It's easy enough to be a mediocre columnist. Regurgitate the same old opinions on the same stale topics and you're bound to attract believers and critics who can fight it out in the comments section. We see this play out far too often. That's why Jon Tevlin's work is so refreshing. Tevlin, the metro columnist for the Star Tribune, is one of the few opinion writers in the Twin Cities who actually breaks news. No matter the topic—police, the State Fair, old people—Tevlin consistently offers us his insightful, reported, and well-crafted take on the matter. He seems to understand and value his readers, which is more than we can say about a lot of columnists these days.