Tom West

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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President Obama will be delivering his State of the Union address this week. If it is anthing like the last 40 or so such speeches, it will be three times as long as necessary, ignored by many and promptly forgotten by the rest. Always trying to be helpful, here’s my suggestion for what the president [...]

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People have been complaining about the weather a lot lately, most of them with icicles hanging from their nose. However, West’s Winter Misery Index (WWMI) says those complaints are out of line. Just because you can’t see the barn from the house or your auto sounds like a hog in distress doesn’t mean this is [...]

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Politics is the process we use to come up with solutions for those issues on which we don’t have consensus. It’s always messy, never easy, and often hard to understand. Nevertheless, there have been times in this state when we elected people who disagreed on issues, fought hard for their principles but still respected one [...]

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