Friday, October 29, 2010

In the interest of the public's right to know...

Due to the fact that Grant County is broke (generally speaking), the general election "sample ballot" was not published in our Herman-Hoffman Tribune.

Once the county auditor's office found out what it would cost to publish it in our newspaper, they decided to do only what the state law requires: publish it two times leading up to the general election in the official "county newspaper" - which is the Grant County Herald.

Obviously, my publisher was angry. I am too. Of course, 99% of the blame lies with Governor Pawlenty and the tea party, anti-tax, cut-government-into-oblivion crowd. I don't have ill feelings towards our county auditor - this time, the county budget said "no".

Our phone has been ringing off the hook today with angry seniors who wanted to see the ballot in their Herman-Hoffman Tribune.

The best I can do is have a copy of it in my office (which I do) so people can come down and look at it or get copies.

The dumbing down of America continues...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What a truly awful person, he rates down there with pond scum and Tom Emmer...running for secretary of state, to boot? Dan Severson, public enemy #2

Headline = Severson: Students should not be allowed to vote where they go to school

Dan Severson is the Republican endorsed candidate for Secretary of State in Minnesota.

...Severson feels that college students are not "engaged" enough to cast a reasonable vote.

I'm quite upset that the campaign season is almost over, because there's little chance that I'll cross paths with this creep between now and Nov. 2. I'd love to give him a piece of my mind!

Another video clip from the levy forum at the Oct. 21 Hoffman Commerce and Ag meeting

In a failed levy scenario, Superintendent Pat Westby talks about the budget future at WCA. This was at the Hoffman Commerce and Ag meeting on October 21.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tea Party "poll watchers" - I'll be watching you in my area - I dare you to suppress voter turnout

Read more about what the Tea Party is whining about here:

This is truly awful - Tea Party activists push a woman to the ground and stomp on her head (I wish I was making this up)

The incident happened before a debate in Kentucky. A sad day in America.

Click here for the details:

Hey Torrey, thanks for being a weasel back in 2005 on the school funding issue, while not being helpful on excess levy referendum votes

Representative Westrom is
blasted on school funding issue
January 27, 2005

Representative Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake was blasted at a meeting held in Hoffman when trying to suggest that the state funding proposed by Governor Pawlenty will allow for smaller class sizes.

Superintendent Ness said, “Since 1997 we’re $440 behind per pupil on the formula when adjusted for inflation. WCA is definitely spiraling. Our enrollment is declining. We need a variety of solutions for our budget issues, including increased state funding, budget cuts, plus referendum money - or rather, local taxes.”

Ness added, “We need more revenue. We’re a state that values good roads, good schools, good health care, and we’re willing to pay for it.”

Westrom responded, “If more are willing to pay, then why are school boards and counties reluctant to go to referendums? The public generally doesn’t pass those.”

Ness replied that the cost of government has gone down over the past few years, from 17 percent of gross personal income to 15 percent.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tom Emmer - the dirtiest candidate for governor I've ever seen

Exiled from Lake Street:
Latino community forces cancellation of stealth Emmer rally

(Minneapolis)– Oscar Reyes, owner of the Las Mojarras restaurant on Lake Street in the heart of Minneapolis’s Latino community, was pleased to get a reservation for a Saturday morning “business meeting” on October 23.

He was less happy when calls came in from concerned community members asking why a campaign rally for anti-immigrant, anti-Latino Republican gubernatorial Tom Emmer was taking place in his popular business.

In a humiliating blow for the Emmer campaign, Reyes canceled the event and appeared as a guest on the Cara a Cara radio show on La Invasora 1400 to assure the Latino community that he was a victim of an attempt to stage a stealth rally in the Latino neighborhood prior to President Obama’s rally on behalf of DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton.

The interview with host Alberto Monserrate has been posted online on the Cara a Cara web page and can be downloaded here.

