"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Do the right thing with recycling


Fri, Nov 23rd, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Every day we are faced with the same dilemma: to recycle or not to recycle.

My recent trips to the gas station seem to be pressing this issue on my subconscious mind. I reach down to grab the bag of garbage when I eye a plastic pop bottle snuggled amongst the banana peel, fast food wrappers and Kleenexes. My initial inclination is to close the bag and throw it away without any thought. In a few seconds the problem is solved and I can continue down the road in a clutter-free car. Yet there is a quiet voice that nags on my conscience: "You can't toss that in the garbage can. It's plastic. If you throw that plastic bottle in the garbage it will stay in the landfill for a long time, maybe indefinitely. Plastics do not decompose."

One of the best advantages of being an adult is our freedom to make choices. At some point we need to be accountable for the knowledge we possess and the actions we take.

Recently NBC promoted a week called "Green is Universal." A variety of green-themed programs were aimed to entertain, inform and empower Americans to lead greener lives. I commend the effort but I am skeptical of its impact. How many people made a conscious change to their lifestyle as a result of watching a week of "green" programming? Most Americans would agree the health of the environment is important, but we do not do much about it. I am made aware of this at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center, as students and adults absent-mindedly throw their plastic bottles in a garbage bin while the recycling bin sits empty nearby.

In Fillmore County we are fortunate to have an active recycling program with both curbside and drop off options. Yet many easily recycled materials are still being thrown away. I can hear my grandpa say, "Do the right thing, even when the right thing is hard to do." Parents attempt to nurture this trait in their children. Teachers applaud students who possess it. Employees value those who demonstrate it. Recycling takes effort and time. It isn't convenient. One must develop it like any positive habit. The formation of a habit, whether positive or negative, starts out as an idea that is acted upon. Only when the action is repeated over and over does it become a habit. Who you become is based on the sum total of the choices you make.

All of this talk about accountability brings me back to that plastic bottle now rolling underneath my car seat. I'd say it is time to find the proper disposal container a .....
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Irrelevant?

Fri, Oct 26th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Two recent headlines concerning Mr. Bush have me on more tenterhooks than usual. I am really getting tired of being insulted by someone so intellectually incurious and inexact. The first in the Washington Post was "Bush Deplores American Timidity", ..... 
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Bankrupting America

Fri, Sep 28th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

It used to be that the U.S. Dollar (USD) carried some weight overseas. Working and travelling in Asia several years ago, I knew that there was always two prices for a product - one in local currency and one in U.S. Dollars.

"Dong or Dollar?" ..... 
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Truth as we know it to be

Fri, Sep 21st, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Truth might be defined as an accepted fact or reality. And yet, as we have seen all too often there are varying interpretations of the truth. Truth comes in different forms. There is my truth, your truth and the "real" truth. Some examples of accept ..... 
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Beware of monsters

Fri, Sep 14th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

German philosopher Frederick Nietsche said, "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he doesn't become a monster."

Which made me think immediately of George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfield and all the neo-cons surrou ..... 
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It will take years to undo what this administration has done

Fri, Sep 14th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

One question I get about my commentaries is: "How do you pick your subject?"

Most of the time I choose medically related subjects. It's not that I don't have strong opinions on other subjects. I suspect people will take me more seriously if ..... 
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A coming together

Fri, Sep 7th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Recently I had the opportunity to talk with a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) worker. I wasn't looking forward to it but it turned out to be an interesting chat. He was a young man no older than 40 and relatively senior in the inspector r ..... 
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Pawlenty, get'r done!

Fri, Sep 7th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

It was a genuine good feeling in the immediate wake of the horrific flooding to see a stream of politicians visiting southeast Minnesota - assessing the damage personally, visiting with officials, and giving assurances to people who had lost everyth ..... 
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Flush Day and other signs of progress

Fri, Sep 7th, 2007
Posted in Commentary



The porta-potty is gone from our front yard, leaving only a three foot square patch of dead grass and a strange memory. Last week we celebrated "Flush Day"-the day Rushford residents were told it was okay to flush toilets again. This week af ..... 
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