"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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One moment, please... Tourism involves everyone


Fri, Dec 4th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Over the past several months, I've had the pleasure of sitting in on a number of meetings along with experiencing what I consider to be significant influences on the future of each individual community collectively recognized as the sum of our parts -- Fillmore County, that is.

On Thursday, November 5, I listened in on the regional tourism meeting hosted by the Southeast Minnesota Bluff Country, Inc., under the direction of executive director Kristina Nolte.

Then, on the eve of Thursday, November 5, Kathy Dahl, the tourism director for the city of Preston hosted the first volunteer recognition dinner for the individuals volunteering their time at the Preston Visitor's Center, visible from Highway 52 as travelers navigate the area.

The following week, I attended the first steering committee meeting directed at efforts to establish a National Trout Learning Center (as it is currently referenced) in the Preston area.

And, somewhere along the way, I visited with the very proactive Lodging Group of the Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce.

All of these groups have something in common. They are all working toward the same goal -- to bring more people to Fillmore County.

I, personally, feel this is of utmost importance.

Why?

Because small town America, and particularly Fillmore County, is impacted positively or negatively by the tourism industry, depending on whether or not the pendulum swings in our favor.

While I worked at a newspaper in Kankakee, Ill. from 1999 to 2002, towards the tailend of my time there, we were blessed to have the Chicago Bears organization consider Bourbonnais, Ill., as their 18-day summer training camp location -- a huge opportunity.

As a media representative, and a resident of Bourbonnais, I was asked to serve on the hosting committee of Olivet Nazarene University to prepare the community for this opportunity. As our chairperson said, "We need to set the table for guests."

It all came together somehow, with many people doing many things, and we hosted 3,000 to 10,000 Bears fans per day. I literally worked at the training camp every day throughout the 18-day affair.

I'll have to admit, while I did get to meet a few Bears players and the owners of the Bears, I was always thinking I'd rather be at Vikings training camp.

Interestingly, on the flip-side, I accepted a newspaper publisher position in Platteville, Wis. back in 2007, and I soo .....
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What it looks like when Congress does its job

Fri, Nov 27th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

If you've ever wondered what members of Congress do to earn their keep, the current health-care debate on Capitol Hill should give you a good idea. This complex legislation, placed on the congressional agenda by President Obama but shaped by the int ..... 
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Daily newspapers, once the backbone of the free press, on life support

Fri, Nov 20th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Are daily newspapers, including the New York Times and many others large and small around the county, going to survive in this digital age? I still prefer paging through and reading a newspaper that is physically in my hands. However, in this electr ..... 
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Whatever their tone, we need town hall meetings

Fri, Nov 13th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Years ago, when I was still in Congress, I pulled up one day to address a public meeting in a remote and very rural part of Indiana. The sheriff, a friend of mine, met me outside the small volunteer firehouse where I was to speak. "The Ku Klux Klan ..... 
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My biggest fan

Fri, Nov 13th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

I seem to have one dedicated reader. He sends me anonymous letters that brighten my day. I would like to respond, but he has no return address or name attribution in his letters mailed from Rochester. He appears, from the state of the handwriting, t ..... 
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Great white birds and hope for a troubled world

Fri, Nov 6th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

To brighten an overcast, cold and windy November, try a short trip to the eastern edge of Houston County along the Mississippi River where you may join hundreds of people observing the spectacular tundra swan migration. The best places to watch the ..... 
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One moment, please...

Fri, Nov 6th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Publisher of the Fillmore County Journal, cell phone number 507-251-5297

On some occasions, I have a variety of subjects to cover in my weekly column. This week, there happens to be two thoughts relating to Harmony, Lanesboro, Preston and Rus ..... 
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Health Care & Confusion

Fri, Oct 30th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

I admit that I am confused by the overwhelming assault on the senses regarding the health care debate in Congress. One can't read the newspaper or watch TV without seeing some reference to some aspect of health care. The consensus is that changes ne ..... 
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It's time to govern the flow of political money

Fri, Oct 30th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

There was a time when I believed that the best way to curtail the impact of money flowing into our political system was to monitor it. Make sure that campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures were reported quickly and accurately, I reasoned, ..... 
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