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Journal Archive

MN2020 Journal: Of Lutefisk and Pyrrhic Victories
By John R. Van Hecke January 08, 2010

  When Ramsey County Judge Kathleen Gearin issued a temporary restraining order on December 30, preventing Minnesota from terminating a food assistance program, many…

MN2020 Journal: A Simple Winter Truth
By John R. Van Hecke January 01, 2010

  Today, I seem to live on Lake Superior's shore. I don't, of course, but judging from the huge piles of jagged snow banks…

MN2020 Journal: Who's Working Tonight
By John R. Van Hecke December 24, 2009

  Tonight, in the middle of a snow storm, some guy you don't know is going to leave his family, climb into a huge…

MN2020 Journal: Looking Back to Look Ahead
By John R. Van Hecke December 18, 2009

  Minnesota has come a long way in the past hundred years. It shouldn't take a funeral to remind us of our achievements but…

MN2020 Journal: In the Bleak Midwinter
By John R. Van Hecke December 11, 2009

  The cold, like Samuel Johnson's observation about the prospect of hanging, tends to focus the mind. On this subzero morning, my mind is…

MN2020 Journal: Where Do We Go from Here?
By John R. Van Hecke December 04, 2009

  Wednesday morning, State Economist Tom Stinson told us what, if we're honest, we already knew. Minnesota's recession-driven economic performance is creating a growing,…

MN2020 Journal: The Cranberry Leadership Solution
By John R. Van Hecke November 30, 2009

  Thanksgiving Dinner is a comfort food, harvest festival triumph. With turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls and green beans in cream…

MN2020 Journal: There's No Place for Hunger in Minnesota
By John R. Van Hecke November 20, 2009

Hunger at home should surprise us. Given just the smallest contemplation, hunger should provoke a simmering, disturbed outrage. Discovering hunger's growing incidence mustn't roll…

MN2020 Journal: Better Footing for Minnesota's Energy Future
By John R. Van Hecke November 06, 2009

  The controversial Big Stone II power plant project collapsed earlier this week, highlighting the considerable energy challenges facing Minnesota. Anyone claiming victory or…

MN2020 Journal: The Flu Doesn't Care About Your Politics
By John R. Van Hecke October 30, 2009

  I've been mulling a paradox. Can conservative, anti-government policy advocates accept publicly sourced flu shots? At present and for the foreseeable future, flu…

MN2020 Journal: Lessons from the Old Mapleton School
By John R. Van Hecke October 23, 2009

  Education is a labor-intensive business. Fixed costs-building maintenance, utilities, bond payments, that sort of thing-constitute significant budgetary line items but people are the…

MN2020 Journal: Where, Governor Pawlenty, is Afghanistan, Minnesota?
By John R. Van Hecke October 16, 2009

  I've visited many but not all of Minnesota's 87 counties and, as a farm boy,  I'm pretty familiar with our state's small towns…

MN2020 Journal: Which Side Are You On? Wellness Data and Dark Motives
By John R. Van Hecke October 09, 2009

  Living healthy is a no-brainer. We should eat well, consume modestly, and engage in regular, moderate exercise. It's hard to argue with that.…

MN2020 Journal: Should I Stay or Should I Go?
By John R. Van Hecke October 02, 2009

  A college education's value is greater than the sum of its parts. All the economic rationalism in the world with its tight Dickensian…

MN2020 Journal: Will Conservatives Declare that Hand Washing is "Bad for Business?"
By John R. Van Hecke September 25, 2009

  The flu season is upon us. Despite widespread concern with the H1N1 virus and rising flu rates, I predict that soon and with…

MN2020 Journal: Greedhead Health Care Reform
By John R. Van Hecke September 18, 2009

  It's time to speak an unspoken health care reform debate truth: conservative public policy advocates are only interested in policy changes with a…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: The Four-Day School Week is a Bad Idea Whose Time Has Come
By John Van Hecke July 25, 2008

July 25, 2008 While other states debate embracing a five and a half day school week, some Minnesota schools are contemplating cutting their instructive…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Picking Rock
By John R. Van Hecke July 06, 2007

Rock picking, the process by which rocks are removed from farm fields, is a necessary evil. Here's how it works. Moving systematically though a…

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