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.
Last month the fourteenth class was inducted into Park's Hall of Fame. We had five quality candidates and one team that were honored on Nov. 17: Timothy Cornwell (Class of '73) Gary Fehrman (Coach) Dale Howe (Class of '74) Jackie Voigt (Class of '08) Lauren (Burks) Zidon (Class of '02) 1993 Softball State Championship Team (25th Anniversary) The Hall of Fame has been one of the best aspects of my job because it has allowed me to get to know some of the great names from Park's past.
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.
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.
Family, food and football — it does not get much better than this. Having just eaten all the turkey that I can eat and watched enough football games to last me until at least the weekend, I wanted to take a moment to comment on some of the many things I am grateful for. I am thankful that I am the activities director at Park High School and that my three children are (or were) able to attend this great school. The administration, teachers and entire staff here are truly the best around.
It's hard to believe that our winter sports season is already here. Most of our winter teams are already practicing, and girls' hockey had their first game last week. Before we get too wrapped up in our winter teams, I want to take a moment to reflect on our fall season.
The nine athletic directors in the Suburban East Conference are committed to promoting a sportsmanship initiative to help improve the behavior in the stands at our athletic events. As fans enter every contest at Park, they will notice a sandwich board with the major components of this new initiative. Earlier this school year the conference held a sportsmanship summit as part of this project. Each school sent its "SuperFans" to the Roseville Oval to meet with each other to discuss how we can improve sportsmanship at our events.
When I was eating school lunch in the 1970s, there were just two days looked forward to: spaghetti day and pizza day. The mystery-meat hamburgers and overcooked vegetables, and hard, cold mashed potatoes were just bad. My children have been eating school lunch for the past decade, and I've been impressed with the daily offerings of fresh vegetables and fruits and the improved quality and nutritional value of the food. But the Farm to School "movement" really excites me.