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March 20, 2013     Sentinel Tribune
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March 20, 2013

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SENTINEL TRIBUNE Wednesday, March 20, 2013 Page 4 I BETWEEN : THE LINES By Tom Merchant - Sentinel Tribune -- Walking in someone else's shoes Perhaps they should go to bed ... hungry for a week! Maybe they Last week Senator Rob should try sending their kids to a Portman of Ohio announced he public school without a permanent has changed his position on gay address. They should go into a rights and gay marriage. In the C-store bathroom to take a sponge past he has been an opponent of bath because they have no other gay marriage. He had a change of place to do anything. heart when his son, a while ago, While some would say hey, informed him that he was in fact they can pull themselves up by gay. I really don't know if you their bootstraps, I worked hard to would call this a true epiphany for get what I have, they can too! Well the man, but it has caused him to it is a whole different standard have a change of heart in the mat- when a person is born into wealth, ter. I certainly applaud him for and I am not saying that is the case changing his position. Maybe we for all wealthy people. Many have need more politicians that are will- worked very hard and deserve ing to rethink their positions, what they have worked for. But Some people might say, well most, if not all, have also had it's a whole different story when some help along the way, and once the shoe is on the other foot. they made it, even more help from Others might say he is not being laws that favor the wealthy. true to his principals. There are Of course the politicians tend many things in life that can change to argue what's fair when it comes people's attitudes about many to taxes. One side says the rich are things in life. Although I doubt if already paying a higher tax rate so there is anything, much less than don't tax them more. The other $100,000, that would make me side says not so fast -- While the like liver or sushi! rich pay a high rate, their effective I personally feel Portman's rate is much less than the average change of heart was a good thing, tax payer, especially when you not because I necessarily support compare how much each pays as a gay marriage. Although I do sup- percentage of their income. Some port the constitutional right for might say this is class warfare, I gays to marry (as in all men are might agree, because there is no created equal), doubt who is winning! I guess when it comes down Despite our problems with to it, family and the love of family, deficits and national debt, adjusted are and should be an overriding for inflation, it is not much worse factor in just about any endeavor now than when I first learned one may partake in. about it. I think our county has When you hear our politicians spirit that says to heck with gay- wrangle back and forth about how ernment, we are not participating to handle budgetary problems, I in your stupidity, we will continue would like them to consider one to work and support our fellow important thing -- how will their members of society despite actions affect the poor and middle Congress' inability to act on all class people in our country, our behalf. Perhaps every man or woman I think there are a number of in a legislative position should live good ideas that came out of the in a homeless'shelter for a week or Simpson Bowles Commission that twf'With'just the Clothes ontheir should be looked at, especially ba~l~s."Thfy should live with a looking at solving the longevity of homeless family living in a station our social insurance programs. wagon without enough food to eat, only one or two meals a day! Have a great week and do good! Support local interesting to calculate the amount of money that will be businesses going out of town during the life of this recent purchase. Many may view this as con- Evidently some do not flict of interest, but as a tax remember what it was like to payer in the City of Westbrook be without a grocery store after I feel that I also can have my the fire or when the gas station opinion of the recent decision and convenience store closed. of the council to purchase a If we do not use our local busi- "City" mower from an out of nesses as much as we can, los- town dealer. How many of the ing these local businesses is a employees from Slayton great possibility. How can Equipment pay taxes in Westbrook survive if we don't Westbrook? Do they support have these businesses? Let's our local school, churches, face it, we are all getting older hospital, local businesses, or and how can we attract young- support local organizations for er families to live and use or fund raising and how many of even start businesses in our tax dollars that went out of Westbrook. It is time for the town are council to look around at the going to come back to empty buildings and voids Westbrook? where businesses used to be. I am puzzled as to why this I feel the recent decision by decision was such an emer-City Government was a "slap gency and it had to be decided in the face" for local business- immediately. But to those who es. It is time the council prac- were pushing for "green" did tices what they expect other not want obstacles to get in residents to do. Maybe the resi- their way and were not even dents of Westbrook need to be willing to work with the local more aware of the way our tax businesses. Not only did the dollars are being spent cost of the mower go out of Westbrook is very fortunate town, but any maintenance and to have organizations that work repair costs will also go out of very hard with fundraising town. Instead of going a block efforts to make our community or mile out of town for these attractive. Without them and costs, now we have to pay for local businesses Westbrook the costs of going 20+ miles would cease to exist. for maintenance and repair. Kathie Christians With this in mind, it would be "Stories from the BaH Cave" Either a waving fool wave on gravel roads, understanding. A constant polite- Some might say that buying a ness. It's a reminder to be kind or a fool waving truck is spending too much money because everyone is fighting a bat- to look macho, but if a guy wants tie. It was a moving man cave. to drive a pickup, more power to We wave after snowstorms to let A hulk of a truck was headed my him. Why not motor along in a others know we survived. We wave way. truck. If you decide to do so, you on sunny days to let others know I always carried a shovel in the might want to consider throwing a that we're happy to see them. We box of my truck of the peeling bale of hay in the back. wave at those we've disagreed with paint. He could have carried a I quit driving a truck after it got to show that we don't hold grudg- steam shovel in his rig. Pickup down