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Cheers to DLHS fall musical

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opinion Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Online
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Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Cheers to another great fall musical produced by the Detroit Lakes High School.

"Singin' in the Rain," was a success, and inspired one of our online readers to say this:

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"What a wonderful show! From the leads to the 'extras' this was a top-notch production. Detroit Lakes should be very proud of the quality of these high school musicals.

I think one would be hard-pressed to find better high school level theater in the state, especially when you consider the size of DL. I know there's good high school theater in the metro area, but those schools have so many more advantages (more kids, more money, more access to sets, etc.), and when everything is considered, DL is right there with them.

Congratulations to everyone involved in this production!"

We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

Another great job by the students, staff and especially director Kathy Larson and assistant director Mark Everson.

***

With the GOP takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives, and the pending ban on earmarks by members of that body, northwestern Minnesota will see an impact.

U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, while far from the House's most prolific earmarker, has done a pretty good job of bringing home the bacon to his 7th Congressional District.

In fiscal year 2008, his earmarks paid for 21 projects worth $14.4 million to the district, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

In 2009, Peterson landed 22 earmarks worth $22.8 million, and in fiscal year 2010 he reeled in 12 earmarks worth $13.7 million.

Among the earmarks Peterson requested last year was $650,000 for Crescent Parkway improvements in Detroit Lakes and a number of highway and agriculture-related earmarks.

He asked for $800,000 to improve barley production, for example, and $600,000 to combat bovine tuberculosis.

He included $1 million for a wild rice processing facility in White Earth and $800,000 for a community center in the Red Lake community of Ponemah.

He requested $2 million for the Minnesota National Guard "Beyond the Yellow Ribbon" reintegration program and $1 million for a railroad overpass in Staples.

He didn't get everything he asked for, but as the wish list shows, one man's pork is another man's important project.

Minnesota's two U.S. senators also bring home their share of the bacon:

Amy Klobuchar this year landed 82 earmarks worth $79 million, while Al Franken obtained 19 earmarks worth $8.6 million.

Last fiscal year, Klobuchar landed 88 earmarks worth $134 million, while Norm Coleman obtained 107 earmarks worth $150 million.

In 2008, Klobuchar received 103 earmarks worth $225 million and Coleman landed 96 earmarks worth $229 million.

Earmarks are less than 2 percent of the federal budget, but they add up: House Democrats and members of both parties in the Senate passed 9,129 earmarks worth some $16.5 billion, according to Citizens Against Government Waste. House Republicans last year voluntarily abstained from earmarks.

While earmarks can be a great help to smaller communities, not everybody in Congress has used theirs as sensibly as Peterson.

It got to the point a few years ago where major legislation couldn't pass without greasing the wheels with earmarks that added substantially to the final cost.

It's time to end the practice of earmarks.

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