Tom West

It’s official. The winter of 2013-14 was the second worst since the winter of 1900-01, 114 years. You can tell your grandkids about this one. This is not just subjective complaining. This is based on the tabulations of West’s Winter Misery Index (WWMI), which, using historical data from the National Weather Service, combines the daily [...]

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I had a bad day recently, dealing with the mysteries that come with the end of life. They got me thinking about how I’d like to check out when the time comes. I know, that’s not anyone’s favorite topic, but I have long admired the way an uncle of mine exited. He had a heart [...]

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In the last two weeks, I had the opportunity to participate in a conference call with Gov. Mark Dayton and also to sit in on a Q-and-A session with one of the Republican candidates seeking his job, Marty Seifert. The conference call with Dayton came while he was in his car returning to the Mayo [...]

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Until a couple of weeks ago, I had never given my full attention to a hockey game between 5-year-olds. However, grandparenting pulls us in new directions — and this one pulled me to Sauk Rapids. This was the first hockey road trip for our grandson, also known as Mr. President. A year ago, he was [...]

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I don’t pretend to be a foreign policy expert, but I do believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken the measure of President Obama, and determined there is little risk in invading Ukraine. When President Obama ran for president back in 2008, one of the criticisms of the George Bush presidency is that many [...]

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More than 30 years ago, a judge in Fillmore County in the southeast corner of Minnesota had an affair with his secretary. The affair led to the secretary divorcing her husband, and the judge presided over part of the divorce proceedings. The husband complained to the state Board on Judicial Standards, which censured the judge [...]

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There is a lesson to be learned here, and mine is: Don’t mock the weather gods. Last month, I wrote a column suggesting that all the whining about the weather was unwarranted. As of that date, the winter had been about average. Things have changed quickly since. According to West’s Winter Misery Index (WWMI), we [...]

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When it’s 27 below, it’s hard to remember why we all live here. However, a reader sent me one article at the same time that the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development sent out another, both revealing that our state is better than average. Of course, then the question becomes, “How?” I don’t want [...]

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