Thursday, May 28, 2009

WCA South elementary 4th graders have "Rocket" day

(The bottom is a video clip)

West Central Area Knights baseball bows out of playoffs with a 10-3 loss to Morris Area in the Sub-Section 6A-South semi-finals

The Knights finish their season with a final record of 6-11.

General Motors, get your act in gear! Gas is on its way up again

At Crossroads in Kensington the morning of Thursday, May 28

These automakers better get their act in gear. Gas will be $3 by the 4th of July, and probably $4 by the end of the summer. My 1991 G.M.-made auto got 31 MPG on my last tank, 31.2 on the one before that, and 31.5 on the one before that. It's closing in on 251,000 miles. A mid-size auto weighing in around 3,500 pounds with a 3.1 V6. It's got good power, a good ride, and it's been a reliable auto. My mom's 2005 Chevy Impala has near identical (about 40 lbs lighter) curb weight to my Lumina, and she can't beat me on gas mileage.

If anyone didn't know, I'm madder than H!#* about this issue.

GM Where is the Improvement !??!?!?!

A note from WCA Head Baseball coach Tim Pattrin about 2 local players who will further their baseball career in college

Eric Erickson has signed a letter of intent to play baseball for Rainy River Community College in International Falls. Eric is a 2-time HOL All-Conference player. This year he has a 4.00 ERA with 71 strike outs in 56 innings pitched. He is a great kid with big potential at the next level.

Alan Strom has signed a letter of intent to play baseball for Rainy River Community College in International Falls. Alan was awarded HOL All-Conference this season. This year he has a .429 Batting Avg. in 56 AB’s with 23 Stolen Bases. He is an excellent SS with great range, glove, arm.

I am very proud of both boys. They both have big potential at the next level and I’m glad to see that they are getting the opportunity to play.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

West Central Area Knights baseball team wins sub-section opener 8-5 over second-seeded Hancock

The West Central Area Knights baseball team won its playoff opener with a hard-fought 8-5 win at Hancock in the Sub-Section 6A-South quarterfinals. The 7th-seeded Knights advance to face the #3-seeded Morris Area Tigers on Thursday in the 6A-South semi-finals.

The Hancock Owls were the #2 seed; they finish their season with a final record of 12-6. WCA improves to 6-10.

On April 25, Morris Area defeated the Knights 9-7 at the Morris Tournament. A total of nine errors in the game was the main culprit in that loss.

Thursday's game will be held in Morris at Chizek Field at 4:30pm. A win would send the Knights into the Section 6A Final Four round, which is double-elimination.

Wheaton/Herman-Norcross is the #1 seed; the Warriors hammered Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley 14-0 in five innings in their quarterfinal game.

In the other two 6A-South quarterfinal games:
#3-seed Morris Area defeated 6th-seeded Brandon-Evansville 9-0
#4-seed Chokio-Alberta defeating Hillcrest Lutheran Academy 6-2

Bertha-Hewitt is the top seed in 6A-North.

In the 2008 playoff opener, the Knights were nipped 4-3 in a 6A-South pigtail game by Hancock. WCA went 4-10 overall last season. The Knights were 3-15 in 2007, 4-12 in 2006, 7-10 in 2005, and 9-9 in 2004.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Program held at WCA High School on Monday

Two video clips are at the bottom of this post...

Hoffman Tribune editor taking ads and news item through Tuesday morning

Due to Memorial day, I will accept ads and news items through Tuesday morning... Probably no later than 10am though. I will do my best to work as much into my May 28th issue as possible.

Friday, May 22, 2009

West Central Area girls golf team finishes third at Section 5A meet - No one advances to state

The WCA Knights girls golf team took third place honors at the Section 5A meet today.

Their lowest score was a 107, however, too far behind the cutoff of 101 for state tournament advancement.

Memorial Day Program at WCA High School in Barrett at 10:00am on Monday, May 25 (schedule below)

Willie Nelson and Farm Aid Warn Low Milk Prices for Farmers Threaten Local and Regional Economies

Farm Aid Petition Calls on Secretary Vilsack to Set Fair Price for Dairy Farmers

Somerville, Mass. (RuralWire) — The drastic drop in milk prices paid to farmers over the past year has led to an unprecedented crisis for dairy farmers who, on average, are being paid less than half the cost of production. Low prices and high production costs threaten to push nearly one-third of dairy farmers off their land over the next couple of months, strengthening corporate control of the dairy industry and severely impacting the health of local and regional economies nationwide.

Farm Aid has organized a petition to call on Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to take action by setting a floor price for milk that reflects the cost of production, protecting the livelihoods of dairy farmers and consumer access to fresh, local dairy products. Farm Aid will personally deliver the petition to Secretary Vilsack on June 2.

“Setting a fair price for milk won’t fix all the problems that led to the current crisis, but it may be the only way to keep thousands of dairy farmers on their farms this year,” said Farm Aid board member Willie Nelson. “Unless Secretary Vilsack takes immediate action, huge areas of the United States may be left without any local dairy farms at all.”