Monserrate said that Reyes asked to be on the show in order to assure the community that he was not supporting Emmer’s campaign. While on air, Reyes said that he didn’t know that the event was part of a political campaign

The radio show host thought the secrecy was unusual, as political organizers are generally upfront with small business owners. “In all of the organizing I’ve observed, those setting up events let businesses know that it’s a campaign-related event because of the potential for customer disapproval. Those organizing this rally appear to have sought a meeting in the Latino community, but failed to tell the Latino small business owner that is was for Emmer.”

Reyes learned of the true nature of the event when calls started coming in after news of the event appeared in the Wednesday, October 20, 2010 “Morning Take,” published by Tunheim Partners public affairs firm; the event was also listed on a local conservative blog. Community organizers and activists spread the word via Facebook and Twitter, and curious activists called Reyes.

Reyes was angered to learn that the event was political and to discover Emmer’s record of supporting anti-immigrant measures like Arizona’s SB1070 bill and anti-Latino measures like an English-only bill, according to Monserrate.

My thoughts: Tom Emmer, you really have sunk to a new low, trying to hold a campaign rally at a privately-owned business without telling that business owner what was going on. By doing so, you are jeopardizing the image of that business without letting the owner decide whether or not he wants to risk losing business over your governor bid. I will safely say, you're the dirtiest candidate for governor I've seen in my lifetime.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hoffman Commerce and Ag hosts informational meeting with WCA Superintendent Westby today

We had a nice turnout today at the Hoffman Commerce and Ag meeting at Bullfrog's Bar and Grill.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What a tough, tough loss in Chokio for the CAHN Spartans football team

In what was the final football game that will ever be played in Chokio (unless the C-A community booms and they re-start their athletic programs), the Chokio-Alberta/Herman-Norcross Spartans football team lost another high-scoring game.

This time, it was Eagle Valley leaving town with the win. Final score: Eagle Valley 42, CAHN 38.

Both teams were 3-4 coming into the game. CAHN's 3-5 record puts them at 4th place in the 6-team Pheasant Conference South for 2010.

In the upcoming Section 3, 9-man playoffs, CAHN will be the number six seed and will make the short trip to rival Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley for the quarterfinal round on Tuesday, October 26.

2010 Section 3, 9-man playoff seedings:
1st and 2nd are Wheaton and Edgerton/Ellsworth, and I'm not sure who will be the #1 and who will be the #2 seed. I will know tomorrow, though.

#3 - Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley (7-1)
#4 - Hills-Beaver Creek (6-2)
#5 - Brandon/Evansville (5-3)
#6 - CAHN (3-5)
#7 - Lincoln HI (2-6)
#8 - Hancock (0-8)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This was fun too - Musical Chairs at the Herman-Norcross Homecoming Pep Fest

A photo from one of the rounds of musical chairs is on page one of this week's Herman-Hoffman Tribune.

The freshmen class skit.

Coming tonight - the WCA Levy meeting in Hoffman

Tonight, Tuesday, the meeting begins at 7pm at the Hoffman Community Center.

Delaware Republican Senate nominee O'Donnell asks whether Constitution prohibits establishment of religion

From the Associated Press...

WILMINGTON, Del. - Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell of Delaware on Tuesday questioned whether the U.S. Constitution calls for a separation of church and state, appearing to disagree or not know that the First Amendment bars the government from establishing religion.

The exchange came in a debate before an audience of legal scholars and law students at Widener University Law School, as O'Donnell criticized Democratic nominee Chris Coons' position that teaching creationism in public school would violate the First Amendment by promoting religious doctrine.

Coons said private and parochial schools are free to teach creationism but that "religious doctrine doesn't belong in our public schools."

"Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?" O'Donnell asked him.

When Coons responded that the First Amendment bars Congress from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, O'Donnell asked: "You're telling me that's in the First Amendment?"

Her comments, in a debate aired on radio station WDEL, generated a buzz in the audience.

