Tricounty News

Aug. 15 Superintendent’s update

Shopping for School Supplies? Save receipts!

Heading to the store for back-to-school shopping? Don’t forget to save receipts from all of your school supply purchases. By doing so, you could qualify for tax credits or subtractions on your 2014 state income tax returns.

There are two tax options that help families pay expenses related to their child’s education: the refundable K-12 education credit and the K-12 education subtraction. Both programs reduce the tax parents must pay and could provide a larger refund when filing a 2014 Minnesota Individual Income Tax Return. To qualify, you must have purchased educational services or required materials during 2013 to assist with your child’s education. Your child must also be attending kindergarten through 12th grade at a public, private or home school.

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Parenting crimes and misdemeanors

“Blackmail is an act involving unjustified threats to make a gain or cause loss to another unless a demand is met. It may be defined as coercion involving threats of public exposure, physical harm, criminal prosecution or for the purposes of taking the person’s money or property.” (Courtesy of: Wikipedia and Merriam Webster)

Under federal law, blackmail is considered a serious crime. It’s a statutory offense, in the same league as burglary, embezzlement and forgery. We’re talking major stuff here. I never would have predicted I’d be accused of blackmail. Especially not by my children.

But it happened this week, when I suggested that my son go outside. And play.

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Grievance #328

To Whom it May Concern (you know who you are)

I am tired – and quite literally so – of being overlooked and underappreciated. I am not acting catty when I contend that I am maliciously maligned and misunderstood. My patience with this matter is wearing categorically thin and I demand change. The conditions under which I am forced to exist have become unbearable and I am therefore petitioning for living adjustments effective immediately, or yesterday, if possible.

Complaint #1 – Bathroom conditions. I have to go underground, into a dungeon-like space every time I wish to relieve myself. Furthermore, my toilet provides no privacy and sits within inches of Other Cat’s bathroom box. Sometimes Other Cat jumps into my cubicle and does the unthinkable. (He is so uncouth.) When my human pours fresh gravel into my non-private private space, I race to be first to access the new, unblemished sand. I’d like to place an order for a new, private toilet above ground level, preferably near a scratching pad with an automatic flushing mechanism.

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Things I hate


I tell my kids not to hate things. You can dislike Brussels sprouts, but there’s no need to hate them, not really.

The word “hate” itself has become a buzzword for political incorrectness. No one wants to be accused of being a hater.

As a parent, I should follow my own advice – lead by example and be a good role model. Still, there are things worthy of my strong, strong dislike – and maybe even the “H” word. There, I said it. There are some things I hate. (Don’t tell my kids.)

For instance, I hate those website pop-up pages that make you click on the “Leave page?” button even though you never even clicked on the page in the first place.

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An adventure with superglue

Note to readers (and self) superglue does not mix well with granite countertops. Recently I had the opportunity to experience this noxious combination in the comfort of my own kitchen.

This was not of my doing. But you already knew that.

Late one night (when all the excitement happens at my house) my teenage son had an unfortunate encounter with a ceramic bowl, which resulted in the right half of the bowl separating from the left. Normally a broken bowl is no big deal at our house, but this happened to be a bowl that was hand-painted – by me. Since my son understood the gravity of his predicament, he decided to mend the break. Or at least try.

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