Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer Rec ball at the WCA High School diamonds on Tuesday night

A video clip of Dwarf baseball is below the pictures...

Volleyball camp coming up at University of Minnesota-Morris (click on the ad to enlarge it)

Downtown meeting held today in Hoffman regarding Water Main construction

The meeting is at 1:00pm at the Hoffman Community Center. All downtown business owners and other interested individuals are encouraged to attend.

More information about this project will appear in the July 2nd issue of the Hoffman Tribune.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sanford: An affair to remember; others, they forget

Sanford: An affair to remember; others, they forget

As everyone knows by now, the case of the missing South Carolina governor has been solved. Those who watched Mark Sanford's press conference on Fox News, however, may be a bit confused, since the conservative network briefly identified the Republican politician as a Democrat before correcting the error. While Fox apologized the next day, the "mistake" was nothing new. The news channel seems to have a habit of identifying unpopular or scandal-ridden Republicans as Democrats.

It's especially hard to take the apology seriously when you consider that in two segments over the course of four hours on June 25, Fox's James Rosen highlighted only scandals involving Democrats during reports that purported to examine earlier political sex scandals in an effort to assess Sanford's situation. Neither segment mentioned any of the numerous sex scandals that involved Republican politicians such as Sen. John Ensign (NV), Sen. David Vitter (LA), and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, among others.

Fox News was hardly alone in its selective memory. MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski claimed there is a "double standard" when it comes to the sex scandals of Republican and Democratic politicians -- that Democrats like Bill Clinton have "completely survived" their scandals. I wonder if she's told survivors Vitter, Ensign, Gingrich, and Rudy Giuliani of this "double standard" that apparently doesn't apply to them. Mort Kondracke could benefit from the same reminder of these survivors. Roll Call's executive editor, without a hint of irony, took to Fox News to say that "the Democratic Party is a lot more tolerant of licentiousness than the Republican Party is." Oh, brother.

So who is to blame for Sanford's downfall? Well, if you're Limbaugh or fellow conservative radio host Michael Savage, placing blame is pretty easy. They blame -- wait for it, wait for it ... President Obama. Seriously. Limbaugh suggested the president may have been a catalyst for Sanford's affair -- because the governor was sooo stressed out trying to reject stimulus funds -- while Savage, citing the affairs of Sanford and Ensign, said that "Obama's team is taking out potential rivals one after another."

If you really want to see the hypocrisy of these media conservatives, I suggest you watch this video of democratic strategist Bob Beckel trying to pin Hannity down on his opinion of Ensign's affair. You'll have to fight the giggles; Hannity's consistency is quite laughable.

Media Matters for America

Busting up conservatives in the midst of their right-wing fear-mongering spin

As the House vote on the American Clean Energy and Security Act approached this week, prominent media conservatives once again took to the airwaves and displayed their true colors. Criticism of the bill from the right -- especially its cap-and-trade provisions -- has not been the product of principle, but of misinformation and, at times, willful denial.

On Friday, radio host Rush Limbaugh once again flagrantly denied that global warming exists and continued to advance the shockingly erroneous, comically false argument that under the legislation, "we could be taxed because of the carbon dioxide we exhale." Thanks, Professor Limbaugh, for another science lesson!

"This bill is about raising taxes and taking away people's freedom," Limbaugh continued, before comparing it to a "Soviet-style five-year plan" that is "all based on hoaxes," a crooked scheme worthy of Bernie Madoff.

The fearmongering continued as Fox News' Glenn Beck agreed with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) when she argued of the bill, "You're either for freedom or you're not."

Indeed, portraying the legislation as a massive financial penalty for ordinary Americans is a major line of attack for media conservatives. Thursday's Fox & Friends claimed that the average family would have to pay an extra $3,100 a year in energy costs if it passed. But that number is based on a distortion of a 2007 MIT study -- a distortion that has since been discredited by one of the study's authors. Fox's Sean Hannity also pushed a similar myth, claiming that the bill would cost families $2,000 a year.

Entirely absent from these critiques is the result of a recent Congressional Budget Office analysis that found that the bill's net impact to households would eventually range between a benefit of $40 per year and a cost of $340 per year, with an average cost of $175 per year. Hannity isn't the only one ignoring this crucial study while claiming the bill will lead to far higher costs; CNN's The Situation Room and Lou Dobbs Tonight and Fox News' Special Report and On the Record with Greta van Susteren have also repeated the misinformation or failed to challenge guests who advanced it. Unfortunately, as of June 23, none of them had reported on the new CBO study.

