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Katy Read

Reporter | Niche products
phone: 612-673-4583
Katy Read writes about aging, workplaces and other topics for the newspaper's special sections. She joined the Star Tribune in 2011. She was previously a reporter at the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Duluth News-Tribune and the Crookston Daily Times. Her freelance articles have appeared in Salon, More, Real Simple, Working Mother, AARP the Magazine, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Toronto Globe and Mail and Minnesota Monthly. Her essays have been published in two anthologies and two textbooks.
Recent content from Katy Read
There's only so much time to read what you want to read.

Too much to read? Readers share tips on how to edit your reading list

Maybe the best way to manage your reading is to set ironclad limits, however random.
Lynne Pederson, left, Shelley Holden, center, and Patty Ciernia, right are working together to make improvements to livability for older residents dur

The search for livable, age-friendly communities

Northfield, Maple Grove and Minneapolis are leading the drive to create more "age-friendly" hometowns.
Sloane Crosley.

Review: 'Look Alive Out There,' by Sloane Crosley

NONFICTION: Sloane Crosley is back with another witty, wisecracking collection.
Local authors Kit Naylor, left, and Faith Sullivan met at a book signing 27 years ago and became best of friends since.

Friends across generations: Profiles of connections between people of different ages

Yes, people from different age groups can make for great bonds. We talked to four unique intergenerational pairs.
Too much! It's all too much!

There's just so much to read: How do you choose?

Among trillions (at least!) of words, which ones most deserve a chunk of your limited time on Earth?
Social media is a valuable tool in the job search

Social media is a valuable tool in the job search

Popular platforms, including LinkedIn, can help you develop your career.
Peter Parkes sat on a cot with his dog, Obama, at an American Red Cross hurricane shelter in Miami.

How you can help when natural disasters strike

It's natural to want to help those affected by major disasters. But some forms of help are better than others.

Two decades after tornado, rebuilt St. Peter, Minnesota, is a success story

  Todd Prafke had been city administrator of St. Peter, Minn., for four months on March 29, 1998, when the tornado struck. As emergency sirens…
The Good Life cover story illustration

Ageism is everywhere — here's what we can do about it

Casual age bias is so pervasive that most of us don't even realize we're doing it. The first step to fighting it, experts say, is to simply be aware of it.
Riders on the Great Big Wheel, seen at the Florida State Fair in February, will be treated to breathtaking views.

State Fair debuts a Great Big Wheel in the sky

The traveling Great Big Wheel will take Minnesotans for a spin 156 feet above the State Fairgrounds.
Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta

Review: 'Mrs. Fletcher,' by Tom Perrotta

FICTION: A woman and her only son struggle to adjust to their new freedoms when the son leaves for college.

Top Workplaces: Special Awards 2017

Employees gave these companies top marks in 12 Special Award categories. The employers shared their secrets to success.
Each month Three Rivers Park District offers a variety of full-moon programs.  Take a naturalist-led hike and experience the nighttime sights and sou

Summer Fun 2017: New things to do in the Minnesota outdoors

Unconventional outdoor activities can be found everywhere in Minnesota.
Heather Boldon gave her mother Karen medicine as she took a nap at their home in Farmington. Boldon also works part-time from home, with a lower incom

The real financial costs of caregiving

Minnesotans who provide caregiving for loved ones may face real financial hardships of their own.
REVIEW: 'Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living,' edited by Manjula Martin

REVIEW: 'Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living,' edited by Manjula Martin

NONFICTION: In this collection of essays, writers discuss the delicate matter of getting paid.
Homebuilder representative Kim Griswold Holmberg, in a Plymouth model home, spends a lot of time alone. She said she has no problem discussing her own

Are you lonesome? How Minnesota seniors are combating social isolation

More than 250,000 Minnesotans over 60 live alone. How can we fight off loneliness?
Keightyn Baity, 6, and Monika Stumpf, 76, set the table at Monterey in St. Louis Park.

St. Louis Park cohousing community welcomes home all ages

An "intentional community" in St. Louis Park encourages multigenerational bonds.
Minnesota job market looking splendid; thank you, boomers and economy

Minnesota job market looking splendid; thank you, boomers and economy

Depending on your field, it's a job-seeker's market. Career counselors say good old-fashioned strategies can help you land your dream position.
Choose your own (giving) adventure

Choose your own (giving) adventure

You want to give. But how do you decide what cause to donate your money to — and to whom?
Kathy Lentz of Stacy, Minn., participated in the YWCA Women’s Triathlon at ages 68 and 69 and is planning to run again.