to one use--helping other es. Swatting at a mosquito or a bee trucks are all about individuality people move. sharing a ride with you doesn't and that's why every guy wants Back to my tardy wave. I felt count as a wave even though it one. Having a truck isn't all about guilty. Missing a wave wounds the might produce a response from utility. Not all trucks belong to spirit, other drivers. farmers or artisans. To a farmer, a His wave was a lift of an index Rural life is changing. It sounds truck is a second skin, but not finger. A wave isn't about style, as if I won't have to wave at my every driver has to pull this or haul There are no judges. A wave is the reliable rural mail carrier on that. Even accountants drive trucks, most democratic of gestures. It Saturdays much longer. A wave is I'm guessing they're not hauling doesn't matter what kind of vehicle emblematic of good country living. loopholes. A pickup truck is to a person is driving. There's no An obligation to wave may seem some men what boots are to cow- pecking order. A Pinto driver's corny to some, but not to those boys. City slickers drive trucks to wave is worth the same as that of a who grew up on or live along a keep from looking too slick. Many Lexus driver. It's an equal opportu- country road. They understand. males with driver's licenses fall nity salute. The wave is certainly more prey to the testosterone-fueled I grew up waving. It was ancountry (and small towns) than commercials for pickups, exhibition of proper manners. The city. It's not because the wave is I was so amazed by the size of wave wasn't restricted to the pea- made from soybeans. City dwellers the beast on wheels that I barely ple I knew. It was a way to avoid are more likely to avoid both eye noticed that the driver had waved avoiding eye contact. A friend lost contact and waving. City drivers at me. a forefinger, so he was destined to wave a "thank you" when you I was late returning the greeting, become a shop teacher, but he still allow them to merge. They wave a No offense intended. I hoped the waved diligently. "sorry" when they don't allow you other driver checked his rearview I waved at another driver recent- to merge. The wave might be a mirror and saw my responding ly. It was a reflex action,mere nod; the apologetic gesture a wave. "Who was that?" asked my shrug. I took comfort in the knowledge favorite passenger, my wife, The A friend, who resides in a city that people who raise their hands Queen B. that might be too large, claims that fastest aren't always the smartest. "I don't know," I replied. "It the only wave he's ever received is Neither are the first to wave always doesn't matter. What matters is that the middle finger. the nicest. I waved." Please wave, but do so responsi- An economy cannot be based on A wave is a symbol of a shared bly. waving, but it's important to wave road. The recognition of a fellow to other drivers, particularly on traveler. A wave communicates a A1 Batt 2013 rural roads. It's a backroad hand- willingness to help another should 71622 325 St. shake for those behind steering that driver need it. A sign of being 1-1, MN 56042 wheels. A way of honoring the a part of a community. It forges a passing. It's law that you must link between drivers, fostering an ut Consumers aren't the only vic- tims of fraud. Every year, thou- sands of small businesses are tar- gets of fraudulent or deceptive sales practices. Protect your busi- ness from scams by learning what to look out for. Often, it's only a matter of identifying suspicious situations and asking the right questions. The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) and the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection have put together a list of some of the top business scam scenarios: Business opportunities. Many small business owners are Letter Policy "We welcome your participa- tion, whether in letters or com- mentary. If possible, please make your submission by e-mail to sen- Conventional mail address is Sentinel Tribune, P.O. Box 98, Westbrook, MN 56183. Our Fax number is 507- 274-6137. We require submis- sions be original in our market area (no form letters please). All must include writers name, address, and day time tele- phone number. Letters should be brief, up to 250 words, other submissions should be no lon- ger than 500 words. Original items can not be returned unless the writer would pick them up at the office or send self addressed stamped envelope. No items will be kept longer than 30 days. We reserve the right to edit or refuse publication of any submitted let- ters or stories." Thanking people/groups / organizations has to be run as a Thank You ad and will not be run as a Letter to the Editor. approached to invest in other busi- tributed outside the firm's normal hess opportunities. Promoters business area. Make sure any cou- may even claim that the venture pan book your business is a part will increase customer traffic flow of is being promoted by someone into the current business or that you trust, and that the terms and little effort is required to collect conditions are clearly spelled out. high profits. Before jumping into Overpayment seams. These any business collaboration, make often start with an unexpected sure you know the value of the telephone contact. Sometimes an product and its true costs. Always advance call is made to find out make sure to check out the busi- what brand of supplies or equip- ness at, ment your company uses. On the Charity pitches. Most busi- return call, the caller claims to nesses are regularly asked to represent a reputable company donate funds to needy causes, with which the firm often does from requests to support the business. The caller may state that neighborhood's latest fundraising surplus merchandise is available project to appeals for sizeable at a reduced price due to a cancel- charitable contributions. While lation or over-order by another many requests are legitimate, purchaser. Don't be fooled. every year small business owners Accepting this "gift" may mean become victims of fraudulent or you're accepting other obliga- deceptive charitable solicitation tions, as well, and you could find schemes. Make it a point to check yourself receiving demands for out the charity at, payment and threats to turn your Coupon books. Small business account over to a collection agen- operators are often approached to cy or attorney. Always verify who participate in coupon book pro- you're dealing with and steer clear motions. The business offers dis- of the offers that sound too good counts or extras in the coupon to be true. books that are sold to consumers. For more business tips you can Problems can occur if the promot- trust, visit, and for more ers change the terms of the cou- fraud prevention tips, check out pans to make them more attractive the FTC website . 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