June 5, 2003 at 2:19 p.m.

The post-session blitz

The post-session blitz
The post-session blitz

Well, the 2003 legislative session is now history and both political parties are running around the state proclaiming what was good and what was bad about the session, and it all depends on which side you are listening to as to whether it was good or bad. You and I and the rest of the taxpayers probably will never know what the majority of the bills enacted contain or what impact they will have on us. We will, however, have the “spin” to rely on for our interpretation.

It’s sort of a sad state of affairs that both political parties feel the need to go around the state to explain why the other side was all wrong and their side was all right. Wouldn’t it just be easier and more clear if they just got their business done in a timely fashion and in a manner that is truly best for the taxpayers? It is very difficult not to be a cynic when year after year the process seams to have its wheels fall off and all sides blame the other sides for all of the troubles. Do you think we will live long enough to see a session that at its conclusion has bills passed that are the best for the majority of the population and those bill would be passed by both sides of the aisle in agreement with each other? Take faith, next year is an election year and all sides will have to be on their best behavior to get re-elected. And, if you believe that, I’ve got a very nice piece of swamp land that I think you would be interested in.

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The Federal Communications Commission on Monday changed its rules to allow media companies the right to own more than one television station in a market and the right to own a major newspaper and TV station in the same market. The chances of more, better coverage by the common ownership is probably pretty much of a dream and the fact that you will have one board of directors in charge you could be faced with only being able to receive one point of view.

The big media giants already own multiple TV and newspaper operations, but up till now they have been in different cities. Perhaps we should get on the cutting edge of this thing and start the Chisago Lakes Television Network to compete with the big guys. While those of us who toil away in all types of small businesses often come up short in what is anticipated of us because we are forced to live within our budgets, you can rest assured that the decisions we make are based on what is best for our supporters and that will reflect in the health of our businesses. Time will tell if the FCC decision is a good or bad decision and we will have to live with the current (new) rules for a very long time.

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Next Saturday, June 14 is Flag Day. This is a day that should have more national holiday prominence, especially given the events of the past couple of years. Unfortunately, Flag Day, like so many other special occasions, has a tendency to just slip into that, just another day category. It comes and goes and many folks are not even aware of it. We don’t get a day off work to commemorate it after all, and if it weren’t for the efforts of our local veterans’ organizations and a few other who see to it that extra flags are placed around, most wouldn’t have a clue that it was Flag Day. There are no special greeting cards to mail, no parades, not even a huge fundraiser for the preservation of the flag.

Now that we know that Flag Day is not one of our traditional holidays and we know that we will have to work on it if it falls on a work day, perhaps we can all find just a few moments to reflect on what the flag means to each of us. If a majority of us would do that, it would be giant strides towards putting meaning back into Flag Day. In spite of the troubles and short comings, we still live in the best country in the world and should thank God every day for allowing our nation to survive. The American flag is meant to be a shining symbol of our great nation and if you own a flag, fly it proudly June 14 or better yet, fly it proudly every day.

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This past weekend and next week the young people at Chisago Lakes and North Branch High Schools are going through their graduation ceremonies. For these young people, this is the first of many major milestones that are to come into their lives. What lies ahead for them is an unknown, but we do know that their possibilities are unlimited. To all graduates I wish you heartfelt congratulations and wishes for all the best in whatever direction your life journey leads you.

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On the subject of major events, plans are well underway for this summer’s Relay for Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. The Chisago Lakes event will take place the first weekend in August and you still have time to form a team, volunteer to help or just make a donation. Any and all help is appreciated and welcome. If you want to get involved or need more information, please contact the Relay chair, Jody Sellman, at 651-257-9366.

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