Dairy farmers have been hit with a catastrophic combination of factors beyond their control. Farmers are struggling to pay bills from record high feed and fuel costs; adequate credit is increasingly impossible to come by; and the price of milk paid to farmers by processors collapsed a record 30 percent in January alone, and is currently down 50 percent since July 2008. In the meantime, the top dairy processors have recently announced 2009 first quarter earnings that are up from the same period last year. The top processor, Dean Foods, reported their first quarter earnings are more than double that of last year thanks in part to the plunging price Dean pays to its milk producers.

Under Section 608c (18) of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, the Secretary of Agriculture is required to adjust the price of milk paid to farmers to “reflect the price of feeds, the available supplies of feeds, and other economic conditions which affect market supply and demand for milk and its products.” Farm Aid urges Secretary Vilsack to use this power to immediately institute a set price for milk that reflects the cost of production, keeping dairy farmers on their land.

“The U.S. has a tradition of local and regional milk distribution, making dairy farmers a base for strong local and regional economies. The loss of these farms will reduce spending in small businesses, investments in banks and shrink the community tax base. If we lose a third of our dairy farms in the next few months alone, imagine the impact on these economies by year’s end.” said Carolyn Mugar, executive director of Farm Aid. “As our independent family dairy farmers go out of business, our milk supply gets more consolidated by giant confinement dairies that do not contribute to our local economies or act of stewards of the land like our family farmers do.”

To join Farm Aid’s efforts to encourage Secretary Vilsack to set a fair price for milk and to ensure a local and regional milk supply, visit

Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host an annual concert to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family-farmed food. Since 1985, Farm Aid has raised more than $33 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

West Central Area girls golf team wins Sub-Section 5A-North championship

Photo by Head Coach Kari Kreft.

The WCA Girls Golf team took first place honors as a team at the Sub-Section 5A-North tournament on Friday afternoon in Benson.

The Knights edged runner-up Ortonville by a 414-424 stroke margin.

Top golfers for the Knights were:
Megan Keep (95)
Taylor Christenson (103)
Brittany Boysen (103)
Megan Amundson (113)
Rachel Moe (119)
Sarah Sivertson (133)

The Knights girls golf team advances to next week's Section 5A tournament on Friday, May 22, at the Little Crow Golf Club between New London and Spicer.

No results on the WCA Knights boys golf team were available. The Ortonville Trojans won the boys tournament in Sub-Section 5A-North, followed by Chokio-Alberta/Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

This was interesting...

What do you do when you want to hammer only the working people of your nation with the largest tax increase in history and hand those trillions of dollars to your wealthy campaign contributors, yet not have anybody realize you've done it?

If you're Ronald Reagan, you call in Alan Greenspan. Through the "golden years of the American middle class" - the 1940s through 1982 - the top income tax rate for the hyper-rich had been between 90 and 70 percent. Ronald Reagan wanted to cut that rate dramatically, to help out his political patrons. He did this with a massive tax cut in the summer of 1981. The only problem was that when Reagan took his meat axe to our tax code, he produced mind-boggling budget deficits. Voodoo economics didn't work out as planned, and even after borrowing so much money that this year we'll pay over $100 billion just in interest on the money Reagan borrowed to make the economy look good in the 1980s, Reagan couldn't come up with the revenues he needed to run the government. Coincidentally, the actuaries at the Social Security Administration were beginning to get worried about the Baby Boomer generation, who would begin retiring in big numbers in fifty years or so. They were a "rabbit going through the python" bulge that would require a few trillion more dollars than Social Security could easily collect during the same 20 year or so period of their retirement. We needed, the actuaries said, to tax more heavily those very persons who would eventually retire, so instead of using current workers' money to pay for the Boomer's Social Security payments in 2020, the Boomers themselves would have pre-paid for their own retirement. Reagan got Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Alan Greenspan together to form a commission on Social Security reform, along with a few other politicians and economists, and they recommend a near-doubling of the Social Security tax on the then-working Boomers. That tax created - for the first time in history - a giant savings account that Social Security could use to pay for the Boomers' retirement. This was a huge change. Prior to this, Social Security had always paid for today's retirees with income from today's workers (it still is today). The Boomers were the first generation that would pay Social Security taxes both to fund current retirees and save up enough money to pay for their own retirement. And, after the Boomers were all retired and the savings account - called the "Social Security Trust Fund" - was all spent, the rabbit would have finished its journey through the python and Social Security could go back to a "pay as you go" taxing system. Thus, within the period of a few short years, Reagan dramatically dropped the income tax on America's most wealthy by more than half, and roughly doubled the Social Security tax on people earning $30,000 or less. It was, simultaneously, the largest income tax cut in America's history (almost entirely for the very wealthy), and the most massive tax increase in the history of the nation (which entirely hit working-class people).

But Reagan still had a problem. His tax cuts for the wealthy - even when moderated by subsequent tax increases - weren't generating enough money to invest properly in America's infrastructure, schools, police and fire departments, and military.

