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One Moment, Please... Who can solve our problems?


Fri, Aug 3rd, 2012
Posted in All Commentary

By Jason Sethre

Publisher of the

Fillmore County Journal &

Olmsted County Journal

Cell phone: 507-251-5297

jsethre@fillmorecountyjournal.com

In last week’s commentary, I posed a rhetorical question: But, really, can a president solve our problems?

Of course, the answer is no.

Yes, on some levels of executive power, a president can influence the general direction of a conversation about a particular issue. But, keep in mind we have three branches to our government, maintaining checks and balances.

So, who can solve our problems?

There’s only one person who can come to the rescue on this one. Us. We have the greatest influence on our personal destiny. We make decisions every day that affect our lives more than anybody else in our lives.

So, when I hear the continuous rants of those who feel like they have become victims or casualties of the economy, I grow more concerned about how we are going to get ourselves out of this messy economy.

The economy tanking back in 2008 was the result of many things of which we cannot control. However, our response to those events and the decisions we make based on what we learned from those events could help us define a brighter future.

Back in 2008, many people lost their jobs and those losses put the housing market on fragile terms. I know. I was there. I, too, was laid off in October 2008, among another 13 percent of my coworkers. At that time, while I didn’t realize it, nearly 30,000 jobs had been eliminated across the nation in 2008 in the newspaper industry. It was a sign of things to come, but I wasn’t really acknowledging this unemployment Tsunami, yet. It wasn’t until it affected me. Fortunately, everything worked out for me and my family. We sold our house in less than 45 days back in Wisconsin, and immediately moved back home to this area to purchase the Fillmore County Journal. The rest is history, and I’m glad that economic downturn forced me to make a decision I should have probably made a long time ago.

So, why am I concerned about people ranting about how the economy has gravely impacted their lives?

Well, it appears to me that we are not going to completely crawl out of this depression (and yes, I said depression, not recession), until we learn a few things.

Losing my job back in .....
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One Moment, Please... Presidential Pendulum of Popularity

Fri, Jul 27th, 2012
Posted in All Commentary

Well, another presidential election is upon us in a little over three months. Or, shall we call it a popularity contest? I certainly wish that the voting process put more weight on the popular vote than the electoral vote, but I know I am only one ..... 
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Leadership is important, but our future will be determined by those who follow

By Yvonne Nyenhuis

Fri, Jul 27th, 2012
Posted in All Commentary

By Yvonne Nyehnuis I was nineteen. It was Autumn. My Father and I were raking up the pears that had fallen. He appeared to be absorbed, mulling over some problem. He confessed he was not satisfied with his job. He felt that he was not fairly com ..... 
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Correction

Mon, Jul 23rd, 2012
Posted in All Commentary

In the July 18 issue of the Fillmore County Journal in the commentary "Welcome to Bear Country," it was incorrectly stated that black bear season is open all year long with a permit. The season for hunting bears is September 1 through October 14, an ..... 
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Denying climate change will be more costly

Fri, Jul 20th, 2012
Posted in All Commentary

One of the most often heard arguments against reducing the use of fossil fuels to fulfill our energy requirements is how more costly it will be. However, it has been estimated that extreme weather events in 2011 cost $100 billion and thousands of li ..... 
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Republicans not always conservative

By Col. Stan Gudmundson

Fri, Jul 13th, 2012
Posted in All Commentary

By Stan Gudmundson If the political horse you have been riding has faltered and finally croaked, it is a classic technique to shoot at the other guy’s political horse rather than drawing attention to the rotting carcass you are still astride. Thi ..... 
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Welcome to Bear Country

