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January 28, 2004     Sentinel Tribune
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January 28, 2004

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SENTINEL TRIBUNE Vi wpc,lnt Wednesday, January 28, i Ill i BETWEEN THE By Tom Merchant Sentinel Tribune LINES Is it fair? It seems we Americans tend to get pretty complacent about the way things are. Although the next election is several months away it behooves all of us to pay atten- tion to what is going on now and what the candidates have to say. You don't have to be a party activist to make a difference in the election process. It is up tO all of us to be as informed as possible about our elected offi- cials. Also if they don't do as they say they will, then throw the rascals out. Again I say take time to hear what these potential lead- ers have to say before they are elected. If you don't like what you hear then vote for someone else. Our convoluted method of picking candidates at first seems a bit onerous and down- right silly at times. It does offer us a glimpse at what the can- didates are about. The unfortunate thing about it is we do not get to weigh in on who the candidates might be because some of them will be bounced out before we get a chance to vote in a primary or participate in a local caucus. It seems a bit unfair to allow the voters of Iowa, New Hampshire, and a few other states to determine who the candidates will be. Especially when some of the candidates decide to drop out of the race early. Of course some of the losers may surface again at the national convention. In some cases the loser become prime candidates for the VP position. At any rate we will have to wait about nine months before this baby is delivered. Assuming there is no hi jinks again in Florida. Have a great Week LETTER TO THE EDITOR Nursing home surcharge The purpose of this letter is to enlist your help and the help of your readers to repeal an uncon- scionable Minnesota State law that imposes a surcharge on private pay nursing home residents. Our 96-year old mother, a 75- year resident ,qf Minnesota, a retired school teacher of modest means and now a 4 1/2 -year pri- vate pay resident of a nursing home in District 22, received notice last June of a rate increase due to a nursing home surcharge imposed by the state. We accept rate increases as necessary and fair as our mother's level of care increases and/or the nursing home faces higher costs due to inflation. We find it difficult, however, to compre- hend the logic and the fairness of asking a 96-year old nursing home resident to pay a surcharge in the amount of $7.71  that "goes into the state's general fund where it is used to fund all state obliga- tions, including nursing home care paid by Medicaid," according to Michael Wemer, administrator of our mother's nursing home and someone who lobbied against this bill (thank-you, Mike). Senator Jim Vickerman, who voted against this bill, sent to one of us a copy of the nursing home surcharge bill. We learned that the first nursing home surcharge went into effect on July 1, 1993, at the rate of $620 per licensed bed per year. On July 1, 1994, the sur- charge was increased to $625. On August 15, 2002, it was increased to $990. Effective July 15, 2003, it was nearly tripled to $2815 per year or $7.71 per day. This amount- ed to an increase of $5.56 per day of which we.were infor-med bv letter on June 26, 2003. Prior to that time we were not aware of a surcharge because it did not. show as an item- ized monthly charge. Telephone calls to Representative Elaine Harder, who voted for this bill, elicited a letter to one of us which began by acknowledging a $4.63 billion budget deficit. She admits in the letter that "no one is particularly fond of this action. She went on to explain "the driving force was that by doing so there will be approxi- mately $96 million additional fed- eral dollars (for a combined total of $192 million) to be gained by our state." Telephone " calls to Representative Doug Magnus, who voted for this bill, netted one con- versation,with an aide who seemed to agree with our position and sug- gested it was probably an add-on to another bill. We don't think so. Our mother is obviously not alone in ht if the State of Minneso expects to generate approximately $96 million and her share is $2815. We urge the rest of you nursing home residents and/or your responsible parties and]or all other Minnesotans who have not yet done so to telephone, write or e- mail your legislators to express your outrage and to ask them to revisit this bill in the session due to open in February. In District 22 these legislators are: Sen. Jim Vickerman, 226 State Capitol Building, St. Paul 55155; phone (651) 296-5650; e- mail: sen.jim. vickerman@senate.leg, state, Rep. Elaine Harder, 509 State Office Building, 100 Martin Luther King Blvd., St. Paul 55155; phone (651)296-5373; e-mail: Rep. Doug Magn/Is, 515 State Office Building, St. Paul 55155; phone (651) 296-5505; e-mail: Readers, be sure to include your ideas when you contact your legislators. And remember when you go to the polls the next time to check the voting records of the can- didates for whom you vote to be sure they are representing not only your best interests, but most of all, your conscience. Sincerely, Bonnie Rogers Wilmont, MN 56185 Famwife Dick Bjornstad Sierra Vista, AZ 85635 Retired School Teacher Ruth Godfrey Buckeye, AZ 85326 Retired Registered Nurse Sentinel Tribune Thomas Merchant Roxy SoB Wayne Rue Junette Merchant Nancy Goring Joan Spielman Carolyn Van Loh Teri Herder (ISSN 8750-3905) Managing Editor Ad Layout & Office Manager Advertising Sales Westbrook Office & Production Production Production assignment reporter Walnut Grove news correspondent Published every Wednesday