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Tuesday, August 18, 2015 9:12 AM

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.

  • 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. 
  • A bison licked a few bugs off the grill of our car and then rocked us as he scratched his neck, moving the car back and forth as he relieved the itch on the hood of our car. It was a bit scary, especially for my wife who was worried the big horns would scratch her car, and exciting, especially for the grandchildren, ages 9 and 13, who were thrilled at the close encounter with the large beast.



     
  • There’s been a lot of concern, expressed in this column more than once, about children not spending enough time in nature. Research has shown that a typical child spends 38 hours per week consuming media outside of school. Interviews with children up to age 9 revealed their attitudes toward natural elements, such as rain, wildflowers, birds and trees, showed fear, rather than appreciation, caring or enjoyment.

     
  • Some of you readers may know that I have a second vocation, other than being a journalist. I'm also a musician. I've been playing music professionally for more than 30 years, first as a drummer/vocalist in a number of blues and rock bands and more recently as a solo blues/folk performer.

     
  • Millard Fillmore, the 13th president of the United States in the mid-1800s, wasn’t an extremely strong president, according to historians, but no one is going to demand that Fillmore County change its name.

     
  • While much has been written and broadcasted about the positive aspects of the recent 5-4 Supreme Court vote allowing same-sex marriage, a letter to the editor penned by Nathan Davidson of Grand Meadow that appeared last week in the Bluff Country Reader put a different spin on this historic event. Being a “middle of the road” type person, I enjoyed reading Nathan’s perspective on this very controversial issue and feel this side needs to be addressed as well. 
  • Several years ago, a student approached me about starting a regular column featuring the poetry of high school students in one of our newspapers. She was a bit surprised I said yes, because her mother had warned her that she would probably be met with rejection.

     
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    This Friday evening the planning, organizing, and fund-raising of many dedicated persons will come to fruition in Chatfield when the Relay For Life of Fillmore County takes place. As I write this column, a full 10 days before the nightlong event, nearly $100,000 has been raised by 295 persons, who make up 28 teams.

     
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    A Confederate flag flown on the back of the Hartland Fire Department truck during a weekend parade in Albert Lea has sparked significant backlash against the display. The large Confederate flag and an equal sized American flag each dominated one side of the back of the truck during the Independence Day weekend parade held Friday.

     
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    Earlier this month I had an opportunity to listen to a speech that State Sen. Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) made during a breakfast luncheon. The second-term legislator reviewed the bills that came out of the recently completed legislative session. He also provided his thoughts on where our state was going and issues that need to be addressed in upcoming sessions.

     
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    In the spring of 2013, I wrote a column suggesting the time was right for Minnesota to legalize same-sex marriage. After it was published, I was prepared for repercussions.

     
  • By now I’m sure just about everyone has heard or read about Rachel Dolezal, the head of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, who resigned in shame because she had posed as a black woman even though she is biologically white.

     
  • I recently talked with the Twins’ organ player, Sue Nelson, and she gave me some positive feedback on her colleague, the Twins’ DJ, Tim Miller. Then she told me how he frequently “nudges” her over her headphones when she is visiting with fans, and she misses her cue to play her music. Sue Nelson plays her warm, traditional, baseball organ music from the Two Gingers Pub, located on the third level, right behind home plate. That is the perfect place for Sue to play, where her many friends and fans can visit her during the game. And every game she makes new friends and gets some new fans. She sits perched on her bench, overlooking Target Field; filled with enthusiasm — and oh so bubbly — she can talk about anything, and she wears the happiest smile at the ballpark.

     
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