Media Matters for America

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lots of fun this weekend in Barrett for 105th Old Settlers Reunion

Look for more photos from Barrett in the July 2nd issue of the Hoffman Tribune.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Notice for Hoffman area residents

The downtown construction meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday June 30th at 1:00. All interested business, residence are encouraged to attend. At the meeting they will discuss the start date which could be as soon as July 2 and that they will start on Main Street first and have a reclaimed bituminous surface by Harvest Festival.

Leigh Winter
Commerce & Ag Club Secretary

(Editor's note: the e-mail I received didn't state a location for the meeting, however, it will most likely be held at the Community Center.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Swimming lessons! Sign up now through WCA Community Ed

• Please remember to sign up for WCA Community Education Swimming Lessons
at Elk Lake Beach.
Lessons are Monday-Friday
July 13th-24th.
• Please send your registrations to: WCA Community Ed. - Co. Rd. 2, Barrett, MN 56311
Questions? Please call Community Ed. at 320-528-2650

Monday, June 22, 2009

A few thoughts....school funding

Last week Governor Pawlenty put forth one of the most gutless moves ever seen by taxpayers in Minnesota, as he put his stamp on a $1.8 Billion “payment shift” to our K-12 schools. About one month ago he strutted his shoulders and ended the session on his own terms, which at the time looked like a smart and bold move. I was anxious to find out where his cuts would land, but now we can all see he was never sincere that he was really making $2.7 Billion in cuts. It’s nothing more than re-arranging the deck of the Titanic; drastic cuts must be made down the road due to the payment shift, most likely after he is out of the Governor’s office.

With all due respect Governor Pawlenty, what on earth are you afraid of? Why not give the actual cut you said you’d give, instead of pushing it off to your successor? Was your no new taxes mantra nothing more than hot air?

If more funding for K-12 education is truly not necessary, then those who feel that way need to stand up and say point blank "Our teachers are overpaid; school class sizes should increase." Give some straight talk and tell it like it is.

(For the record, I believe that more K-12 funding is needed in this great state we call Minnesota.)

Snapshots of Junior High Fastpitch - WCA South Summer Rec in Hoffman

Friday, June 19, 2009

Little Miss Runestone is crowned for 2009: Isabelle Green is crowned (A handful of video clips are posted)

A "Barbie Doll" presentation to Kensington City Clerk Jeanne Stamness, during the Little Miss Runestone Pageant.

Another scene of the Little Miss Runestone Pageant.
"The Chicken Dance" - during the Street Dance on Friday night in Kensington.

A carnival is also underway on Main Street in Kensington. More will follow later tonight.

Tee-Ball action at Hoffman athletic fields on June 18-19th

Parents can request high-quality photos by e-mailing the editor at: hofftrib@runestone.net. What you see here is a low-quality collection of various photos taken on Thursday and Friday mornings, June 18-19.

The Youth Rec teams are on the road next week, June 23 and 25. On those days, there is no Tee-Ball.

On Tuesday, June 23, the Boys Toss, Girls Toss, Fastpitch, Pee-Wee and Dwarf teams all play at Millerville at 9am.

On Thursday, June 25, the Boys Toss, Girls Toss, Fastpitch, Pee-Wee and Dwarf teams all play at Evansville at 9am.

Getting ready for Runestone Days -preparation for Boy Scouts Pork feed underway already

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday night: Severe storms hitting the Hoffman-Kensington area

It's bad according to the radar, with lots of "red" appearing over the general Grant-Douglas County area. (8:07pm)

Runestone Days Calendar for June 19-20-21 (Click to enlarge)

WCA Summer Rec Tee-Ball (items posted are from the games held at Hoffman athletic fields, Thurs. morning)

Hoffman Commerce and Ag Meeting held Thursday, June 18

Leigh Winter and Rachel Volker at the C & Ag meeting on Thursday, check out the dessert they've got in front of them! Meeting held at Bullfrog's in Hoffman.


Grant County Sheriff’s Office to Conduct Enhanced Speed Patrols throughout July

Grant County motorists will face enhanced speed enforcement patrols throughout July. Over the last three years, 2006–2008, speed was a contributing factor in 2 fatalities in Grant County and nearly 400 deaths statewide.

