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June 3, 2009     Sentinel Tribune
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June 3, 2009
 

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,k , SENTINEL TRIBUNE Wednesday, June 3, 2009 Page 4 BETWEEN THE LINES .... , iii!!ii!ili i N By Tom Merchant - Sentinel Tribune m tmerchant@ncppub.com Housekeeping chores... "You can please some of the people all the time, all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all the people all the time." A varia- tion of Abe Lincoln's famous quote. Last week we attempted to get information for area Memorial Programs, howev- er only one town submitted theirs. A couple of'persons questioned why they could not find the information in the Sentinel Tribune? Well folks, we have a very limited staff for news gather- ing, and that would be main- ly me. I attempt to get as much news as possible, and many'persons in the commu- nity are very good at getting us information in a timely manor. I sincerely thank those of you who get your news items and tips to the newspaper on time. Without your help we simply could not put out much of a news- paper. Also, I would like to men- tion how important our deadlines are. We have to pay very close attention to our deadlines. There are you folks have given us good grades over the years. Although I know sometimes we do fall short, but I would like to think it is not that often. No matter what, we can not do it without your help. We don't have a news chop- per loaded with high tech equipment, but we do have what we need to get the job done. I heard, through the grape vine, one member of a local organization said they didn't need to advertise their functions as they could put it in church bulletins and so forth. However those same people expect us to give FREE coverage to their projects and accomplish- ments. We are not a non profit organization, nor do we get any government subsidies. We make our money the old fashioned way "we earn it," and our two main sources of revenue are Advertising and Subscriptions. Some people wonder why we couldn't just raise our subscriptions and not have advertiSing. That would be fine with me, but I don't ViKingS have a.pl,ar " to a Stadiuf ,-., B "Stories from the BaH Cave" Lawn mowers for dum- These guys wei'e my mentors, They mies encouraged me with such helpful comments as, "Get away from that I'm not a Lawn Boy, but I own one. hammer, AI. You don't know anything My wife and I have two lawn mow- about machinery." ers--hers and hers. The lawn is too big for scissors. We have a riding mower so we don't have to push. We have a push mower for when we suf- fer from rider's block. The push mower gets tO what the rider cannot- -like one of those razors with multiple I hoped that I would remember how they did things because I could no longer find one of those guys. I would have hauled the mowers to someone who knows what he's mower needs a new sparkplug." Someone shouted into a cell phone to another in the same store about a hopeless husband in aisle four and wondered why his wife had let him out of the house. There was a man, on his hands and knees on the floor, picking up 3- penny nails that he had spilled. I need to make it clear that my eyes doing, but someone borrowed my had not yet become accustomed to trailer--on a permanent basis, the move from the bright light to the important on holiday week- ends when we have to move our deadlines up. We always give warning ahead when the deadlines change. So remember "poor planning on your part does not consti- tute an emergency on our part." I must say, at the risk of getting a big head, many of other people that depend, think too many people blades. Each mower has a GPS Y ' " ' 9" on the deadlines in order to would like to pay over two . . , .... ou know what I m thinking. I dim. I stepped on the man's hand. aev~ce. Its a olg lawn W~Tn many -ondered aloud meet our printing schedules, hundred dollars a year for a turns. I wish grass wasn't so mow- P 'q'hat ou don't have a clue as to He screamed. That startled me, In the old days we could subscription, able. I like a friendly lawn with grass - Y' ' 9 ....... causing metojump backand fall into .......... wnat you re acing rep,ea my wiTe, a display of garden ;seed packets. fudge on our deadlines, but For those of you that think enougn mat waves at everyone. The Queen B " The packets scattered every direc- times were simpler back I or any other news reporter When I mowthe lawn, I tryto make it She's -cod' then. Almost everything was gets paid anything extra for look like an accident. .. g ..... . , tion and I acquired a hitch in my ................ somemmg mat no manq man giddy-up. done locally, now our ads working weekends, and egYo liTteveSalf(% n Ta d llaw; n:nadtes should do. I read the owner's manu- Once lwas back on my feet, ltried are set up at the main office, evenings we don't. I have P.. ..... .... .. al It didnt help The owner's manua to act nonchalant as I stumbled over and the paper is printed at a given up countless hours of nee aa to gel me mowers n[o ngm- that came with the riding lawn mower to the service desk whereupon I central plant that has a very my family time ,to cover !g.