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June 16, 2010     Sentinel Tribune
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SENTINEL TRIBUNE Wednesday, June 16, 2010 Page 4 BETWEEN THE LINES By Tom Merchant - Sentinel Tribune -- tmerchant@ncppub.com BP's leaky faucet... The United States pub- lic ought to be extremely outraged at what is going on in the gulf of the United States. It has been more than 50 days since the BP disaster occurred. Despite recent progress there is one heck of mess to deal with. Listening to the major media, a lot of fingers have been pointed as to who's to blame. Environmentalists say we shouldn't be there to begin with, while others say we desperately need the oil. Where the big failure has occurred is with the federal government. Oh yeah, our leaders namely Obama are saying we will hold BP accountable for paying all costs incurred with this disaster. Unfortunately, the American public seems to have short memories. When it comes time for congress to enact legisla- tion that might prevent such disasters in the future, the American public will most likely have forgotten the whole thing. The way I see it, the blame should be placed squarely on the Reagan administration. That is the time when most of the deregulation o[ every- thing from communi- cations to energy was rolled back. Of course I believe there has been a steady erosion of regula- tions since that time. The banking industry is a fine example of what hap- pens when major indus- tries are deregulated, GREED sets in, and the rest is history. I heard a statistic about BP's safety record. In the past several years BP has racked up about 900 safety violations. At the same time Exxon has had one! Also the top five oil companies combined have had less violations than BP had in the same time period. Some people polled say we should boycott BP gas stations. Yes, that would probably send a message to BP, but since BP does not own very many gas stations, it would hurt local franchise hold- ers. Also what about all the independent stations that buy from BP? It is really sad to see how the delicate marshes and wildlife are being affected. It is said that less than one or two percent of the birds cleaned up will actually survive. According to envi- ronmentalists in the North Sea countries, where they have had many oil spills, it would be more humane to euthanize these birds and animals. I feel it is time for this country to really set pri- orities to develop alter- native energy solutions. I also think we need to do more with nuclear ener- gy. There are now ways to reuse the spent fuel, and the safety record for that industry is beyond any- thing other than hydro, wind and solar. It is important that we elect legislators that will embrace a sensible ener- gy policy. Have a good week! Dairy month June is dairy month, so it is time to show appreciation to the dairy farmers in our area. Dairy farmers supply us with milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter, and a rich vari- ety of ingredients for our health. Not only do they provide us with delicious and nutritious treats, but dairy farmers in Minnesota have an annual output value of $4.6 billion, and create nearly 40,000 jobs in the state of Minnesota. There are 10l cows on the average dairy farm and dairy is 24% of the state's total livestock receipts. Recently, dairy farmers have had a difficult time making a profit because input costs are high and the price dairy farmers receive for their milk is not enough to cover their costs. Only one-fourth of the amount of money you pay at the grocery store for a gallon of milk actually makes it back to the farm- er. Some consumers do not know where their food comes from, let alone their dairy products, and there are 4,700 dairy farms in Minnesota providing 1000 million gallons of milk for consumers; each cow pro- ducing 6 gallons of milk per day. Educating people where their food comes from is a Minnesota Farmers Union priority, and part of that priority surrounds dairy and dairy products. Rural Minnesota is 20% of our economic engine. This is about our local economy and where the money is spent. Dairy farmers need your support; take time this month for a dairy break. You as a con- sumer or as a farmer can make a difference. Merlyn Hubin President: Cottonwood County Farmer Union Subscribe to th Sentinel Tribune / "Stories from the BaH Cave" Summer 2010 It was so hot, I turned on the furnace to cool the house, I began writing this in front of an open refrigerator. I was going to write about the secret diaries of AI and Tipper Gore. I'd found their journals in a box of books I had purchased from the New Richland Historical Society. The reasons for AI and Tipper's divorce were all right there in black and white. It was incredible. It was column gold. I hadn't been so excited since they built the car wash close enough to my home that I could walk to it. I was going to write