Health care is undoubtedly the No. 1 concern for Minnesota residents. We're worried about our coverage, affordability and accessibility — all of which were major focuses during the election. So, it's concerning that there is renewed interest in a legislative proposal that could disrupt our health care system, increase costs and jeopardize access to care.
In Minnesota, we are blessed to have beautiful natural resources like lakes, parks, forests and wilderness as well as access to a network of public lands unrivaled in the eastern half of the country. Just like you put dollars toward the maintenance of your home, we have to spend money to make sure our state's natural resources remain healthy and vibrant for current and future generations. That's why it's so critical that Congress reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which expired Sept. 30.
"Misappropriating." Isn't that just a synonym for theft? Synonyms from the Merriam-Webster dictionary: filch, heist, nick, pilfer, pinch, pocket, purloin, rip off, snitch, steal, swipe and thieve. It's sad that we are no longer willing to be straight talkers with our children and our community at large. Call Assistant Vice Principal Josh McLay's actions whatever you want, this lack of judgment is not something we should allow as a model in our community.
Earlier this year, Shane McAllister grew worried when his 9-month-old son, Andrew, developed a 102 degree fever. Shane is a Minnesota doctor, but even with his medical training, he was surprised to see his son quickly lose his cheerful energy and spirit. It scared him, so he rushed Andrew to the emergency room. It didn't take doctors long to diagnose Andrew with a severe case of the flu. Thankfully, treatment returned the little boy to his normal self within a few days.
It takes great generosity to make the work possible at a place like Hastings Family Service, and this community always comes through! It was an amazing November with the 21st annual Gobble Gait raising $125,000 and bringing thousands of people to our community Thanksgiving morning. Thanks to organizers Mary Fasbender, Jay Kochendorfer and Brian Radke and their families, and to all of the volunteers, participants and sponsors, especially Vermillion Bank and Storm Creek.
I work at the Veterans Home in Hasting in its recreation department. I took 15 veterans to a movie on Tuesday, Nov. 20 and after the movie I took them to Carbone's Pizzeria for dinner. This was a very special treat for them, we had nine pizzas, several pitchers of pop and talked about the movie — "Bohemian Rhapsody." When I went to pay the bill, the waitress told me the bill was paid by a gentleman and a lady who told her to tell the veterans thanks for their service and Happy Holidays. Just want to say thanks to this couple what a nice surprise for the vets!
I've been following the story of the international sex-trafficking ring in the papers over the last few months. As horrifying as it is to read about, I'm grateful for the coverage to raise awareness to this tragic phenomenon. I am a social worker in St. Paul, and I have worked with several women who have been pressured into the sex industry, many of whom are foreign-born and do not have the resources or knowledge to advocate for themselves.
Thank you to the Hastings community for their appreciation, respect and support they demonstrated towards our veterans every day, but particularly during this recent Veterans Day holiday. This year was significant because it marked the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and the origin of our modern-day Veterans Day.
I do not wish to assume. I did not know Mr. Keagan Lee Johnson-Lloyd or his family. I do know that Mr. Johnson-Lloyd and me shared something in common — humanity. That humanity is marginalized by society because of who we are. It is reported that Johnson-Lloyd was challenged by mental illness and addiction, I am challenged by birth of a prescribed race, you see I am guilty being born black.
The generosity of the local business community is overwhelming. Hastings Family Service called Greg at Downtown Tire and Auto after a car stalled in the alley behind our building. Greg came to the rescue of this local family, arriving at HFS within minutes of our call, and he jumped the vehicle so this mom could get her kids home, put her groceries away and make lunch for her kids. Greg, you made our day and your kindness certainly helped this family have a better day. Thank you! Mary Kocak HFS Food Shelf Director