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Tuesday, November 24, 2015 8:09 AM

There’s nothing better than getting buzzed in the evening. It’s something I look forward to every day, if possible.

  • There’s nothing better than getting buzzed in the evening. It’s something I look forward to every day, if possible.

  • With Thanksgiving approaching next week, thoughts of gratitude are on the minds of many people. Like others, I am thankful for family, friends, good health and, in a global context, a comfortable life in a peaceful land.

  • Sidewalks have been a hot topic in area communities, most recently in Spring Valley and Preston where residents have attended council meetings to oppose assessments to pay for their construction. As is often the case, local cities assess a portion of sidewalk construction to property owners.

  • Usually, the weeks fly by between the publications of our newspaper. After our newspaper goes to press, the time leading up to the next deadline never seems long enough. 

  • Readers may feel that the role of the editor at a small, community newspaper is to collect all the information that comes in our door each week and merely reproduce it in the pages of our publication. However, besides the practical decisions we face each week about gathering the news, there are also ethical dilemmas that often crop up in the process.

  • Sometimes when I am driving alone in my car for longer distances I start thinking of good names for a rock band to drive off boredom. 

  • Our newspaper received a request last month from two University of Minnesota scientists who are doing research on the origin of iron ore. The two, including Dr. Calvin Alexander, who is a well-known geologist in this area, wanted photographs of iron ore mining, which was prevalent in the area, particularly around Spring Valley, from 1942 to around 1970.

  • Thomas Jefferson first coined the phrase of  “a wall of separation between church and state” when he argued the government, or state, has no right to create a national church, thus establishing religious freedom. However, in the more than 200 years since the Bill of Rights, religion and politics have intertwined in the United States.

  • An emergency vehicle — whether it’s a police car, fire truck or ambulance — always attracts attention. It’s just human nature to be interested in something that is happening, even if it may be tragic.

  • I’ve been participating in fantasy sports games for at least a couple decades. I wrote about a league about 10 years ago, which led to the discovery that many newspaper readers were also participating in fantasy leagues at that time as I got some feedback on the fun they were having with their pretend teams among friends and family.

  • Many people today get their weather forecasts on their smartphone. The information is current — usually with forecasts minutes, hours and even a few days ahead — plus the outlook is always accessible when on the go.

  • The national narrative often overlooks, or bypasses, life in small town America. The presumption is that the small dots on the map don’t have significance since they are just tiny pieces of a uniform national fabric.

  • My travels last weekend took me on a highway around a good portion of Mille Lacs Lake. I decided to take that route to our destination near Brainerd because I figured the traffic would be lighter, given the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has banned walleye fishing on the lake due to a diminished fish population.

  • I was up before sunrise Saturday, getting ready for a run. This time, though, I wasn’t the one running, something I usually do on Saturday mornings. Instead, I was directing a race in Spring Valley held during the annual community celebration, Ag Days.

  • The resurgence of brash billionaire Donald Trump into presidential politics reminds me of a study I read about a couple years ago. The research found that being confident and loud is the best way to win an argument — even if you are wrong. 

Do you think the U.S. should be cautious about allowing Syrian refugees within its borders?


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