Opinion

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The truth about being a lawyer

My daughter is thinking about becoming a lawyer. How supportive I am of that plan probably depends somewhat on the kind of a day I’m having, but I have tried to be honest with her about the pros and the cons of a career in the legal field. There is...

 
 By Gene Johnson    Opinion    March 19, 2020

Proceed with caution

COVID-19 has reached pandemic levels in the United States. It is time to live with caution and develop new and renew healthy practices at home, at work, in schools in medical centers and senior care facilities. People are frightened, herd buying is...

 

What's the proper way to do a zipper merge?

Question: What is the proper technique when there is a zipper lane?  For example, coming off of 35 onto London Road, there are two lanes, but everyone merges over to the left lane immediately upon getting onto London Rd.  I learned to drive, and...

 

Keeping an eye out for pedestrians

We’ve gotten a wave of warmer weather lately and the pedestrians have come out to enjoy it while it lasts (because with Minnesota, there’s bound to be another snowstorm around the corner). As one...

 

What is the open bottle law in Minnesota?

Question: Can you explain what is considered an open bottle violation here in Minnesota? Answer: Minnesota law says that it is a crime for a person to drink or consume an alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle when the vehicle is upon a street or...

 
 By Chris Gass    Opinion    March 12, 2020

More to recycling: energy, economy, environment

Reduce, reuse, recycle. A common idiom lending itself to be heard and stated so much that you probably give it little actual thought and instead just let it go in one ear and out the other. I know for...

 
 By Kate Crowley    Opinion    March 5, 2020

Poncho, the chaser of squirrels

I once read that in pre-settlement times, the forests of North America were so great that a squirrel could theoretically travel from the eastern seaboard all the way to the Mississippi River without...

 

Can you drive a collector vehicle in another state?

Question: Can a vehicle with a Minnesota collector plate be driven legally in Arizona? Is it legal to drive it to and from both states? Answer: Can’t speak for Arizona’s laws, but the general rule is to follow all of the current registration...

 

Buddy's Corner fanfare

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who submitted photos of their precious pets for our “Share the love!” compilation in Buddy’s Corner. When I first brought Buddy to work with me over a...

 

Has the number of DWI arrests declined?

Question: I read somewhere that the number of DWI arrests had declined recently? Is this true? What about non-alcohol related DWI arrests? Answer: While alcohol-related DWI incidents have dropped over the past 10 years in Minnesota, controlled...

 

Older adults can prevent falls through physical activity

According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and nonfatal trauma in older adults and are increasing. In fact, results from a recent study published in JAMA show the rate of fatal falls among adults over 75...

 

Blinded by the light: fog lights on vehicles

Question: I see a lot of people that have their fog lights on and when I am meeting them on the road and some are very bright and make seeing the road very difficult. Some of them appear to be out of alignment and are blinding. What is the law that c...

 

Infectious diseases: isolation vs. quarantine

The outbreak of the coronavirus in China, recently declared a world health emergency, has many people concerned about how to contain it, and the larger issue of when and how the Government can restrict travel or activities of its citizens in the...

 

When should you stop for school buses?

Question: This winter has provided snowbanks — barriers in town, eliminating the turn lane, between our east and west bound lanes.  If a school bus is stopped and the stop arm is extended, does the opposing traffic have to stop? Answer:...

 

February Groundhog Day and race

Pity the poor groundhog (woodchuck) that is supposedly dragged out of his comfortable, warm burrow to let us humans fantasize about how much longer we will be in winter’s grasp. If he sees his...

 

Should you call 911 for someone texting and driving?

Question: My question is, if I see someone texting and they are driving in an unsafe manner (crossing in and out of their lane or going onto shoulder) should I call 911? Answer: Absolutely call 911 if you see any unsafe driving conduct that could res...

 
 By Chris Gass    Opinion    January 30, 2020

The future of recycling and doing our part

Two years ago, about this time, some serious waves crashed in our recycling circles leaving many frantic: China would no longer accept our reclaimed materials, plastics notably. In fact, they...

 

Is propping your feet on the dash illegal?

Question: I often see front seat passengers in vehicles with their feet on the dash. Is there a law that prohibits this? I can’t help to wonder what would happen in the event that the air bags deploy. Answer: There is no law that prohibits a...

 

It's time to salvage those New Year's resolutions

No, those New Year’s resolutions you made weren’t a bad idea. The fact that you haven’t been successful in reaching those goals may seem a problem, but the reality is that it’s also a very fixable problem. The middle of January is about when...

 

Driver's license, REAL ID, and enhanced DL

Question: Do I need to obtain the new Real ID and Driver’s License when my license expires? Answer: The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DPS-DVS) began issuing REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and ID...

 

San Diego unplugged

The aptly named Wiktionary offers this quote from Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” I am leaving my amateur status in...

 

Ice vs. salt

As I reach for the salt shaker, I can hear my mom’s voice warning me not to put too much on my food. She was a nutritionist and knew that we all get more than enough sodium in today’s...

 

Understanding restraining orders

When a person feels threatened or harassed, they have the option of seeking a court order to keep the other person away from them. While the public tends to call all of these documents “restraining orders,” there are several different types of th...

 

Watch for the lights: vehicle accidents

Question: I was driving on I-35 on a winter night when I saw emergency lights flashing ahead. I moved over and slowed down but when I approached the accident scene I found I was in the lane of the accident. From a distance I could not decipher what...

 

Using love to help a sick child feel better

Ah, ‘tis the season for many households to find themselves with one or more children suffering from a cold or the flu. Damp, chilly weather and all that contact with other sniffling children at school almost guarantees that winter illness will stri...

 

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