Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hoffman Commerce and Ag minutes from 12/18

Thursday, December 18, 2008
12:00~Dew Drop Inn

Members Present: Kathy Crandall (Main Street Galleria), Randy Olson, Gordon Bredy, Ed Persons, Phil Corrigan, Dan Persons, Jeff Swenson, Kevin Hammer, Rachel Volker, Leigh Verhoeven, Deb Krusemark, Julie Fredette, Lori Reeder

New Face: Kathy Crandall joins us from Main Street Galleria. She lives by Herman/Wheaton.

Secretaries Report: Read and approved. Dan Persons, 2nd Jeff Swenson MCU

Treasurer’s Report: Funds on hand: $7,528.28

Membership Report: No change

Business Changes/
Reductions: Bob’s Appliance: Opening other half of Arnquist Building- he is going to display more items and storage for appliances. Business is going well.

Second Hand Duds: Moved to Ag room in the Hoffman Square.

Rich Bullik: Completed the remodeling of Wally’s Shoe Shop.

Healthcare Mall: Demolition is complete. They will be ready for bids on the inside soon.

Horizion Program: Some people went to special training. Hoffman is going to be on the national blog…this means great things for Hoffman. This program is going very well.

Events Scheduled
(not done yet): Snowman/woman Contest: Brent and Rachel Volker will be heading this event. We are going to wait until the cold weather tames down a bit.

Fishing Outing: We will have to reschedule for next year.

Picnic in the Park: Will need to be rescheduled for next year.

Events not Scheduled: Holiday Train/Food Shelf Donation

Skate Exchange: Brent and Rachel Volker will help out with this event.

Holiday Expo: $765- income from booth rentals
$442.92- income less advertising
Next years date: November 14th (4th Annual)
Being advertised in the Minnesota Art Directory
Referral Program brought in 20 more people
Attendance: over 300

Galleria Open House: Went very well.

Festival of Trees/
Santa Days/
Customer Appreciation: 15 trees this year. Santa Days went really well. Tanya Winter took over 100 pictures. Deb Krusemark said we might want to buy some bigger gifts for next year. Ex. Bikes, Skates, etc.

Park: Phil Corrigan has been busy putting up lights this month. Don Schmidt was going to put up more lights. Deb said that instead of putting up an inflatable Santa, we should put up something more for the whole winter instead. We will come up with a plan in January.

Ice Rink: The ice rink needs to have some work done to it before it is open. Brad Frank is working on this project.

Our next meeting will be held on Saturday, January 17th. We will be meeting with the HEDA group.

The members of the Commerce & Ag Club should bring salads and deserts. HEDA will bring the hot dishes to pass.

5:00 p.m. - Pot Luck meal
6:00 p.m. – Meeting
7:00 p.m. - Entertainment

The meeting was adjourned by Ed Persons. MCU

Respectfully Submitted,

Leigh Verhoeven

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

A.P. news story: "Lower enrollment means less dollars for schools"

The Associated Press - Friday, December 26, 2008
ST. PAUL, Minn.

School enrollment keeps falling in Minnesota, and with it schools will have to do with fewer dollars from the state.

Educators attribute the lower numbers of students to a tough housing market, an aging population and a lower birth rate. Statewide, 90 percent of school districts should see declining enrollment by next year, according to a 2006 analysis by the state House of Representatives.

The state of Minnesota is facing a huge budget deficit next year, and the governor and lawmakers are expected to reduce revenue to Minnesota schools by about $22 million.

Many districts are facing budget deficits of their own, and most will deal with them through budget cuts.

Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press,

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sights around the Hoffman area - Monday Dec 22

Christmas decorations at Starner Farms...Frosted windows, courtesy of Minnesota weather!..and frosted cookies, courtesy of the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.

Collin Peterson releases statement on Obama's appointment of Tom Vilsack to head Agriculture department

Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson today released the following statement on President-elect Barack Obama's nomination of Tom Vilsack for Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

"I congratulate former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack on his nomination for Secretary of Agriculture. Governor Vilsack is a strong advocate who understands the changing landscape of our nation's rural economy. I look forward to working with him and President-elect Obama in advancing food, conservation and energy policies that are in the best interest of American agriculture and the American people."