The country was facing bankruptcy. No problem, suggested Greenspan. Just borrow the Boomer's savings account - the money in the Social Security Trust Fund - and, because you're borrowing "government money" to fund "government expenditures," you don't have to list it as part of the deficit. Much of the deficit will magically seem to disappear, and nobody will know what you did for another 50 years when the Boomers begin to retire 2015. Reagan jumped at the opportunity. As did George H. W. Bush. As did Bill Clinton (although Al Gore argued strongly that Social Security funds should not be raided, but, instead, put in a "lock box"). And so did George W. Bush. The result is that all that money - trillions of dollars - that has been taxed out of working Boomers (the ceiling has risen from the tax being on your first $30,000 of income to the first $90,000 today) has been borrowed and spent. What are left behind are a special form of IOUs - an unique form of Treasury debt instruments similar (but not identical) to those the government issues to borrow money from China today to fund George W. Bush's most recent tax cuts for billionaires (George Junior is still also "borrowing" from the Social Security Trust Fund). Former Bush Junior Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill recounts how Dick Cheney famously said, "Reagan proved deficits don't matter." Cheney was either ignorant or being disingenuous - it would be more accurate to say, "Reagan proved that deficits don't matter if you rip off the Social Security Trust Fund to pay for them, and don't report that borrowing in the first place."

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hoffman Boy Scouts and Hoffman Lions unite efforts for Clean-Up Night at Elk Lake Park

"Faster Kenny, faster!"

(top photo) Mayor Satre cracking the whip on city maintenance worker Kenny Sanstead (driving the dump truck)

Friday, May 8, 2009

New Florist coming to Hoffman - she's got a display set up in time for Mother's Day at the Hoffman Grocery store

Retriever Club to host event at Elk Lake Heritage Preserve for area hunting dogs

Prairie Lakes Hunting Retriever Club has joined with Elk Lake Heritage Preserve to present a day long learning event on Saturday, May 16, for area hunters who own hunting retrievers.

The day will begin with a Retriever Training Seminar by Ed Loeffler from 9:00 to 12:00. Included will be training information and demonstrations ranging from basic through advanced levels. For more information and to preregister call 320/986-2200 or see . Prairie Lakes HRC invites hunters and their hunting retriever dogs to participate in a Fun Hunt Retriever Test beginning at 1 PM at Elk Lake Heritage Preserve. Club members say the Fun Hunt is a great opportunity to visit and work with other owners of hunting retrievers. Owners can run their dog in a simulated hunting retrieve on land and/or water, as appropriate for the dog’s experience level. Others may just want to be part of the gallery, listen to the training tips of club members and judges, and watch the dogs do their best. Handlers will learn how their dog and their handling compare to others and how they can improve.
The cost to owner/handler participants in the Fun Hunt will be $10 per run, with Prairie Lakes HRC ribbons awarded to passing dogs. The dogs will be competing against standards set by the National Hunting Retriever Club, Inc, and not against other dogs. No live birds will be used.
Elk Lake Heritage Preserve is located four miles north of Hoffman on County Route 5. For more information on the Fun Hunt call Damon at (320) 295-1867, Tim at (320) 283-5015, or Dale at (218) 205-5387. No preregistration is needed.
Prairie Lakes HRC has members in several area counties. Hunting Retriever Club, Inc. has more than 8500 members and 133 clubs in 37 states. The local club meets bi-weekly from April to September for training sessions. New members are welcome.
The club’s third United Kennel Club-licensed Hunt Test will be held July 11-12 at Elk Lake Preserve. More than sixty dogs from several Midwest states are expected to compete.
For questions or further information call Dale Stinton, Secretary, Prairie Lakes Hunting Retriever Club, at 218.205.5387

Bob's Appliance in downtown Hoffman having Spring Sale Friday and Saturday this weekend, 9am-6pm

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

City of Hoffman boasts freshly-overhauled website

The URL for the city of Hoffman's website is and boy oh, boy, does it look sharp!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Area amateur baseball action starts today, Saturday - Kensington Norsemen home opener at 4:30pm

The Kensington Norsemen open the 2009 season at 4:30 today at Hegg Memorial Field in Kensington. The squad will face Urbank in a Resorters League contest.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Huge turnout at Hoffman's Horizons Visioning meeting today

At 3:00 today, a huge crowd is on hand (numbering over 110 at the last count) at the Hoffman Community Center. It's nothing less than a smashing success.

Once the meeting was completed, the group was entertained by the wonderful singing talents of Cassie Wiesner. After some light-hearted songs were performed by Cassie and the crowd, the meal was served. Local farmer Jeff Swenson and Farmers State Bank President Kevin Hammer served up freshly-grilled hamburgers for everyone.

The final tally was over 130 participants in the meeting.

Hoffman's Horizons Visioning Meeting is at 2:00 today at the community center

A large crowd is expected today (Saturday) at 2:00 for the 2-hour meeting. At 4:00, free entertainment will be provided, with a 5:00 free meal for those who attended the 2:00 meeting.