May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Skin cancer, including melanoma, is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Melanoma incidence rates in Minnesota have doubled since 1988 for both males and females, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Ingrid Polcari with the University of Minnesota Medical School and Masonic Cancer Center answers questions about skin cancer risk factors, treatment options and preventative measures people can take against skin cancer. What is skin cancer?
Annalie Strong, a ninth grade Minnesota Connections Academy student from Farmington, has been selected as one of this year's 39 youth ambassadors for the Tourette Association of America. Annalie shared her story with representatives in Washington, D.C., during the Association's National Advocacy Day on March 5, and advocated for public policies and services for people affected by Tourette syndrome and tic disorders.
One of the greatest duties we face as legislators is to support the National Guard and our veterans. As a veteran myself, I know firsthand the importance of providing resources to help them succeed.
Music in Our Schools Month is recognized every March. But the celebration of all that music adds to life is boundless. It echoes through living rooms, gyms and recital halls, football fields and fairgrounds season after season. We're so grateful for the opportunities our daughters have had to learn and play music here. When we moved to Farmington 14 years ago, we couldn't have imagined how music education would lift them. Their interests vary, but band lights the way. Music defies stereotypes we too often place on one another.
The month of April marks the celebration of Community Banking Month. I want to take this opportunity to educate our communities on what sets community banks apart: • Local focus: Unlike larger banks that may take deposits in one state and lend in others, community banks channel their loans to the neighborhoods where their depositors live and work, which helps local businesses and communities thrive.
Even though health cannot be purchased, smart decisions can be made when purchasing foods. With the increasing amount of information on new food trends and food items, trying to choose products when shopping can be overwhelming. To make matters worse, people now have to worry about buying items in the store at an expensive price with low quality. Luckily, local farmers markets provide fresh produce that make shopping worthwhile.
As Earth Day approaches, let us all remember to be good to our Earth! I challenge you to help stop plastic pollution. Please join me in using only reusable water bottles. Here is why: "Out of the 50 billion bottles of water being bought each year, 80 percent end up in a landfill, even though recycling programs exist. Seventeen million barrels of oil are used in producing bottled water each year. Bottled water costs 1,000 times more than tap water. Drinking 2 liters of tap water a day only costs 50 cents per year," according to www.treehugger.com .
A letter Don Slaten wrote against state Rep. Tony Jurgens was predictable drivel. Amazing that Slaten, who was once defeated by Jurgens and has deep connections to the local DFL party, would take shots at his former opponent, isn't it? The letter reads like it was written by a DFL Capitol insider, which Slaten is not, with all sorts of statistics relating to budget surplus projections, future state growth and inflation. Hey Don, just because the state has a surplus doesn't mean we need a bloated budget. I am with Jurgens, rein in the spending.
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.