Fri, Jul 13th, 2012
Posted in All Commentary

On the morning of Friday, July 6, the Journal office was buzzing about the black bear discovered at the Fillmore Central Elementary School. No, it wasn’t someone dressed in a bear costume. That did cross my mind, initially. This was the real deal. A black bear was slowly meandering about the football field, baseball field and soccer field. Apparently, a bit of sports fan, maybe even a Falcons fan, this black bear was heading up towards The Branding Iron for lunch. I don’t blame the furry black bear for seeking a fine dining experience within the confines of air conditioning. I was upstairs at the SMG Web Design office when I received my first text regarding the black bear at the school. By the time I scrambled to the bottom of the stairway to the Journal office, Gabby Gatzke and Jade Sexton were already out the door with a digital camera hot on the trail of our furry friend. I also jumped in my vehicle and headed in the same direction. I contacted members of local law enforcement to see what they knew. I soon found out that everyone was looking for this elusive black bear. It made a guest appearance just long enough to draw attention and then disappeared into the woods behind The Branding Iron. I figured the Preston Golf Course patrons should know there may be a black bear heading their way, so I headed to the club house. Along with a few golfers, I was greeted by the course and clubhouse manager Jay Harstad. I told Jay about the black bear sighting, and said, “Oh yeah, the bear was up on hole number four yesterday.” “What? Are you serious?” I said. “Yeah, Tim Bremseth was coming up on green number three and noticed the bear when he was about 30 feet away. When he exclaimed to his golfing partners that there was a bear, it took off, climbing through the barbed wire fence and off into the pasture.” explained Jay. OK, it’s not every day that you see a black bear in our region, let alone on a golf course. What kind of club do you use for that hazard? Fortunately, Kelli Jo Dornink was quick enough to capture a photo and video of the black bear in motion on the Fillmore Central practice fields, which has gone viral with Facebook. Thanks Kelli Jo! We have included the same video she captured from that sighting with my commentary appearing online at www.fillmorecountyjournal.com in the commentary section, in case you missed it on Facebook. It was funny when I picked up Olivia and Landon, our children, at the Fillmore Central daycare and SAC program, and they were telling me all about the bear outside their school. They were pretty excited. On the car ride home, I told them that maybe Fillmore Central would need to change their mascot from the Falcons to the Bears. They didn’t like that idea, so I guess we can strike that for any future consideration. We all know how hot we were with those record-breaking temperatures in the high 90s. Now imagine wearing a fur coat throughout all of that exhausting heat. My guess is that was on the mind of that poor black bear. And, just like with my black car, I’m sure that dark fur attracts heat like a solar panel. I can’t imagine a hot and bothered black bear is a happy bear. What’s most interesting about our recent black bear sightings is that nobody can really tell how many there are. One day, we’ll hear about the black bear visiting the Canton area, as noted in my recent commentary with the photo captured on the camera of a cell phone of an Amish person riding in their horse and buggy. Then, another day, we’ll hear about the elusive black bear appearing in Northeast Iowa. Next, Peterson, then the northern tip of Spring Valley, and back in Preston again. There’s no way one black bear could be so well-traveled. This black bear has some friends on the move. Of course, there are many rumors about where these black bears are coming from, and I think it is important to dispell as much rumor as possible. First, in a phone interview with the DNR, they have indicated they have not moved nuisance bears down to this region for a long time. They have stopped moving nuisance bears from northern Minnesota to southern regions of the state because those bears just seemed to become nuisance bears elsewhere. So, these are not nuisance bears dropped off in our region by the DNR. Second, a few years ago, I read an interesting article in USA Today about the number of black bears in the United States. Minnesota was ranked first with over 30,000, Montona was second with 20,000, and California was third with 10,000. So, we have the largest population of black bears of any state in the U.S. Third, hunters throw their names in the hat to hunt black bears up in northern Minnesota in what can be best described as a lottery permit system. In 2010, hunters killed roughly 5,000 black bears in Minnesota, and an estimated 2,200 in 2011. But, did you know that in our part of this great state, according to the DNR, it’s open season year-round for hunting black bears? Yes, but you still need a no-quota permit. So, put down your Smart Phone with the 10 megapixel digital camera and pick up your loaded .280 Remington. We’re goin’ on a bear hunt – we’re gonna catch a big one! Lastly, there’s talk that these bears are swimming across the Mississippi from Wisconsin in search of mates and a new territory. Of course, I can’t help but think that these bears are leaving Packer country to be closer to good, wholesome Viking fans. Who knows what’s going on with all of these black bear sightings in our area? Maybe Russ Dahlke is right. As Russ said in his post on Facebook in response to Gabby Gatzke’s announcement about the black bear sighting at Fillmore Central, “I don’t know why everyone is worried. It’s obvious with the heat going on and the lack of rain that they are just on patrol for forest fires.” Clever. And, who knows, he may be right. ..... 
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Relaying for me and you

By Gabby Kinneberg

Fri, Jul 6th, 2012
Posted in All Commentary

By Gabby Gatzke Cancer. The word you never want to hear. The reality is that most people will hear it whether it’s their own diagnosis or that of a loved one. Fillmore County residents have been helping fight cancer for more than 15 years thr ..... 
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Corporate control

By Yvonne Nyenhuis

Fri, Jul 6th, 2012
Posted in All Commentary

In my twenties, I worked as an Embroidery Designer in Philadelphia. My dear friend and mentor, Ronald Levy, and I frequently had lunch together in Fairmont Park. One day we were sitting in the sun enjoying our corned beef sandwiches and pickles, w ..... 
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