Statewide: March 1, 2012 Archive
Posted at 11:00 AM on March 1, 2012
by Dan Olson
Filed under: Minnesota Sounds & Voices
Check the faces from this 1925 St. Paul oath of citizenship photo, courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society.
You might see some relatives.
There's a naturalized American in my family.
The ceremony for my relative took place 25 years ago at the Roy Wilkins auditorium in downtown St. Paul.
A couple hundred folks, a true rainbow, people from around the world took the oath.
The ceremony was overseen by the now-retired Judge James Rosenbaum who was a newly minted federal judge and obviously moved by the experience.
Since then I've nurtured a healthy respect for naturalized Americans which has grown over the years.
I've done stories on folks from Togo, Somalia, Laos and elsewhere, all immigrants with the status of refugee which means they've been granted admission to this country because the government has accepted their argument that there lives are at peril in their homeland.
My newest acquaintance in this realm is Olga Zoltai of St. Paul. She and her family escaped their homeland of German-occupied Hungary just as World War II was ending and the Nazi forces were crumbling in the face of the Soviet Red Army's advance.
Fast forward a quarter century to 1967 and Zoltai took her oath of citizenship in St. Paul where the family had resettled when her husband landed a faculty position at the University of Minnesota.
Zoltai, not exactly lacking for energy, volunteered at the International Institute of Minnesota then became a caseworker and was on deck as tens of thousands of refugees from Southeast Asia flowed into Minnesota in search of new home.
Zoltai helped resettle thousands of them including the very first Hmong family.
She'll be honored for her work Friday, March 2nd, appropriately at a naturalization ceremony at the University of Minnesota.
And then it's off to India for two weeks to take a look at the plight of that country's impoverished girls to she how she can help.
Posted at 7:45 AM on March 1, 2012
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
Mayo's living lab learns real life lessons about aging
MPR News: "Two-thirds of Minnesota counties have populations older than the national average. It is a trend that has broad implications for everything from the state's budget to health care.Molly McMahon, a designer for Mayo Clinic's Center for Innovation, wants to know how aging changes a person's life."
Romney to stump in Fargo
Grand Forks Herald: "Vibrant growth and the nation's lowest unemployment rate have made North Dakota the beacon in a country still recovering from a crippling recession." Gingrich is the only GOP candidate who hasn't visited the state. North Dakota's GOP caucus is non-binding. Here's a look at the Super Tuesday nomination contests from Real Clear Politics.
Fairmont officials look for efficiencies
Fairmont Sentinel: "City, county and school officials gathered Wednesday to discuss ways they can share services and save money.Turns out they're already sharing more services than most people probably realize."
With budget surplus in hand, Dayton wants session to focus on jobs
MPR News: "With the state budget appearing to be on track, Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP legislative leaders say they want to focus the rest of the legislative session on jobs." Politics in Minnesota: "The budget surplus can largely be attributed to a $230 million decrease in spending, mostly due to lower-than-anticipated enrollment in the state's early Medical Assistance expansion provided under the federal health law for single adults." MPR News: "The outlook for Minnesota's economy remains positive but not great." Duluth News Tribune: "Even without big bucks, policymakers were happy that they are not facing a deficit, as they did last year when they were forced to plug a $5 billion hole in the state budget."
Job challenge: Grow more entrepreneurs
Ground Level: "Cities and counties in Minnesota are doing what they can these days to encourage entrepreneurism. Especially in rural areas, small startups are viewed as the best hope for economic growth in a sluggish economy that may keep bigger, established companies from building a new plant or opening a new office. The goal is to nurture existing and would-be businesspeople at home rather than looking outside for jobs, often a futile endeavor. Fostering that entrepreneurial spirit can be difficult. A January report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, in fact, suggested that self-employment in the region has declined since the start of the recession.
Minnesota House passes bills beefing up prosecutor protection
Pioneer Press: One bill "would lift an existing restriction banning county attorneys and assistant county attorneys from carrying firearms while on the job. They still would have to go through the same process of getting permits to carry as any other Minnesotan."
PolyMet plans to turn farmland into wetlands
Statewide: "PolyMet Mining Corp. has announced plans to restore farmland in Minnesota to wetlands. Environmentalists caution that not all wetlands are created equal."
Moratorium: Fillmore County will take up to one year to study silica sand mining concerns
Bluff County News: "Fillmore County joined the list of those in southeastern Minnesota with moratoriums on silica sand mining issues."
Mining program could come back to U
MN Daily: Rep. Tom Rukavina DFL-Virginia "introduced the bill to bring mining back to the University and to prepare Minnesota students for mining engineering jobs -- a sector with employment opportunities on the rise."
NCAA: Don't bring Fighting Sioux name to playoffs
AP: "University of North Dakota teams risk forfeiting any post-season games if their teams, cheerleaders or band wear or display the school's Fighting Sioux nickname and American Indian head logo, an NCAA official said Wednesday."
Snow day fun in Duluth
News Cut: "During the spring flooding in the Red River Valley last year, I was taken with the people who went water skiing in the roadside ditches.It's only fair, then, that we give equal time to the other side of the state and a different season. Today in Duluth, someone went skiing behind a Jeep." The Duluth News Tribune has a couple of videos from around the city that captures the storm .
By the numbers
Rank of Minnesota in a national well-being survey: 3
Pioneer Press: "When it comes to well-being, we're No. 3.So says something called the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, a massive national survey on health, happiness and quality of life that ranked Minnesota as the third-best state in the country." North Dakota leads Minnesota, Hawaii tops the list.
What do you think about the proposed bridge?