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A call for help


Fri, Jan 6th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

At 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 15th Jacob and Sarah Byler looked out their window and saw flames consuming the roof of their farm machinery and furniture making shop. Immediately two of the oldest boys ran barefoot a quarter a mile to the neighbors to get help. Meanwhile the family used flashlights to locate and get their buggies out of the burning building.

Then they opened the shop door and thick smoke poured out. Immediately they shut the door and started filling water buckets to prevent the other buildings from burning. The Lanesboro Fire Department arrived in about 30 minutes and with the help of the Rushford Fire Department, the fuel tanks and all the other buildings were saved. Everything else was lost.

By the end of the day, with the help of many people, clean up was well under way and lists of new building materials were being prepared. Every day for the next week 16 to 25 people came, brought food and replaced the structure the Byler family lost.

They lost their hay loaders, mowers, thrashing machines, silo filler, fluid sprayer, plows, corn planter, grain binder, corn binder, cultivator, discs, Deutz diesel motor, grain drill, rakes, shovels and more. The fire consumed everything in their carpentry shop. This included table saws, drill press, band saws, jointers, all hand tools, hammers, screws, nails along with their desk that contained all their invoices and future orders. This fire quickly put two families out of business.

Although the season of giving is slowly slipping away, I’m hopeful people will look into their out buildings, check out their garages, shops or basement and find some of the supplies this family could put to good use. If you want to help you can call me at 507-467-2928. If you want to take something to the Byler farm they live about 15 minutes east of Lanesboro. Take Highway 21 out of Lanesboro (it joins up with Highway 12). Stop at the junction of Highway 23 and go straight ahead on Highway 12 for about 3 miles. When you see a small stone building on the left, the Byler farm is the next driveway on the right. Their address is Route 1, Box 62, Lanesboro, MN 55949.

One reason I’m writing this is because several of the Byler children helped me with a project. The day I picked them up, their mom, Sarah was making pumpkin pies.

“Real pumpkin,” I said.

“Yes,” she replie .....
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More analysis from less data: an oxymoron?

Fri, Dec 30th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

The Federal EPA proposes to change the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) programs reporting requirements to reduce the “burden” on industry and business despite being unable to demonstrate significant complaints from business and industry. They propose t ..... 
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Life must be lived as we go along

Fri, Dec 30th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

The end of the year is as good a time as any for reflection. One year comes to an end, another begins. Perhaps, we are worn out on the one hand - 365 days of good and bad all piled up into an exhaustive collection of events. And, yet, on the other ha ..... 
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Bush-enomics and the value of human life

Fri, Dec 16th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

“I would say 30,000 more or less, have died as a result of the initial incursion and the ongoing violence against Iraqis,” President George W. Bush said matter of factly last Monday in response to a question of how many Iraqis have died in the war. “ ..... 
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Nature’s Toys

Fri, Dec 16th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

At this time of the year, when people labor over their Christmas lists, I think looking into your heart and asking what is really important you find that being together and sharing should be at the top of your list.

This collec ..... 
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Minnesota school funding falls $1 billion short

Fri, Dec 9th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

Financial experts announced last week that based upon the educational resources needed to meet federal law and state standards for student achievement, Minnesota schools are underfunded by nearly $1 billion annually.

The study, ..... 
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We can’t wait much longer to fix Congress

Fri, Dec 9th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

I am a great fan of Congress. It is, to my mind, the American institution that best represents our democracy and guards our freedoms.  Without it, there is no way for our nation to guarantee freedom, ensure that the passions ..... 
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The road less traveled

Fri, Dec 2nd, 2005
Posted in Commentary

When I used to travel into the remote areas of southwest China in the 90s, it was common to meet villagers who would donate one day per month to work on public projects. In mountainous Yunnan Province, villagers would set off with their hoes, shovels ..... 
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Minnesota needs strong state policy for renewable energy

Tue, Nov 29th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

On November 15 The Department of Commerce came to Preston Minnesota and proclaimed Minnesota as “America’s Clean Energy Capital”, but they did not provide you with the entire story. Minnesota currently only generates about 3% from renewables like win ..... 
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