"You actually audibly heard the crowd gasp," said Widener University political scientist Wesley Leckrone, adding that he thought it raised questions about O'Donnell's grasp of the Constitution.

Monday, October 18, 2010

MFU: EPA takes first step on E-15 ethanol blend

October 13, 2010 – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) President Doug Peterson welcomes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement today of the approval of E15 blend fuel in 2007 and newer vehicles. On March 6, 2009 Growth Energy ( submitted its Green Jobs Waiver to the EPA, seeking a regulatory change to permit an increase in the allowable blend of ethanol in fuel to 15 percent (E15), from the arbitrary limit that currently caps the amount at 10 percent (E10). MFU says the approval for newer vehicles is a good first step, and MFU is confident it will be followed by approval for older model vehicles once the Department of Energy (DOE) completes its testing later this year.

“Minnesota has been a leader in biofuels, and this announcement is a step in the right direction to reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil, creating U.S. jobs and improving our environment” said Doug Peterson, MFU President.

Other points about the EPA announcement:

• today’s decision will apply to 43 million vehicles- nearly 20 percent of the current U.S. duty fleet.
• a second decision on cars 2001 to 2006 is expected by the end of the year and would add an additional 86 million cars, meaning that, if approved, E15 would be allowed in more than 54 percent of all the vehicles on the road today;
• moving to E15 is supported by sound science. Economic studies show that we can create more than 136,000 new jobs with E15, inject $24.4 billion back into the U.S. economy instead of bleeding it out overseas, and displace nearly seven billion gallons of gasoline from imported oil;
• this decision is in support of the goals of Congress to see demand for renewable fuels in the U.S. reach 36 billion gallons by 2022;
• ethanol production reinvests money in the U.S. economy instead of sending dollars and jobs overseas;
• our continued dependence on foreign oil threatens our economic future. Every year we pay $300 billion annually – the equivalent of a thousand-dollar-a-person tribute – to foreign countries for oil, instead of investing in our own economy;
• moving from our current E10 blend to E15 means we could reduce an additional eight million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per year. That means E15 would reduce GHG emissions equal to removing an additional 1.35 million vehicles from the road; and
• we have plenty of corn to meet both our food and energy needs. Consistent increases in crop yields and record harvests prove that America’s farmers will continue to produce enough corn to meet demand for ethanol and domestic demand for corn as food and feed, as well as corn for export. In September 2010, the USDA crop report estimated that American farmers are expected to produce a record 13.16 billion bushels of corn without adding a single additional acre of land into agriculture production.

For more information:

Minnesota Farmers Union ( is a nonprofit membership-based organization working to protect and enhance the economic interests and quality of life of family farmers and ranchers, as well as rural communities.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Very unique for sure, something I've never witnessed until Friday, a "Frozen T-shirt" contest during the Herman-Norcross Homecoming Pep Fest

The view from the balcony in the small gymnasium in Herman.

I took whopping 149 photos from the Homecoming Pep Fest on Friday. You can see all the pictures at the Herman-Hoffman Tribune website Dotphoto gallery:

Then click on "Dotphoto" and search for the "Fall 2010 Herman-Norcross events" to see the pictures.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Scenes from the Herman-Norcross Community School Homecoming Pep Fest on Friday, more to follow this weekend

Here's a clip from today's Pep Fest in Herman, the 7th-8th grade Homecoming skit.

Hillcrest Lutheran Academy won a shootout of a football game on Homecoming for Herman-Norcross, defeating the CAHN Spartans 47-38. The Comets, who were ranked #14 in the latest 9-man state rankings, improved to 5-1 with the win.

CAHN is 3-4 overall. The Spartans host Eagle Valley next Wednesday night in Chokio for the final game of the regular season.

Below, Maggie Finholdt pauses for a moment while the Homecoming Tailgating party gets underway at the school cafeteria. A senior this year at Herman-Norcross, Finholdt was instrumental in organizing and promoting the event.

Elementary students enjoying the Pep Fest activities.

