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November 7, 2007     Sentinel Tribune
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SENTINEL TRIBUNE Wednesday, November 7, 2007 Page 4 BETWEEN THE LINES By Tom Merchant - Sentinel Tribune tmerchant@ncppub.com Extreme entertainment? Last week the Worthington Theater complex in the Northland Mall announced it is closing it's doors for good. According to a story in the Worthington Daily Globe the firm could not reach agreement with the Northland Mall. That seems to be the reason any business failing in a mall uses for an excuse. I really don't know why this happened, but I have to suspect that they simply did not have enough patrons to keep it going. I am not really a movie per- son, in fact it has been more years than I can recall, since Best Friend and I actually went to see a movie. I have to wonder if the entertainment business has become so fractured that no one segment of it can claim the lions share of the business. When it comes to entertain- ment Americans have more choices than ever, with hun- dreds of television channels, a steady stream of so called block buster movies, video games, hundreds of sporting events, and the list goes on. Then this week the writers go on strike, immediately crip- pling much of the entertain- ment media. If you think there are too many reality shows on the tube now, you ain't seen nuthin yet! Some of the reality shows that are on now are just plain weird, bizarre, or disgusting. You can watch a person try to win a mil- lion dollars by picking the right case, or you can watch a guy that thrives on doing dirty jobs, or you can pit your adult knowl- edge against a fifth grader. With what kids know today I am not sure I am smarter than a fifth grader, but I think I might be smarter than our president. In fact that might be one of the new reality shows on the hori- zon. Are you smarter than a president, Are you smarter than a congress person, or a sena- tor? Of course I have talked about some Minnesotan based reality shows in the past. "Ice Chunk Kicking," "Slush Puddle ;.lumping," "Extreme Lutefisk Eating," (this one might be real- ly disgusting), how about this one "How far can you throw a Swede," Another one might be "Swimming the Ten Thousand Lakes," Perhaps our governor could get a delegation together and go to Hollywood and pitch some of these ideas. Have a great week[ (( )) Mind your manners on your ATV In the past when I have dis- cussed practicing safety on ATV's, all-terrain vehicles, and particularly when it comes to the safety of young people, I tend to hear from some of you saying "My kids are responsible, they can handle an all-terrain vehicle whether they are six, nine or ten years old." Well, I still don't agree with that and I will share numbers that sup- port my belief. The American Academy of Pediatrics said recent- ly children under the' age of 16 rid- ing these machines is a recipe for tragedy. According to a report by an injury prevention specialist at West Virginia University, the death rate for children on off-road vehi- cles increased 24% over the past" five years. But now there is another prob- lem and that is protecting the envi- ronment. There are more than nine-million off-road vehicles, that's ATV's, dirt bikes, snowmobiles and other vehicles in the country today and at least one-million new ones are sold every year. Thousands of Americans responsibly use off- road vehicles for work, to explore the back country and .to enjoy nature's beauty. But here is the problem there is a growing number of riders who are ruining things for everyone by rid- ing off established trails, destroying our public lands and burdening already stressed law enforcement officials. As a matter of fact, the problem is so bad now that the Forest Service called off-road vehi- cles one of the top four threats to America's forests. Let me share another number. While off-readers account for 15% of all visits to U.S. Bureau of Land Management lands, reckless riding represents 50% of all law enforce- ment incidents, more than thefts, assaults and arson, according to the Bureau. So it comes back to minding our manners. It is unfortunate that a few irresponsible people are going to spoil it for the majority of people who ride ATV's responsibly; who use all-terrain vehicles for work because they are an important tool, particularly on farms, ranches and construction sites. But again I emphasize, they are not a toy, particularly for small chil- dren. If you think differently, take a look again at the death rate increase noted earlier in this col- umn and I strongly suggest you contact Farm Safety 4 Just Kids and request their booklet on safe use of ATV's. So, please, follow the rules when you are riding on public (or private) land, and ride safely! My thoughts on Samuelson Sez. I I Stories from the Batt Cave" Snow i saw a junco in-my yard early in October. My father told me to look for trackable snow six weeks after I saw the first "snowbird." They say that the Inuit have 100 words for snow. Whoever they are, they say many things. According to "Snow In America," contrary to long- standing popular belief, Eskimos have only two words for snow; aput means "fallen snow"and ganik means "snowflakes." Everyone who has shoveled half his or her share of snow has come up with at least 100 words for snow. Each winter is different. Each tries to find its identity. Some winters waltz in on a floor of snow, while other win- ters gallop in on a sea of grass. My father used the galls on the stems of goldenrod as indicators of the depth of a winter's snow. Other bits of folklore tell us I~ow much snow we'll be getting. When oak trees sky, it is going to snow. Turkeys refusing to descend from their roosts indicate snow. Rain onbare branch- es means no snow until December 6. If smoke rises into