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Open House/Christmas activities held at First State Bank of Kensington this past week

Knights girls basketball team improves to 6-0, defeats HOL rival Breckenridge at home 59-39

The Knights girls basketball team improved to 6-0 overall and 6-0 in the Heart O' Lakes Conference with this big win over the neighboring rival Cowgirls. They hold a half-game lead for first place over Perham, who is 5-0 overall and in the HOL.

According to what I've read, the 6-0 start is the best in West Central Area history for girls basketball.

Below is a photo from Bob's Applicance store in downtown Hoffman. It is one example of Christmas-related decorating that businesses have put up this holiday season. Remember, SHOP LOCAL! In our small towns, we're all in this together.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

FREE gift wrapping at Hoffman's Main Street Galleria

Greetings from the Main Street Galleria! As the holidays near, we want to extend an invitation to shop with the Galleria and receive FREE GIFT WRAPPING!!!

That’s right…FREE! Beginning this Thursday, December 18th through Wednesday, December 24th, receive FREE gift wrapping on any items purchased in the Galleria! Not only can you find all of your gift needs, but you can head home with them wrapped and ready to go under the tree! And, the Galleria has added even more vendors so come and check it out!

The normal Galleria hours are:
Thursday’s 9:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Friday’s 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday’s 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The Galleria will also be open extended holiday hours, as follows:
Sunday, December 21st *10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Monday, December 22nd *4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 23rd *4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 24th *9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Please pass this along to all of your family and friends! The Main Street Galleria is located in downtown Hoffman, MN. For questions, please call 320-986-2008.

Happy Holidays from the Main Street Galleria and all of its wonderful Vendors!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Another issue is off to the printer, excited to get feedback when I return to Hoffman on Thursday!

After a long, hard Tuesday in the office, I managed to pull off another "gem" in my opinion (if I don't count another handful of mistakes I made!)... I already have on my list for my "day off" on Wednesday a phone call to Tory Belgum with the Farm Bureau up in Elbow Lake. I managed to botch his investment ad on the Sports page.

Funny how you can look at a page 18 times and not see a mistake. But if you go back 6 hours later (after it's too late to make changes) a BIG mess-up is staring you right in the face.

I'm settled back at my house in Belgrade, after re-filling my corn/wood pellet stove downstairs. All I can say is Brrrrr!!!!!!

(Time for a good, full night's sleep under a few layers of warm blankets.)

Here's more photos from Monday's snow-moving day...

President-elect Obama picks former Iowa governor as Secretary of Agriculture

Sources: Obama selects Vilsak for ag post
Mike Glover, Associated Press
Published Tuesday, December 16, 2008

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Democratic sources say President-elect Barack Obama has selected former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack as agriculture secretary and will announce the appointment on Wednesday.

Two sources familiar with the selection process spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the selection.

Vilsack sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 but dropped out after poor showings in early primaries. He endorsed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and campaigned actively for her in the long primary campaign against Obama. After Obama defeated Clinton in the primaries, Vilsack endorsed him.

Vilsack served two terms as governor of Iowa, a major farm state. He was first elected in 1998.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A couple photos from Santa Days in Kensington - more to follow

More photos can be found at my "photo blog," the URL is below the photos.

HEDA meeting tonight in Hoffman - Kensington Lions meeting as well

On Monday night in Hoffman, the HEDA board will meet at 7 at the community center.

Down in Kensington, the Lions will meet at 7 at the Kensington community center.

Winter hammers western Minnesota on Sunday - Dangerous driving conditions continue into Monday

Winter hammered most of Minnesota over the weekend. Here are a few sights from Monday morning around Hoffman, which received at least 10 inches of snow over the past 24 hours.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Santa Days in Kensington on Saturday, Dec 13th

Have you and your family caught the Christmas spirit yet?

This weekend, bring your family to Kensington’s Santa Days and Lions pancake feed! Saturday, Dec 13 at the Community Center from 7am to Noon. Kids eat free, with a free-will offering accepted for adults. Santa arrives at 9am for visits and photos, and he will bring candy canes and presents too.

I'll be there with cameras in hand!

Farmers State Bank of Hoffman hosts Customer Appreciation Days all day Friday

I'll be stopping back this afternoon to grab more photos of the event. When I first arrived around 11am, quite a few customers were visiting and enjoying the coffee and cookies. At the time I recorded this video clip, most of that crowd had cleared out and a fresh group was walking in.