One of the games held at the Pep Fest was an arm wrestling tournament. See who won in next week's Herman-Hoffman Tribune.

If you're a Facebook user, you can see more photos at the Tribune Facebook fan page. Search for "Herman-Hoffman Tribune" and click "Like"!

Other photos from the Herman-Norcross Homecoming are being added to the Tribune Dotphoto gallery online at Look for the album named "Fall 2010 Herman-Norcross events" to see the picture.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Coming tomorrow - the big Homecoming game in Herman!

Kickoff for the Herman-Norcross Homecoming game, held at Paul Anderson Field at the high school athletic complex, will be at 3:30 tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 15) when the Chokio-Alberta/Herman-Norcross Spartans will host the state-ranked Hillcrest Lutheran Academy Comets.

Herman-Norcross Homecoming Pep Fest begins at 12:45pm on Friday!

Class skits and all sorts of fun are in store. The whole community is invited to be a part of the excitement, leading up to the football game's kickoff.

Check it out - the Hoffman Health Care Mall's new website

Here's the link:

House District 11A forum being held tonight (Thursday) in Morris

There is a forum on Thursday night, October 14, in Morris featuring the candidates for Senate District 11 and House District 11A beginning at 7pm at the Morris American Legion. (It's west of the train tracks on Highway 28 by Casey's gas station.)

Also, Congressional District 7 candidate Lee Byberg will be at Detoys Restaurant in Morris on Oct 22nd from 10-11 am.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

An awesome shot from the Herman-Norcross Homecoming coronation on Sunday night

Last year's Homecoming King, Michael Backman, crowns the new King for 2010, Brandon Staples. Photo by Jennifer Pederson.

I plan on getting more photos on our Tribune Facebook fan page tomorrow.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Passing the word on two local political events

First, for those of you living in Pope County, a debate between District 13 candidates Joe Gimse and Larry Rice will be held at 2:30pm tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct 12) at 2:30pm at the Minnewaska Lutheran Home in Starbuck.

Beginning at 10am on Saturday (meeting at Lakeside Ballroom) a door knock on behalf of Larry Rice and Mark Dayton will be held in Glenwood. Also participating is Paul Thissen, one of the candidates who ran for the DFL endorsement last winter/spring.

A very cool yard sign at WCA

Much was discussed at tonight's WCA Levy Referendum meeting at South elementary in Kensington. I thought the turnout was great, considering the meeting butted up against the Vikings-Jets football game kickoff. Roughly 14 members of the public, along with a handful WCA staff members and school board members attended the meeting.

I'm chewing through the information right now.

  • Here's a few points from the meeting, at least what I scribbled on my notepad. (More is being uploaded to Youtube as I type this.)

Superintendent Westby told the group at the levy meeting about the school's three main points on why they are asking for a hike in the levy.
1 - They want to continue offering quality programs.
2 - They want to continue to offer effective grade level configurations and efficient facilities.
3 - They want to continue carrying out WCA's Mission Statement.

The West Central Area Mission Statement is as follows, "The mission of the WCA school district, with the support of our families and communities, is to provide opportunities for all learners that will inspire a passion for educational excellence and life long learning."

Below, Superintendent Westby explains possible areas to cut, as well as the tax impact of the levy referendum.

Love my Chevy

Crossed 290,000 miles on my way to Hoffman this morning.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

So the Republican Party chair thinks that Republicans who support Tom Horner are going to hell...

In regards to the Republicans who are publicly supporting Tom Horner for governor, the chair of the Minnesota Republican Party, Tony Sutton, was quoted as saying "there's a special place in hell for these quislings."


Here is the response from two of the gentleman attacked by that comment, George Pillsbury and Bill Belanger.