a sky filled with dark clouds, it will snow. If a fire makes a popping sound, it will snow within 3 days. Squirrels gathering nuts in a flurry, will cause snow to gather in a hurry. If snow begins at mid of day, expect a foot of it to lay. If you see a bright star behind a cres- cent moon, you will have rain or snow: When the grouse drum at night, there will be a deep fall of snow. When around the moon there is a ring, the weather it will sting. Hazy weather foretells snow. Snow comes three days after a full moon. If the first snow stays on the.ground for 3 days, another storm is on the way. What kind of snow will we get? Here's more folklore. Snow coming two or three days after the new moon will remain on the ground some time, begins to squeak underfoot at a tem- perature below 14 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is snowing hard enough that you can't use your car's high beams because of the reflec- tion, the snow is falling at a rate of at least one inch an hour. Snow is men- tioned 24 times in the King James Bible. A snowstorm becomes a bliz- zard once wind speeds reach 35 miles per hour. After a snowfall, look for snow fleas, which use their spring-like tails to hop around the bases of trees while in search of food. Snow fleas look like pepper sprinkled on the snow. Snow sticks to the north side of the trees after the last snowfall of the season. The number of days the last snow remains on the ground indi- cates the number of snowstorms that will occur during the following winter. When I was a boy, it sometimes took the sherpas and me as many of nine days to reach the base camp-- hang full, expect a winter with much but snow coming after a full moon otherwise known as the end of our snow As hi, h as the weeds:; row ax- -will disappear soon. f snowflakes farm driveway. There, I tried to will ;ank tt e snow Th~ ncrease in size;'a th wili folk wirema,n optimistiowhi waiting for - l:Tl eblgger the snowflakes, thesh0rt- ' " ': 'berries on the busl ', tile ' ore 'fr0st/ " the bus, hoping that school would be and snow in the winter. As high as" ,ei" the snowstorm, canceled due to snow. No snowflake the hornet's nest, so will be the snow The date of the first snow deter- next winter. If an anthill is high in July, winter will be snowy. The num- ber of fogs in an autumn tells the number of snows in a winter. How do we know when it will snow? When dry leaves rattle on the trees, expect snow. Sundogs predict precipitation within 48 hours. If pigs start squealing in the winter, they are telling you that it is going to snow soon. If the smoke from a chimney goes to the ground instead of to the mines the number of snows sufficient to make a rabbit track visible that will fall during the winter. For example, if the first trackable snow fell on the 16th of the month, there would be 16 snows that winter. Two or three day snows would count as just one. Frequent halos or rings around the sun or moon forecast numerous snowfalls. Here are some interesting things about snow that might help you pass the time with a shovel. Packed snow ever falls in the wrong place or wrong time. Each winter, I get some of that snow that I hoped and prayed for when I was a child. I don't need many words for snow. At times, one is too many. AI Batt 2007 71622 325 St. 1-1, MN 56042 http://albatt.net/ Letter to th editor Make the right choice I could not help not writing to express my feelings. In close-knit communities like ours, it is hard to believe what someone would do. I am writing to tell you about my friend, co-worker, and fellow coach and what someone in our commu- nity has chosen to do. After the gut- wrenching loss to Edgerton by the football team we all felt terrible: coaches, players, parents, fans, we were hoping to move on in the play- offs. Before the game Coach Theisen and Ross told the team that win or lose, if they did the best they could, they couldn't ask for more, and to have fun, for football was supposed to be fun. A point of emphasis in the the WWG football program is also character. Well, Sunday morning, football was not so fun at the Ross family home. Some uncaring person had put a "For Sale" sign in the yard and their young son came in asking his dad if they were moving. Now I know how hard the coaches work, watching film, driving to pick up film, preparing and planning for practice, worrying about kids' injuries, grades, and lives plus leading their own lives and teach- ing as well. Sometimes coaches, teachers, referees and others get. a bad yap, being blamed for things often out of their control. We all make mistakes, that is what is sometimes forgotten, that these are people with feelings and emo- tions too. No one wanted to win more than Coach Ross. One small spiteful act has caused a lot of pain for many people and especially Coach Ross. This is a coach, along with Mr. Theisen, who led WWG to a state title. He has worked tire- lessly to make WWG football what it is. So this goes out to whoever chose to do this, please think about your actions and how they will affect others, then next time make the right choice. Sincerely, Help protect Ou~ natural treasures: SCI 800- 37? $399 www SafariClubFoundation .org Dan Peterson WWG Assistant Football Coach Thomas Merchant Roxy Soil Gwen Bjorklund Junette Merchant Joan Spielman Carolyn Van Loh bune (ISSN 8750-3905) Managing Editor Ad Layout & Office Manager Advertising Sales Westbrook Office & Production Production Contributing reporter 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 $32.00 Per Year - $19.00 6 Months (includes Peach). Elsewhere in Minnesota $35.00 per year. Out of the State $42.00 per year. Canada and foreign countries inquire at the Sentinel Tribune Office. If wrong amount is submitted subscription w!ll be pro rated accordingly. 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