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The Skunk Works


Fri, Mar 29th, 2002
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Monday, March 25, 2002

I noticed the scent of a skunk when I went into our barn a few weeks ago. I had hoped that the skunk was just a passer-by who had become mildly offended or that maybe I had driven over a road kill and gotten some of that scent on the tires of my pickup.

A couple nights after that first hint of skunk, our sons came running in from the barn to report that they had seen a skunk dining at the cats’ steel feed pan. They encouraged me to get the gun. I found my shotgun and dusted it off. I don’t use it very often and I wasn’t sure that blasting away in the barn at night was the best way to get the target practice I needed. Although the shotgun was easy finding the ammunition was not. The skunk was gone by the time I finally found the dilapidated cardboard box of shotgun shells. I was somewhat relieved.

The boys and I discussed what we should do with the skunk. Leaving it alone and letting it wander away seemed like a good idea to me. Someone suggested trapping the skunk. "How do we trap the skunk without trapping the cats?" I asked. After some thought someone suggested, "Let’s put a fence around the trap to keep the cats out." Okay. That would solve one problem, but might not be very productive. There seemed to be two solutions. One choice was to do nothing and let the skunk stay the rest of its life, enjoying our cat food and raising its skunk babies in the shelter of our barn. The second choice was to shoot it. Aside from it leaving voluntarily and soon, I could think of no other alternative.

Several days passed without a skunk sighting and I was thinking that our problem might have solved itself. Then, last Monday night, when I was already in my jammies, a son came in and said that the skunk was back. I was somewhat more prepared this time. I had found my rifle and it replaced the shotgun. I figured that the rifle would be better for the barn walls if a confrontation with the skunk came down to indoor gunplay. I grabbed two bullets and headed out. Peeking in the barn window, I noticed the cats sitting high on the firewood pile. They were peering down at a hefty skunk eating their food.

I loaded my rifle with my two bullets and, in best TV show fashion, pushed open the barn door to face the skunk. He was already headed for cover. I took careful aim and fired away.

I need to explain that it had been a quite a while since I shot my rifle. The last time I used it was outdoors, in the dayligh .....
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Margaret Mead and Gilligan

Fri, Mar 29th, 2002
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Monday, March 18, 2001

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Our world has sure gotten smaller.

When I was a kid, it never seemed ..... 
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Fri, Mar 29th, 2002
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To the Editor,

Since moving to the Peterson area in ‘55 we heard how Rushford wanted the Peterson area school district. In the early ‘90s, they got it “by hook or by crook”. Some families went to different school districts because of the way ..... 
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Fri, Mar 29th, 2002
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To the Editor,

If we saw a child drowning, how many of us would do everything in our power to help that child? If we saw a child starving, how many of us would give that child food? If we saw a child bleeding, how many of us would try to stop ..... 
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Fri, Mar 29th, 2002
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To the Editor,

“Nothing we can do will improve the quality of life in any community more than quality schools. Young people who are involved in quality education do not engage in self-destructive activities and are an asset to the community.”< ..... 
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Fri, Mar 29th, 2002
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To the Editor,

I have read with great interest the many articles and letters to the editor surrounding the vote for a new Rushford-Peterson school coming this April 23. I think that is it human nature to want to get the best value for the mon ..... 
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Submit a Letter to the Editorhere

Fri, Mar 29th, 2002
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April 1, 2002

To the Editor,

Much information is being fed to us in our local paper regarding the Rushford-Peterson school district building referendum and the reasons why we need a new school. I’d like to comment on just a few ..... 
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Lucille Evelyn Trouten

Fri, Mar 29th, 2002
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Lucille Evelyn Trouten, 81, of Mahtomedi, Minn., formerly of Harmony, died February 10, 2002 at New Prospective in Mahtomedi.

Lucille Evelyn Johnson was born March 12, 1920, to Helmer R. & Ella Arneson Johnson in Fremont Township, Winneshiek ..... 
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Ardith H. Ristau

Fri, Mar 29th, 2002
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Ardith H. Ristau, 70, of Preston, died February 9, 2002 at Park Lane Estates in Preston.

Ardith Hellickson was born March 12, 1931, in rural Ostrander, and attended country school there. Her family later moved to Carimona Township in Fillmor ..... 
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