Getting out of your comfort zone is good for you

Why taking on daunting new challenges in midlife is essential for growth and happiness.
After retirement, Jeff Mattson got a new job cutting grass at Daytona Golf Club.

Get back to work! Why working past 'retirement age' is beneficial

Working past the traditional retirement age is good for your mind, your body and the economy.
Theodore Roosevelt spoke to a grandstand crowd during the 1912 presidential campaign. Minnesota State Fair Archives

Despite changes, State Fair still brings us together

The more the Minnesota State Fair has changed over the last century, the more it has stayed the same.
Fred Luchsinger of Lake Elmo, and prize boar Chester White, 1920s. Photo provided by the Minnesota State Fair Archives

How your favorite Minnesota State Fair attractions have changed

In the 1880s, when the State Fair settled into its permanent location, modern carnival rides were 50 years away and the area where the Midway now stands was marshland.
Kathy Heuer is 66 and working for at least 3 more years past the usual retirement age. She works at the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging in Maplewood

Profiles of four people who found 'encore' careers

Four individuals who reinvigorated their lives with new careers after retirement.
Beer in the office? Top Workplaces offer unusual incentives to attract workers

Beer in the office? Top Workplaces offer unusual incentives to attract workers

With a tightening labor pool and below-average unemployment, Minnesota companies are offering unusual incentives to attract and retain qualified workers.
Special Awards 2016

Special Awards 2016

Employees gave 10 companies top recognition in these Special Award categories. The companies shared their secrets to success on our questionnaire.
The annual firetruck parade at the Burnsville Fire Muster. Provided photo

Summer Fun 2016: Small-town festivals abound in Minnesota

Minnesota's abundant community fests have more in common than not.
Pelicans hug the shoreline at Sweet Marsh near Tripoli, Iowa, Tuesday, March 29, 2016. (Brandon Pollock/Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier via AP)

Review: 'The Big Marsh,' by Cheri Register

NONFICTION: A new memoir/history follows a Minnesota county's "tremendous" change from wetlands to cornfields.
The Good Life: Who cares? Family caregivers do

The Good Life: Who cares? Family caregivers do

In Minnesota, 670,000 people act as unpaid caregivers to loved ones — a challenging trend that's only expected to grow.
A map sits on a dashboard display of an Audi R8 V10 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday. Carmakers are becoming a familiar sig

New car technology arrives

New safety and convenience technologies take center stage at the Twin Cities Auto Show.
Musher Susan Butcher, top, was a big inspiration for composer Robin Eschner. Eschner's song cycle for the Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon premieres next

'Crazy Cold Beautiful': The Beargrease Sled Dog race in music

In a special series of songs, a California composer captures the people and places coursing through Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon lore.
Selling Minnesota: What we're doing to promote state

Selling Minnesota: What we're doing to promote state

OK, so this is a great place to live and work. But what are we doing to recruit and retain top talent?
Review: 'Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction,' edited by Judith Kitchen and Dinah Lenney

Review: 'Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction,' edited by Judith Kitchen and Dinah Lenney

NONFICTION: This collection of essays edited by the late Judith Kitchen includes pieces that are thoughtful, quiet and subtle — small pieces that address big topics.
Billion dollar benefactors: Minnesota's charitable foundations

Billion dollar benefactors: Minnesota's charitable foundations

Some you'll know, some you won't, but Minnesota's foundations make outstanding contributions to our community.
"If I had to retire .... I could probably survive six months to a year," says Judy Davis, 57, of St. Paul, who works for a nonprofit agency.

Millions of baby boomers face financial crisis in retirement years

As 76 million baby boomers near the end of their working lives, the nation is hurtling toward a retirement financial crisis.

