Opinion

Walz: Enbridge now needs a ‘social permit’

Editorials

Enbridge Energy has operated a crude oil pipeline — called Line 3 — across northern Minnesota since the 1960s. It begins in Canada and ends at a terminal in Superior, Wis. The oil is processed by refineries in the Midwest that turn it into many products, including gasoline. Line 3 is ...

Hope on a hook shank

Local Columns

The practice of tying my own flies began almost as soon as I was introduced to the sport of fly fishing. Though even the first woolly buggers and simple nymphs were a bit rough looking, they caught fish the following season and that was enough to hook me on the process. Since then, each ...

Winter driving expectations

Local Columns

Blowing snow boiled across the road, creating the illusion that the highway was a cascade of milk. The sky was clear, and visibility was excellent. That is, down to about a foot above the road, where visibility was zero. Were it not for the reassuring rumble of rubber on asphalt, I could have ...

Understanding Social Security survivors’ benefits

Local Columns

Unfortunately, tragedy can strike without any warning. The loss of the family wage earner can be devastating both emotionally and financially. Social Security helps by providing income for the families of workers who die. Some of the Social Security taxes you pay go toward survivors benefits ...

A different perspective on carbon footprint

Letters to the Editor

To the editor: The Feb. 7 “Can’t ignore need to increase renewable energy,” warns: “It’s time to come to terms with the urgent issue of reducing the state’s carbon footprint.” “Carbon footprint” means carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions humans create by burning fossil fuels. ...

Tobacco 21 deserves support in Legislature

Editorials

Minnesota’s success at reducing the percentage of people in the state who smoke has stalled recently. About 13.8 percent of Minnesotans smoke, compared with 14.4 percent four years ago. It could be that those who want to quit have managed to do so, and the rest are hard-core ...

A supermoon in the east and a little lamb in the west

Local Columns

Hype sure has become a staple of most media these days, especially on the internet. With volumes and volumes of information out there, writers and editors are desperate to grab your attention with sensational headlines. Up until the last several years the term “Supermoon” was just part of ...

Shopping online so easy, so convenient — and it’s killing us

Local Columns

Every two weeks, when I look at my paycheck, I see about 9 percent of it disappearing to state and federal income taxes. Once a year, thanks primarily to three little hobgoblins running around the house, I get a decent portion of that back from Uncle Sam but not all of it, which I’m sure ...

A Chocolate Affair

Local Columns

I had bought myself a new Fitbit with some Christmas money a few weeks ago. The band had fallen apart on my old one back in October of 2017, so I got back on the bandwagon. I chose an Alta with a heart rate monitor this time around. It’s got a different setup from my Charge 2 HR, but it does ...

Short takes

Editorials

Military veterans deserve extra help THUMBS UP: Southwest Minnesota State University and Minnesota West Community and Technical College are doing their part to provide educational opportunities to military veterans. A national survey ranked SMSU third among all institutions in its small ...

Ask a Trooper

Local Columns

Question: Do you turn in front of an approaching vehicle or behind it when two vehicles both want to turn left at an uncontrolled intersection? Answer: If two vehicles approach the intersection close to the same time, both vehicles should carefully make a left turn in front of each other ...

Change funding formula for regional libraries

Letters to the Editor

To the editor: We, the Board of the Marshall-Lyon County Library (MLCL), strongly support a $4 million funding increase to the Regional Library System. Likewise, we support the effort to change the state’s funding formula for Regional Libraries. This formula currently decreases Plum ...

Clear out the snow before tragedy strikes

Editorials

Clearing snow this winter has become a big pain for Marshall residents. One resident interviewed while in the middle of snowplowing his sidewalk told the Independent that this winter has been “as bad as it was seven years ago.” “I have 142 feet of sidewalk to take care of, and every ...

A capitol experience

Local Columns

Everybody talks about the government, but nobody does anything about it. That statement has been true ever since the first barely-sentient creature slithered out of the primordial ooze and filed paperwork to start a campaign finance committee. Government is a mystery to many of us. It’s ...

Sex harassment should be obvious

Editorials

Legislators are looking at a bill that would redefine what constitutes sexual harassment in Minnesota. Advocates of the bill say it is needed to lower the legal bar that makes it too hard for victims of harassment to seek protection. It’s sad that we have to do this. Sexual harassment is ...

All you need is love?

Local Columns

English grammar and I are not always the best of friends. There are times when we struggle with each other about the right way to say or write about a topic. I believe it’s because there are too many nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prefixes, suffixes and all the other ingredients within ...

Ignorant on science and facts

Letters to the Editor

To the editor: The comment by our state representative in your Feb. 7 editorial “Can’t ignore need to increase renewable energy” indicates Rep. Chris Swedzinski’s ignorance of science and facts and his lack of concern for us, our children, and our grandchildren. What he should be ...

Klobuchar faces her biggest political fight

Editorials

On Sunday, Minnesota’s senior senator, Amy Klobuchar, announced her intent to run for president. She joins a growing crowd of Democrats who want to regain the White House in 2020. We know Minnesotans like Klobuchar, and have elected her three times to the Senate with increasingly strong ...

Reporting for spring

Local Columns

My enjoyment of baseball, particularly Twins baseball, began in my grandfather’s red party cruiser, or the bright blue paddleboat just off the shore on Big Detroit Lake. My dad would bring an old battery-powered radio with a long silver antenna, set it between us and tune it to a Fargo ...