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June 26, 2013     Sentinel Tribune
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SENTINEL TRIBUNE Wednesday, June 26, 2013 Page 4 BETWEEN THE LINES By Tom Merchant - Sentinel Tribune -- tmerchant@ncppub.com Cell phone distraction .. : For some time now distract- ed driving while using a cell phone has attracted a lot of atten- tion from state and national legis- lators as it should. But did you know that cell phone use while walking is becoming a bigger problem than cell phone use while driving? Of course cell phone use while driving has more bad outcomes involving not just the drivers, but everyone else as well. Oddly enough studies show that more people are hurt while talking and walking than people texting and walking. Most involve people being hit by vehi- cles while walking, or by walking into things like posts, or walking off of bridges. Of course, in almost all cases, walking and talking usually only affects the person doing it. Where cell phone use while driving can affect just about anyone whether driving, riding, or walking. The good news is accidents involving cell phone use while driving is down. The reason for this is recent legislation in many states regarding cell phone use in vehicles. Studies show texting and driving is more deadly than drunk driving. That sounds logical to me, as a lot of folks who drive drunk often know it, and they tend to drive more carefully hoping they won't get caught. But people tex- ting while driving, seemingly don't think it is as dangerous as drunk driving. The thing I don't get is why the penalties for tex- ting and driving are not as severe as drunk driving penalties. I also realize unless those who are rex- ring and driving are in a serious accident it is difficult to convict someone who is doing it. Of course if you kill someone while texting, then you can be charged with vehicular homicide. According to the Science DaEy, based on data reported the Consumer Product Safety Commission, reporting of injuries by drivers distracted by cell phones suggests the data is 1,300 times higher than actually report- ed. Based on that assumption pedestrians distracted by cell phone use, admitted to emergency rooms, there may have been 2 million pedestrian injuries related to mobil phone use in 2010. I know many times I have seen people walking and talking on their cell phones that appeared to be totally oblivious to what is going on around them. I really don't know what the answer is, but I really get upset when I am with a group of people in a social setting and some of them are texting while there is conversation going on. Really -- what is so important that you are able to totally ignore others around you. That to me is just plain rude. All I can say is Miss Manners really has her work cut out for her. Have a great week and do good! .. re, ore.. "Stories from BaH Cave" Summer good, Summer bad It arrives just as we're starting to get over winter. It's what we've waited for all winter. It's what we called global warm- ing when I was a boy. Summer was our snow removal plan. Summer is the time to procras- tinate outside. A time when gas prices rise because grass grows tall. Summer begins in June whether spring gives its two weeks' notice or not. Back to global wanning. It exists. That's because the world's population is growing. All those extra people are breathing in the were so large, folks not only killed them, they grilled them. One skee- ter carried away a neighbor's black lab. We caught the rogue mosquito with a bear trap. People die at the hands of mosquitoes even though mosquitoes have no hands. The mosquitoes are so big they have to file flight plans. The big ones push the little ones through the window screens. Mosquitoes large enough to have wood ticks. I saw a mosquito land on a fencepost and a group of birders took it for a mead- owlark. Camping is nature's way of feeding mosquitoes. Dr. Jennifer Allen in the movie "Mansquito," also known as "Mosquitoman," said, "He's more mosquito than man by now." I've been there. This is the year that I train mos- Flowers become nectar facto- ties. Birds move across lawns like a kickoff team. Sparrows fly into the noses of cars to eat food fresh offthe grill. Cicadas supply buzzy background music. Corn stands tall on the list of things to do. Tree leaves pirouette on their petioles as a storm brews. According to legend, Thor rode the heavens in a goat-drawn chariot inside storms of thunder and lightning. He hoped that his goat could outrun the horseflies and deerflies. Summer brings strange behav- ior. I've had a moth fly into my ear, causing me to stand by a desk lamp, hoping the intruder would be attracted to the light and fly out. A neighbor who remembers when the township was just a houseboat has taken to wearing Depends on his cool air produced by our air con- quitoes to drill for oil. head to soak up the sweat. EBB So YS ditioning, leaving us with a cool Summer can be hot. The heat I'm going to pause here to deliv- Look shortage, often comes with its pal, humidity, er an important message to all the When I hear sounds of sum- Leaping nto u,,,,,,,,, mer, they cause me to remember. At least it's a wet heat. On a day mosquitoes, gnats, ticks, and flies. J 11 ! I ,tl Memories accompany the sourld of too hot to have a shadow, the bright Stop it! ...... a screen do,rr s!90nni shut d,i sunmakes me feel like a french ..... And another, important message. ,,A,redheaded friend is capable ...... Your are worthy of emulation. Ex lr[ ;'yb;u O tionsand ask your home and be at least 62 :the Sr as: of bare legs ori a hot,,,i Of becoming