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February 28, 2013     The Northern Star
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4 Opinion Thursday, Februrary 28, 2013 The Northern Star Social. Editorial Security Fiscal Stalemate Affects Everyone Column The massive spending cuts that are supposed to begin March 1 will have an effect on most people - when it will really show, is questionable, we're told. The term "budget sequestration" was first used to describe a section of Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Act of 1985 (GRHDRA). This was replaced by the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990, which was in effect until 2002. Sequestration was later included as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which resolved the debt-ceiling crisis; the bill set up a Con- gressional debt-reduction committee and included the sel_ uestration as a disincentive to be activated only if Congress did not pass deficit reduction legislation. BUT, they didn't get that job done! This activated the seques- tration plan. The sequestration was to come into force on January 1, 2013 and was considered part of the fiscal cliff, but the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 delayed it until March 1 of that year. Now, these many years, months and days later - this group of 535 members of Congress - 435 members of the House of Representatives and 100 Senators - all elected to be LEADERS of this reat United States of America and our President of the United States -have not been able to reach an agreement. According to reports involving what will happen in Minnesota vary, but we're told the cuts could cost Minnesota 16,000 jobs; which include edu- cators, flight positions, military, public health, to name a few. This loss is es- timated to involve the loss of $821 million in personal income to our citizens. According to reports, Minnesota ranks 49th in per capita federal spend- inf, meaning there is just less to cut in our state. A George Washington University study estimates that Minnesota's economy couldshrink by $1.6 billion. Of course there will be reduction in grants and programs that have been available to units of government, educational providers, health and welfare, and environmental agencies. Everyone has heard stories of waste and excess spending throughout the years! Should it be so difficult to look through these programs at all levels, and make some reasonable and responsible decisions? Why are they spending so much time and effort on what has happened in the past - and whose fault was it? That doesn't usually do anything con- structive in the home or workplace - deal with the present and the future! -LIT BE IN THE KNOW ABOUT MEDICARE PART B By Ramino Sifuentes Social Security Operations Supervisor in Marshall MN DNR Question of the Week Q: What is the current drought situ- ation in Minnesota and will winter snows have an impact on the drought? m . A: Currently, the U.S. Drought :hMonitor Map places more than 80 per- cent of Minnesota in the "severe tYdrought" or "extreme drought" cate- gories. The drought situation will re- main unchanged until spring because the deeply frozen soil assures that very little winter precipitation will make it into the ground. As of late autumn, the soil moisture content in the plant root- ing zone was near all-time low levels at many locations. Without abundant spring rains, a number of critical drought issues involving agriculture, forestry, horticulture, tourism and pub- lic water supply will begin to emerge. For more information about the drought in Minnesota, go to www.mndnr.gov/climate/drought. -Gt.. Spoden;state climatologist PLEASE ........ If anyone ....... * Goes Away * Has guests from a distance * Has a special party * Graduates * Is Baptized * Is III *Wins an Award * News of former residents * News of Servicemen/women + Is Someone Interested in Gathering Local News Items for the Clinton Area? If so, Please callI * That's News - We would like it! Call The Northern Star at 325-5152 Or emai! your news to: northernstar mchsi.'com Ponder These Things in Your Heart Culture Wars and the Faustian Bargain: " [ ! Dealing with the Devil In my recent articles, I noticed that the bottom line of distrib- utism is family values, holiness even, and solidarity. Not so with our culture today. There is an attack on the holy and the family It seems to me we have made a Faustian Bargain, or a deal with the devil. We wanted to build up ourselves, our little kingdoms, and the kingdoms of this world. We forgot that they belonged to the devil Luke 4:5-8). I don't have a problem with change. Everything changes. We must make friends with change. But we should not make friends with evil! The last few decades of the 20th Century saw an explosion of wealth in our country. We had a sexual revolution. We have had military wars and we are now involved in a ulture war. Our values are changing. Some argue this is for the better, and those like myself, would say it is not. Jesus tells us that in order to judge something as good or not, we need to look at thefmit. Capitalism is built on the principle of coveting. But God said, "Do not covet," didn't He? When we break this one, we automatically break the commandment: "You shall have no other gods." When these two command- ments go by the wayside, the Faustian Bargain is in full swing. We get what we want, but it can't be sustained. We had a great economy for years but today it is crumbling because of injustice. What is the fruit of the sexual revolution? Divorce, high suicide rates among children, unhappiness, and I could go on; couldn't I? How about fifty million abortions in the U.S.? Even many pro-choice people I talk with admit that this is too high. One part of the sexual revolution that is especially evil is the violence and degradation of women and children. Pornography is everywhere, even on bill- boards. 