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June 18, 2009     Tri-County News
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Page 2 Opinion Thursday, June 18, 2009 . ___ ~ws* Kimball, MN Letters to the Editor Dollars for Scholars 'Gala' Thirty Kimball Area High School seniors received scholar- ships totaling $13,200 at this year's annual Kimball Area Dollars for Scholars fundraising "Gala" held May 16 at the Kimball school cafe- torture. These scholarship gifts are all a result of hard work by a group of people who believe that our young people need encouragement to continue their education beyond high school, and to many generous donors. Thank you to all who had Food production a part in making this year's "Fan- tasy Island" event a success. Anyone can be a part of the Chapter, and parents with chil- dren are especially encouraged to become an active member. The first meeting in the fall will be Sept. 9. Call any of us for more information: Paula Capes-presi- dent, Joyce Burgstaler-secretary, and Alice~Robinson-treasurer. Kimball Area Dollars for Scholars Joyce Burgstaler, 398-6682 Today's food system is safe and if is "green" and efficient. Cornell University just this week released a study indicating that today's food system emits 63 percent less car- bon per unit of food produced than the same unit of food produced in 1954. Science and technology com- bined with human initiative has allowed the United States farmer to provide food, fiber, fuel and phar- maceuticals more efficiently than ever before imagined. With all of that said, I am willing to make a deal. If Kenner and Pol- lan are willing to show their film in black and white and silent as mov- ies were in the 1930s, I'll go back to my grandfather's era of food pro- duction. Trent Loos Loup City, Neb. (515) 418-8185 As a sixth-generation United States farmer, I fully understand the romance of yesteryear's food pro- duction systems but a reality check is in order. As filmmakers Michael Pollan and Robert Kenner are making the circles in the media promoting the release of Food Inc., their message about the modern food produc- tion system is nothing but a circle as well. The most glaring example is the mention that food shortages are looming, yet the solution is revert- ing back to food production meth- ods of the 1930s when one farmer fed 10 people. Today's American farmer feeds 164 people annu- ally with the safest, most reason- ably-priced food the world has ever seen. Last year the American con- sumer still spent only 10 percent of his/her disposable income on food despite reporting of higher food prices by major media sources. Vacation at a Minnesota resort this imately 955, Minnesota still has more resorts per capita than any other state in the nation. These resorts also contribute mightily to Minnesota's treasur~ generating $13.6 million in state sales and use taxes annually. If you've tended to vacation out of state but are looking to stay closer to home this summer, join your fellow Minnesotans at one of our resorts. From big to small, rus- tic to luxurious, there is a resort in our state for people of all tastes. To begin your Minnesota resort vacation 151anning, visit and click on "Resorts" under "Places to Stay." See you at the lake! Brad Finstad, Executive Director Center for Rural Policy and Development St. Peter, Minn. summer It's family vacation season again in Minnesota- that cherished time of year when we pack our cars and head "up north" or "to the lake." While most of us look forward to relaxing with family and friends at a favorite destination this time of year, for the owners of Minnesota's 900+ resorts, the rest and relaxation is on hold until the fall. Resorting is a tradition in our state that dates back to the late 1800s, when prominent Minneso- tans would gather in grand hotels on the shores of large, metro-area lakes, including Lake Minnetonka. Today~ there are resorts for Minne- sotans of all means and they dot the shores of lakes located throughout Greater Minnesota. The resort industry is still very much alive and well in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. In fact, at approx- TEN Office Hours: Mondays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-F'ri., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Call for availability at other times www.tricou ntyn ews. M N BJi|l Pert|er "Slices of Life" Enjoying the teenage years: what comes around goes around I enjoy having teenagers in the house. I can't believe I wrote that out loud. Please don't tell anyone, especially my kids. Now that it's in the open, I don't know if my confession leaves me feeling relieved or appalled. I do know how difficult the teenage years can be. It hasn't been that long since I was one myself- at least it feels that way. Because of this, I can attest that the only thing harder than being a teenager is liv- ing with one. Yet I am enjoying it. How can that be? The only logical explana- tion is that I am a glutton for pun- ishment. Either that, or I'm a par- ent. There probably isn't much dif- ference, most days. Teens - are they not the most self-absorbed creatures on the planet? No need to answer; that