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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Dakota County nature-themed art exhibit on display in Apple Valley

"Dakota County Naturally," the most recent Dakota County Community Art Exhibition, is on display for public viewing in the hallway between the Dakota County Western Service Center and Galaxie Library, 14955 Galaxie Ave., Apple Valley.
 
The exhibition includes two-dimensional art created by 19 Dakota County artists in one of two themes: "Critters of the Minnesota Zoo" and "Natural Wonders of the Parks of Dakota County."
 
This is the seventh Community Art Exhibition curated by the Dakota County Public Art Citizens Advisory Committee.
 
For more information, call Jean Erickson at 651-438-4286.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Event notices from the Pleasant Hill Library

March is Tangram Month at the Library
Area residents are invited to stop by the library any time during the month of March to try a variety of tangram puzzles.  A tangram is a flat puzzle with seven pieces that can be moved and rotated to create pictures.  Tangrams are a fun way for all ages and abilities to challenge their problem solving and visual spatial skills.  Work on tangram puzzles at the library or take home a worksheet to make your own.

Baby Story Time at the Library
Children age birth to 2 years old, along with their caregivers,  are invited to the Pleasant Hill Library on Monday, March 9, at 10:45 a.m. for a baby story time.  Children will sing songs, hear stories, and enjoy playtime activities.  The event is free and no registration is required.

Teens Invited to Get Involved at the Library
Area teens are invited to the Pleasant Hill Library on Monday, March 9, at 3:30 p.m. to become a part of the Library's Teen Advisory Group (TAG).  TAG recommends books and music, helps plan library programs, and participates in community events and service projects.  Interested teens should be between the ages of 12 and 18.

Story Time at the Library
Children age birth to 6 years old are invited to the Pleasant Hill Library on Wednesday, March 11, at 10:30 a.m. for a library story time.  Children will hear a variety of stories and participate in craft activities.  This program is ideal for mixed-ages audiences such as child care groups and families.  The event is free, and no registration is required. 

Adults Learn How to Crochet Flowers at the Library
Area adults are invited to the Pleasant Hill Library on Monday, March 9, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to learn the basic stitches of crochet and make a handful of cheery flowers.  People may stitch a pin to the back and wear your spring blossoms on the town.  This class is presented by the Textile Center.  This is a Minnesota Legacy Program.  The class is free, but registration is required.  To register, call the library at 651-438-0200 or visit the library website at www.dakotacounty.us/library.     

Evening Story Time at the Library
Children age birth to 6 years old are invited to the Pleasant Hill Library on Tuesday, March 10,  at 6:30 p.m. for an evening story time.  Children will hear a variety of stories and participate in craft activities.  The event is free, and no registration is required.  

Free Microsoft Publisher Class at the Library
Area adults are invited to the Pleasant Hill Library on Thursday, March 12 at 10:15 a.m. for a class that will explain Microsoft Publisher. Publisher is a powerful program that can be used to create signs, business cards, greeting cards and more.  People should have a basic understanding of Microsoft Word.  The class is free, but registration is required.  To register, call the library at651-438-0200 or visit the library website at www.dakotacounty.us/library.     

Free Resume Writing Class at the Library
Area adults are invited to the Pleasant Hill Library on Friday, March 13 at 2 p.m. for a class that will explain how to write an effective resume.  Writing a proper resume is more important than ever during tough economic times.  People will learn how to use a resume to show a potential employer their value.  Topics will include formatting, styles, common mistakes, dos and don'ts, and more.  This class is taught by Dakota County Workforce Center.  The class is free, but registration is required.  To register, call the library at 651-438-0200 or visit the library website at www.dakotacounty.us/library.     

Make Clay Houses at the Library
Children age 3 to 12 years old are invited to the Pleasant Hill Library on Monday, March 16 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. for an art class that will teach them how to build colorful clay houses.  Children will learn about color mixing and sculpting in the class.   The class is free, but registration is required.  To register, call the library at 651-438-0200 or visit the library website atwww.dakotacounty.us/library.  Registration opens March 2.   

Dakota County Library hosting foreign policy discussion forum

Starting this month, Dakota County Library will host Great Decisions, a non-partisan discussion forum that features presentations from topic experts and provides opportunities for education and conversation on important American foreign policy issues. Participants are encouraged to read the Great Decisions booklet available at the Galaxie Library information desk, 14955 Galaxie Ave., Apple Valley. The following programs are planned at Galaxie Library:
 
"Russia and the Near Abroad" with Tom Hanson
6:30–8 p.m. Tuesday, March 10
Discussion overview:
As calls for closer ties with the EU failed to be met, Ukrainians took to the streets in November 2013. As the movement later known as the Euromaidan, or "Euro Square," pulled western Ukraine closer to its European neighbors, another powerful force threatened to tear away the country's eastern half: Russia. Putin's pushback against European expansionism has the West wondering: If Putin's Russia isn't afraid to take an aggressive stance against Europeanization in Ukraine, what does that mean for the rest of Russia's neighbors?
Presenter:
Tom Hanson is a foreign policy consultant and a former career U.S. Foreign Service Officer. He serves as program secretary of the St. Paul-Minneapolis Committee on Foreign Relations, Diplomat in Residence at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and board member of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights (U.S. Foundation).
 
"Human Trafficking in the 21st Century" with Michelle Garrett McKenzie
6:30–8 p.m. Tuesday, March 24
Discussion overview:
The international trade in human trafficking is a multibillion dollar a year industry and one of the fastest-growing criminal industries. While undeniably a global phenomenon, the U.S., as one of the world's leading human trafficking importers, bears a special responsibility to combat this practice. The U.S. and the international community have adopted various treaties and laws to prevent trafficking, but to truly understand and combat the issue, they must find the root causes enabling traffickers to exploit millions of victims.
Presenter:
Michele Garnett McKenzie is the Advocacy Director at The Advocates for Human Rights. She is responsible for policy advocacy and community and coalition engagement around The Advocates' priority issues, including human trafficking, refugee and immigrant rights, and diaspora community engagement.
 
"Sectarianism in the Middle East" with Gary Prevost
6:30–8 p.m. Tuesday, April 14
Discussion overview:
Many of the current conflicts in the Middle East have been attributed to sectarianism, a politicization of ethnic and religious identity. From the crisis in Iraq and Syria to the tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the struggle between Sunni and Shi'i groups for dominance is tearing apart the region and shows no signs of abating. How does sectarianism fit into a larger narrative of the Middle East?
Presenter:
Gary Prevost is professor of political science and international relations at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University. He is also the author of numerous books and articles on revolutionary parties and social movements, including, "Social Movements and Leftist Governments in Latin America: Confrontation or Co-optation?"
 
"Syria's Refugee Crisis" with Robert Carlson
6:30–8 p.m. Tuesday, April 28
Discussion overview:
Syrians have for a century welcomed more than a million refugees from Armenia, Palestine, Iraq and other countries around the region. Now, thanks to a multiyear civil war, they are on track to become the source of the world's largest refugee population in a matter of months. As Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and other neighbors strive to accommodate the millions of Syrians, the risk of allowing Syrians to become dependent on emergency aid and forming a "lost generation" remains. Ultimately, though, the safety of displaced Syrians rests with the whole international community.
Presenter:
Bob Carlson is a retired agribusiness consultant whose corporate experience included 20 years with Cargill, mainly in the oilseed processing division, as well as shorter periods with two other oilseed processors. He conducted consulting projects in Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines.
 
For more information, visit www.dakotacounty.us/library and search Great Decisions or call 651-450-2943.