Election filings kick off official campaign season

Mike KnaakEditorial, Opinion, Print Sartell - St. Stephen, Print St. Joseph0 Comments

Now it gets real. Although many candidates running for election this fall have been campaigning for months, Tuesday, May 22, marks the official beginning of the election season. On that day, candidates can begin filing with the secretary of state or local officials for positions up for election this fall. The early filing period, which ends June 5, is for

Time to get serious about Northstar commuter rail

Mike KnaakEditorial, Opinion, Print Editions, Print Sartell - St. Stephen, Print St. Joseph0 Comments

Ever since the first Northstar commuter rail train rolled out of downtown Minneapolis in 2009, central Minnesota mass transit advocates have argued the route should extend to St. Cloud instead of stopping at Big Lake. Proponents counter the costs and ridership estimates don’t justify extending the service. Commuters between St. Cloud and Minneapolis still contend with the increasing traffic on

Pawlenty’s poor support for higher education disqualifies him

Mike KnaakEditorial, Opinion0 Comments

After eight years as a lobbyist for the financial industry, Tim Pawlenty wants to return to Minnesota’s governor’s office. The Democrats competing for their party’s nomination quickly responded when Pawlenty made his long-predicted announcement. After his announcement, Democrats attacked what they consider the failings of his administration. The critics citied  inadequate funding for health care, infrastructure and public education. Republican

Rep. Emmer, we’d like to see you

Mike KnaakEditorial, Opinion, Print Sartell - St. Stephen, Print St. Joseph0 Comments

Has anyone seen Rep. Tom Emmer? Our Sixth District representative is running for re-election and like all members of Congress, he just completed a two-week break over Easter. March for Our Lives organizers urged members of Congress to conduct town halls during their recess to discuss gun-safety legislation. Emmer didn’t take up the challenge, but his Democratic opponent, Ian Todd

There’s really no way to save daylight

Mike KnaakEditorial, Opinion, Print Sartell - St. Stephen, Print St. Joseph0 Comments

After long, dark winters, the time to “spring forward” marks the symbolic beginning of summer. We look forward to long summer evenings enjoying outdoor recreation until well after 9 p.m. As we enter April with golf courses and softball fields covered by snow and with the outdoor temperature more appropriate for downhill skiing than water skiing, the March 11 switch

Democracy is not a spectator sport

Mike KnaakEditorial, Opinion, Print Sartell - St. Stephen, Print St. Joseph0 Comments

Recent local reaction to gun violence in schools has taught us being a citizen in a democracy is not a spectator sport. Shaping the country’s response requires active participation and engagement in civic life. The actions of two central Minnesota women showed two paths among many complicated solutions to the causes and means of gun violence. They both ask each

Government operates best in sunshine, not darkness

Mike KnaakEditorial, Opinion, Print Sartell - St. Stephen, Print St. Joseph0 Comments

Every March, journalists celebrate Sunshine Week. It’s not about a Florida vacation but more importantly about the public’s right to know about what our government is doing in our name. Government works best for all of us when it operates in sunshine, not darkness. Journalists constantly challenge government officials for access to documents and meetings. But this effort is not