at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 Periodicals Postage Paid at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 SUBSCRIPTION PRICE FOR THE SENTINEL TRIBUNE WILL BE: In the following counties: Cottonwood, Redwood, Lyon, Murray and Nobles $25.00 Per Year - $17.00 6 Months (includes ! AI BAH... "Stories from the Batt Cave" HarUand News I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that your life is pretty much complete except for one thing. You don't know what is going on in the Greater Hartland area, including East Hartland. Here is the news you need to know "Look! A tractor!" cries out yet another satisfied tourist to Hartland: Budget cuts cause local mayor to trade city's lawn mower for five sheep. Local financial adviser says," There is a secret to investing in the stock market If you are going to kiss your money goodbye, make sure you gar- gle frequently." The movie, =Chaws," opens at local theater. It is a frightening film about a group of tobacco chewing dentists. Local driver ticketed for driving while applauding after hooking The to 29.95. "A Fuel's Paradise" opens a gas station in Hartland and sells fuel by the quart. If nobody knows the trouble you've seen, you are not living in a small town. There is a job opening in the Hartland Township Highway Department. It doesnt pay much, but you get all the venison you can eat. Man trades his belt for suspenders and is later ticketed for driving while suspendered. Founder of the Hartland Pasta Company says that he owes his suc- cess to using his noodle. Bath Street Department workers find that the survival rate after falling into a deep pothole is abyss-real. Inconvenience Store closes. No one notices as it was always closed Clapper up to the turn signals of h ,.: nYwt. car, "Get It Yourself!" a new self-serve fast food restaurant opens in Hartland. Studies show that bad fences make for slower drivers. Speeding is found to be rare on roads frequented by escaped cattle. Doctor Splint Eastwood, who spe- cializes in the diseases of the insured, was once in the audience during a Rolling Stones concert when Mick Jagger fell off the stage and broke his leg. Eastwood was able to cast the first Stone. Candle shop burns down. Residents of the city gather to sing "Happy Birthday." Hartland man ticketed for running stop sign. The driver offered the fol- lowing excuse, =don1 believe every- thing I read." The Bath Cafe offers toast on a stick for those in a hurry. In the hopes of encouraging more tourism, the City of Hartland reduces its speed limit from 30 miles per hour Grumpy Grogan passes away. Grogan was a tough old boy who sprinkled a little gunpowder on his pancakes every morning. He believed that it would help him to live a long life. Grumpy died at the age of 93, leaving 14 children, 47 grand- children, 79 great-grandchildren and a 15-foot hole in the wall of the crema- torium. Three-fingered Freddy's Fireworks opens in Hartland. Featured items include Gotcha, Grandpa's Short Fuse Surprise, the Eardrum Eraser and the Rying Fingers. Nutley's Nail Gun Emporium opens. Nutley's offers a needed service for those in search of a new method of self-mutilation that is fresh and origi- nal. Be ready for your next high school reunion with the Mule Lake Five-year Diet Plan. The "Take It or Leave It Care" guar- antees that you will get your food before you even order it. Try their tongue, it speaks for itself. City of Hartland light with a Nielsen's Conoco contest. Hartland Township signs with "Stop the hopes stop and think. The Inflatable goes out of businesS. Shark attacks in the remain at an all-time Hartland Henry escapes. Opossum roll in next year's celebration. The Bath Bar view- Bacardi and Local hardware offers paint. =Never wash again," says store's Many men line up hours for new rest area Each man wanted t( man had ever gone law. The local Bed downsizes and Candy Bar. Local fire and buys longer Local 57 overdue Harry "Huh" hearing aids hear only what he hear. Hartland's Prune record for holding the parade. Hartland man breaks falling out of tree !Caves. -AL Batt 2004 71622 325 St. Hartland, MN 56042 SnoEowl@ Mission Statement The Sentinel Tribune serves the residents and business community of Cottonwood, Redwood, Murray and Lyon County and southwest Minnesota by applying its available resources to accu- rately and consistently pro- duce a quality newspaper which thoroughly covers the news of the area, stimulates thought and conversation, delivers advertising mes- sages in a timely manner, and provides information of general value to its public. In so doing contributes to the overall quality of life and economic health of its read- ers, advertisers and commu- nity in general while stimu- lating the professional devel- opment of its employees i . ATU' AS,q TO 8U!I..PA too [ -.IF_ ii ii Peach). Elsewhere in Minnesota $29.00 per year. Out of the State $34.00 per year. Canada and foreign countries inquire at the Sentinel Tribune Office "Snowbirds" may put their paper on hold at no extra charge while they are gone, or pay $6.00 extra to have it fnailed out of state. Missed copies cannot be furnished because the cost of mail- ing single copies is almost $1.50. Any request for a back copy must include $2.00. Newstand price is 75 cents per copy. Copyright 2003 Sentinel Tribune a Lyon Sioux Press Newspaper Mail Change of Address Notice to: P. O. Box 98, Westbrook, MN 56183 CALL WESTBROOK OFFICE 507-2746136 FAX 507-2746137 TOLL-FREE 1-800-410-1859 E-mail eentrib@rrcnet. OR DROP NEWS ITEMS AT 1141 OLESON'S MERCANTILE WALNUT Monday thru Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5 . Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 4.00 P- DEADUNES Local news School news Articles and other news 12 . All Peach Ads Sentinel Ads, & Clalmifled Ads WESTBROOK SENTINEL TRIBUNEs.  Monday, Tuesday Thursday, Friday