What's new at the 2015 Minnesota State Fair

There are plenty of interesting and eclectic new things to look out for at this year's Minnesota State Fair.
2015: For St. Paul soul singer Sonny Knight, success comes later in life

2015: For St. Paul soul singer Sonny Knight, success comes later in life

Artists often spend years struggling before they achieve success. Soul singer Sonny Knight spent half a century. “I guess inside of us all we’ve got…
Kairos Alive! staff members and conference participants held hands during an interactive workshop featuring movement, storytelling and song at the Mid

ArtSage teaches seniors how to engage in music, storytelling and more

One big room was full of people banging on inverted buckets on chairs, simulating the experience of playing the taiko drum, a large traditional Japanese…
The Art of Aging: Life changes led to career in creativity for St. Louis Park artist

The Art of Aging: Life changes led to career in creativity for St. Louis Park artist

Three of the biggest turning points in Lucy Rose Fischer’s career involved encounters with aging. Twice, she was influenced by other people’s aging — the…
The Art of Aging: How Minneapolis artist Mary Bergs discovered a new career

The Art of Aging: How Minneapolis artist Mary Bergs discovered a new career

“One’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things.” Henry Miller wrote. Mary Bergs happened to be in India…
The Art of Aging: Jim Denomie's vivid, edgy paintings attract international attention

The Art of Aging: Jim Denomie's vivid, edgy paintings attract international attention

Jim Denomie wasn’t exactly a model student when he attended South High School in Minneapolis around 1970; he recalls his activities included “goofing off, getting…
How our Minnesota athletes fared at the National Senior Games

How our Minnesota athletes fared at the National Senior Games

Among the 10,000 athletes from around the country who competed in the 2015 National Senior Games, held July 3-16 in the Twin Cities, were…
Air-traffic control tower, windsock, instrument landing system: Bill Stibal of Burnsville has spared no detail in providing a novel home for wrens eac

Backyard birdhouse: Clearance to get creative in Burnsville

A Burnsville man goes for an authentic look with his airport-minded birdhouse for wrens.
Shivani Khanna Stumpf of SPS Commerce, Dexter Wingfield of Pediatric Home Service, and Emily McAuliffe of Clockwork Active Media represent the employe

What is it about Minnesota that makes it a top place to work?

In a survey by WorkplaceDynamics, Minnesota ranked first among 45 regions surveyed on workplace satisfaction. The survey focused on components of well-being, like relationships, positive feelings and a sense of meaning.
“Handle with care” are watchwords for Science Museum of Minnesota conservator Rebecca Newberry.

Who cleans the polar bear? Museums' unsung heroes

Who cleans the polar bear? Behind the scenes, a host of museum workers are the MVPs of TLC at Minnesota museums.
Julia Grayson, 10; Carly Barcus, 9, and Elise Williams, 9, did some shopping at the Explore Store during a visit to the Science Museum of Minnesota in

Gift shops serve educational purpose, too

Museum shops aren't just a place for cool postcards. They serve an educational mission, too.
Jackie Cogan started archery about a year ago, but she will compete in the National Senior Games.

Archer shoots from novice to gold in months

With her family cheering her on, Jackie Cogan shot from novice to gold in a matter of months.
Randy Hall and pickleball partner Kim Kuester have won numerous titles.

Pickleball player back from the dead - literally

Randy Hall was on the pickleball court when he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. “I was pretty much dead,” said Hall, 64, a retired teacher…
Sherwood Sagedahl took up running after he retired. Provided photo

Senior track star makes up for late start in running

Sherwood Sagedahl got a late start in the race, but he has more than made up for it.
Anita Macias-Howard competed in a racewalking half-marathon.

Edina racewalker takes "funny-looking" sport in her stride

She’s had water balloons thrown at her (they missed) and been the target of squirt guns. As a racewalker, Anita Macias-Howard has learned to take…
Tom Rohman participated in a triathalon in 2014.

Minnesota triathlete, 67, loves to compete - against himself

Tom Rohman is not in it for the health — he likes competing against himself.
Jane Shallow will be competing in javelin throwing in the National Senior Games this summer.

Senior Games competitor from Minnesota learned the javelin -- on YouTube

How YouTube helped one competitor learn the art of the javelin.
Top tips for getting fit (if you're not much of an athlete)

Top tips for getting fit (if you're not much of an athlete)

If you're not much of an athlete right now, here are some ideas to help you get in shape.
Nasra Noor, right, taught Jordan Hamilton the traditional art of Somali weaving at the Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum in Minneapolis.

Ethnic museums preserve the past for the future

A new Somali museum is the latest ethnic collection preserving traditional ways for future Minnesotans.
Payton Puerzer sits on a donated chair in the back room at Arc's Value Village thrift store in Richfield, where she volunteers. Photo by Courtney Perr

High schooler keeps busy with volunteering

10th-grader is already compiling an impressive list of volunteer work.