snnbumed to thepoint ' Happy Father's Dad. questions old. Factors such as: your age, the playground slide, where enough skin peels offto We spend a lot of time wishing With the cost of living on the type of product, the value of your rise, some senior citizens are find- house and how much you owe on ing themselves on shaky financial your house all contribute to the ground. This trend has led to eom- amount of money you may borrow. panics offering reverse mortgages The BBB advises the following - where lenders loan people money when considering a reverse mort- based on the equity built up in gage loan: their homes - as a way for seniors *Research the company you're to "cash in" on their homes to pay considering working with at bbb.org other bills. However, the Better *Weigh your options careful- Business Bureau of Minnesota and ly. Reverse mortgages are not for North Dakota (BBB) warns that everyone. The Minnesota Attorney these types of mortgages are not for General's Office reminds people everyone and should be researched that due to the high cost of these carefully to ensure your short-term mortgages there may be better and long-term needs will be met. options if you only need to borrow "Reverse mortgages are some- a small amount of money for a short times touted as a cure-all," said period of time. Dana Badgerow, president and *Be cautious of salespeople who CEO of the BBB of Minnesota try to sell you predatory loans or and North Dakota. "However, as seek to tie up reverse mortgage pro- with all investments, people need ceeds in long-term deferred annui- to make sure they understand how ties or questionable investments. these mortgages work, as well as *Don't be intimidated by fear- ensure they're clear on the benefits based sales tactics or allow yourself and possible risks." to be pressured into a deal you don't Reverse mortgages allow you to fully understand. convert part of the equity in your *Do not deal with individuals or home into cash without having to firms that charge a loan "finder's sell your home. The cash may be fee." paid to you in installments or a *Move slowly and review all lump sum, so typically you don't documentation closely. If the offer need to pay anything back so long as sounds too good to be true, it prob- you live in your house. Consumers ably is. should understand, however, that For more information, visit www. because they're deferring repayment ag.state.mn.us/Brochures/pubRe- of the reverse mortgage - until they verseMortgages.pdf. move out of their home or die - the The mission of the Better amount they owe will grow sub- Business Bureau is to be the leader stantially over time. Interest charges in building marketplace trust by pro- are added to the loan each day it's moting, through self-regulation, the held, so it's possible the reverse highest standards of business ethics mortgage may grow to equal the and conduct, and to instill con- value of the home, leaving them, fidence in responsible businesses and their heirs, with nothing. People through programs of education and who take out reverse mortgages are action that inform, assist and protect also still responsible for property the general public. We are open taxes, insurance and maintenance 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through costs. Friday. Contact the BBB at bbb.org To qualify for a federally insured or 651-699- reverse mortgage, you must live in 1111, toll-free at 1-800-646-6222. Other sounds delight me. The make another person. It was as hot one season would end and another sound of a cold watermelon being as a hen in a wool basket and hotter start. None of them is a Hallmark sliced. The drone of a lawn mower than a burning stump as I watched card, but we shouldn't let the cal- that isn't mine. the sun come down in torrents endar interfere with our celebration The official county blood eagles and a funeral procession turn into of the seasons. are flying. Gallon-at-a-time mos- the drive-through lane of a Dairy It doesn't give us much snowfall, quitoes. Whenever a guy goes Queen. Seatbelt buckles become but summer does have fall waiting. outside, he realizes that it might branding irons and I eat hot pep- I leave you with this advice. If lead to bloodshed. When it comes pers to cool off. you have eyebrows, you're not to mosquitoes, two's company, One summer, the thermometergrilling enough and never kick dog three billion's a crowd. Mosquitoes boiled dry. Only one drop of rain poop on a hot day. become so thick that if you swing fell. It hit a neighbor on the head. a knife through the air, it draws It surprised him so much that he A1 Batt 2013 blood. There are single slap compe- fainted. It took three buckets of 71622 325 St. titions to see who can hit the most dust to revive him. 1-1, MN 56042 mosquitoes. We've had years when The next year, it rained so hard http://albatt.net/ the mosquitoes were so bad, they that the neighbor had to swim to robbed a bank. The mosquitoes work. % , I II'llll II '1' IIII" I 'r'l' 111111' I'llll'l'l .................. i'lrrlr ......................................................... (ISSN 8750-3905) Thomas Merchant Managing Editor Junette Merchant Office & Production Joan Spielman Ad Representative & Office 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, and Murray $42.00 per year. Elsewhere in Minnesota $46.00 per year. Out of the state $52.00 per year. Canada and foreign countries inquire at the Sentinel Tribune 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 2012 Sentinel Tribune a New Century Press Newspaper Mail Change of Address Notice to: P. O. 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