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July 21, 2004     Sentinel Tribune
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July 21, 2004

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SENTINEL TRIBUNE Vi ewpolnt Wednesday, July 21, 2004 Page BETWEEN THE By Tom Merchant Sentinel Tribune LINES "ITIE FOOD P'YRAM|P'S TO0 (ONIR)SING, S ff MAYEE BAD tvLlY MN(E YOU 8T.BAD FORYOURHETI-I Feeding children Last week a lot of area folks not only put their money where their mouths were, they also donated a collective 500 hours of labor for a worthy cause. About 160 plus workers of all ages gathered at the Westbrook Community Center to bag up over 10,000 bags of food for Feeding Children International. Those 10,000+ bags translate into 64,000 meals for needy children. I was among those who helped and I must say it truly was a labor of love. Many of those scheduled to work a two hour shift stayed on into and through the second shift. Also some of the workers were there a couple hours early to help set up the food pro- cessing stations. It was an enjoyable time for those who participated, the time seemed to fly by and the fellowship was truly wonderful. How do we rate? Last week I received a booklet from the Taxpayers Network that gives comparison of all 50 states, in areas of demographic taxes and rev- enues, government, education transportation, health and wel- fare. The reason I bring this up is some political action groups such as the Tax Payers League of Minnesota ,are constantly saying Minnesota is the highest taxed state in the country with two much government etc. Well according to the statistics in this book it simply is not true. For instance, Minnesota ranks 21st in population with over 5 million people. We rank 18th in mortgage and rental cost. Per capita personal income we rank 8th. Percent of population below the poverty level we rank 44th. Minnesotans rank 7th for the number of households with computers. For internet access we rank 8th. For largest city state and local tax burdens Minneapolis ranks 24th. Tax burdens for retiree's, we don't do so good ranking 14th. We also don't do well with local and state tax burden as percent of income at 4th at 11% but the range in that category ranges from 5.55 to 12.2 %. All but one state were at least 7.7 % with the national average of 9.7%. We rank 27th in full time local government employment. We rank 5th in SAT scores and percent of graduates taking exam. We rank 3rd in high school graduation rate. Math scores we rank 2nd for 4th grade, 1st for grade 8. Reading we rank 9th and 7th respective- ly. We rank 32 in average homeowners insurance premi- ums and 22nd for auto insur- ance premiums. We rank 3rd in recycling rates. Our crime rate is 40th. We rank 7th in public welfare expenditure. We rank 51st for people without health insurance. Ranking in relative health we rank number 1. There are many other areas I did not touch on but for the most part our state is doing quite well compared to all of the rest. Minnesota is a great state to live and work in. So to the Tax Payers League, I say take your nasty rhetoric and move to Mississippi you will love bash- ing your state even more there. Have a great week! LETTER TO THE EDITOR Postponing the elec- tion? By now you've heard about the Bush Administration's considera- tion of plans to delay the national election in the event of terrorist attack. When I first heard this, I thought it was an Internet joke. Unfortunately, it's true. The group that sold congress and the American people on the war against Iraq based on boldfaced mistruths is now seriously consid- ering delaying or postponing our country's most cherished institu- tion in the event of a terrorist attack or perhaps even the threat of a terrorist attack. Certainly, each state should have contingency plans ready for an election interruption by natural (e.g. earthquake) or man-made (e.g. electrical blackout) causes, or even enemy attack. But we cannot allow our democratic institutions to be suspended on a national level by either a band of renegades or a renegade White House. Thanks, Leigh Pomeroy Pomeroy for MN Campaign Find us on the Web at www.lyon-siouxpress. Mission Statement The Sentinel Tribune serves the residents and business community of Cottonwood, Redwood, Murray and Lyon County and southwest Minnesota by applying its available resources to accurately and consistently produce a quality newspaper which thoroughly covers the news of the area, stimulates thought and conversation, delivers advertising messages in a timely manner, and provides information of general value to its public. In so doing contributes to the overall quality of life and economic health of its read- ers, advertisers and community in general while stimulating the professional development of its employees. Sentinel Tribune Thomas Merchant Roxy Soil Tom Merchant Junette Merchant Nancy Goring Joan Spielman i (ISSN 8750-3905) Managing Editor Ad Layout & Office Manager Advertising Sales Westbrook Office & Production Production Production Carolyn Van Loh assignment reporter Ted Herder Walnut Grove news correspondent 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 $25.00 Per Year - $17.00 6 Months (includes l$ It- : . : 7". : =: PLOP! FOtLOWlI I-E1'11.1 REIRI$ AI Bart... "Stories from the Batt Cave" Ask AI Inquiring minds want to know. Here's another feeble