October 7, 2010 
To: Tony Sutton Chairman, Republican Party of Minnesota
525 Park Street, Suite 250
St. Paul, MN 55103 

Mr. Sutton:  As veterans of the United States military and former state legislators, we were highly offended to pick up our morning Star Tribune newspaper and read that you were accusing us of being traitors to our country for supporting Tom Horner for governor. (“There’s a special place in hell for these quislings.”) Those of us who support Horner and his centrist view of governance have nothing in common with Norwegian politician Vidkun Quisling, a Nazi sympathizer who collaborated with the Germans to enslave millions of his countrymen during the Second World War.  We proudly wore the uniforms of our nation, one of us as a Marine Lieutenant in the Philippines during World War II, one of us a few years later in Korea as an Army Corporal. For you to besmirch that service is demeaning. We support Tom Horner for governor precisely because we care so much about our state and our nation. We sought elective office after our years of military service because we care about our country and its future. We did not believe our service ended when we were discharged. For decades, we have continued to volunteer in our communities to make our society stronger. We are supporting Tom Horner for governor because we believe his moderate, centrist view of government is precisely what Minnesota needs right now. We are concerned that Sutton’s candidate, Tom Emmer, is too far to the right, and that Mark Dayton, the Democrat, is too far to the left. We believe it is best for all concerned to have a governor who can work with both political parties, to do what’s right and not worry about who gets the credit. We went to war to defend the Constitution, which included fighting for your right of free speech, so you are free to say whatever you want. We would appreciate it if, in the future, you were more careful not to criticize American veterans just because you disagree with our choice of candidates.

Sincerely, George Pillsbury First Lieutenant, United States Marine Corp (ret)Veteran of World War II, former State Senator, Wayzata 

Bill Belanger Corporal, United States Army (ret)Veteran of the Korean War, former State Senator, Bloomington.

House District 11A candidate debate on Pioneer TV tonight (Thursday)

Tonight (Thursday) on Pioneer Public TV at 8:00pm - a live debate between Bennett Smith of Donnelly, Dave Holman of Morris, and Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake - all candidates for House District 11A, which includes all of Stevens and Grant Counties plus the west half of Douglas County.

Call in and pick their brains - I don't care much for uninformed voters.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Republican-leaning Minnesota Forward airs a blatantly false TV ad on Mark Dayton's tax proposals

First of all, I do not agree with Dayton's tax proposal, I feel it goes too far in raising income taxes and his budget ideas do not include enough spending cuts. That, along with Dayton's idea to build a state-sponsored casino at the Mall of America have led me to lean to Tom Horner for the governor race.

With that said, the group Minnesota Forward lies blatantly in a new TV ad. Follow this link to see what Minnesota Public Radio's Poligraph says in a truth test.

A word to the Republicans - try using the truth when you're campaigning, it would be nice to see you turn over a new leaf. If you used the truth, you'd still have plenty of ammunition to battle Mark Dayton in the governor race.

I won't hold my breath, the Republican Party is full of liars who would rather fall over dead than tell the truth in a political debate.

Here's what I dug up regarding what George Cassell is talking about in the letter to the editor posted below

Here's what happened in 2009:

Despite a $6.4B deficit, the final K-12 budget bill that became law protects K-12 education from any budget cuts while providing stable funding for education.

In addition it protected property tax payers by passing a budget solution without any net increase in school property taxes.

Here's what happened in this year's session:

Despite a $3B deficit (just over $2B were the result of the Governor's unallotments being ruled illegal), K-12 education was protected from any revenue cuts to the classroom.

This was accomplished in large part due to the $1.4B aid payment shift as well as the $576M property tax recognition shift.

The bill also protected property tax payers by passing a budget solution without any net increase in school property taxes.

Finally, since the DFL took control of the House in 2007:

The 2007 omnibus K-12 education bill, provided a 2% increase on the formula in FY08 adn a 1% increase in FY09. This amounted to a $100 per student increase in FY08 adn $50 in FY09.

The 2007 K-12 bill also provided $330M in FY08-09 for special education (a 25.5% increase).

