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April 14, 2004     Sentinel Tribune
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April 14, 2004

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SENTINEL TRIBUNE Area Focus Wednesday'. April 14, 2004 Agriculture and Drama The ties that bind By Car01yns VanLoh My brother David Norgaard, Elkton, SD, has the privilege of having three sisters. Yours truly comes first in the birth order, and David is the youngest. He has always been a farmer through and through. As a high school student, English definitely wasn't his best, or favorite, subject. In fact, he told his teachers that his old- est sister took all the English brains. David's first love is still farming, but his involvement in the historic Lake Benton Opera House has surprised everyone who knows him. Nearly fifteen years ago his 7-year-old daughter played the youngest Von Trapp in The Sound of Music. David is now vice president of the Opera House board, but even more surprising, he has had roles in numerous produc- tions. Our family has estab- lished the tradition of watch- ing the productions from center front seats. I marvel at that brother of mine who has no interest in fine arts having the time of his life as he puts himself into the role of the character he portrays. He hasn't learned yet that acting comes under the Fine Arts heading. Agriculture is a major tie that my brother and I share. It took him some time to realize that I was genuine- ly excited about moving from the Twin Cities to the farm over 20 years ago. David's interest in the Opera House surprised me at first, but now drama is another inter- est (tie) we share. Cookin with Gus opens this weekend at the Opera House in Lake Benton. David has the supporting role of Bernie, who is an agent in charge of running Augusta's (Gus) newly- established TV cooking show. The play is described as a simple comedy with a love story. I'm looking for- ward to a few good laughs when I view the play. Performances will be at 8 PM on April 16, 17, 23, and 24. Sunday afternoon per- formances are scheduled for 2 PM April 18 and 25. For ticket information call 507- 368-7620. Lessons from the Frog by Tom Conroy Trust me, I have never done this. But it's been said that if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water it will immediately leap out to escape the danger. However, if you put a frog into a pot of cool, pleas- ant water, and then slowly heat the water until it reach- es a boiling point, the frog will be unaware of the dan- ger until it is too late. The frog's survival instincts are geared toward detecting sud- den changes, not gradual ones. Guess we're kind of like frogs ourselves. A few years ago, a tornado ripped through the town I live in. The collective response was immediate, dramatic, and effective. When a flood threatens a community, peo- ple from miles around rush to the rescue. We're great at responding to sudden dan- gers and destructive dilem- mas. But, just like the frog, we're not very good at notic- ing those gradual, insidious trends that, over time, can result in monumental prob- lems. We're usually content to sit in the pot, oblivious to the fact that the water is growing steadily hotter. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is, wisdom we seem to not eagerly embrace. There is another instruc- tive way, however, in which we are quite different from the frog. In this case, the frog has more sense than we do, because, as the old Indian proverb notes, rhe frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives." We, on the other hand, are constantly drinking up our ponds or oth- erwise ruining them. And all the while, we hardly notice the rising water tempera- ture. From the air, someone once observed, all water looks blue. But go down for an up close and personal look and you21 see that the water is more often brown or green or, a color that defiles description. From the air, a mid-level flight over Minnesota would also leave the casual observer impressed by the number of sparkling blue lakes and wetlands below. What cannot be seen, however, are the countless numbers that have vanished. The vast majority of lakes in southern and west- ern Minnesota are referred to as shallow lakes. And, like our wetlands, our shallow lakes are in deep trouble. Why? The reasons are many: once natural shorelines denuded of critical vegeta- tion; increasing run-off from more rooftops, driveways, parking lots and roads; faulty septic systems; farm- ing to the very edge of ditch- es and streams. The list is long and growing more com- plex. However, the glimmer of hope shining on these shal- low lakes and wetlands is that more people are noticing that the pot is beginning to boil. Recently, 172 people from a variety of walks of life gathered for a 2-day shallow lakes forum in Mankato. They listened to the likes of Julie Westerlund of NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials) explain the benefits of natural shore- lines. They heard that 90% of the plants and animals in a lake ecosystem live in the shoreland zone, much of which is destroyed when we import 'suburban' style yards to the lakeshore. They learned about the significant relationship between spawning habitat for fish and the intensity of shoreline development, and that properly designed filter strips along drainage areas in ag fields can reduce sedi- ment and phosphorous inputs by 90% They heard Bemidji State University Geography Profess Charles Parsons dis- cuss a study he and a group of his students conducted on the relationship between shoreland property values and the