@n, p e: . .... _ . .was for he wrong engine tipped overarack of Phillips,screw- tight schedule. So when we events that don t always Nitc heoeil n;icth;,ol/filteer ; drivers. : ...... . i.::; are late it can hold up sever- mean a lot to me, except forh t hw tgoeudt t al people. It is even more the obligation I have to try tractors, cars, trucks, comb nes ..... , . I bent over, picking up screw- ammonia refrigeration units the size was gnasnmg or eem ann quesuon- drivers that had rolled to the nearest and deliver the best product I can, with the resources I have to work with. . Having said all that, while the pay is low and the hours long, I love doing this job, and it has been very reward- ing in many other ways. Have a good week! of Rhode Island (Rhode Island is the size of Rhode Island), various farm implements like manure spreaders (not affiliated with any political party), Boeing 747s, and lawn mowers. OK, I lied about the Boeing 747s, but I did turn a wrench on all the others. Then I regressed to the point where I knew how to fix things, but I didn't want to. Then I stopped doing repairs and slowly forgot how. My mechanical skills are now as thin as a fingernail. We've had a series of guys who knew what they were doing and could do repairs without needing to visit the emergency room. I recognize and appreciate the tal- ents of a good mechanic. It's an art. I could always find someone who knew more than I did. It was impos- sible to find anyone who knew less. ing of the mower's ancestry, but the job was done. I poured oil into the hole labeled with the image of a gravy boat. I read the dipstick. It was- n't a page-turner, but I was Lawn Boy. Then there was a bump in the road. The mower wouldn't start. After I had given it the best hours of my life. I checked the sparkplug. It appeared disinterested. I decided the grass leveler needed a new spark- plug. It was a day with the bright sun hit- ting my eyes like the flash of a thou- sand cameras. I walked into the hardware store. My eyes had not adjusted to the dim light inside the store. I yelled, "Nobody Panic! My lawn- hiding places. I raised my head and smacked it on a weed whacker that was on sale. The weed whacker fellito the floor. Luckily, its fall was cushioned by my foot. As I massaged the growing t ump on my head, my eyes made out the outline of the clerk manning the cash register. "My lawn mower doesn't work," I said, trying to maintain my cherubic demeanor. He responded, "That doesn't sur- prise me." AI Batt 2009 71622 325 St. 1-1, MN 56042 http://albatt.net/ Congress, It's Time to Act Responsibly There is a great deal of atten- tion being focused on the legisla- tive agenda of the Obama adminis- tration and the many new propos- als that President Obama is send- ing to Capitol Hill. I'd like to remind members of Congress this week that there is some old business on the books that needs their attention and action in this session. For example, there is W.R.D.A., the Water Resource Development Act; we have been waiting for well over a decade for funding and work to begin on reno- vating the locks and dams on the critically important Mississippi River system. There is general agreement, even on Capitol Hill, that this work is long overdue, but we are still waiting and it's time for Congress to make it happen. The other piece of legislation that is important to the nation and, especially to agriculture, is Immigration Reform that would make it easier for migrant workers to come across the border and do the work on many farms, ranches and dairy farms in the United States that American workers sim- ply won't do. I'm a little tired of hearing peo- ple say that migrant workers take jobs away from American workers. Let me share one example: Several years ago a friend of mine in Michigan, who has a large orchard, decided he would do something to help the unemployed and the unemployment situation. He chartered a bus, sent it to Chicago to the employment office to get unemployed people looking for day jobs to come to his orchard to pick apples. They managed to get about 30 people to board the bus early in the morning, drove to Michigan, and the workers were put to work hand-picking apples in the orchard. By 10 A.M. they were complaining, saying "This work is too hard; we are not going to do this anymore." By noon the bus was loaded and on its way back to Chicago. No, when it comes to picking strawberries or lettuce in the fields in California, to hand-harvesting fruits and vegetables, or the "grunt- work" of landscaping; many of us, certainly myself included, really don't want to do that hard work anymore. That's where the role of the migrant worker becomes criti- cally important to farmers and ranchers. But under current law, it is increasingly difficult to meet all the legal demands for workers and employers to make sure crops are harvested and cows are milked. This is not easy legislation because it is a very emotional issue and Congress didn't have the guts to act on an immigration reform bill in 2008, an election year. We need to remind our leg- islative leaders again that this is important and it's time they show some backbone and get it done. We have waited too long. My thoughts on Samuelson Sez. Sentinel Tribune Thomas Merchant Lisa Moravec Junette Merchant Joan Spielman Carolyn Van I'oh (ISSN 8750-3905) Managing Editor Advertising Representative Office & Production Office & Production , Contributing reporter 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 $38.00 per year. Elsewhere in Minnesota $42.00 per year. Out of the state $48.00 [Ser year, Canada and foreign countries inquire at the Sentinel Tribune Office. If wrong amount is submitted subscription will be pro rated accordingly. 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