The Home Run Trot

For a kid growing up in southern Minnesota hoping he had the right stuff to become a fast-talking economic development guy, baseball’s all-star game signaled the beginning of the end to summer. Farewell summer, we hardly knew ye, meaning a rural school with grades K-12 all under one roof would soon spring back to life.

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Lemonade Stand

Even in a dairy rich state like Wisconsin, and in the Dairy Month of June, there’s still room for neighborhood lemonade stands in the St. Croix Valley. Running a lemonade stand represents Free Enterprise 101 and the Basics of Entrepreneurship all rolled into one…

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The Greatest Generation

Brokaw was among the first to use ‘greatest generation’ to frame Americans who were born in tough times, survived The Great Depression (not to be confused with The Great Recession), got tougher during a World War, returned home, started families, and above all, worked hard to keep America great, long before a similar phrase gained popularity.

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Congratulations Grads; Employers Need You

Graduates will be reminded by more than one speaker that commencement is not an ending, but a beginning. And yes, there will be opportunities to hit the re-set button, whether the button pertains to getting one’s act together or following one’s heart to paths less traveled.

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Small Businesses Make BIG Impact

2019’s U.S. Small Business Week is May 5-11. The week celebrates and recognizes the importance of small businesses. There are 30.2 million small businesses in the U.S., according to the Small Business Administration’s office of advocacy. In fact, a small, independent business can be quite large – having less than 500 employees, and not dominant in its market.

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Employers Face Workforce Challenges Head-on

It seems ‘Help Wanted’ signs have replaced ‘Garage Sale’ signs as the least popular among community beautification advocates. Street right-of-ways are littered with ‘Apply Today’ and ‘Top Pay for Second Shift’ messages.

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Girl Scout Cookies and the Five P’s

Just like the first backyard robin, Girl Scout cookie sales are another sign that Old Man Winter is on his way out and Spring is near. Hopefully. St. Croix County’s economic development spin-master has proclaimed his disdain for the Winter of 2018-19 on numerous occasions.

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The Right Stuff

Tom Wolfe penned a book in the late 1970’s entitled, ‘The Right Stuff’ about American test pilots who were part of the early research efforts leading to NASA’s space program. The pilots flew experimental rocket-powered aircraft.

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March Brings Madness

St. Croix Valley residents will be relieved to put a wintery February in their rear view mirrors and may be thrilled to say, “Bring on March.”Or maybe not.

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Miracles Happen

We are creeping up on the anniversary involving a triumph of Goliath proportions. On February 22, 1980, the U.S. men’s Olympic hockey team defeated the Soviet team in Lake Placid, N.Y. An upset does not begin to describe the outcome. Hard to believe it’s been 39 years.

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A Down-and-Back Madison Road Trip

Madison, Wisconsin is said to be 77 square miles surrounded by reality. It is also Wisconsin’s capital city, where new laws are introduced and either sent to a dark hole or are debated and signed into law. Skeptics may say the faint hearted should avoid watching the bill-making process.

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Fables of a Passbook and Financial Literacy

Somewhere in a storage box marked ‘Personal Stuff” sits a palm-sized leather book containing handwritten entries from a savings account closed decades ago. For the younger generation, the non-cell phone object is referred to as a passbook savings book. Doubters can look it up, or they can ask an old person (grandparent) or a really old person (great grandparent).

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Before the bands play Auld Lang Syne, there is still time for a little reflection and resolutions for the New Year. Back on January 1, 1991, Miss Ann Landers, the queen of advice, offered these thoughts for a happier New Year.

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Time Out: Chuck Taylor All Star Shoes

Before there was a Jordan, Kobe, Curry, or LeBron basketball shoe, there was the Chuck Taylor Converse All Star model. Make that the iconic Chuck Taylor Converse All Star shoe. Make that the nearly 100-year old iconic All Star shoe. Yes, the same shoes worn by the Hickory Hoosiers of Indiana.

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In the Giving Season, Give Cheese

Only true Green Bay Packer fans are able to recite the origin of the foam hat designed to resemble a mighty wedge of cheese. All others must rely on Google and Wiki, neither of which are stellar fortresses of accuracy.

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