was a rhetorical question. Anyone who's known a teen up-close and personal will attest that they can spend hours gazing into the mir- ror, identifying the smallest flaws and imperceptible imperfections. Yet, that same person will come to the dinner table, sit down and wait to be served, never noting that the table needs to be set, the milk needs to be poured and the ketchup needs fetching from the fridge. Instead, they will look past the pile of hamburgers and ask, "What's for dinner?" Or, if their mother pulls into the driveway after a traffic accident that left the family minivan with a large dent in the bumper, a teen's first response will likely be, "Does this mean you can't drive me to the party tonight?" Finally, if their cell phone has the audacity to die on the same day as Great Aunt Mabel, you can bet they will spend quite of bit of time mourning. After that, they may take a moment to remember Aunt Mabel. Beyond the small, self-serving attitude though, there is an unde- niable appeal. Living with a teen is a time filled with energy, new- ness and life. It is an era of options, opportunity and coming-of-age. After years of Barney and Blue's Clues, it feels good to finally talk about meaty topics with my teen- agers: Is it more important to have a lot of friends or a couple of really good ones? Should you hang with people who have cool clothes and phones or the ones who laugh at your jokes? Which is better, a job that makes you money or one that makes you happy? Teens are on the edge: of adult- hood, of reality, of good things and bad. I am here to be a part of it - to witness and perhaps even influ- ence their choices. As vicarious as that sounds, it is exciting. And frustrating. Because some- times they seem so young, imma- ture and not at all ready for the world at large that it makes me want to scream. Then I remember I am dealing with a person who is as invigorated by a glorious sun- set as they are a new tank top or cool ringtone. The absurdity and absolute truth of that hits me like a limo on prom night, and I have to laugh (or at least smile). Teenagers are the way they are because they can't help themselves. It happened to me way back when, and it is .happening to my teenage kids now. It is a magical or maddening time of life - take-your pick. I pick magical because it's more fun. Plus, in 25 years or so, the teens of todaYwill be doing their best to enjoy the teens of tomorrow. I think that particular piece of knowledge goes a long way toward helping me enjoy my teenagers right now. Because you know that they say about payback: it can be nothing short of magical. Jill Pertler is a syndicated col- umnist and award winning flee- lance writer. She appreciates your comments and can be reached at , or you can check out her Web site at . POSTMASTER: Send address change~ to the Tri-County News, P.O. Box 220, Kimball MN 55353. The Tn-County News (USPS 639- 180) is entered at the Post Office, Kimball, Minnesota 55353, as Periodi- cals. It is published Thursdays by the Tn-County News, Inc., RO. Box 220, Kirnbatt MN 55353, Stearns County. LOCATION: Our office is at 70 Main Street South in downtown Kimball. Weekday office hours are Monday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Our telephone and fax number is (320) 398-5000. E-mail can be addressed to . Our Web site is . We also have a drop site at Ertl Hard- ware Hank in downtown Watkins. DEADLINE: 2 p.m. Monday. RATES: Subscription rates are $30/year ($20 for age 62 and old- er) in Minnesota; S40/year ($30 for seniors) elsewhere in the U.S. Single copy price is 75 cents. STAFF: Jean Doran Matua, Editor and Publisher Sue Hughes: Creative Designer Maxine Doran:~Admin. Asst. Jacqui DuBois: Staff Writer The staff of the Tri-County News recognizes that it has a responsi- bility to report the news accurate- ty and fairly, and tha~ it is account- able to the public. Please contact our office if you feet we've fallen short of that objective. LE'I-fERS: The Tri-County News welcomes letters promoting the ex- change of ideas and opinions. To be considered for publication, letters should address a topic of current or general interest. Private thanks, po- litical self-promotion, libelous let- ters, or letters denigrating character or reputation wilt not be published. All letters must bear the writer's sig- nature, address and telephone num- ber. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and readability. LEGAL PUBLICATION: The Tri- County News is the publication of record for the city of Kimball, Independent School District #739, Clearwater River Watershed Dis- trict, Stearns County, and the Townships of Fair Haven, Kingston and Maine Prairie. RECYCLING: The Tri-County News is printed with soy inks on recycled paper whenever possible. We encourage 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. 2008 MNA Award for Best Adver- tisement; 2008 Award for Portrait and Personality Photography; 2007 MNA Award for Advertising Excellence; 2007 MNA Award, Best Information Graphic; 2006 MNAAward, Classified Adver- tising; 2004 MNA Award, Advertis- ing Excellence; 2000 MNA Award, Best Local News Story. 2009, ~s~ Tri-CountyNews ff~ ~ ;~ 1867 "