"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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One moment, please... The Economy - Part 1


Fri, Jul 31st, 2009
Posted in Commentary

It goes without saying that the state of our economy has impacted the lives of many, my immediate family included.

Within my own family, people have lost their jobs, taken on second jobs due to underemployment as a result of company cutbacks, or they have been crossing their fingers with hopes of staying employed as their company eliminates positions left and right.

Many people I talk to are working five times harder than usual to make one-fifth the income they were making not less than three years ago - but they're happy to be taking home a paycheck.

While this situation is not what we would prefer, it is what it is.

We can't control the economy on a grander scale, however, we can adapt. Just like when we encounter inclement weather when it snows, we bundle up and when it rains, we don't leave home without an umbrella and our slickers.

And, fortunately, I believe Fillmore County is managing the stress of this recession better than our larger counterparts. I'll explain why a little later.

First, I'd like to share some thoughts on the bailout situation.

Bailouts

I'm looking for someone to help me understand how the bailout money (our money) granted to large financial institutions has helped our economic status.

From years of observing corporate and federal spending, throwing money at problems has never fixed anything. It usually becomes an enormous, expensive band-aid.

What motivation has Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG and others had to move their business in the right direction? And, the U.S. government getting involved has only polluted the process with additional, costly bureaucracy.

Anecdotally speaking, from my own personal experience, my wife and I tried to purchase a home in Preston. After purchasing and selling five different homes (each time we moved for my job promotions) over the past 15 years, we had an unexpected, eye-opening experience. This particular home, a Freddie Mac-owned foreclosure, had been on the market for a couple years. We made an offer that was accepted in February 2009, and after 10 weeks of getting nowhere we gave up and walked away from that property. The stumbling block came in the form of a title issue.

The property had 88 square feet that did not have clear title. Our attorney indicated that he could provide title insurance on everything except the 88 square feet that did not have clear title.

We requested that Freddie Mac .....
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Health Care Fatigue Syndrome

Fri, Jul 31st, 2009
Posted in Commentary

I fear we may all die from an overdose of health care discussions. It would be good to die from it because if we just get sick from it, there remain 48,000,000 of us without health insurance.

This endless conversation with no agreement about ..... 
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Our responsibility: sacrifice now for a better future

Fri, Jul 24th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

A few weeks ago on June 26 the US House of Representatives narrowly passed the Waxman-Markey bill (H.R. 2454). It is formally dubbed "The American Clean Energy and Security Act," which concentrates on energy efficiency, conservation and the replacem ..... 
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Healthcare swan song

Fri, Jul 17th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

It's pretty frustrating to be interested in health care reform and live in Southeastern Minnesota. Minnesota has been one of the most progressive states in giving its citizens health care safety nets. I feel like I'm preaching to the choir while the ..... 
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One Moment Please: Don't ruin a good thing for families

Fri, Jul 17th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Congratulations to Harmony for their outstanding July 4th parade! I especially enjoyed the cavemen of Niagara Caves -- very creative and entertaining.

Probably the only thing that was a concern was while I was videotaping the entire parade t ..... 
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Judicial appointments

Fri, Jul 17th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

As we know, the Untied States Senate has the responsibility to advise the president and consent (or not) to his nominations of federal and Supreme Court judges and other officials. When the judicial candidates testify before the Senate Judiciary Com ..... 
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Yards of food and flowers

Fri, Jul 10th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Over the years that my husband and I lived in the Big Woods, our mowed lawn decreased in size. We gave up gardening after the first five years because we didn't want to fend off the deer and other creatures. We loved the encroaching trees, shrubs an ..... 
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Climate change and energy bill

Fri, Jul 10th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

The House Agriculture Committee concluded its first public hearing to review the Waxman-Markey climate change and energy bill (H.R. 2454) on June 11. Dubbed "cap and trade," it would impose new energy taxes on all American energy users, raising the ..... 
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One Moment Please: Obituaries and E-mail Alert System

Fri, Jul 10th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Over the years, I've heard a few people say the Internet is a bad thing. And, I've heard the flip side from people stating the Internet is the next best thing since the toothbrush.

The individuals who are concerned about what the Internet in ..... 
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