water .quality of the 37 lakes studied. Bottom line: your bottom line increases as the lake's water quality increases. They heard radio.TV- newspaper personality Non Schara deliver a poignant - and pointed - message about how we have collectively failed our shallow lakes. But despite reasons for pes- simism, there is also cause for optimism, Schara stressed. Things can and will get better if we care enough. They heard how our local communities, and the eco- nomic vitality of those com- munities, are tied to the health of the lakes and wet- lands in the area, that when those waters suffer, so do the people. In all, they heard 20 some speakers. And they lis- tened to each other in small group discussions, the coun- ty commissioner and the lake association member, the col- lege professor and the sportsman's club member, 1 Spring field work This Tarmer was either heading out or heading in from the field Monday afternoon. Weather has up and many farmers are getting ready to hit the fields, and some are already doing it. the state agency fellow and the farmer. When they left, they left with new informa- tion, insights and - hopefully - the determination to work together to make a differ- ence. There is further reason for optimism. One example involves the efforts of folks in the Rice County area, a county just south of the Metro that seemingly overnight has changed from rural to exurbia. Over the years, a couple of concerned "old-timers" in the area had tried to caution their neigh- bors about the dangers of "drinking up the ponds." Few listened. The "old-timers" got tired. They needed a-time- out. But now they're back, with a new "fire in our bell)C as one of them put it. They have organized other like- minded sorts. They've held meetings. And then they mailed letters to every resi- dent in one of the major watersheds - about 450, in all - inviting them to an open house to talk about what might be done to preserve and retore at least some of the rural heritage of Rice County. In Rice County and else- where, the lessons of the frog are beginning to sink in. Keep foods safe when yo eating out in the field Planting season means keep food colder longer .than antibacterial keeping on the go and long soft-sided ones. Pack your effective at days, but you need to take cooler with several inches of ria from dirty the time to eat something ice or use frozen gelpacks. Disposable wipes healthy. "Food helps you frozen juice boxes, or frozen towelettes with a refuel so you're alert and water bottles to keep the work well. TheSe have the energy to work food at 40 degrees F or cold- packed in a Zip those long hours," says er. *Block ice keeps longer If you can't Suzanne Driessen, U of M than ice cubes. Use clean, hands. Extension Service regional empty milk or water jugs to towel to eat educator in food safety, prefreeze blocks of ice. Store Don't forget the A basic principle is to foodin watertight containers extra water to keep hot foods hot and cold to prevent contact with melt- dration when foods cold. Driessen offers ing ice water. *Remember to the sun. some other tips to help keep keep the cooler out of the food taken to the foods safe when you're eat- sun. You can cover it with a be thrown out. ing out in the field. *It's dif- heart bathtowel for further and bring only the ficult to keep foods hot with- insulation. * Some foods food that will out a heat source. Insulated don't need to be kept cold. For more casserole dishes keep things These include whole fresh food safety: call hot for an hour or so. fruits and vegetables, juice Answerline at Wrapping containers in boxes, nuts. trail-mix, to talk newspaper helps keep food unopened canned meat Extension hot, and a Thermos works spreads, peanut butter and well for hot dishes or soups, jelly sandwiches and bread Eat hot food within 2 hours jerky. However, cut-up fruits-; of cooking. *For the cold and vegetables need to be CI.A$$1FIEI00 foods, keep foods like lunch- kept cold. *It's important to meats, cooked chicken and wash your hands to remove WORK 00OI1 potato or pasta salads in a dirt or the residue from han- cooler. Hard surface coolers dling seed. The ready-to-use Ho.sehold j00ostori00 Buy, Sell, or Rent in the Classified ads Sentinel Tribune Ph. 274-6136 1.-800-410-1859 I will  the following persona; property at public auction at the aparb-rm butJdl at 850 Adarrm Street & 9th Avenue, k. MN (east of hoit) Thursday, April 22, Sale starts at 5:30 p.m. [ Colony Fostoria ] 1 and Dishes 12 Plates. Colony Foetoria 11 Cups, Colony Fostorta 12 Saucers, Colony Fostoda 12 Dessert Plates,Colony Fostorla 13 Sauce Dielle6, Colony Fostoria 12 Large Water Goblets, Colony Fostocta 12 Sauce Dishes. Colony Fostoria Compote. Colony Fooria Syrup Pfte. Colony Fostoria 3 Bowls. Colony Fostoda Water Pitcher. Colony Fostoria Butter Dish. Colony Fostoria Covered Dish, Colony Fostorla Large Platter. Colony Fostoda Relish Dish, Colony Fostoda Setting of 12 Dishes, Queen Anne by Nagova Sholl, very good Several bowls PrmNM glass compote Water pmer Set of Idtcen dishes, plus other dishes and gmsses Household, Misc. Items Bedroom set. cormng dremm, chest of drawers Dinette table. 6 chJm. leav 3 Cushion dave,s, ftord desig Kelvinator chest deep freeze, Round coffee table w/ top Glider rocker Cedar chest, wmedaU Hamr rnlcrowav, white ( H,Iwllging dining with m pd ....... ClhIB'tOIII Manvollin Hlmd quiltlK:l quilt, queen Size, Serl down Somo  jr'y and  ktlml"Nm ,ap) Ccamtorml Card  =nd Ctothes hamper and magazine raC Dirt Devil. 12 rtp upcig v-uum.  portabte okmtdc wfouHt-in (=ares Few oIPr J Donna Rupp, mob einor. oe-o4, Sp,'mOd SOir-