300,000 minors disappear every year into the sex slave trade (in Amer- ica!). I read recently about a study of public schools in California and the rate of sexual abuse of the students by the teachers. If the rate in California holds true across the nation, it means that we have 4 million sexually abused kids in our schools today. We had 10,000 kids sexually abused by Catholic priests over a 30 year period and we were aghast. Court judgments are in the billions, and rightfully so. But what about our schools? Where is the outcry? Our culture would have you believe the most dangerous place for you to put your children is in church. I think it is the womb and in the public schools. All these Faustian Bargains work together. The secular gods we have erected are not concerned about evil, oh no. In order to get what we want, we have to attack goodness and institutions that stand for God and goodness. Remember that little temptation scene that Jesus dealt with (Luke 4:1-12)? It is repeated in our lives too. We make choices daily about how we want culture to be. Do we want culture to be centered on goodness, family, justice, and the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33) or would we rather have our possessions, money, power, and prestige? There is a cost. There is a reward. We get what we pay for. Peace be with you. Veteran Service News By Dan Meyer Big Stone Co. Veteran Service Office The hours for the Big Stone County Veterans Serv- ice Office are 7:30am- 4:30pm, Mon- day through Friday. My of- fice phone num- ber is (320) 839,6398. VA Awards Grants to Im- prove Health Care Access for Women Veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs recently awarded 33 grants to VA facil- ities for projects that will improve emergency health care services for women Veterans, expanding women's health education programs for VA staff, and offer telehealth programs to female Veterans in rural areas. Telehealth concepts that received grants involve tele-mental health, tele- gynecology, tele-pharmacy, and tele- phone maternity care coordination. The grant program.is part of VA's con- tinuing effort to improve access and quality of care for the increasing num- ber of women Veterans seeking care at VA. Women serve in every branch of the military, representing 15 percent of today's active duty military and nearly 18 percent of National Guard and Re- serve forces. You may already know that Medicare is a medical insurance pro- gram for people who are 65 or older and for people who are disabled at any age. Some people are covered only by one type of Medicare; others opt to pay extra for more coverage. Understand- ing Medicare can save you money. If you're eligible for and want to be covered by Medicare Part B medical insurance, now is the time to sign up. The general enrollment period for Medicare Part B runs from January 1 through March 31. Before you make a decision about general enrollment, here is some useful information. There are four parts to Medicare: Parts A, B, C and D. Part A helps pay for inpatient hospital care, skilled nurs- ing care, hospice care, and other serv- ices. Part B helps pay for doctors' fees, outpatient hospital visits, and other medical services and supplies not cov- ered by Part A. Part C allows you to choose to receive all of your health care services through a managed health care organization. These plans, known as Medicare Advantage Plans, may help lower your costs of receiving medical services, or you may get extra benefits for an additional monthly fee. You must have both Parts A and B to enroll in Part C. And Part D is the Medicare Prescription Drug Program. There is a monthly premium for Medicare Part B. In 2013, the standard premium is $104.90. Some high-in- come individuals pay more than the standard premium. Your Part B pre- mium also can be higher if you do not enroll during your initial enrollment period, or when you first become eli- gible. There are exceptions to this rule. For example, you can delay your Medicare Part B enrollment without having to pay higher premiums if you are cov- ered under a group health plan based on your own current employment or the current employment of any family member. If this situation applies to you, you have a "special enrollment period" in which to sign up for Medicare Part B, without paying the premium surcharge for late enrollment. This rule allows you to: Enroll in Medicare Part B at any time while you are covered under a group health plan based on your own. current employment or the current em- ployment of any family member; or Enroll in Medicare Part B dur- ing the eight month period that begins following the last month your group health coverage ends, or following the month employment ends, whichever comes first. If you receive disability benefits and have coverage from a working family member, the same rules apply. If you're already receiving Social Security retirement or disability bene- fits or railroad retirement payments, you will be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B automatically. No need to call us to sign up for Medicare. However, because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you have the option of turning it down. If you don't enroll in Medicare Part B when you first become eligible to apply and you don't fall under the spe- cial enrollment period, you'll have to wait until the