Speed is the most commonly reported contributing factor in fatal crashes. According to Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS), speed contributes to about 150 traffic deaths and 7,000 injuries each year. In Grant County a typical 10 mph over the limit speeding ticket can cost $130.

“Speeding motorists are a serious threat to everyone on the road,” says Sheriff Walvatne. “When speed increases, so does the chance for violent a crash.”

More than twice as many speed-related fatal crashes occur on rural roads than major urban roads.

Sheriff Walvatne says with warm weather comes an increase in speeding behavior, an important reminder to motorists in the heart of the summer driving season — the deadliest time on Minnesota roads. He also notes that increased speed does not save much travel time, rather, “your chances of being involved in a crash greatly increase as speed increases.” Traveling at 55 mph versus 45 mph for a 10-mile journey will only save about two and one-half minutes of travel time.

In Minnesota, speeding fines are doubled if a motorist is caught speeding 20 mph or more over the limit, and drivers traveling at speeds of 100 mph or more are subject to a six-month license revocation.

The Safe & Sober effort is coordinated by the Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety. The campaign is a component of the state’s Toward Zero Death initiative (TZD). TZD is a multi-agency approach to address traffic issues regionally through enforcement, education, engineering and emergency trauma care and response.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This is a shocker: General Motors must've been listening to my calls for better gas mileage!

I just read this on CNN.COM =

...High-profile SUVs are going through dramatic transformations. The Ford Explorer arguably touched off the SUV boom when it was first launched nearly two decades ago. But the next-generation model will drop its heavy truck-based platform in favor of a lighter, nimbler and more fuel-efficient passenger car-based “architecture.” Several other models have traveled this route, including the Mercedes-Benz M-Class.

So-called crossover-utility vehicles, or CUVs, have gained significant momentum in the last couple years. While they sacrifice some off-road capabilities, explained Hall, that doesn’t matter to the typical buyer, who is more likely to want all-wheel drive to navigate snowy suburban streets rather than California's Rubicon Trail. On the whole, crossovers deliver better handling and, in many cases, far better fuel economy than their “two-box” shapes might suggest.

Upcoming advertising for the completely redesigned 2010 Chevrolet Equinox, for example, will heavily promote its 32 mpg highway rating — with the base inline, four-cylinder engine. “We’ll be in the sweet spot if fuel prices keep rising,” said program chief Bob Reuter.

The last Chevy Equinox I checked out gave a highway mileage rating of 25 MPG... not bad considering the vehicle's shape and size. To hear of 32 MPG on that type of rig is something to get excited about.

G.M., you're moving in the right direction!

The full story can be found by clicking here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31206846/ns/business-oil_and_energy/

Governor Pawlenty slashes oral health care through unallotment‏

Minneapolis, Minn. – The Minnesota Dental Association (MDA) expressed profound disappointment in Governor Pawlenty’s cuts to oral health care services that treat Minnesota’s most vulnerable populations. The governor cut $6.2 million to the Critical Access Dental Provider Program, which funds clinics that treat low-income and rural patients, as well as those with special needs.

“Poor people don’t have lobbyists,” noted Dr. John Flor, founder of Main Street Dental M.A. in Blooming Prairie. “We see 15,000 medical assistance patients per year, and some come from up to 200 miles away to get access to our care. But we can’t accept new patients without adequate funding. While our clinic will survive these cuts, others may not.”

While Pawlenty’s unallotment for the Critical Access Dental Provider payments will not take place until April 2010, many clinics will be forced to reexamine the types of patients they serve in the future. These cuts may force some clinics to close and force patients to visit hospital emergency rooms for treatment of their oral pain rather than the more cost effective use of dental offices. Statewide, there are currently more than 20,000 emergency room visits for dental care each year.

The MDA looks forward to working with the legislature to restore the funding for oral health care during the 2010 legislative session.

The Minnesota Dental Association is the voice of dentistry in Minnesota, representing 81 percent of practicing dentists. It is committed to the highest standards of oral health and access to care for all Minnesotans. You can learn more at www.mndental.org.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Barrett-Hoffman-Kensington Elementary Toss Ball at Hoffman athletic fields on Thursday morning

A video clip of a 5-unassisted putout as well as an action photo collection at the Toss Ball game vs. Underwood on Thursday morning.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

National Farmers Organization Encourages Overhaul of Milk Pricing System

Ames, Iowa (RuralWire- June 4, 2009)— After USDA projected an all milk price of about $12 for the year—the lowest since 1979, one of America’s top milk marketers says it’s time for change.

