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SENTINEL TRIBUNE Vl EWP()INT Wednesday, August 3 l, 2011 Page 4 BETWEEN By Tom Merchant - Sentinel Tribune -- tmerchant@ncppub.com THE LINES Fishy Is back! After a two or three week hiatus Fishy was dis- covered foundering in the entry way of Maynard's Grocery Store. A couple weeks ago I reported how Philay "Fishy" Pike had disappeared from his home in front of Ladonna's Beauty Shop. Fishy was a pet of barber Arnie Jensen. Somehow Fishy who must have been floating around the area resurfaced in Maynard's entry way last week. According to Maynard's manager Tony Staples, "One of the carry outs discovered him near the candy machine and brought him into the office. Actually I didn't know where he had come from." Then someone in the store told him the fish was missing from across the street. So Fishy ended up back in his home in the bucket across the street. Jensen said, "1 really don't know how he ended up at Maynard's, guess maybe the bucket might have overflowed and he swam over there," as he chuckled. Well, it is said, that fish in lakes and streams often migrate great distances, so Fishy could have really had quite a trip. Hair dresser Deb Lamb jokingly said, "if only he could talk, I'II bet he would have some stories to tell." Since Fishy's return, Jensen has taken several precautions against this happening again. Fishy is now tethered to his bucket home with, what else, fish line. Jensen said "they have taken other precautions as well. " We're not certain, but an alarm security company was recently spotted install- ing surveillance equipment on and near the premises. Hopefully that will be the end of this fishy tale, and Fishy will continue to swim in his tidy little bucket. Have a good week! Can you draw a better map than a Legislator? Contest chailenges Minnesotans to draw their own redistricting map Today, Common Cause Minnesota and the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs are launching a citizen mapping contest. The contest is designed to encourage citizen par- ticipation in the process of drawing legislative and congressional bound- aries so that more Minnesotans can have a say on how we map Minnesota's future. "The redistricting maps will have an impact on our elections for the next ten years. It is time that Minnesotans had a real say in this process," said Mike Dean, Executive Director of Common Cause Minnesota. "The polarization that plagues the federal government - and now state govern- ment - is a sign that citizens must become more engaged in how govern- ment functions. This contest allows citizens to weigh in on how they are represented in the legislature and Congress." In years past, legislators and judges have been the only people that could develop redistricting maps. This year, that is all going to change. For the first time, Minnesotans will have the power to draw and propose their own redistricting maps for Minnesota leg- islature and Congress through our website: www.drawminnesota.org "This is an important new tool to strengthen democracy. Today, legisla- tors use the drawing of legislative boundaries to pervert democracy - they choose their own voters. Map drawing by citizens takes the power back by adding their voice to the redistricting process," said Larry Jacobs, Director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance. A panel of experts will review the submitted maps and nominate maps that will then be voted on by Minnesotans through the Draw Minnesota website. The winning entries will receive cash prizes and the maps will be submitted to the special redistricting panel of the Minnesota Supreme Court for consideration. Map making is one of many oppor- tunities for Minnesotans to weigh in on redistricting. Common Cause and the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance are encouraging citi- zens to offer their input to the court that will deciding on the maps. This feedback will help the court better understand the different communities that exist across the state and ensure that the maps reflect those communi- ties. Citizens can testify at: http:// www.drawminnesota.org/define- your-community/ , tll00yk ill Batt, . . "Stones from the Cave" The fourth "See." That's what my Grandma would have said. My Aunt Dorothy had died. Memories filled my heart. Shortly after her death, two friends passed away-one succumbing to illness and the other to an accident. The world changes with each tick of the clock. Grandma said that people died in threes. She spread the deaths over any period needed in order to substantiate her belief. I was driving home from work- ing at a county fair. A dark road stretched ahead of me. It was all different yet all the same. It was just south of midnight when I turned onto a familiar paved road. There in the middle of that road was a small creature. There was no other traffic, so I had no problem swerving to miss what I perceived to be an owl. I pulled over to the side of the road, parked the car, activated the 4-way flashers, and walked back to the owl. I attempted to be one of those who walks in when oth- ers walk out. It was a young barred owl. This is the raptor famed for its call, "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?" Owls often hunt roads as they offer opportunities to snag mice and voles that are crossing the roads. It was likely a particularly good place for a young owl that had not mastered hunting skills. I could tell it was a young bird as it still had some downy feathers poking up like one of my misbe- having eyebrows. The owl snapped its bill and hissed at me. I talked to the owl in comforting tones. I had already decided to carve out time between jobs to take the bird to the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota if need- ed. Finding an owl can be easier than getting rid of one. The Raptor Center was a long drive but doing a good deed shortens the road. I considered Newton's Law of Motion. "An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force." I am as unbalanced as anyone and was determined to act on the owl. I picked up the owl and released it into the night. It flew across the road and landed in a tree illuminated by a farm's secu- rity light. It flew like a healthy, strong bird. I walked to my car. I felt good. I had saved a life. It was some- thing I needed to do after the three deaths. Mymother said that we were put on earth to help others. She didn't define others. I was pleased to have acted upon her good counsel. The next day, I drove the same road. I was saddened to find the young barred owl lying dead alongside the road. It had returned to the road. It should not have done so. Another car had not swerved. It was important for me to save a life, but I could not. It's not a perfect world. I was counting my fingers. I did that every day after junior high shop class. That is, when- ever I took a break from consid- ering having 'q'his end up" tat- tooed on my forehead. I learned much from my father. He taught me that whether I'm shooting a rifle, casting a line, or whittling, I should do it away from me. That's why I watched TV. It presented a world far away from me. I needed something to do while I took a breather from counting fingers. Addition was a mysterious concept. I watched The Andy Griffith Show. There were 249 episodes featuring Andy Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor. It took place in a nearly Utopian town called Mayberry, North Carolina. All the answers were evident in Mayberry. I preferred the 159 episodes that were in black-and- white and only those highlighting Deputy Barney Fife. I couldn't watch them all. Enough is better than too much. Barney was as bumbling as Andy was wise. The Andy Griffith Show was as popu- lar as the last day of school and has become the subject of ser- mons, books, and college.coLirs- es. I reveled in the high jinks of Floyd the barber, Otis the dry town's drunk, Opie, Aunt Bea, Gomer, and Thelma Lou, Barney's main squeeze. I turned our ancient TV to Mayberry and my world con- tracted. The actors were like real peo- ple, only more human. What was the series' charm? There were many. I'll find more in the reruns. We are not likely to produce a practically perfect world like that found in Mayberry. But we can try. @AI Batt 2011 71622 325 St. 1-1, MN 56042 http://albatt.net/ ooOOB Sentinel Tribune Thomas Merchant Junette Merchant Joan Spielman (ISSN 8750-3905) Managing Editor Office & Production Office & Production 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 $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 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. 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