Paula Quam is the editor for Forum Communications Co. newspapers in Detroit Lakes, Perham and Wadena, all in Minnesota.
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The average age expectancy in the United States is 78, so using that, we've only got 78 Thanksgivings to enjoy with our families in our lives. Several of them are gone for most. For many, time is ticking for us to have this holiday with our children while they are young and don't have a choice but to spend it with us. Life and jobs will get in the way of some of those grown children and grandchildren coming home for Thanksgiving, which means that number of 78 continues to shrink. For others, parents are growing older and that's a worry.
If one were to listen to the barrage of phone calls and emails this newspaper has received over the last week, it would be appear as if we are in cahoots with the Democratic Party and are just finally being outed by the angry, betrayed public who at last has caught onto our political agenda. We didn't run a big photo of Donald Trump on the front of our newspaper Wednesday along with a story on his presidential victory, and according to "disgusted" callers, that's because we are nothing but left-wing media that "can't get over the fact that Trump won." Yep, they caught us.
Since Tuesday's election, it appears people are losing their minds. Anti-Trump protesters are rioting in the streets in a way never seen before following a presidential election; there are reports of white children and teenagers tormenting minorities with racial slurs in schools in a way this country hasn't seen in several decades. Colleges are offering therapists and even therapy dogs to students who are having too hard a time coping with the outcome of the election. Do you know who is to blame? The presidential candidates themselves and their campaigns.
Friend Bill recently repeated humor heard during drought years about it being so dry two trees were fighting over a dog. Luckily this year's fall rains have been plentiful in much of the region, giving plants good moisture heading into winter. Watering before freeze-up during dry spells is included on the following checklist of final tasks to prepare yard and garden for winter.
Social media during election season is brutal. It's a time when people unfriend each other based on political views or will publically spar with otherwise amiable acquaintances over issues they will never make an actual effort to help change. Some have the ability to remain civil, but for others, social media brings out the very worst side of them - the angry, harsh, swearing-like-a-sailor-fresh-off-the-ship side. It is what it is.
Jane Eastes of Battle Lake took the top honors in Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge's 15th Annual Photography Contest. Winners were announced at the awards presentation held at the Washington Square Mall on October 16. Her photo, Nature's Drilling Rigs was chosen out of 108 entries. Its unique subject, stunning details and color captured the judges' attention. The People's Choice Award went to Full Moon Swans submitted by Patti Doeden. This award was determined by public voting during Tamarac's Fall Festival and National Wildlife Refuge Week at the mall.
A corrective story to one this newspaper published earlier this month: Local veterans groups spoke out about funding cuts it was seeing for its military funerals, which is indeed the case, but the article stated the cuts were coming from the state, when in fact they were federal cuts. Half a million dollars was sliced from the federal budget--money that was traditionally used to send National Guard members trained on the specifics of conducting a Military Honor Funeral.
You know that feeling you get after eating a gray-looking piece of chicken that makes you chew a little slower because you're pretty sure you shouldn't be swallowing it? That's the same feeling many walked away with Sunday night after watching the second presidential debate. Something wasn't quite right, and now many are left feeling like that queeziness is just a prelude to the full blown food poisoning that awaits.
Perhaps you misunderstand us, Mr. Usama Dakdok, so let's get things clear. When you stood up and spewed hate speech at our local "Meet Your Muslim Neighbors" event designed to build bridges and create understanding, you were not a welcomed presence. You came all the way from Florida to do this first in Brainerd and now here, but as it turns out, we were not the audience you probably thought we were.
It's puppy mania over at the Humane Society of the Lakes these days, as two batches of rescue puppies from Texas are grabbing the hearts of local animal lovers. One litter of German shepherd-rottweiler mix puppies and their mama, along with another litter of German shepherd-boxer mix puppies were sitting in a high-kill shelter in Texas at the beginning of last month with an unknown and possibly dark future. But according to shelter workers, a local woman who has homes in Detroit Lakes and Texas volunteered to change their lives.