I attended the matinee performance of It’s A Wonderful Life A LIVE RADIO PLAY at the St. Paul Hotel on Wednesday and thoroughly enjoyed this event. The afternoon begins with a delicious lunch. Then the cast starts singing a host of familar Christmas songs before getting into the story of It’s A Wonderful Life done as a radio presentation.
You can hear it on WCCO Radio (830 AM) this Saturday at 7:00 with a rebroadcast at 5:00 on December 24 at 5:00.
A wonderful activity for the holiday season.
I attended the second day of the the three day Hmong New Year Celebration in St. Paul today. It was a nice day and one estimate had around 50,000 people in attendance. Many of them wore the traditional clothing and jewelry, which is ornate and very beautiful.
I was privileged to particpate in the Opening Ceremony.
After that, there were speeches, singing, dancing, and the Miss Hmong MN 2015 program in one area. Another had food, games, and more entertainment. A third section had lots of vendors.
The representative from the Minnesota Historical Society said that there are 66,000 Hmong living in Minnesota, this is the largest concentration of Hmong in the world. Next year will be the fortieth anniversary of the Hmong people coming to Minnesota. MHS will open an exhibit in March that will highlight the Hmong experience.
A great way to start the New Year!
Keystone Communities in Eagan held a very special observance of Veterans’s Day. Their featured speaker was a Korean War Veteran who gave a detailed talk on that confrontation.
Then each resident who was a veteran was recognized and some background on their military experience was provided. Every veteran received a flower after the reading. Their names were called according to the branch in which they served. First, the Army veterans were identified and then the Eagan Men’s Chorus sang the their song. Next the Navy veterans were recognized and then the chorus sang the Navy theme. And so the program continued until all branches were covered. There were quite a few veterans in the group.
The event concluded with pie, coffee and a lot of socializing.
This past Tuesday, I participated in a forum sponsored by the Intergenerational Working Group at DARTS. Members includes the Children’s Defense Fund, AARP and several other organizations . Here is the link:
On Tuesday morning, a joint meeting of the House Transportation Policy, Transportation Finance, Commerce and Consumer Protection , and Agriculture Committees along with the Senate Transportation and Public Safety,Commerce, and the Jobs,Agriculture and Rural Develpment Committees met in the State Office Building. The meeting started at 10:00 in the morning and adjourned about 2:30 in the afternoon.
We heard from every perpective on the state of the railroads, particularly those that run in Minnesota. Commission Zelle and Dave Christiansen of the Minnesota Department of Transportation started off with their report on railroads. Businesses impacted by the railroads talked about their experiences and expectations. Representatives of the employees talked about their experiences and challenges. An Amtrak official explained that almost all their routes are coming in behind schedule because of the huge problems caused by the trains carrying oil. They are seeing a reduction in passengers as a result. Last were the officials from the railroads who explained their operations.
It appears that that the main problem centers on train operations in North Dakota. While the railroads are expanding their rail infrastructure, ordering new equipment and hiring new personnel, all that will take a few years to accomplish and not much improvement is seen until then. That means the crisis will continue unless some extraordinary measures are taken.
I recenty met with some officials from the Union Pacific and this car definitely attracted my attention.
They said that their business has increased in all areas and they are ordering new cars as well as training new personnel every month. These are good-paying jobs. I recently talked with a retired engineer who told me that his income enabled his family to live comfortably and both his sons now work for the railroad.
This week, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is meeting in Minneapolis. The agenda is brimming with interesting workshops and speakers. One session featured Sir Ken Robinson. He advocates an educational system where creativity and individual talents flourish. He has authored some books that can provide details on his approach.
World renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma was one of the presenters on Turnaround Schools. He played a musical selection prior to the presentation. That was a real treat!
The speakers talked about the positive impact that happens in schools that have incorporated art in their curriculum. This program is going to be used in some schools in Minnesota.
There were so many compliments about the Summit, visitors were impressed with Minneapolis, the Convention Center, the friendliness of everyone. So whether you were on the planning team, staff, legislators, volunteers, or providing assistance in any manner to the Legislative Summit Attendees and their families, know that your efforts were very much appreciated.
This was an exciting morning in Eagan! The Twin Cities’ Premium Outlets officially opened at 10:00 A.M. The opening ceremony featured speeches by Mayor Mike Maguire, Governor Mark Dayton and officials representing the developer and management company. It was a beautiful day and lots of people were there.
There are woo stores there, but Coach and a few other establishments had waiting lines. Good buys to be had and so much to see.
I attended the DFL Second Congressional District’s Fundraiser on Sunday and, as always, had a great time. United States Senator Al Franken and Representative Betty McCollum were the featured speakers. We are so fortunate to have such capable and caring individuals representing Minnesota.
One of the items in the live auction was 36 volunteer hours on November 1. After spirited bidding, Angie Craig, a resident of House District 51A, was the winning bidder. She graciously donated that to my campaign. What a great gift! That definitely made my day, and week and then some.
Update: 8/12/2014 – We just received another picture from the flight I took on August 4th with Civil Air Patrol. Check out the Pre-flight, pre-taxi picture at the end.
August 4th is a day I shall remember for a long time. For the first time ever, I flew in a very small plane. It was a Cessna, a plane used by the Civil Air Patrol. It was a beautiful day to be out and about and aloft. Our flight included flying over four of the smaller or reliever airports in the Metro area. The pilot, Lt. Colonel Kevin Dunlevy did a great job of providing an incredibly smooth ride. Since this was my first time in a small plane, I wasn’t quite sure that was possible.
I am a legislative member of the Civil Air Patrol and after the flight I attended the monthly Wing meeting in the Terminal at Fleming Field.
The CAP Mission Statement is “Supporting America’s communities with emergency response, diverse aviation and ground services, youth development, and promotion of air, space and cyber power.”
This is a volunteer organization that operates as the United States Air Force Auxiliary. Membership is open to those 12 years and up.
This organization has a long history of providing service to our communities and we are very fortunate to have so many people committed to making sure that the legacy continues.
Checking the tail assembly (“Empannage”)
Checking the flaps
Checking the engine
Preparing to taxi