Roxanne Williams is the St. Paul day care center owner who kept taking kids even after the state stopped paying day care subsidies for working-poor parents during the three-week government shutdown.

Readers noted, in the article by my colleague Dee DePass, that Williams dipped into her own meager savings to feed the kids and bus them to field trips.

Last week, an overwhelmed Williams said she had received nearly $1,000 from readers, which she used to cover related expenses.

"I am so very grateful," Williams said.

Said donor Carole Charbonneau: "My husband and I were so very impressed with Roxanne ... taking the children even with the government shutdown."

The article is at:


A key government official who managed the investment portfolio of the federal government's $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) since 2008 has joined Minnesota-based Pine River Capital Management, which operates one of the nation's more successful publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trusts.

David Miller earlier was awarded the U.S. Treasury Department's "Treasury Medal" for distinguished service as chief investment officer for managing the portfolio that was assembled as a key part of the federal bailout of the nation's largest financial institutions. Many binged on real estate-backed mortgage bonds that plunged in value amid the real estate-market collapse of 2008-09.

Miller, a Harvard MBA, joins Pine River Capital as a managing director, responsible for business development and strategic initiatives at its Two Harbors Investment Corp.

Tom Siering, a veteran of Cargill Financial and CEO of Two Harbors, cited Miller's extensive experience in government and on Wall Street.

"His expertise will be invaluable to Two Harbors as we continue to capitalize on growth opportunities in the mortgage REIT sector," Siering said.

Two Harbors has been a strong performer and raised hundreds of millions of dollars to invest in deflated mortgage-backed securities since 2009.


Brent Routman is an renaissance guy, an IP lawyer at Merchant & Gould and inventor who holds several U.S. patents; and a suspect entrepreneur who, years ago on a hungry lark, started a line of retail pickles in Georgia called Mensch Brothers All Natural Gourmet Pickles.

Did I mention he's an amateur singer?

Routman, 54, incoming president of the 16,000-member Minnesota State Bar Association, also thinks it may take fresh thinking to advance the organization.

"I'd like to help the association become more cohesive," Routman said last week. "There's really top-notch bar sections committees, such as real estate, tax, family law ... they all do great work and tremendous programming and work on legislative initiatives to ensure good government and better law."

Routman wants more collaboration among the sometimes-parochial specialty bars to coordinate legislative positions and avoid adversarial positions.

He also wants a greater voice for the minority bar and for all members to focus more on "threats to the rule of law and administration of justice, including funding of the courts and legal services and the public defender programs that affect the whole judicial system. Not just the practice of law."

Routman is one of a growing number of legal elders nationally concerned that ABA-accredited law schools graduate 40,000 lawyers nationally, many of them deeply in debt and jobless. He's floating a new vision that would cut cost and enhance careers.

"It's a practical aspect to legal licensure, similar to Canada, where you reduce legal education to 2.5 years, dropping one of the six semesters for those who want a legal education but who do not want to pass the bar and practice law.''

Those who want to pass the bar and get a license "would go through a practical training program through their state bar associations, which are best positioned to introduce them to the legal services, the bench, government, private law firms, business and nonprofits ... and that experience would be beneficial to them and make the bar association more relevant," he said.

Routman, father of two daughters, also understands the patent process as an entrepreneur. He is the founder of KidSmart and inventor of a smoke detector that wakes sleeping children with evacuation instructions in their parents' voices. It was a past winner of the Consumer Electronics Show "Best of Innovations" award.


Pentair CEO Randy Hogan will be honored at today's Starkey Hearing Foundation gala for humanitarian efforts, alongside President Bill Clinton and actress Marlee Matlin, for Pentair's Project Safewater-Colon. The Colon, Honduras-based project this month announced the results of a multi-year pilot program: The world's growing safe drinking water crisis can be solved for only 5 cents a day per person.

Pentair is sharing these findings with organizations that may want to replicate the cost-effective model to bring clean, treated and filtered water to people in need. More information:

Neal St. Anthony • 612-673-7144