Man is it cold out! Are you ready for the blizzard on Sunday?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

This guy is nuts! Headline: "Local Government Aid Should Be First Reductions in State Budget"... I STRONGLY disagree


Contact: Phil Krinkie
December 10, 2008 Ph: (651) 919-4945

Local Government Aid Should Be First Reductions in State Budget

ST. PAUL – At a Minnesota State Senate Tax Committee hearing on Wednesday, city and county officials from several communities around the state testified that the State Legislature should not reduce state Local Government Aid (LGA) payments to help balance the projected $5.2 billion state deficit. But these local officials aren’t realistic. As state economist Tom Stinson testified, the deficit will likely be greater than the current $5.2 billion shortfall announced last week by March 2009.

Statewide, cities are set to raise property taxes an average of 5.4% to fund increasing city budgets, instead of facing the difficult decision to scale back, cities are continuing to increase their budgets.

Some Minnesota cities currently receive more in State LGA payments than they levy in property taxes. Combine that with the fact that slightly less than 50% of Minnesotans live in cities that receive no LGA transfer payments from the State. With most Minnesota homeowners already facing increasing property taxes, it’s time for cities to break their tax and spend habit.

“Minnesota taxpayers are facing tough economic times and cities should be scaling back their spending, not raising taxes. Cities should stop looking for a handout from state government,” said Phil Krinkie, President of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota.

“I’m glad that Governor Pawlenty is willing to put LGA reductions in his proposed 2010-2011 budget. Why should the legislature give payments to cities that continue to spend, spend, spend and then hand the bill to property owners,” added Krinkie.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Low Plains Drifters Banquet goes down as one of the best ever!

The LPD Club meeting will be held at 1:00pm at the Barrett Inn & Cafe.

Many who have experienced LPD banquets in the past are in agreement - the ninth annual event held in Ashby on November 22nd was one of the best they've ever attended!

Much of the credit goes to the Ashby American Legion and Ashby Auxiliary...these folds did an awesome job of making the banquet a huge success. The Ashby Auxiliary provided a prime rib meal that will be remembered as "the best ever!"

Another great hit was comedian Chad Daniels, who had some folks in tears from laughing so hard and others with sore stomach muscles! Chad connected well with the audience.

Even though it was a busy fall, attendance at the banquet turned out just fine. Thank you to all who attended, we hope you'll be back next year!

Irv Sax is the president, and Randy Satterlie is the vice president.

Bob's Appliance microwave drawing winner - Sheryl Marlow of Kensington

Sheryl Marlow stands proudly next to her new microwave, won at Bob's Appliance the Friday before Thanksgiving (Nov 22)...she also won $25 in Hoffman Bucks to go with it!

Foster Grandparents: A Gift to Our Communities Written by Laura Schwarz, Foster Grandparent Program Intern

Despite its swirling snow and glistening icicles, the month of December is always associated with the warmth and cheer of the Holiday season. But this year, as the economy continues its unceasing and unpredictable slide, more and more people will be forced to reduce or even give up their usual seasonal traditions. Under such circumstances, it is easy to succumb to the gloom of December’s sharp winds and frigid temperatures.

Luckily, one particular group of people hasn’t given up on the Holiday spirit of good will and hope for the future. On these dark chilly mornings, the women and men of the Central Minnesota Foster Grandparent Program can be found diligently scraping their car windshields or waiting patiently at bus stops. They are on their way to schools, childcare centers, residential facilities, and other nonprofit agencies, where they will spend a sizable portion of their days working with children who have special, emotional, or exceptional needs.

These outstanding volunteers, all age 60 or better, give 15 to 40 hours each week to create meaningful mentoring relationships with these children. For these children, the Foster Grandparents provide gifts that are more meaningful than anything they might find in their stockings: love, friendship, and compassion. Foster Grandparents offer the one-on-one attention that teachers might not always be able to supply, listening when the children need to talk and providing the positive influence of an older adult.

Through their service, the Foster Grandparents are also giving a gift to our entire community. Their work with our children is an investment in the future, a physical embodiment of the belief that the future can and will be a brighter place. By inspiring and motivating the youngest generations, our older volunteers are ensuring that these young people will care for themselves and for our world as they grow older and take responsibility for our collective futures.

