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Wednesday, April 19, 2017 9:40 AM
Although I would never advocate defacing public property, it’s hard to get angry with the “grammar vigilante” in England who ventures out at night to correct infractions against the English language spotted in public signs. Although he holds grudges against all forms of incorrect punctuation, he spends most of his time addressing wayward apostrophes using a tool he built himself, according to the BBC, which did a story on him while protecting his anonymity.
  • Just showing up is powerful
    The pages of our newspapers often feature community leaders, star athletes, outstanding students, political figures and accomplished business people. However, they also often feature people who just show up to help.
  • No vigilante here, but we remain vigilant about proper use of words
    Although I would never advocate defacing public property, it’s hard to get angry with the “grammar vigilante” in England who ventures out at night to correct infractions against the English language spotted in public signs. Although he holds grudges against all forms of incorrect punctuation, he spends most of his time addressing wayward apostrophes using a tool he built himself, according to the BBC, which did a story on him while protecting his anonymity.
  • Several years ago, I discovered I had a distant connection to someone I know in Rochester: I served him beer when he was under the legal age. It may not be exactly true, but it is plausible and it makes a funny story.
  • Cutting state regulations OK,  but not at expense of local control
    In many ways the rural-metro divide seems to be growing in Minnesota. One of the more prominent issues is funding for light rail vs. rural highways, which has created divisions within the state, not just across party lines.
  • Health insurance not only complicated, but also personal
    “Now I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject,” President Donald Trump said at a meeting of governors last month. “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.”
  • Sunshine key in age of shady truth
    Many years ago, I stopped a mayor outside City Hall to get his view on a controversial vote that had just occurred at a council meeting. He wasn’t anxious to answer my questions, and finally a council member/friend who was the only person with him advised the mayor to say whatever he wanted and if it didn’t go over well, he could claim he was misquoted since the comments weren’t being made in a public forum.
  • Picture may be worth 1,000 words, but words will always be needed
    The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” has some validity in that a complex idea can be conveyed more effectively in a single image than just text. However, usually, a picture, particularly a photograph, can’t stand on its own without some description.
  • Minnesota weather anything but average, or even predictable at times
    Early last week, we got our first report of a robin when Les Hyland of Spring Valley called in to say he spotted one of the first signs of spring in the form of a bird. Other bird enthusiasts commented on the large number of geese flying north so early in the year.
  • Rural ambulance services looking for another ‘Minnesota Miracle’
    Often the numbers don’t add up in favor of rural Minnesota. 
  • Solving that annoying problem may just be key to enlightenment
    Through trial and error, I finally got a computer that had been acting up last week working again. At least for now it is fixed, although I’m not completely sure the problem is solved for good.
  • Celebrating 150 years of never keeping our collective mouth shut
    In recent years, concerns expressed at the annual Minnesota Newspaper Association convention, which was held last week in the Twin Cities, centered on technology. That theme has faded from prominence in recent years as most newspapers have come to terms with the changing electronic environment, which can still include ink on paper as a means to provide information.
  • Common sense not always obvious
    President Donald Trump boasted just before his inauguration that his cabinet picks have “by far the highest IQ of any cabinet ever assembled.”
  • Water a powerful, yet also fragile, force that can change without notice
    Water/Ways, a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program, is on view in Lanesboro through Feb. 19. The exhibit attempts to reveal the central nature of water in our lives by exploring how we relate to water. 
  • Survey shows teens healthy, but what about data on smartphones?
    Minnesota students seem to be doing quite well according to an ongoing survey, but one has to wonder if it isn’t time to include a seemingly harmless practice — use of mobile devices — into the list of questions answered by teens every three years.

  • Thought-provoking stories shown just once a year on TV
    My wife and I continued a New Year’s tradition this year — a marathon, not of running, but of watching “Twilight Zone” episodes. However, since we have become so familiar with the show’s episodes, which first aired from 1959 to 1964, in recent years we don’t actually watch many of the shows repeated during the annual New Year’s marathon.
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