Memorial Day 2011
THUMBS UP: There is nothing unique about this year's Memorial Day, nothing that separates from past Memorial Days. But you can make it different from past holidays by taking the time to seek out a veteran or two and not only thanking them for their service to our country, but maybe even sitting down with them for a time and talking with them - about anything: their life, their service in the military, heck, even politics. You can enjoy your day off, enjoy a barbecue with friends, sure, but do something more this year. Visit a veterans hospital, or a nursing home, maybe purchase a dozen or more poppies instead of one and deliver them to people - people you know, or maybe even complete strangers. Perhaps when you buy a poppy or two, give whomever you bought it from a 20 and tell them to keep the change; the money most definitely goes to a good cause. Whatever you do, do something a little more this year.
The impact of a government shutdown
THUMBS DOWN: If there indeed is a government shutdown in Minnesota this summer, this one, unlike the last one that occurred in 2005, will have quite an impact. Six years ago, the government partially shut down, but not before numerous bills had been signed into law. Just one agency budget was signed into law this session, but bills funding the state courts, constitutional offices, highway programs and maintenance, parole and probation services, pollution control and environmental monitoring are still up in the air. State parks across Minnesota would be closed during the July 4 holiday weekend, which would potentially end up costing the state almost $1 million in revenue. Of course, none of this will happen if Gov. Mark Dayton and majority leaders in the House and Senate find some way to settle their differences. Just in case though, if you were planning on camping at a state park for the 4th it might not hurt to come up with a Plan B soon.
Busy summer set to begin
THUMBS UP: If Memorial Day is the true kick-off to summer that means summer festivals are right around the corner, and there will be some notable events taking place in the area, including the June 4-5 125th anniversary celebration of Tyler's Danebod Lutheran Church, a member of the nation's registered historical places, and the city of Garvin's 125th anniversary in late June. The summer festival calender begins next weekend with Marshall's annual Shades of the Past event that includes a tour with a twist next Friday. Keep your fingers crossed for plenty of rain-free weekends.