Jul/Aug
2015

HOT Topics in Politics: Women Representing Rochester

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Written by By Anne Scherer

In the midst of the ever-changing world of politics, heated discussions sometimes take place. State Representatives Kim Norton and Tina Liebling and Senator Carla Nelson represent our local community on the state level, sharing their knowledge and voices in St. Paul, Minnesota. These women have had an impact in legislative decisions in their years of service.

Senator Carla Nelson is committed to encouraging women to pursue public office and empowering women who currently serve in office. “Our government will be richer and better with a wide spectrum of diverse women in elected offices,” she says.

Representative Kim Norton says, “Women are of critical value in the political system, just as they are in the business world or in the familial framework.” Women offer ways of thinking that help balance and improve decision-making. 

 

Jul/Aug
2015

Local Author Thomas Canan: Where There’s Will There’s a Way

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Written by By Catherine H. Armstrong

Two words should never have to be used in the same sentence: cancer and children. Unfortunately, we too often see these words paired together. One local parent has turned the pain of his son’s cancer journey into a beautiful tribute, memorializing a vibrant young man who was taken long before his time.

In his recent memoir, “Where There’s Will There’s a Way,” Thomas Canan brings to life the tenacious and loving spirit of his son, Will, whose nearly nine-year battle with cancer ended prematurely in October 2012.

 

Jul/Aug
2015

Vexed by Texts: A Cautionary Tale

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Written by By C.G. Worrell

You’re cruising down Broadway when your cell phone bleeps with a new text. Your brain starts racing: Did Billy forget his lunch? Does Sally need a ride? Or is it a juicy tidbit from Cousin Marge? You wait until the next red light before grabbing the phone. That’s good enough, right?

Wrong. Under Minnesota’s “No Texting” law, it is illegal for drivers to read, compose or send texts and emails, as well as access the web, while the vehicle is in motion or part of traffic—this includes sitting at a red light or stopped in traffic. 

 

May/Jun
2015

A Nomad Girl: Raises her children in Rochester

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Written by By Habibo A. Haji, R.N., Photography By Mike Hardwick Photography

I was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, where it is always sunny and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Given up by my mother at the age of 6 months, I went to live with my grandmother in a remote, primitive village. As a toddler, while grandmother grazed the sheep and goats in the grasslands, I was left to stay in the hut by myself. We slept on the dirt floor. 

 

This year’s Mother’s Day celebration is especially meaningful to Jennifer Schwertfeger and her family, as they mark the 10th year since the birth of their middle daughter, Grace. Born prematurely and nicknamed “Amazing Grace” by healthcare workers and family members, Grace spent the first year of her life as a resident of Mayo Clinic’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Saint Marys Hospital. 

 

May/Jun
2015

Rochester’s Own: Historical Places of Faith

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Written by By Debi Neville

What is Rochester’s oldest building in continuous use for the same purpose? If you are playing Rochester trivia, you may score points with the answer to this question:

 

Mar/Apr
2015

Surviving Tsunami Waves: Resilience through Narrative

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Written by By Anne Scherer

On March 11, 2011, an earthquake and tsunami hit Tohoku, Japan, ending the lives of 19,000 people and devastating the landscape and livelihood of those who survived. Tohoku survivors are healing through community engagement in art and sharing. On March 11-20, their art and voices will be seen and heard in Rochester at an event called “Surviving Tsunami Waves.”

In the spring of 2011 Yuko Taniguchi, professor of writing at the University of Minnesota-Rochester, was overcome by grief at news of the tsunami. Yuko and Japanese friends in the United States organized various fundraising events. 

 

Elder Network’s mission is to utilize resources, services and education to provide optimal quality of life for individuals impacted by the effects of aging. Elder Network reaches out to individuals, as well as their caregivers and emphasizes the importance of keeping aging loved ones in the home.

 

Adolescence is a confusing time for young people. The inner turmoil of emotional growth and physical development is especially pronounced for students who are from different cultural backgrounds than their American peers. Many experiences are similar, despite cultural differences: the anxieties of grades, friendships, first loves and choosing a college. But adding in the pressure of a different culture can be especially overwhelming. Such is the case of the protagonist in Helen Chen’s young adult novel, “Jin-Ling’s Two Left Feet.”  

 

 

LEARNING WITH LEGOS

There’s nothing quite like robots to get kids excited about science and teamwork. Just a glimpse of the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) tournament demonstrates how electric the learning environment can be. The tournament is run like a sporting event, and the kids radiate energy as they watch their Lego robots compete to accumulate points. 

FLL is a volunteer-led, after-school program that gets kids in grades 4-8 interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and careers through the use of Lego robotics. Kids meet weekly to practice computer programming and tone social skills before they compete at the tournament with robot runs, teamwork exercises and research project presentations. 

 

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