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February 14, 2013     Tri-County News
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February 14, 2013
 

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Pr-- 2 Thursday, February 14, 2013 UHfE ..................... l,,BJl,lL,Ikl,,I, Ik,]l,IJI, Tri-C0un Newswwtricoun newsni, Waiting for the 'thaw' About this time of year, many are-grumbling about the snow and just how long it's staying. But some of us are old enough to remem- ber "real" winters here in Minne- sota. We've got photos of ourselves in front of gigantic snow drifts. We remember the endless snow-shov- eling of those winters of old. This doesn't mean we're not entitled to grumble a bit too, of course. Perhaps we can grumble with a bit more authority. No matter what your take on Minnesota winter and snow may be, one fact remains: we are now one week closer to the Spring thaw. At some point, it seems, every- thing finally thaws out and comes back to life. People are out on the streets because they want to be. We get back to going for a drive, just because we can. And planning an event no longer requires Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, and maybe Plan D. Weather ceases to be a major issue. And the only time weather is news is when there's a weather event that's truly news-worthy (just plain cold_doesn't count). So, for those of you who love this cold, white stuff, enjoy it. Revel in it. Spring will come. For those of you less than enthusiastic about it, fear not. Icy winds will give way to Spring breezes. Packed snow will melt. Shovels and arctic wear can be put away. Spring, indeed, will come! March Madness at Social Security By lon Noyes, District Manager It's that time of year! Basketball fans are gearing up for March Mad- ness - a time when the final four teams in the NCAA fight for the title of national champion. While bas- ketball fans are excitedfibout March Madness, Social Security already has a winning "final four" of online services to cheer about: our new my Social Security service, the Retire- ment Estimator, online Benefit Application, and online Extra Help application! Let's take a look at the lineup. My Social Security is an online account that allows you quick access to your personal Social Security information. During your working years, once you create your online account, you can use my Social Security to obtain a copy of your Social Security Statement to check your earnings record and see estimates of the future retirement, disability, and survi- vor benefits you and your family may receive. If you already receive Social Security benefits, you can now sign into your account to view, save, and print your bene- fit verification letter, check your benefit payment information, and even change your address and phone number in our records. You also can start or change your direct deposit information. Check it out at www.socialsecurity.gov/ myaccounr The Retirement Estimator is an easy way to get an instant, per- sonalized estimate of your future Social Security benefits. Just key in some basic information and the Estimator will use information on your Social Security record, along with what you input, to give you a benefit estimate on the spot. You even can experiment with differ- ent scenarios, such as changing your future earnings and retire- ment date. Check it out in English at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator, or in Spanish at www.segurosocial. gov/calculador. The online Benefit Applica- tion is the most convenient way to apply for Social Security retire- ment benefits. You can apply from the comfort of your home - it's fast, easy, and secure. It's so easy; in fact, it can take you as lit- tle as 15 minutes to apply online. In most cases, once your applica- tion is submitted "electronically, you're done. There are no forms to sign and usually no documen- tation is required. Social Security will process your application and contact you if any further infor- mation is needed. Try it out when you're ready to retire at www.social security.gov /applyonline. The online Extra Help applica- tion is an easy way to save about $4,000 a year on your Medicare prescription drug costs. To qual- ify for the Extra Help, you must be on Medicare, have limited income and resources, and live in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. Learn more about it at www.socialsecurity.gov/ prescriptionhelp. NEXT WEEK, Feb. 21: Reach 10,000+ local readers in our saturation issue. Call us today! 2q..., mm  snow .!!. now 3iil Peeltler "Slices of Life" The 00Sexuality of prime time By now the dust is settling, and the leather has been discarded for next week's costume change, but last Sunday's performance - with- out so much as a hint of a lip sync - is being touted as one of the best halftime shows in Super Bowl his- tory. That Beyonce really knows how to learn a lesson, huh? One of the best. Ever. In the his- tory of the biggest football game of the year. And me, in my infinite naivety - before the fireworks stopped siz- zling on stage - logged onto Face- book and announced (publicly) that I was not a fan of the half- time act. In fact, I openly disap- proved of the blatant and sexually implicit dancing and costumes. I also admitted to being a fuddy duddy. By golly, I believe I hit a nerve. A few minutes and Facebook comments late[, I found myself amongst a divided group of tele- vision viewers. Many agreed with me; I received a number of Likes. Yippee! In contrast, some thought the act was entertaining. Great, in fact. The dancers were described as athletic. Singing and'dancing - at the same time - takes a bit of stamina and physical prowess, so I'm told. Regarding the overall chore- ography, this second group didn't perceive the sexual nature as a problem for prime time TV. We see it all the time, why not during the Super Bowl? Therein lies the sentence defin- ing the problem: "We see it all the time." Sex appeal sells. In advertise- ments. In movies. During halftime at the Super Bowl. You don't have to be Beyonce's manager to under- stand the concept. So we are bom- barded. We are exposed so often the shock wears Off and the expe- rience becomes commonplace. The stage can be filled with women dressed in dominatrix leather - dancing and rolling on the ground in what can only be described as an explicit manner - but we hardly pause from eat- ing