Thank you, Dan Coborn, for generous philanthropy

A local grocery-store legend and kind-hearted philanthropist has died.

Dan Coborn, 86, who died March 15, left so many good, enduring things in his nearly nine decades in the greater St. Cloud area.

Besides being a great entrepreneur, Coborn was extraordinarly generous in “giving back to the community,” as he called it. He, his wife Mabel and their five children have been constantly donating, directly and indirectly, to scores of good causes in the area, which include the CentraCare Coborn Cancer Center, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the local YMCA, St. John’s University facilities, scholarship funds for the universities of St. John’s and St. Benedict’s, and United Way of Central Minnesota that Dan and Mabel Coborn helped start.

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Grace-under-pressure rules at humane society

Want to see up-close what grace-under-pressure looks like? Go visit the Tri-County Humane Society in east St. Cloud.

I saw those wonderful people in action five times recently – the five times I brought homeless cats to them during late February, early March. In my neighborhood, every winter and spring there are pitiful homeless cats wandering around here, seeking a place to huddle out of the cold, looking for something – anything – to eat, hoping for a warm home.

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Let’s all celebrate our heritages, our diversities

St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone again. In traditional fashion, the day is marked by parades, festivals and drinking. President Donald Trump had his annual meeting with the Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) in the White House, and the city of Chicago colored its river green. It’s quite amazing just how St. Patrick’s Day, as a celebration of Irish heritage, has become a national undertaking.

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Celebrating a meatless spring

Sami Nicholson, Sartell

Where is global warming when we need it? I do look forward to the first day of spring, balmy weather and flowers in bloom.

The first day of spring is actually a perfect opportunity to turn over a new leaf in our personal habits – to clean house, to jog outdoors and to replace animal foods with healthy, delicious vegetables, legumes, grains and fruits.

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Citizen activist Buckvold to hold press conference on Northstar rail project

Anne Buckvold, St. Joseph

I was pleased to see Gov. Mark Dayton has included in his budget proposal $3 million for a demonstration project of the Northstar Commuter Rail set to begin already this fall, and money to fund a study to determine ridership and costs for ongoing service.

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It would be sheer folly to kill arts organization

The current Republican majority in the U.S. Congress and the Trump administration are considering putting an end to the National Endowment for the Arts, which would be a most unfortunate decision.

Since 1965, when the NEA was founded by an act of Congress, the agency has given a couple of hundred thousands of grants that have helped keep alive this great nation’s vibrant arts, both traditional and cutting-edge.

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Forget iPhone; get a piggy bank

Mrs. Anderson gathered her three children into the living room.

“Well, we can forget about that iPhone we planned to buy next month,” Mrs. Anderson told them.

“But why, mom?” they asked all at once.

“Because the $700 we saved so long to buy it will have to be used for health insurance,” she said. “The Congress is about to get rid of Obamacare and replace it with another health-care plan. We have to save every cent we can.”

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Minnesota is filled with seasonal surprises

Once again, March has come upon us. The season of winter is coming to a close, especially with such high temperatures during the past few weeks. It almost feels like winter has already come to an end, despite Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow on Groundhog’s Day. 

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