DL News Staff
Twelve musicians sat in a circle, fiddles in hand, as the instructor played a tune with short shuffle strokes and then with long saw strokes. I sat across the room with pen in hand, watching and listening as a lesson in democracy began to unfold. It was MooseJaw Dance Weekend, a yearly gathering of folk dancers and musicians at the Maplelag Resort up in Callaway, Minnesota. These fiddlers would be playing together with a host of other musicians for the big dance later that evening, so this was half workshop and half rehearsal.
The day is Friday, April 8, as I put pen to this paper. Today is opening day at Target Field in Minneapolis, the new home of the Minnesota Twins. I would like to take this opportunity to connect with you on a very important issue, a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. Four years ago, the Twins reached their destination of finding a new home, outside the Metrodome. No one can deny the Twins ran a great campaign for a new stadium, and rightfully so. The Twins had the luxury of a booming housing market and robust economy during their efforts.
Buried deep in a House appropriations bill is a recipe to destroy wild rice. Let me rephrase this. HB 1010 rambles on for a good 77 pages, and buried on page 37 is the following "...the water quality standard for sulfates in Class 4A waters is 50 milligrams per liter, applicable to water used for production of wild rice during periods when rice may be susceptible to damage by high sulfate levels...." (A week before it was set at 250 mg/L.) In either case, the rice won't make it. This bill passed out of the House on March 29, and is on its way to the Minnesota Senate.
A recent story covering Capitol testimony about allowing Sunday liquor sales quotes a Tower bar owner's experience turning away a dozen Wisconsin snowmobilers who wanted to buy off-sale beer at his establishment. It must've been a slow Sunday, since he also claimed the Sunday closing law forced him to deny more than a thousand customers in the past the year. That's more than 20 a day. But numbers always get inflated when this debate rolls around.
The amount you receive when you begin getting Social Security checks is based on your lifetime work record. This is the amount you will receive every month unless the government decides every one on Social Security should get a cost of living increase. If Social Security would give the same dollar amount to everyone, one accountant could be used to figure out how much money is going out yearly to all Social Security recipients. It is a cost of living amount, not a cost of lifestyle amount. For example, a person receiving $400/ month receiving 4 percent would get $16/month or $192/year.
Just a note of thanks to the many people, organizations and businesses who supported the recent Lakes Crisis Resource Center's Annual Banquet and Auction. The Speak Easy was packed, the mood was elevated, and the bidding exceptional. It all culminated in a show of warmth for the Lakes Crisis & Resource Center and the important services it provides each day to victims of violence, families in need, and individuals utilizing our parenting time center.
In celebration of National Volunteer Week, April 10 to 16, I would like to recognize the outstanding volunteers of the North Country Trail Association's Laurentian Lakes Chapter. This group, based here in Becker County, is responsible for the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) -- the nation's longest hiking trail -- in Clearwater and Becker Counties between Itasca State Park and Frazee. Working with public and private landowners, this group has been able to complete approximately 30 of their 65-mile long trail section in the last decade.
I would like to extend a huge thank you to the attendees, sponsors, donors, and volunteers, who contributed to the 19th Annual Square Dance "Dance for Heart" event held on March 27 at the Waubun Community Center.
The M State Computer and Network Technology program recently held its program advisory committee meeting. What a proud moment to witness 15 upstanding, contributing members of the surrounding communities participating and volunteering their time and talents. All of the members graduated from two-year technical programs, and most attended M State.
From the office of Rep. Collin Peterson, I received a 235 page report prepared by the U.S. Agency For International Development (USAID). It contains detailed data on the Economic and Military Assistance in U.S. dollars, provided to foreign countries in F.Y. 2009, the most recent year available. (F.Y. 2009 began Oct. 1, 2008, ended Sept. 30, 3009.) Of 189 countries listed, 181 received some aid, and eight received nothing in F.Y. 2009. The total expenditure in F.Y. 2009, for Economic and Military Assistance was $44,957,000,000.