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This was one field trip well worth attending


Fri, May 25th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

On Tuesday, May 22, 270 fourth graders from seven schools in Houston and Fillmore counties converged on the Mabel Steam Engine Grounds in Mabel for a Farm Safety Day Camp. The seven schools participating in the event included Caledonia, Chatfield, Houston, Kingsland, Mabel-Canton, Rushford-Peterson, and Spring Grove.

The Farm Safety Day Camp was conceived and organized by Fillmore/Houston County Extension Educator Jerry Tesmer. The veteran Extension director started working on the event this past winter. He felt there was a need to educate area youth, both farm and non-farm kids, about the safety issues on and off the farm. He shared his idea with a number of "movers and shakers" in the two-county area, and came up with a very successful event.

The day included 12 different sessions on general farm safety, basic first aid, electricity safety issues, grain bin drowning, livestock safety, lawn mower safety, seat belt use, tractor and PTO dangers, the use of fire extinguishers, smoke detector maintenance, and proper usage of sun screens.

Students were also able to tour a Mayo One helicopter, an ambulance furnished by the Mabel Ambulance Service, a Mabel Fire Department pumper, and check out a county deputy squad car.

While I'm sure some reading this are wondering why pull nearly 300 fourth graders out of class to learn about farm safety when probably less than 20 percent of them live on a working farm. Much of what was covered during the four-hour day camp had to do with safety issues many of us encounter every day. And a certain percentage of those non-farm kids will have an opportunity to spend time on a farm, either visiting friends or relatives, or possibly earning a little money during the summer months.

Visiting with some of the fourth grade teachers at the day camp, I heard nothing but very positive feedback. Several teachers told me the May 22 day camp was one of the most informative, and well-organized events they had attended. A veteran bus driver, who said he has transported students on countless field trips, echoed those remarks.

Tesmer, the staffs of both the Houston and Fillmore County Extension offices who helped coordinate the event, and the dozens of persons who donated their time as presenters and facilitators, need to be commended for a job well done. It took countless hours developing, organizing, and coordinating an educational event that kept nearly 300 fourth graders interested for that l .....
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The class of 1968

Fri, May 25th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

When I graduated from high school in early June 1968, Lyndon Baines Johnson was president. The awkward Texan had completed John F. Kennedy's unfinished term and was elected president over Barry Goldwater in 1964, with the highest margin of victory i ..... 
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Finally, someone is in charge of the Iraq War

Fri, May 18th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Czar or Tsar - an Emperor or in more modern usage a Monarch or King. The word originates from the deified Roman dictator Caesar and came to represent the Roman Emperor. (Wikipedia)

We have been waging the Iraq War or Debacle for over 4 years ..... 
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Springtime renewal

Fri, May 11th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Spring is a time when we throw open the windows, clean out the closets, and get our hands back into yard work. It's all about taking advantage of fresh air, reevaluating your needs, and nurturing the green space in your life. Most people look forwar ..... 
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Buying the War

Fri, May 4th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Bill Moyers calls himself a "citizen journalist."

He is also an ordained Baptist minister, one-time aid to President Lyndon Johnson and, of course, a journalist with PBS.

Moyers is first and foremost a seeker of truth. That he work ..... 
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The power of words

Fri, Apr 27th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Could there be some good to come from the Don Imus foot-in-the-mouth scandal?

In the aftermath of Mr. Imus's unfortunate utterances some are now questioning the public use of terms most would find offensive. These offensive words and phrases ..... 
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Handicapping the Republican presidential candidates

Fri, Apr 27th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

John McCain's stay the course speech about the War in Iraq on April 11 certainly sealed any hopes of his becoming the next president of the United States. For the past several months he has been soldiering on for George Bush and the Republican Party ..... 
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Hospice care provides end of life options

Fri, Apr 20th, 2007
Posted in Commentary



About a month ago Charles Krauthammer wrote an article in Newsweek titled "The Good Death". It called to be read because the magazine printed a picture of Mohammed Atta (the leader of the 9-11 attack) juxtaposed with Sister Theresa. Shortly ..... 
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America's hired guns in Iraq

Fri, Apr 13th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Mercenary - a person who takes part in an armed conflict and is motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain.

As a young student studying the United States War of Independence I remember having a part ..... 
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