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Tri-County News
Kimball, Minnesota
June 30, 2011     Tri-County News
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June 30, 2011

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Page 2 How you may be affected if (when) Per00|er the state government shuts down "Slices of Life" Bylean Doran Matua, Editor, St. Cloud State University will and DanieUeBrower remain open. MnSCU and the It seemstheStateofMinnesota State Budget Office have worked For the love of rhubarb couldn&apos;t have picked a worse time than the Fourth of July weekend to shut down. Then again, no one is' really choosing a government shutdown. It's about to happen because a new state budget can't be agreed on by legislators and the governor. We hope this research we've done won't be needed. We really hoped we wouldn't even have to write this, but here it is. Government offices run by the State of Minnesota will close at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 30, and plan to stay closed until the budget impasse is resolved. State employ- ees are having to spend much of their work days preparing for the shutdown rather than doing their particular jobs. This means that, even if the government doesn't shut down, there will be a backlog of work in many offices. Perhaps the first thing you'll notice if/when the State closes Thursday afternoon is that you won't be able to buy a Lottery ticket. The Minnesota State Lot- tery is a state office, and the pro- gram will be turned off. Let's hope you didn't schedule a camping trip to one of Minnesota's beautiful state parks this week- end. They'll all be closed. Can't get a fishing license either. You'll still be able to launch your boat at a public landing, but the Department of Natural Resources, run by the state, won't be out protecting you or wildlife. And don't count on rest stops along the way to wherever you're going this weekend. State-run rest stops along highways and flee- ways all around the state will be closed. You'd better make other arrangements. The Minnesota Zoo is sched- uled to close in the event of a shut- down. Local impacts Keep in mind that this state shutdown only affects state-run offices. City and county offices should stay up and running as usual. In most cases, expected state funding would be postponed by a state shutdown and cities and counties would be able financially to work around such delays. All 32 Great River Regional Library branches will remain open and all programming con- tinue as scheduled. (Their funding is based on a calendar year and is not yet in jeopardy.) Area school operations will continue in summer mode. While expected July state payments may be delayed by a shutdown, reserve funds should be able to tie them over temporarily. There will be no staff cuts, and no student days will be affected unless the shutdown goes on for a long time. Jails are run by counties, but state prisons will remain in oper- ation. Parole officers are county employees, so parolees will not go unsupervised. State payments to hospitals and nursing homes would not be made during a shutdown. While staffing and services may not suf- fer in the short-term, the impact from a long-term shutdown even- tually could pose problems for both employees and patients. out a deal that keeps these univer- sities running during a shutdown. The Stearns County Licensing Center will remain open, and you can renew driver's licenses (so long as they still have the forms). You won't get a permanent replace- ment license until state offices re- open. You also can renew license tabs (while they have the forms). WorkForce Centers will be closed for job searches and job training. This is deemed "non- essential." Tuesday the Stearns County Board of Commissioners decided to continue the West-MetroCorri- dor Project, relying on state-cer- tified inspectors and private con- tractors rather than on MnDOT. Installations of the public restrooms in Willow Creek Park has already been delayed by the impending shutdown as there is a backup now to get required plumbing permits. It could be a month- plus the time of an actual shutdown- before that project can proceed. Kimball's planned street repairs are being funded federally, by the USDA. This project will not be affected by a short-term state shutdown. The costs of a shutdown No matter your political stance on the issue, here are some facts that might make you feel ill. The closing of state parks rep- resents a loss of about $1 million a week to the state, but about $12 million a week to local tourism: near state parks. The Lottery takes in an aver- age of $2.3 million a week for the state. During a shutdown that amount will be $0. Loss of income and sales tax. (As many as 36,000 state employ- ees who are laid off won't be pay- ing income tax, and probably won't be buying much either.) Delays in construction projects will cost valuable time and money. When unemployment claims rise, the state will have to bor- row federal money to meet those claims; all that borrowed money, plus interest, must be paid back. Benefits of a shutdown? There is very little on the up- side of a shutdown. You won't have to pay extra to drive alone in the commuter lanes in the Metro area. You can explore your local county parks, which will stay open no matter what happens with the state. Try calling Lake Koronis Regional Park near Paynesville for campsite and camper-cabin avail- ability; (320) 276-8843. Or call Stearns County Parks at (320) 255- 6172 ext. 2 for information about their parks. Most counties have park information online too. Pawn shops and high-interest pay-day lenders could be very busy, both with people looking for loans and those looking for bargains. Again, here's hoping that no one needs this information. In the event of a shutdown, try to get what you need done before 4 p.m. today (June 30). Just remem- ber that you can't count on win- ning the Lottery to solve anything, since you may not be able to buy a ticket for awhile. TCN Omce will be CLOSED Fri. Jul, v I after3 ).m. and onda,.6 Jul ! ,4 www.tricou ntynews. M N opinio n Thursday, June 30, 2011 MN :::::::::::: Z:-:& ........  .... NIili traveled to my mom's plot, and then, finally, to my own backyard. Something that's been around for nearly a century has earned a place in my family's hall of fame, not to mention our recipe books. My grandma's stint with the rhu- barb was finished long before mine began; yet I feel connected to her through our red stalks. I imagine her harvesting the plant decades ago on the farm. Her days were filled with hard work and her hands showed it. In old photographs, I can see them, working hands that were thick, strong and gnarled. My grandma and her rhubarb, I guess both were winter hardy and tough. Not to mention versatile and resourceful. Generations ago, good folks like my grandma didn't have the luxury of superstores or the availability of produce sitting on grocery shelves year-round. She had to make do with what she had. In the early summer months, that meant cutting, cooking and can- ning the rhubarb so it would be available during the long winter to keep everyone healthy and hearty. I'm not as winter hardy as my grandma was. She'd probably take one look at my hands and know they'd never last a day working on a farm. Times change. Rhubarb does not. At least not in my experience. My rhubarb has provided my family with the sustenance of its tart goodness for three genera- tions. It is reliable, versatile and tasty. Something that's managed to be around for so long, and proven itself winter hardy, well, I can't think of anything sweeter. Jill Pertler, award-winning syn- dicated columnist and author of "The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication" is collecting fans on Facebook on her Slices of Life page. Rhubarb recipes will be posted later this week. E-mail her at pertmn @qwest. net;, or visit her web- site at http://marketing-by-design. home. For as long as I can remember, I've been in love with my rhubarb. It's a one-sided relationship, to be sure. If there can be such a thing as a relationship with a gar- den plant. It may sound counterintuitive, having a soft spot in one's heart for a fruit that can't even be described as sweet (nor return my affections for that matter), but my devotion isn't for the rhubarb, per se. It's what the rhubarb represents. It starts with humble begin- nings, when the rhubarb emerges from the soil in the spring, look- ing more like an alien than a plant. Its curled leaves erupt from the ground like a gnarled hand. While not pretty, rhubarb enters the world thick and strong. That's because rhubarb is a tough piece of produce. There's nothing tender about rhubarb. The large, heart-shaped leaves may connote visions of romance, but let's not forget they are poisonous. Beyond the leaves, the stalks are fibrous and stringy, not juicy and soft like watermelon or strawber- ries. You have to work with your rhubarb in order to bring it to a sweetness and consistency consid- ered worthy of dessert status. Even so, rhubarb is a versa- tile vegetable (so versatile some might mistake it for a fruit). It is a welcome ingredient in everything from sauces and jams to breads and cakes. Its tartness provides a complimentary background to the sweet flavors of other fruits. Best of all, it can withstand winter temper- atures that fall to double-digit neg- atives. It is extremely winter hardy. Because of its culinary achieve- ments and robust durability, rhu- barb, in general, is worth my atten- tion. But my very own rhubarb, growing in my backyard, deserves my love. The reason for this is sim- ple: my rhubarb is old. It has been with my family for generations. The plants came from my grandma's garden, originally, IF' DEADLINE: 2 p.m. Friday, ]uly 1 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the Tri-County News, RO. 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 Kimball. Weekday office hours are Monday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Tuesday through Fri- day 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Our telephone and fax number is (320) 398-5000. E-mail can be addressed to <news@tricounty news.MN>. Our Web site is <www. tricountynews.MN>. We also have a drop site at Ert[ Hardware Hank in downtown Watkins. DEADLINE: 2 p.m. Monday. RATES: Subscription rates are 536/year (526 for age 62 and older) in Minnesota; 546/year (536 for se- niors) 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. Associate /rguerite Laabs: Photographer Marlene A. Young: Ad Sales Rep Lexi Bulau: Intern 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 feel we've fallen short of that objective. LETTERS: The Tri-County News welcomes letters promoting the ex- change of ideas and opinions. To be considered for ublicati, letters should address a topic of current or general interest. Private thanks, po- Litical self-promotion, Libelous Letters, or letters denigrating character or reputation wlt not be published. ALl letters must bear the writer's signa-i turf, address and telephone number. 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, Inde- pendent School District #739, Clear- water River Watershed District, Stea rns County, and the Townships of Fair Haven, Kingston and Maine Prairie. RECYCLING: The Tri-County News is printed with soy inks on re- cycled paper whenever possible. We encourage recycling. COPYRIGHT: ALl content herein is the property of the Tri-County New and is protected by U.S. copyright taw; 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. 2011 MNAAd Contest first-place winner; 2010 MNA Award for Best Website; 2010 MNAAward for Best Self-Promotion Ad; 2010 MNA Award ' for Best Color Ad; 2010 MNAAward : for Best News Photo; 2009 MNA : Award for Best Serf-Promotion Ad; 2008 MNA Award for Best Advertise- i men[; 2008 Award for Portrait and Personality Photography; 2007 MNA Award for Advertising Excellence; 2007 MNA Award, Best Information Graphic; 2006 MNA Award, CLassified Adver- : tising; 2004 MNAAward, Advertising Excellence; 2000 MNA Award, Best Local News Story. 2011, Tri-County News Iml . 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