about the Gore split, but I misplaced the diaries. I think I gave them to the New Richland Historical Society for their upcoming book sale. So rm going to write about summer instead. We pack up spring and store it for another year on June 21. We don helmets, strike up the band, and let summer begin. Summer is the time to take down the Christmas lights. Spring melts into summer. We get the winter, spring, summer, fall progression in Minnesota, but not necessarily in that order. We have no idea what an aver- age season is like because we've never had one. Minnesota marches to the beat of its own drummer and that includes its summer drummer. What is as rare as a summer's day? That would be a public gathering where no one's cell phone goes off at an inappropri- ate time. Summer is that time of year when we see signs like, "School's out --watch out for teachers!" When colds and flu are replaced by contagious yawning on hot and humid days. Summer is when kids slam the doors they left open during the winter. It's a time for those who enjoy the growing more than the harvest. Zucchini has not yet worn out its welcome and sweet corn has not yet fulfilled its promise. Summer is a few months of bad sledding. The weather can be severe. Oscar Hammerstein wrote the lyrics, "As restless as a willow in a windstorm." Summer showers do much more than any tornado, but they get less pub- licity. Summer can be a period when rain is so rare it is kept in a museum or so plentiful that it douses fireflies. Fireflies create a magic fairyland that lights up our nights. Tornadoes, mosquitoes, black flies, deer flies, heat, and humid- living is easy. Fish are jumping, and the cotton is high. Your dad- dy's rich, and your ma is good looking. So hush little baby, don't you cry." I have rejoiced in the uncommon sighting of a sum- mer tanager--the only bird with summer in its name. I've started an insect collection from the grill of a car. rve celebrated the end of the school year. I've winced while receiving my summer hair- cut. This was a widespread mis- ery inflicted upon boys at the end of each school year. The buzzcuts were so short that we became hairing impaired. Some were haircuts and some were scalping. My neighbor Gladys Summer loves our hottest season. She detests the cold. I once asked her what she liked to do in Minnesota during the winter. Her answer was short and tO the ity. Each circus brings .its .own .... point, "Leave." : . clowns. Deer flies chase me We get hot te peratures in down the trail. I run as they attack from behind. Suddenly, I turn and run back up the trail and head butt the annoying insects. Revenge isn't always a dish best served cold. We have mosquitoes big enough to cast shadows. They are so large that we catch them in mousetraps. My neighbor Worrying Elmer is on crutches, after being dropped by a mosquito. That caused Worrying Elmer to wonder aloud what mosquitoes were feeding on before he got here. A hot, humid day can make a person apathetic. It's difficult to fight the apathy if you just don't care. I asked my neighbor Still Bill, he is so lazy he came in last in a snail marathon, if he had ever been in a tornado. His reply was, "Not that I noticed." The Gershwin Lullaby goes like this, "Summertime, and the summer because each winter, people wish it would warm up. There are so many wishes made that they warm the weather by summer. Weather is like govern- ment. It takes time to change. Summer weather can be so hot that the squirrels unbutton their fur coats. I like summer but it's an air conditional love. Air conditioning means the survival of the coolest. Meteorologists attempt to pre- dict our weather. They try to call summer, but it is a futile endeavor. Summer won't talk to them. Summer has fall-waiting. AI Batt 2010 71622 325 St. 1-1, MN 56042 http://albatt, net/ Sentinel Tribune Thomas Merchant Junette Merchant Joan Spielman Jessica Noding (ISSN 8750-3905) Managing Editor Office & Production Office & Production Marketing Specialist Published every Wednesday at Westbrook, Minnesota 56t83 Periodicals Postage Paid at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 - SUBSCRIPTION PRICE FOR THE SENTINEL TRIBUNE WILL BE: In the following counties: Cottonwood, Redwood, and Murray $38.00 per year. Elsewhere in Minnesota $42.00 per year. Out of the state $48.00 per year. Canada and foreign countries inquire at the Sentinel Tdbune Office. If wrong amount is submitted subscrip- tion will be pro rated accordingly. "Snowbirds" may put their paper on hold at no extra charge while they are gone, or pay $5.00 extra to have it mailed out of state. Missed copies cannot be furnished because the cost of mailing single copies is about $2.00. Any request for a back copy must include $3.00. Newstand price is $1.00 per copy. Copyright 2010 Sentinel Tribune a New Century Press Newspaper Mail Change of Address Notice to: P. O. 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