Arc welcomes teen volunteers

With plenty of work to do, Arc welcomes young volunteers.
Jaelyn Lende, a third grader at Cowern Elementary School in North St.Paul, stood next to the peace pole at the school. Cowern Elementary School is an

Third grader helps promote peace

Student spreads the message of 'love and joy.'

The way to peace? Start with children

World Citizen aims to settle global conflicts by starting locally, with the children.
Yazmin LaFleur-Donaby is a volunteer with the Study Buddies tutoring program in St. Paul. LaFleur-Donaby is a senior at DeLaSalle. ] Joey McLeister,Sp

Youth is an advantage when tutoring

Yazmin LaFleur-Donaby understands why, at 17, she can be an effective tutor and mentor — as good as, if not better than, many adults.Yazmin volunteers…
Young people make great tutors

Young people make great tutors

In CommonBond Communities' Study Buddy program, young people can share their knowledge.
For kids, community service may become a lifelong habit

For kids, community service may become a lifelong habit

The benefits of starting young can be far reaching.

Youth Farm shows the value of veggies

Youth Farm program offers opportunities for kids to learn, socialize.
In this April 20, 2011 photo, Jeremy Barnes poses in front of the 2007 Honda he is selling near his home in Greensboro, N.C. With used-car prices at 1

Car shopping: Make a checklist before heading out

What's the first thing you should do when checking out a potential car purchase? Kick the tires? Look under the hood? Sit behind the wheel and imagine yourself speeding down the Autobahn at 90 miles per hour? No on all three.
Buddy Michaelson and his dad, Ky Michaelson (aka Rocketman) with the car that broke the record for acceleration in 1977. It hit more than 400 mph in 3

My Drive: Riding with the Rocketman

You may think you're a fast driver, but you've got nothing on Ky Michaelson.
Jon Ronson

REVIEW: 'So You've Been Publicly Shamed,' by Jon Ronson

NONFICTION: Jon Ronson examines the harsh, never-ending punishment of vilification on the Internet – which, he says, seldom fits the crime.
(Left to right) Virginia Bourgeois played a card game called Skip Bo with Activity Assistant Sanika Brown in Gardenview at York Gardens (Ebenezer's se

Happiest workplaces offer autonomy, transparency, parties

Four-time Top Workplace winners share secrets for satisfied employees.

Plenty of ways to turn your trash into cash

If you've ever walked into a secondhand shop with a big box of items,you already know this: Sometimes selling secondhand stuff barely covers the gas to get to the store.

Spring cleaning: Tips for purging your unwanted stuff

Time to weed through the stuff stashed in your closets and drawers and the cobwebby corners of your basement, to decide which items to keep and which to give away or toss.
(Left to right) Store owner Julie Kearns and organizer Beth DeZiel sit for a photo outside of Kearns' store, junket: Tossed & Found.

New life for old stuff

Rescued and presented in second-hand stores, the merchandise becomes often lovely, surprisingly useful, and fully functional.
Laura Bischoff, owner of Minneapolis-based Metropolis Design Group, provides interior design and project management for residential and commercial cli

The elements of style ... and taste

You've probably had the experience of walking into a room -- maybe even one in your own home! -- and instantly feeling relaxed and cozy. In other rooms, you've noticed feeling restless and on edge. Annoyed. Bored. Overwhelmed.
Doll House Illustration

A winter survival guide for your house

How to get through this winter without burst pipes, broken furnaces, heat loss and other problems that can plague the Minnesota homeowner.
paint brush

10 ways to choose colors

The choice is overwhelming, so how do you pick the right paint for your decor?
Symmetrical pieces and groupings of comparable visual weight give this room a balanced look.

10 tips for arranging furniture

An interior designer offers 10 tips for better furniture arrangements.
10 ways to get organized

10 ways to get organized

Some of the most vexing organizational problems are the ones you don't often see addressed. We asked a professional organizer to offer solutions.
Voice instructor Andrea Leap works with (left to right) Charles Reinhart, Cindy Dittmer, and Krishna Seshan in a Singing Basics class at MacPhail Cent

MIDLIFE: Finding their voice

When Gary Anderson took up playing the guitar again after 30 years, he realized he wanted to be able to sing along with it, so…
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