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October 16, 2013     Sentinel Tribune
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October 16, 2013
 

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SENTINEL TRIBUNE Wednesday, October 16, 2013 Page 4 BETWEEN THE LIN By Tom Merchant - Sentinel Tribune -- tmerchant@ncppub.com Hidden in plain sight ... Last week a nine year old boy from Minneapolis managed to evade airport security, getting on a plane for Las Vegas Wow what does that say about our airport security procedures. I have not flown since before 911 so I have not had to go through the additional airport security checks, but I certainly am aware of how much one has to go through to board an airplane. We are finding out that is not the first issue this youngster has had. My first question was, do you not get concerned when your nine year old takes out the trash during the day, and does not show up for meals or bed time? Oh, by the way, he also was not in school because he had been suspended from school. Of course we are all quick to judge the parents, and to some degree they have to accept some responsibility. Although his father talked to the press and told them he has been trying to get help with the problems he is dealing with, but all he gets are excuses Earlier the boy stole a truck, (not just a pickup truck) and was chased by police before he crashed the truck. The father asked the police if there was anything that they could do about it. He apparently was told that they usually don't intervene with kids that young. Really. . what if the kid had killed someone as a result of stealing the truck? I suspect Child Protection would be all over that. Of course when this first happened there were more questions than answers, and the radio talk shows were buzzing with calls, tweets and so forth with all kinds of comments. A couple callers wondered how a nine year old could be smart enough to implement a plan like that. Then I had to recall an experi- ence I had when I was five or six years old in the first grade. We lived in Seattle which is similar in size to Minneapolis. We lived towards the north end of the city, and I took a city bus to school, and rode the bus home after school to my bus stop a few blocks from my home. One day I rode the bus with my mom to downtown Seattle where my dad had a small print shop. Well the next day I got the idea to go see my dad after school, so when I got on the bus I told the driver I wanted to get off at Fourth and Pike in downtown Seattle. From there I got off the bus and walked about four or five blocks to my Dad's shop. When I walked in he asked where my mother was, and I told him she wasn't with me. He immediately called my mom and asked her if she knew where her son was. She replied, he hasn't come home yet. Well, I was known to be distracted as I walked home, by anything I saw from an unusual rock or a flower or whatever. Funny... Best Friend still says I do that, and she is absolutely right. Well my point is that ifa six year old can figure out how toget downtown in a big city, then some nine year olds are savvy enough to fly to Las Vegas without a ticket. The youngster since has been returned to Minnesota, and is in pro- tective custody. His parents have been allowed to talk to him on the phone, but have not yet been able to see him. Information about this story is still coming out, such as his mother offeredsome sort of intervention prior to this event, but she appar- .~,n, t ly. de~ljned it. I certainly cannot judge the parents, or the authorities in this case, but I hope for the sake of all, an amicable solution can be found that is sensitive to both the boy and his parents' needs. Have a great week and do good! 0 I Motorists traveling on vehicle, resulting in 13 fatalities Minnesota highways this fall need and 211 injuries. Of the 13 fatali- to be aware of large farm equip- ties, six were farm vehicle riders; ment transporting crops to markets, of the 211 injuries, 53 were farm grain elevators and processing vehicle riders. plants, according to the Minnesota "The biggest factors contrib- Department of Transportation. uting to farm equipment/vehicle "Harvest season will be in full crashes are inattention, speeding swing and farmers in every cor- and unsafe passing," Groth said. ner of the state will be using the "When approaching farm equip- highways," said Sue Groth, state ment, motorists should always traffic engineer. "Motorists need slow down and use extreme cau- to be prepared to encounter slow- tion." moving farm vehicles, especially Motorists should: on rural, two-lane roads." *Watch for debris dropped by Farm equipment is large and trucks hauling sugar beets and heavy, making it hard for opera- other crops. It is safer to brake or tors to accelerate, slow down and drive through debris than to veer stop. The machines also make into oncoming cars or off the road. wide turns and sometimes cross *Wait for a safe place to pass. over the center line. In addition, *Wear seatbelts. farm vehicles can create large *Drive with headlights on at all blind spots, making it difficult times. for operators to see approaching Farm equipment operators vehicles. All of these factors can should: cause serious crashes. *Use lights and flashers to make Extra care should be taken trav- equipment more visible. cling in work zones as load widths *Use slow-moving vehicle may be restricted and on detour emblems on equipment traveling routes where there is increased less than 30 mph. traffic mixed with farm equipment Consider using a follow vehicle operators, when moving equipment, espe- During 2010-2012, 377 traffic cially at night. crashes took place on Minnesota roads involving at least one farm "Stories from the BaH Cave" Dick and Jane older brother. To Dick's credit, he and practiced the Golden Rule as never teased her. Jane was perky, did the well-behaved children on I spoke to over 800 birders in a Jane was the perfect daughter, the TV shows like "The Donna Reed lovely auditorium in Ohio. perfect younger sister, and the Show," "Father Knows Best," and I told them that I'd learned all I perfect older sister. Other girls "Ozzie and Harriet." It was easy needed to know about birding from who were famous at that time were for them, they were fictional char- reading Dick and Jane books while comics strips stars such as Nancy, acters. Work was important, as was I was in grade school. Little Iodine, and Lucy Van Pelt of being careful when crossing the Dick, the oldest of the three chil- "Peanuts" fame. These three girls street. They had fun. They were dren featured in the books and who found in the funny papers were happy children. was never called Richard, said, basically good, but they had dark A Dick and Jane book made "Look, look. Look up. Look up, sides, or at minimum, they were reading more fun than work. up, up." That is excellent advice prankish. That's as it should be. The books for anyone who wants to see birds. Sally, the baby, was full of ener- were short on vocabulary and long Dick was a little man. Responsible gy and unpredictability. She was on repetition. They reached an and respectful. A role model. He too young to know the rules, let audience in a more personal man- climbed trees, a great window to alone play by them. Dick and Jane ner than did the earlier McGuffey's nature. Dick found missing pets were extremely patient with her. Readers. It's estimated that and toys. Six-year-old Dick, never When Sally dropped her ice cream at least 120 million copies of a bully, shook hands. He never cone, an older sibling was there to McGuffey's Readers were sold spoke out of turn and he did his comfort her. between 1836 and 1960. That is a chores without expecting pay. He As mentioned earlier, Spot was plethora of textbooks. I never used was different than some of the the dog. It was often said in the McGuffey's Readers, but I'm glad other boys who were famous at pages0fthose bookS, "See Spot that I knew Dick' and Jane. They that time. Lassie's friend Timmy, run." Thanks to that instruction, were friends who made me feel at who caused his loved ones to say we saw Spot running like the wind home and tricked me into learning frequently, "What is it, Lassie, is in our imaginations. Spot was in things for my own good. Timmy in trouble?" Of course, more episodes than Dick and Jane's The Dick and Jane books Timmy was in trouble. Timmy was parents. He was no Lassie, but he revolved around home, school, and constantly in trouble. He insisted reminded us of our pets. Puff was neighborhood. on falling into wells. This forced an orange kitten, intent on making Dick and Jane books lasted until the quick-witted Lassie, who had use of each of its nine lives. Puff 1970. Sesame Street premiered on no thumbs or cellphone, to seek never clawed furniture or acted TV in 1969. Probably just a coinci- help. Lassie always came through, aloof. Because of that, even the dance. Timmy was saved weekly, but youngest of children knew that I've had a lifelong love of the not weakly. Dennis the Menace Puff was fictional. There was Tim printed word. Dick and Jane and unintentionally put others in peril, the teddy bear, who had a non- the rest certainly fostered that love. Mr. Wilson, a neighbor to Dennis, speaking role, a welcome confidant They caused my imagination to was made grumpy by the antics for young family members, dance. of Dennis. Dennis had a dog, too, Dick and Jane began in 1927. And they taught me to look. good old Ruff. By the 1950s, 80 percent of grade "Look, Spot. Oh, look. Look Dick's family had a dog. Spot. school children in the United and see. Oh, see." Spot was a springer spaniel and a States read Dick and Jane. The friend of all in the family, family had no last name, but they AI Batt 2013 Jane was pretty and bright. Her represented every boy and girl in 71622 325 St. life revolved around Dick's adven- my class. 1-1, MN 56042 tures. That was OK. He was her Dick, Jane, and Sally shared http://albatt.net/ (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. 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