our chili-cheese dip to notice because we've viewed similar acts before. Many times. As a society we've become desensitized, and I think that's unfortunate. , To make matters worse, the media touts this year's halftime as one of the best shows ever. If media professionals can't recog- nize artistic brilliance who can? I'm sure there was a huge amount of talent on the stage. I'm not dis- puting that. What I do take cause with is the manner in which it was displayed. Yes, the women showed athletic moves, but so do pole dancers. I'm not questioning the athleticism or worthiness of any type of dancer - just their appro- priateness for prime time televi- sion. Sexuality aside, at what point does this become exploitation of women (or men if you hap- pened to watch some of the under- wear commercials)? Or, it is okay because these female performers came across as aggressive, leather- wearing, take-charge gals who wouldn't take any guff from any- one? What if they'd been in the submissive role on stage; would any feathers be ruffled then? What have we, as a society, become if we are comfortable sit- ting on our couches watching this with our children, grandchil- dren, parents and grandparents? A show like that was something you used to see in Vegas (now I'm dat- ing mygelf), not during prime time during a football game millions of families are viewing together over plates of bacon-wrapped weenies and chicken wings. The image of Beyonce and her cohorts gyrat- ing in their leather garb was not a memory my teenage boys and I needed to share. Sorry. What do you expect? I've already admitted to being a fuddy duddy. I realize I can't fight city hall or the NFL. Super Bowl hype isn't going anywhere anytime soon. The commercials and half- time shows are going to grab our attention whenever and however they can. Sometimes the meth- ods shock and even offend. Often that's part of the plan. But not always. One of the most talked about and well-liked commercials of the evening was a spin-off of a sim- ple and simply beautiful piece recorded by radio personality Paul Harvey in 1978 titled, "So God Made a Farmer." The verbal prose highlighted the basic, core prin- cipals demonstrated by farmers: hard work, a love of the land and old-fashioned family values. Pho- tos of farmers accompanied the voiceover. Their weather-worn faces and hard-working hands told their story like no tight leather ever could. Sound boring and dated? It wasn't. Which goes to show, there may be hope for ruddy duddies like me after all. Gosh, I hope so. Follow Slices of Life on Face- book and hit Like (please). Jill Pertler is an award-winning syn- dicated columnist, playwright and author of "The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication" E-mail her at pertmn@qwesrnet; or visit her website at http://marleting- by-design.home.mchsi.com/. www. tricou ntyn ews. MN POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the Tri-County News, P.O. Box 220, Kimball MN 55353. The Tri-County News (USPS 639- 180) is entered at the Post Office, Kimball, Minnesota 55353, as Periodi- cals. It is published Thursdays by the TH-County News, Inc., RO. Box 220, Kimball MN 55353, Stearns County. LOCATION: Our office is at 70 Main Street South in downtown Kim- baLL. Weekday office hours are Monday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Tuesday throush Friday 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Our telephone and fax num- ber is (320) 398-5000 or (320) 453-6397. E-mail can be addressed to news tricountynews.NIR. Our Web site is tricountynews.A/. We also have a drop site at Ertt Hardware Hank in downtown Watkins. A satellite office is now open at 378 N State Street, downtown Eden ValLey, open 10-6 Mon.-Fd. and 9-12 Sat. DEADLINE: 2 p.m. Monday. RATES: Subscription rates are S36/year ($26 for age 62 and older) in Minnesota; S46/year (S36 for seniors) elsewhere in the U.S. SingLe copy price is one doLLar. STAFF: Jean Doran Matua, Editor and Publisher Sue Hughes: Creative Designer Maxine Doran: Admin. Associate Marguerite Laabs: Photographer Stephanie Johnson: Office Admin. Pat Garry: Staff Writer The staff of the Tri-County News recognizes that it has a responsibili- ty to report the news accurately and fairly, and that it is accountable to the public. PLease contact our office if you feet we've fatten short of that objective. LETTERS: The Tri-County News wet- comes Letters promoting the exchange of ideas and opinions. To be considered for publication, Letters should address a topic of current or general interest. . Private thanks, poetical serf-promotiOn, libelous letters, or Letters denigrating character or reputation tt not be pub- tished. All letters must bear the writer's signature, address and telephone num- ber. We reserve the Hght to edit for clarity and readability. LEGAL PUBLICATION: The Tri-Coun- ty News is the publication of record for the Cities of Eden Valley, Kimball, and Watkins; Independent School. District #739 (Kimball) and Independent School District #463 (Eden Vattey-Watkins); CLearwater River Watershed District, Steams County, and the Townships of Fair Haven, Forest Prairie, Kingston, Luxemburg, and Maine Prairie. RECYCLING: The Tri-County News is printed with soy inks on recycled paper whenever possible. We en- courage recycling. COPYRIGHT: ALl content herein is the property of the Tri-County News and is protected by U.S. copyright law; content may not be reproduced without our written prior consent. We are proud to be a member of: Minnesota Newspaper Assoc. Kimball Area Chamber Kimball Area Historical Society Stearns County Press Assoc. MNA Peer-iudqed Awards: Ad Design winner: 2011, 2012 Best Website: 2010, 2011, 2012 Best Self-PromotiOn Ad: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 Best Use of Color (Ad): 2010, 2012 Best News Photo: 2010, 2011, 2012 Best Advertisement: 2008, 2011, 2012 Best Portrait/Personality Photo: 2008 Advertising Excellence: 2004, 2007 Best Information Graphic: 2007 Best CLassified Ads: 2006 Best Local News Story: 2000, 2012 2013, Tri-County News ,sP I,t00i00ll , [.] mrz " TCN Office Hours (Kimball): Mondays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Fri., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. EVWN Office Hours (Eden Valley): Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-noon for drop-offs and pick-ups (Available by appointment - just call! 453-NEWS)