“If every American consumer could take a moment and think about what their take-home salary was in 1979, that’s what dairy producers will be paid for the rest of the year,” said National Farmers President, Paul Olson. “What cost $1 in 1979, costs nearly $3 today. Imagine trying to get along on your 1979 salary when costs have tripled,” Olson emphasized.

That’s why the organization favors milk producers working together toward an overhaul of America’s milk pricing system. One that would help balance milk supplies with consumer demand. And reduce price volatility in today’s milk markets.

“National Farmers began talking about a two-tier pricing system more than two years ago with milk cooperatives around the country,” said Olson. “While the dairy price downturn is painful for large and small producers alike— good can come from the situation if it helps producers focus on putting a new pricing system in place to ensure their future.”

Olson said that change could include elements of National Farmers two-tier price program, combined with a dairy price stabilization program offered by The Holstein Association U.S.A and Dairy Farmers Working Together, and a growth management plan the Milk Producers Council has proposed.

“Dairymen need to come to the table and craft a system that is not only good for them by rebalancing milk supplies, but for the industry as well.” He cited another example in California, where milk producers began requesting all dairymen there to reduce production by 5 percent.

“I believe National Milk Producers Federation’s move to create a Strategic Planning Task Force to tackle today’s dairy issues is the right approach,” Olson said. He noted that several issues need to be addressed, including Canadian heifer imports, sexed semen impacts on the industry, as well as erosion of over-order premiums and continued industry consolidation.

National Farmers is a group marketing and bargaining organization for the nation’s farmers, ranchers and dairymen.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hoffman City Council meets on Monday night - Bid approved for Riley's on Downtown project, *Video clip of engineer describing the project added

The Hoffman City Council is meeting tonight, mainly wrestling with the idea of 8th Street Lot assessments.

The Council also approved a low bid for Riley Brother's Construction of Morris for the contract on the Downtown Water Main System. Part of the discussion is featured in the video clip below.

(Click to play the video clip, if you have the correct software loaded on your web browser)

More information will be published in the June 11th issue of the Hoffman Tribune.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Runestone Days 2009 - Schedule added (a photo you can click on to enlarge)

A big thank you to Judi Andreasen, Manager, at Lakes Area Graphix and Signworx in Kensington for this JPEG of the poster. ...One error (not on Judi's part) was that the Luther League car wash on Saturday, June 20, is from 10am to 2pm, not 11am to 1pm.

Here's an ad for the golf tournament, courtesy of Pryce Score of Kensington.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Anderson's Country Lane Nursery in rural Farwell busy and open for business

Today on the way back to Glenwood from Hoffman, I took some time to swing by Anderson's Country Lane Nursery in rural Farwell. I met Ken and Pam Anderson, the owners, as well as a handful of customers and volunteer workers. It was a joy to take in the awesome environment around their buildings and nursery yard.

Ken is dealing with the final stretch of a terminal cancer battle. Not good. If you or anyone you know has a few hours to spare, it would be a blessed help if you could pitch in and volunteer some work at their nursery.

More will be written about this in the June 11th issue of the Hoffman Tribune.

Symposium on Small Towns canceled for this week - Hoffman Tribune will operate as usual

I won't be attending the UM-Morris conference on small towns; it was canceled last week. We will accept ads and news items through today and publish on Tuesday as usual.

On Thursday I will leave at 2pm for the final time of irregular Thursday hours. For the remainder of June (or until further notice) I will have the office open on Thursdays until at least 4pm.

Runestone Days Buttons for "Kid's" now on sale

Runestone Days Buttons for "Kid's" are now on sale at the following businesses: The First State Bank or Kensington, The Kensington Grocery Store, and Crossroads. They will also be available at the West Central Area South Elementary office through June 3rd. Button are $5.00, and will include addmissions to all events for kids planned throughout the weekend including: The Kids Again Inflatable Fun Show, hair spraying, face painting, tatoos, pancake breakfast, medallion hunt, money in the straw, kids craft time and carnival games too.