attempt on my part to answer your ques- tions. "Does a Norwegian ever say "no" to coffee?" Only when he's asked if he's had enough. "Do you believe in reincarna- tion?" Who would want a second helping of evaporated milk? "What is it that causes a man to hold his head high?" New bifo- cals. "What is a toad?" It's what becomes of an illegally parked frog. "How can I get better gas mileage from my car?" Remove a couple of spark plugs and drive downhill as much as possible. "Do you think our minds slip a bit as we get older?" No. Speaking for myself, my mind is still as tarp as a shack. "Who is the biggest Vikings' fan?" Don Quixote. "How is the traffic in Hartland during the rush hour?" The con- gestion is so bad; you can change a tire without losing your place in traffic. "Who turns on your cell phone for you?" You have to turn it on? No wonder it's not ringing. "Does everyone in Hartland live in an old trailer?" We should be so lucky. Prime housing like that is available to only the royalty--like the mayor. "Are you a fast driver or a slow one?" It depends on who you ask. The folks ahead of me think I am driving too fast and those behind me think that I am driving too slow. "Do you still have the dinner- ware your relatives gave you for a wedding gift?" You bet. They just don't make paper plates like they used to anymore. "Why don't your socks ever match?" It's because I only wear one. "What year did Hillary reach the summit of Mt. Everest?" To my knowledge, Mrs. Clinton has never climbed Mt. Everest. "How does one achieve a per- fect golf swing?" Keep your head down, follow through and be born with money. "What is a chick flick?" Any movie in which a woman talks. "How can I tell if someone in Minneapolis is talking on a cell phone?" If the car is moving, he IS. "How do you decide who you are going to vote for?' I just think of "WWSPD" as I enter the voting booth--What Would Sean Penn Do? "How can I become humble?" Strive to acquire humility. Once you have become sure that you don't have it, you might have it. If you think you are humble, you probably aren't. "How far back does your family go?" A long ways. Unfortunately, all of the records were lost in the big flood. '%A/hat do you do for clean clothes while your wife is gone?" I pile up the dirty clothes and buy new" clothes. 'Nhat is the most common name of a lake in Minnesota?" The. "What is the law of the jungle?" Remain calm and share your bananas. "May I ask you a hypothetical question?" No, but let's just sup- pose for a second that you did. The answer to that question is also, "no." "How do I know when it's time I should give up golf?" When the club has named a water hazard after you. "What is the purpose of tion speeches?" To further belief that graduates should be released into the world until they are properly sedated. "When does middle age It begins after you have giver all of your bad habits and still lousy. "What can I do about my ht band's snoring?" Try turning on his side, massaging his ders and neck, and stuffing an sweat sock into his mouth. "Why is Manhattan known city that never sleeps?" That's because there is a Starbuq every corner. "1 know you live near but do you have a street Most people just call me AI. "What is a polygon?" A dead parrot. "When is the best time to canary?" When they are going cheep. "What is a pig after It is 6 months old?" Seven months "Have you ever made a record?" Yes, I have. The record company told me that it sold so well that it went vinyl "Do men really run the No. If they did, they would wearing neckties and there be a urinal in every house. "Do you have a den?" Yes, but when it comes gardens, mine is just small toes. "Do you read the classics?" bet. I read the back of a fast cereal box every morning. -AI Batt ;004 71622 325 St. Hartland, MN 56042 SnoEowl @ SPEAK UP We welcome your participa- tion, whether in letters or corn- 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 exclusive to us in our market area. All must include writ- ers name, address, and day time telephone number. Letters should be brief, up to 250 words, other submissions should be no longer 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 refuse publi- cation of any submitted letters or stories. i , i I'1 +i] ++"+'+ ARIAT, I Peach). Elsewhere in Minnesota $2g.00 per year. Out of the State $34.00 per year. Canada and foreign countries inquire at the entinel Tribune Office "Snowbirds" may put their paper on hold at no extra charge while they are gone, or pay $6.00 extra to have it mailed out of " state. Missed copies cannot be furnished because the cost of mail- ing single copies is almost $1.50. Any request for a back copy must include $2.00. Newstand price is 75 cents per copy. @ Copyright 2003 Sentinel Tribune a Lyon Sioux Press Newspaper Mail Change of Address Notice to: P. O. Box 98, Westbrook, MN 56183 CALL WESTBROOK OFRCE 507-274-6136 FAX 507-274-6137 TOLL-FREE 1-800-410-1859 E-mail OR DROP NEWS ITEMS AT THE OLESON'S MERCANTILE WALNUT GROVE Monday thru Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. DEADLINES M  Local news Noon School news 2:00 p.m. Articles and other news 12:00 p.m. -=# All Peach Ads 9:00 a.m. Sentinel Ads, & Classified Ads 4:00 p.m. WESTBROOK SENTINEL TRIBUNE OFFICE HOURS_  Mon00.y, Tu.00y 88:a'm'':ooa.m. 5:00 Wednesday : . . - 12:00 W Thursday, Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p,r