Tricounty News

Helping with homework

I am every parent. Or most parents. Or at least one of the parents who live in my house – which is one of two, or one-half, or 50 percent, but who’s counting?

I represent the good folks who live a normal life with numbers serving as a daily, and integral, portion. I can measure liquids and solids, calculate the fabric yardage needed for new kitchen curtains, follow the speed limit and determine the calorie count in a piece of cherry pie, but my kids’ math homework has me stumped.

I am doing my best, but I am an old mom, with old math skills, and an old calculator that couldn’t create a graph or make a flower dance across its screen if its battery power depended on it. My homework assistance skills don’t add up.


Sept. 27 Update

Government shutdown

As you know, there is potential for a U.S. Government shutdown to take place on Oct. 1, 2013, and appropriations for the federal budget will expire. With a few days remaining until that deadline, we’ll just have to remain hopeful that Congress and the president will resolve their differences and avoid the shutdown. If a compromise does not occur and a federal shutdown becomes reality, we could be faced with some reimbursement difficulties from the Minnesota Department of Education. Simply stated, the electronic transfer of federal funds to MDE and schools could be delayed until a resolution is passed by Congress and signed by the president.

We’ve often talked with law makers about our educational needs and at times legislation that is well intended can have unintended consequences that makes our jobs in schools more challenging. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a quick resolution.


Out with the old, in with the new

This week I said goodbye to an old friend and our parting was bittersweet. We’d spent nearly every day together for more than seven years. Lately, however, he just hadn’t been reliable. It was getting so I couldn’t count on him to be there when I needed him the most. In my heart, I knew I should move on, but for the last few months I’d been putting off the inevitable. Change can be difficult especially when there’s so much history involved. Seven years is a long time – for sure more than six.

In the early days, we’d been inseparable. He helped me with my work in just about every way imaginable – like an administrative assistant or maybe even an office manager. He was smart. He edited my sentences. Assisted with research. Checked grammar and spelling. He even helped with formatting. The guy was a whiz. Until he started slacking.


Sept. 20 Update

Updates on Affordable Care Act (ACA)

You may have recently read that parts of the Affordable Care Act have been delayed until
Jan. 1, 2015. I’d like to share some of the details and clarify what parts of ACA have actually been postponed.

The IRS delayed certain provisions of the ACA back in July of 2013. The announcement to delay the employer mandated health-care or pay penalties came from the U.S. Department of Treasury. Three specific ACA requirements that were delayed until 2015 are listed below.


Remember when…

There are certain dates that stick in our memories. Sept. 11, 2001, is one for most of us. This week, we relived that moment in time, as people tend to do on anniversary dates both celebratory and somber.

We are a compilation of our experiences and memories. They change and mold us. Shared memories can unite, give us a common ground even a commonality of spirit.

So, during this week when we may be remembering that day back in September 2001, I thought I’d recollect some not so earth-changing experiences that most of us share. Some are serious, some joyful, and some silly because that’s how life is. I don’t mean to take anything away from the significance of 9/11; I want to acknowledge that while we share the terrifying images and details of that one day, we also share much more.