A one-time increase of $51 per pupil in FY09 (2008 supplemental budget bill)

In 2003, the GOP controlled House passed a $622M reduction in education funds over the next two years. Westrom voted for the bill. (excluding the shifts, the real education reduction was $185M)

In 2009, Westrom and the majority of Republican members voted for a $300M cut to school districts.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Peterson introduces bill to protect producers from burdensome EPA regulations

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., yesterday introduced H.R. 6273 which amends the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA) to prohibit additional permits for pesticide application when pesticides are applied consistent with FIFRA.

"This legislation provides farmers and ranchers with the safe harbor they deserve in the application of pesticides. The bill relieves producers from a potentially costly regulatory burden that does little if anything to protect the environment," Peterson

In the decades since Congress enacted the CWA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has never issued a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the application of a pesticide. Instead, EPA has regulated these types of
applications through FIFRA, enacted by Congress to control all aspects of pesticide registration, sales and use. The FIFRA registration process includes stringent requirements for a wide range of environmental, health and safety studies to establish the circumstances under which pesticides can be legally used in the United States.

In January 2009, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a 2006 EPA rule which specifically exempted permitting of certain pesticide applications from the CWA. In National Cotton Council of America, et al., v. United States Environmental Protection Agency the court ruled EPA did not have the authority under the CWA to exempt application of pesticides. The Court's decision marks a pre-emption of FIFRA by the CWA for the first time in the history of either statute.

Chairman Peterson's bill would make clear that producers who are in compliance with the requirements of FIFRA are not subject to Clean Water Act permits.

"The 6th Circuit decision overturned decades of policy and practice with regard to the sufficiency of FIFRA regulation," Peterson said. "This legislation will make clear that Congress never intended for farmers and ranchers to meet additional permit requirements for pesticide applications under FIFRA."

Twelve members of the House of Representatives joined Peterson as original co-sponsors of the bill.

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

I read a letter last week mentioning Representative Torrey Westrom, Governor Pawlenty, and Education Funding. Apparently the writer does not know that the Democrats currently control the House and Senate — and have done so since 2006. Words can be hollow, but facts are stubborn things.

The biggest funding source is the basic ‘per pupil’ formula. This formula flows equally to all children across the state.

Under eight years of DFL control (1992-1998 and 2007), the Total increase was $360 per student.

Under eight years of Republican control (1996-2006), the total increase was $905 per student.

In 2009, Governor Pawlenty proposed an additional $262 million for preschool through high school students and a 10% aid payment shift. In comparison, the DFL House proposed flat funding; the DFL Senate proposed $1 billion in cuts to early childhood and K-12 education. Representative Torrey Westrom spoke up and voted against rural teachers having to bail out the Minneapolis teachers’ pensions.

It has been Representative Torrey Westrom who has stood up to these Democrat proposals that would short-change our schools. Republicans continue to push for fair funding, accountability, local control, and innovative reform in education.

George W. Cassell
Alexandria, MN

Sunday, October 3, 2010

West Central Area Knights football picks up a big road win at Warroad

The Knights won 27-24 over Warroad to improve to 2-3 on the season.

WCA ran for 144 yards and passed for 156 yards, giving them 300 yards of total offense on the night. Warroad had 336 (107 rushing, 229 passing). The Knights had just one turnover to three for the Warriors and also had ten more first downs than the home team, 17-7.

West Central Area took a 14-8 lead after one quarter on an eighteen yard touchdown pass from Colton Blascyk to Toby Weigand and a three yard TD run by Blascyk. Both extra point kicks were good. They trailed 22-21 at the half as Warroad connected on two long passes for touchdowns and had a third TD on a ten yard run. WCA’s third touchdown of the night came on a ten yard run by Blascyk in the second quarter.

WCA is now tied for 4th place in the Heart O' Lakes Classic standings with Pelican Rapids at 2-2.

Warroad fell to 2-3 overall.

Read more on the game in next week's October 7 issue of the Herman-Hoffman Tribune.