in Iowa's first recertification election last fall covering nearly 500 worksites and more than 33,000 public employees, 90 percent of teachers turned out, and 98 percent of those voted to keep their union.
Ramon imagines her work as learning from our environment and simultaneously acting to protect it. She makes her own inks, from walnuts among other organic sources. It's her practice to explore how to make art that doesn't harm. "I work on thin, plant-based paper," she said. "I try to be as light as possible in my use of resources. And I'm trying to get away from the idea that things have to last forever." The drawings are very portable and can be redrawn if necessary. <
In July, I walked with friends the 125 miles in Wales from Chepstow to Llangollen. If we'd just driven the motorways, we wouldn't have a clue about the sights, delights, hosts we met and lovely food at small pubs and bed-and-breakfasts. Couldn't we, over time, develop trail-friendly hospitality here, too?
I used to love to talk politics with friends, neighbors and family, and often with people I'd newly met.
Clear, mild, sunny summer mornings are a joy.
Summer work is a great prep for joining the labor force later. It's a good way to sample different kinds of jobs and learn how variable bosses and working challenges can be.
Every June, around the summer solstice, a Carlton County family hosts a weekend of independent film. In its 15th year, the Free Range Film Festival, on Friday, June 29, and Saturday, June 30, draws people of all ages from nearby counties, Duluth and the Twin Cities.
I haven't had living fathers to thank on this day since 1981, but I always think of them: my father, David Markusen, and his father, Marinus Markusen. Makers, nurturers, teachers, musicians and loving husbands. In a year when we've witnessed the serial bad behavior of many grown men, it's a good day to reflect on all a loving father can be.
Didn't get into your preferred college? Keep in mind that you can transfer. It's much easier to gain admission to another school if you have a decent freshman year record. Why? Because at every kind of college, many first-year students drop out. I started at one college, but decided I really wanted to go to Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. I did, and my best friends were two other women who also transferred after a first year elsewhere.
For weeks, on ladders and benches, and sometimes squatting near the floor, students volunteered to paint. Art teacher Ann Carlander created the design and worked for permission to engage students in the painting under her direction. Carlander, a Wrenshall resident in her second year at the school, teaches all grade levels. The day I walked the halls with her, the murals were nearly completed. Carlander pointed out small features to fix, like a lake horizon that wasn't quite horizontal. On April 20, the school hosted a midday ice-cream celebration of the finished murals.