Reopening of State Capitol – all weekend

Don’t forget there’s an entire weekend’s worth of fun:  Capitol Restoration Celebrations this Summer!

After four years of repairs and restorations, our State Capitol is now fully open to the public once again! This beautiful building has been returned to its former glory, and there will be events this August to celebrate this beautiful edifice of our democracy. You and your family are encouraged to attend any of the fun events that are planned.

It is the People’s House – remember that!

On Friday morning we had the ribbon cutting ceremony and a color guard presentation as we reopened the State Capitol.


Most of the events are free, or offered at very low cost. You can learn more by visiting

WHEN: Friday, Saturday & Sunday Aug 11-13

WHERE: Minnesota State Capitol Grounds
      75 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
      Saint Paul, MN 55155

Learn more about tours, live music, children’s events, and fireworks by

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Community Forum: Homelessness in Dakota County

Last night, I attended the Community Forum: Homelessness in Dakota County at Shepherd of the Valley Church in Apple Valley.  There were well over two hundred people in attendance. Ann Ryberg, Communities of Faith Volunteer Organizer, went over the temporary shelter effort that took place this past winter.  The Dakota County Housing Manager went over the activities to again have a temporary shelter this winter, November 1 is the target opening date. The County put out a bid for a service provider and Matrix Housing Services was chosen. This is intended to be an overnight shelter with extended hours during times of extreme cold.

Representative from Matrix Housing went over expectations and needs. For suggestions or information, they can be contacted at shelter@matrixhousingservices. org

The Shelter Leadership Work Group is working on options for a permanent shelter that should be presented to the Dakota Board of Commissioners by October.  This has been a need for some time.


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Neighborhood Night Out 2017

August 2 was a lovely evening to be out and celebrating Neighborhood Night Out in Eagan and Night to Unite in Burnsville. My appreciation to all who participated in these events. These activities provided a great opportunity for neighbors to talk and also learn more about community resources.

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The Hunchback of Notre Dame

I went to see The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Eagan High School tonight.  It was a musical version with songs from the Disney film and it was outstanding.  I was particularly impressed with the costumes for the gargoyles and statues.  We are so fortunate to have this level of talent in our community.

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Standing Up to Wall Street and Anti-Worker Agenda

The income gap in this country is growing larger and those in the lower income brackets are dealing with increasing challenges and stress.

The wage difference between corporate executives and workers has increased dramatically. In addition, the gap between executive compensation in the United States far exceeds that of executive compensation in other countries. Why should that be acceptable?

We need to be more mindful about merger outcomes as well as address market concentration and those that have excessive power. Most certainly we should create an environment where large corporations think twice before taking actions that hurt workers or the environment.

It used to be that as workers’ productivity increased, their salaries would increase. No longer; productivity is increasing, but salaries are stagnant. Why?

If you recall, the time when our country had a large middle class that was able to participate in the success of the economy was also when the unions exercised more power.

The huge burden caused by excessive student debt also needs to be addressed.

If we believe people are our most important resource, shouldn’t we make sure all our citizens have access to good health care? Other countries seem to be able to do this, and yet they pay less for health care then we do and have better outcomes.

Some suggestions to bring relief from these problems could include closing tax loopholes. Taxpayers should not have to subsidize excessive compensation for corporate executives. These and other practices that rig the economy so that only a few benefit needs to stop. We need to reverse the runaway inequality.

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Jim Smith

Jim Smith passed away on July 3, 2017. There will be a gathering from 4-8:00 P.M. on Monday, July 10 at Klecatsky & Sons Eagan Chapel (1580 Century Point, Eagan) and one hour prior to the 11:00 A.M. Mass on Tuesday at St. John Neumann.

Jim and his family have been part of the Eagan community for many years. He was on the Eagan City Council from 1972 t0 1987. And when I came onto the Council, he was someone I could always count on for help. He never stopped caring about our community and will be missed.

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The New St. Croix Crossing

On Monday afternoon, I had the opportunity to tour the new bridge over the St. Croix.  It is an impressive structure that is designed for 100 years.  It is about a mile long, about a hundred feet wide, and slightly over 100 feet over the water.  The bridge connects Oak Park Heights, Minnesota with St. Joseph, Wisconsin

The bridge should open later this summer. For more information, see the website:

The Stillwater Lift Bridge will be converted to bicycle/pedestrian use only.


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Remembering Thurgood Marshall

I saw the play THURGOOD tonight at the Lowry Lab Theater in St. Paul. James Craven does a marvelous job of portraying Thurgood Marshall and talking about some of the highlights of the Supreme Court Justice’s life. This is an Illusion Theatre production.

Thurgood Marshall was appointed to the Supreme Court on June 13, 1967 by President Johnson.  On June 13, MPR did a very informative program on Justice Marshall to commemorate this occasion.

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Superintendent Joe Gothard

The community gathered on Friday afternoon to say thank you and farewell to Superintedent Joe Gothard.  It was held in the new addition of Burnsville High School, a reminder of his many accomplishments as the Superintendent of the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District.  Abigail Alt, the Chairperson of the Board of Education served as the moderator of the program.  One of the speakers was the Mayor of Savage, Janet Williams.  Both Mayor Williams and her husband were graduates of the first BHS graduating class.

Next month, he will be begin his new position as the Superintendent of the St. Paul School District.

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U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth

I had the oppotunity to hear Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois speak the other evening. She is a very charming and passionate individual, in additon to being very brave. She gave some details of the crash in which she lost both legs.  Her helicopter was hit by a grenade and they did a crash landing.  It sounds like everybody aboard suffered injuries, but initially the others thought she was dead. Nevertheless, they took her with them as they tried to escape.  When the medics arrived, one of the other injured team members insisted that she be looked at first. Someone noticed she was still bleeding, so her heart must still be pumping. She said that action is the reason she survived.

She essentially related that story with the point of not leaving anyone behind.  We are very fortunate to have someone with her character and background serving in the United States Senate.

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