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Coal country


Sun, Oct 8th, 2000
Posted in

A visit to Pennsylvaniaís pastBy Nancy OvercottMonday, October 2, 2000

When Brenda Johnsonís five year old daughter grows up, sheíll assume that leadership is something that comes naturally to women. Johnson first started bringing her daughter along to Chatfield economic development commission meetings when she was little. "I put her in the high chair, and fed her strained bananas during the meetings. She thinks this is what all mamas do."

Johnson belongs to a small but growing group in Fillmore County: she is a woman serving on the Chatfield City Council. Sixty council members and mayors serve in the various small towns in Fillmore County, and 20% are women.

School districts and counties also offer elected leadership opportunities for women. As the local political season kicks into high gear, voters are on the hunt for good candidates to fill vacancies on city councils, and other elected offices. Johnson, who is running for election to a second term, says, "we need the best people to run. Some of those must be women."

Johnson thinks there are lots of reasons why more women arenít serving. "Lots of women donít know that itís okay for women to do some of these things. If they see mostly men on the council, they donít think of it as something women do." Johnson is in a unique position to observe elected officials. It addition to her council duties, she serves as President of the Regional League of Cities for an area that includes six counties and thirty cities. She observes that what gets people involved in government is service on various boards and commissions. "But even most of those groups are male dominated," she says.

Why arenít there more women holding elected office? Helen Bicknese, a current Fillmore County commissioner, is the first woman to serve on the county board. She doesn't know why more women arenít serving. She grew up in Goodhue County and says that she was always the kind of person to volunteer for things, to step forward and serve. This history of service and activism seems to be an important background qualification for many women leaders.


Sunday:


We drive to Ashland where we visit the Mothers' Memorial and a statue of Whistler's Mother bearing the inscription: "A Mother is the Holiest Thing Alive." We think about the mothers who watched their eight-year-old boys trudge off to the mines, never knowing if they'd come home alive. We th .....
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Fillmore County Pork Producers
Hoffman Stables

What would you do if it was your building?

Sun, Oct 8th, 2000
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Monday, October 2, 2000

There must be a maxim out there that says something like "hard chairs make for short meetings."

That's not to say that Tuesday's Fillmore County Board meeting was exceptionally long, because it wasn't. It was h ..... 
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Rural change discussed at Annual Township Banquet

Sun, Oct 8th, 2000
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Monday, October 9, 2000

"The 9,000 township officers across Minnesota are the best lobbyists in the entire state," Lothar Walter told a large audience of Fillmore County township officers at Eagle Bluff last Thursday evening.

Walter is the ..... 
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Candidate forum:

Sun, Oct 8th, 2000
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District Five CommissionerBy Al MathisonMonday, October 9, 2000

On November 7, the voters in District Five, (Amherst, Preble, Harmony Canton and Newburg townships) will be electing a new commissioner to replace the retiri ..... 
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Dad

Sun, Oct 8th, 2000
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Monday, September 11, 2000

Last week while tending my booth at the Minnesota State Fair I got the call Iíve always dreaded. "Sit down," my brother Derald said softly. "Dad died just a little while ago."

Waves of emotion. Deep sighs. Ti ..... 
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End of the Season

Sun, Oct 8th, 2000
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By Virginia CooperMonday, October 2, 2000

Itís been a great gardening year, a little wet for a while, but still quite beautiful when we count our successes and not our failures. This is my last column for the season. I hope everyone has lear ..... 
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This work is not for the birds

Sun, Oct 8th, 2000
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Monday, September 4, 2000

I stand on the roof of our workshop holding the end of a rope. My husband has tied the opposite end around his waist so he doesn't slip as he hammers nails into our new metal roofing. Although I am alert to the danger ..... 
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In the Lands of the Pte Oyate

Sun, Oct 8th, 2000
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Monday, September 25, 2000

Sunlight shimmering, my wife Connie and I wrestle with the wind as we set up our campsite. Howling out of Nebraska, the stiffly blowing southern gale threatens to rip the ground cloth from our hands while we fumble w ..... 
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Assignment: Manhattan

Sun, Oct 8th, 2000
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Monday, October 2, 2000

Itís not every day that Iím given an opportunity to go to a star-studded gala at Radio City Music Hall filled with famous celebrities and rock ní roll stars. But a couple weeks ago, such an invitation came my way, and t ..... 
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