Dr. Jeffrey Stephens   [1-10-2020]

Dr. Jeffrey Stephens is the President of Edina Eye Physicians and Surgeons, an ophthalmology group with offices throughout the Twin Cities. A skilled surgeon, Dr. Stephens discussed with Alan some of the more prominent facets of his profession, from Cataracts to Glaucoma to Macular degeneration. He also emphasized the importance of good eye care and regular visits to a professional to protect one’s eyes.


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Erin Parrish, AARP MN   [1-10-2020]

Erin Parrish, Associate State Director of Advocacy and Outreach for AARP Minnesota, is interviewed by Bill Raker, ATD guest host. Erin provides an overview of AARP’s activities, noting its 38 million national membership with 675,000 of them here in Minnesota. In addition to explaining the advocacy mission of AARP at the state and national levels, Erin discusses why and how AARP is directing significant efforts and resources towards health care costs with reference to the Stop Rx Greed project. AARP advocates only for non-partisan policy issues and relies on grassroots efforts of volunteers to carry the message to legislators.

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Dr. Stacey Dimond   [1-10-2020]

A balancing act is required when a person is not only a mother of two young girls, a person who loves cooking and gardening, and a medical professional. Dr. Stacey Dimond is that person, an audiologist with Audiology Concepts in Burnsville and a first-time Access to Democracy guest. Dr. Dimond stated that recognizing hearing loss when one first becomes aware of a diminution of quality is very important to maintaining one of life’s most important functions.

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Marty Fleischhacker, Senior Fraud Ombudsman, Minnesota Department of Commerce     [12-19-2019]

Marty Fleischhacker, Senior Fraud Ombudsman for the Minnesota Department of Commerce, conversed with Bill Raker, Access to Democracy guest host. In addition to explaining the mission of the Department, Marty discusses why and how the Department is directing significant efforts and resources towards scams and fraud. Marty’s expertise, gained through his experience of 20+ years working at Commerce, focuses on common types of financial fraud and scams, such as the fake “lottery”, the desperate “grandparent” call, and phony investment scams. Marty passes along methods and hints the consumer can use to detect scams and avoid being victimized.

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Commissioner Joe Atkins, Dakota County     [12-19-2019]

For a man who started out as the youngest School Board member in the nation (at 18), to one of the youngest Mayors in Minnesota, as well as a longtime member of the Minnesota Legislature, Comissioner JOE ATKINS of Dakota County is running out of offices to run for. On his latest visit he and Alan mused over the traffic problem on Diffley Avenue in Eagan brought into focus again by a recent tragedy, the possibility of moving St. Joseph’s Hospital to Dakota County, and other timely issues, including budget and social matters affecting the County.

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Prof. David Schultz, Hamline University   [12-13-2019]

A favorite long-time guest, and nationally renowned expert on American politics, Professor David Schultz from Hamline University, talks about the historic impeachment proceedings underway and how our current state of extreme partisanship will impact these proceedings. Professor Schultz also talks with guest host Holly Jenkins about the disservice schools do by not teaching civics classes at the high-school level to best prepare students to participate in our democracy.

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Rick King, Executive VP Thomson Reuters & Chair of MAC   [12-13-2019]

Rick King, Executive Vice President of Operations at Thomson Reuters, and Chair of the Twin Cities Metropolitan Airport Commission (MAC), talks with Bill Raker, Access to Democracy guest host, about the mission, composition, and function of the MAC. The discussion focuses on MSP as both an asset to, and the annoyance from airplane noise pollution over the communities surrounding MSP. A proposal to mitigate (or “share”) some of the noise is working its way through the system.


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Senator Jim Carlson, MN SD51   [12-13-2019]

Senator JIM CARLSON, Minnesota Senate District 51, can claim the most interviews on Access to Democracy since he first appeared in 2002. During that period he has gone from private citizen to State Legislator, to a senior member of the Minnesota Senate. With his photographic recall and long family history in Eagan, Jim’s every visit with us is filled with interesting and historical facts. He and Alan recalled that past, and then looked ahead to what citizens might expect from government in 2020.

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