general enrollment pe- riod, which is January 1 through March 31 of each year. At that time, you may have to pay a higher Medicare Part B premium. A Look at the Past from our Area Taken from the files of The Clinton Advocate, The Graceville Enterprise & The Northern Star 10 YEARS AGO February 27, 2003 The CGB High School was one of the top five schools to take home the most awards from the 19th annual Skills Fest at Ridgewater College in Willmar. There were 28 schools in- volved. First place awards were claimed by Andrea Marihart, Ann Wencel, and Lisa Farwell. The FCCLA chapter has 26 students who have earned the right to advance to state STAR competition, including three from the CGB Middle School. Middle School students who will com- pete at State are Kyle Athey, Brooke Ammerman and Kasey Diekmann. The CGB school board nominated and voted for Donna Moberg to fill the unexpired term on the board of the late Bill Moberg. Elaine Martig and her son, Drew, were at the meeting to ac- cept the Apple award, in appreciation for Bill's years of service to the CGB school district. The presentation was made by school board chair Luann Kleindl. The city of Dumont's wastewater treatment system, completed in 2002, is failing to handle the wastewater gen- erated by the city, during its first year of operation. City residents have been asked to curtail their use of water. Road Warrior wrestler Tyler Tubbs will be advancing to State tournament action, as the 135 lb. champion at the Section meet. He is a junior at C-A high school. - 25 YEARSA4]O " February 25,1988 Big Stone Wilds, formerly Foster Lodge, will open to the public March 1, under new management. Owners of the Lodge and adjoining hunting areas are Jerry Spitzer, Doug Stielow, Nor- val Drewelow and Jim Drewelow. The Lounge and Grill at the Lodge will be open to the public. Big Stone County Cooperative is making plans for the company's 60th anniversary, with a special celebration set for Sunday, July 10. A special Cookbook/Memoirs Book will be pub- lished and customers are asked to con- tribute to this publication. In an effort to revitalize the Graceville Industrial Development Corporation, a breakfast meeting is called for Feb. 27 at C-C Cafe, accord- ing to Warren Eastman. The first 75 people to call in reservations will re- ceive a free breakfast. Big Stone County Pork Producers held their annual meeting at Lagoona Beach Supper Club, with a large crowd of pork producers, business people, buyers and members in attendance. I I [ News from Neighbors I Sen. AI Franken Commencement Speaker at UMM BENSON - The Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company recently celebrated 20 years of operation at their annual meeting in Benson this week, accord- ing to the Swift County Monitor News. They currently have $1.325 billion in revenue, $90 million returned to in- vestors, 29.5 percent return on invest- ment, $3 million in annual payroll and 50 employees. In addition to ethanol, CVEC produces several different kinds of vodka. Check Your Label Now Subscriptions are Due The First of the Month Visit www.va.gov/womenvet and www.womenshealth.va.gov to learn more about VA programs and services for women Veterans. Date to remember. We will have a Veteran's Benefit(s) Booth at this year's 20th Annual Sports and Leisure Show held at the Ortonville High School. This Event will be held on Saturday, March 16 from 10:00am-5:00pm and Sunday, March 17 from ll:00am- 4:00pm. Please stop by and visit with US. Until next week, take care and "Fair Winds & Following Seas!" USE THE CLASSIFIED ADS THEY WORK// United States Senator A1 Franken will serve as the 2013 Commencement speaker at the University of Minnesota, Morris on Saturday, May 11. This year marks the University's 50th Com- mencement exercise. Senator Franken was elected to the United States Senate in 2008 as a member of the Democratic-Farmer- Labor (DFL) Party from Minnesota. Prior to his election, Senator Franken spent 37 years as a comedy writer, author, and radio talk show host. He has taken part in seven United Service Organizations (USO) tours, visiting American troops overseas in Germany, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Uzbek- istan--in addition to visiting Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait four times. "I am honored that Senator Franken has accepted our invitation to serve as this year's commencement speaker," says Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson. Each year students in the junior class suggest potential speakers, who are then reviewed by the Functions and Awards Committee. A final list is for- warded to the chancellor, who ulti- mately invites the Commencement speaker. Morris's 50th Commencement exer- cise will be held on the campus mall (rain site is the P.E. Center) at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 11,2013. The public is invited to attend the cer- emony, to watch the event streamed online at morris.umn.edu, or to listen on KMRS/KKOK radio. Board members are Richard Ehren- berg, Gordon Lundquist, Jim Taffe, Don Diekmann, Kent Morrill, Bill Moberg, Bill Martig, Dave Weber and Robert Spitzer. Four members of the C-G FHA earned the right to advance to State with their AAE project, which received a Gold Award. The four are Kim Thompson, Kim Klein, Missy Weinkauf and Jackie Bentson. The CCSC expresses appreciation to Mary Howen of Dawson, who was in- strumental in obtaining many trees for the Arctic Open Golf Course on Lake Eli for their 9th annual event. Willie Lane, an 8th grader at C-G public school, will represent the school at the Regional Spelling Contest at Redwood Falls, as