This is especially admirable when most of the Foster Grandparent volunteers will not even see the long-term results of their gifts. As a Greek proverb states, “A society grows great when we plant trees whose shade we know we shall never sit in.” The Foster Grandparents might not actually witness their first-graders growing up to become contributing members of society, but it will be because of their dedication and love that these children will have the confidence and ability to do so.

Foster Grandparents are shaping the world into a better place, a place where warmth radiates in spite of financial difficulties, or where those difficulties vanish altogether, swept up the chimney by a roaring and comforting fire.
Happy Holidays from the Foster Grandparent Program!

For more information about the Central Minnesota Foster Grandparent Program, please contact Pat Scherf at 1-320-293-0682 or

Knights girls basketball team is 3-0, win at Lake Park-Audubon 64-41 tonight

On Tuesday night, the Knights girls basketball team raised their record to 3-0 with a Heart O' Lakes Conference win over the LP-A Raiders, who were a sub-section finalist in Section 8A last season.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hoffman City Council meets, accepts Swanson's resignation in lieu of his new post as county commissioner - City audit reviewed

...Prior to going to the City Council meeting on Monday night, I took a few minutes to get photos at the Boy Scouts meeting, taking place in the same building (the community center). Here is a glimpse of the pie-throwing contest that the scouts did after a successful fund raising venture with Christmas wreaths.

Friday, December 5, 2008

2008 Minnesota Cattle Feeder Days present strategies for feedlot producers

The University of Minnesota Extension Beef Team is proud to announce this year's Minnesota Cattle Feeder Days to be held Dec. 9-11. This year's program will focus on strategies to assist feedlot producers in discovering and developing new profit sources for their operations. The topics and speakers for this year's program are: Mixing integrity of diets containing byproducts by Dr. Sheri Bierman of Corn Belt Livestock Services; Determining the value of manure in feedlot operations by Dr. Mindy Spiehs of the USDA Meat Animal Research Center; Backgrounding calves: Strategies and Management by Dr. Grant Crawford of the U of M Beef Team; Value of corn crop with various harvesting methods by Dr. Alfredo DiCostanzo of the U of M Beef Team; and an update on bovine TB and the bovine TB assessment by representatives from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Minnesota Cattle Feeder Days will take place at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris and the Blue Mound Banquet Center in Luverne on Tues., Dec. 9; the Royal Loon in Slayton on Weds., Dec. 10; and the Southwest Research and Outreach Center in Lamberton and the LaQuinta Inn in Rochester on Thurs., Dec. 11. Registration will begin in Morris, Slayton, and Lamberton at 9:00 a.m. with the program starting at 9:30. In Luverne and Rochester registration is at 5:30 p.m. with the program beginning at 6:00.

The cost for registration is $30, with each additional person from the same farm or family at $15. The registration fee includes a meal and all educational materials. Pre-registration is encouraged by contacting the location coordinator. For Morris, contact Rhonda Wulf (320-231-7890 or; for Slayton, contact Mike Boersma (507-825-6715 or; for Rochester, contact Lori Schott (320-225-5055) or (, and for Luverne and Lamberton, contact Grant Crawford (320-234-0441 or Minnesota Cattle Feeder Days information can also be found on the Beef Team website,

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My second issue is off to the printer

...I hope it looks as good on the newsstand as it did on my computer before I sent it down to Lowry!

I would love to get more photos/videos added to this blog, but time constraints have prevented me from getting that done. As December goes by, with all the Christmas activities going on, I will get more added.

Hope to see big crowds in Hoffman this weekend. Enjoy the mild weather...we KNOW it won't last!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Exciting happenings in Hoffman ... Two new businesses move into Galleria this week

Jean Sasek, a retired University of Minnesota-Morris worker, works to gather items for another new business in the Galleria. As of now they don't have a name, but it will include collectibles.

A glimpse of "Re-Done Duds by Diane and Judy", a new business that specializes in giving "new life" to clothing. Their main items include purses, vests, and mittens.

More information on these businesses as well as other events in Hoffman this week can be found in the December 4th issue of the Hoffman Tribune.