winner of the local spelling bee. Alternate is Gina Stattel- man, fifth grader. The Clinton American Legion will host their annual Smoker/Supper for Legion members, wives and Auxiliary members next Thursday. The CACG Road Warriors were runners-up in the District 21 wrestling tournament, falling one point short of the Wheaton team: 153-152. Seven wrestlers will advance to Regions. They are Pat Kehoe, Mike Moberg, Rob Void, Tony Wade, Brian Gibson, Chris Banken and Brad Gibson. Kurt Drewelow of Clinton, set a team record this year as a member of the Southwest Technical Institute, Granite Falls basketball team, scoring 47 points in one game for the Techni- cians. "" :';:" 50 YEARS A February, 1963 Freddie Gottsleben will be opening up a consignment store in Graceville in the former F & H Bakery building. Andrea Rixe and Earl Blackwelder were married at Holy Rosary Catholic Church on Feb. !6, and are now at home near Chokio. The 7th annual Egg, Cake and Crop Show will be held at the Graceville High School auditorium, with entries expected from Big Stone, Traverse and Stevens Counties. Carol Jean Seidl has been named valedictorian at Clinton High School this year, with Marcia Rixe named salutatorian. Two Clinton residents, John Erick- son and Donald Sherman, just com- pleted the season as members of the UMM Cougar basketball team at Mor- ris. Maureen Swenson, a recent gradu- ate of Humboldt Institute in Min- neapolis, is now employed by Ozark Airlines in Rockford, IL. I News from Neighbors [ CHOKIO - Improvements to Chokio's main street and the city's water were topics of a lengthy conver- sation at the Feb. 14 council meeting, according to the Chokio Review. County Engineer Brian Giese reported to the council about the Hwy. 13 mill and overlay project, which will resur- face Hwy. 13 from Hwy. 28 north to the county line. This includes Chokio's Main street. He stated it should take about three to five weeks and it's pos- sible it won't start until July. Bids for the project will be let March 27 and the contract will be awarded April 2. Many Thanks ..... Recent new and renewal subscribers to The Northern Star, which we grate- fully acknowledge with thanks for your loyalty. Mrs. E. W. Bunkers Dennis Fischer Glenda Nielsen Norval Drewelow Big Stone Ag Lester Hanson Ricky Paulsen Betty Paulsen Burnerd Cuperus Marlys Palmer Joyce Vathroder Nelia.Gary Randy Giles Melanie Borgheiinck Shirley VanBuren New Horizons Gene Amdt Joan Myhre Lyle Olson THE NORTHERN STAR James D. Kaercher Publisher Lois Torgerson Editor Denese Gustafson Advertising David Torgerson Consulting Editor Continuing The Clinton Advocate & The Graceville Enterprise Published Every Thursday at Clinton, MN 56225 PUBLICATION NO. 598660 Periodicals Postage Paid at Clinton, MN 56225 Postmaster: Send Form 3579 for change ot address to: The Northern Star Box 368 Clinton, MN 56225 RATES FOR CLASSIFIED ADS CARDS OF THANKS CARD OF THANKSL .................. $10.00 CARD OF THANKS-if billed! ...... $12.00 If length is over 2-3 inches, Cards of Thanks will be billed accordingly CLASSIFIED ADS: If paid for at time of insertion 25 words or less! ................ $10.00 $3.00 for each successive week if paid in advance & run consecutively $12.00 (25 words or less) if billed OPEN HOUSE/COMING EVENTS w/out photo! ........................... $10,00 2nd week $5.00 if paid in advance with/photo! ............................. $15.00 2nd week $5.00 if paid in advance HAPPY BIRTHDAYS! ........... $15.00 If billed! ............................. $17.00 IF YOU CHARGE - WE CHARGE ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION RATES $33.00-3 County Area (Big Stone, Traverse, Stevens) EL;EWHERE IN Minnesota- .... $38.00 Per Year Other U.S. Addresses - $43.00 Monday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday: 8 a.m. - 5p.m. Wednesday: Press Day Office Open 2-4 p.m. Thursday & Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. NEWS & AD DEADLINE Tuesday 10a.m. LETTERS POLICY Letters to the editor discussin community issues are encourageo. Letter writers should be aware that The Northern Star reserves the right to edit and/or condense letters for print. The paper also reserves the right not to publish letters that are unsuitable or for which it might be held legally liable. Letters should contain the writer's printed or typed name, signature, address and telephone number. Addresses and telephone numbers will not be published. Letter writers are asked to limit themselves to one letter per month. Please keep letter brief, preferably not over 350 words and to the point. AD vs NEWS The Northern Star policy in determining what is advertising and what is news is based on one simple test: If an individual business or organization charges for admission to an event, for an item or for a service, it will be considered advertising. In other words, "if you charge, we chargeD'S: We reserve the right to refuse any advertising without obligation to Justify our decision. POLICIES: News: Our goal is to report the news as fully and accurately as possible. The staff's opinion will appear only on the opinion page. Editorials: Opinions published on this page, whether locally written or reprinted from other sources is Intended to stimulate thinking and discussion among our readers. Opinions expressed by the editor are her own andnot necessarily those of[ other staff members. Opinlonsl expressed in Items from other I publications may be contradictory to I the editor's own views, but arel )ffered for their general interest. The Northern Star PO Box 368 Clinton, MN 56225 Phone: 320-325-5152 Fax: 320-325-5280 email: northernstar(mchsi.com