April 8, 2010 at 8:48 a.m.

Look for your blue renewal cards in the mail, local robotics team is heading to Atlanta

Look for your blue renewal cards in the mail, local robotics team is heading to Atlanta
Look for your blue renewal cards in the mail, local robotics team is heading to Atlanta

I hope you had a chance to save a little money by taking advantage of our early subscription renewal campaign. We have received hundreds already.

If not, you will be receiving a blue renewal card in the mail very soon. The card is a reminder that your subscription is coming due the first week of May. All you have to do is simply fill out the card and mail it back to us along with your payment. We will make sure you don't miss a single Chisago County Press.

Thank you to all who have responded to our early renewal. And thank you to all of our readers for being so loyal. We appreciate each and every one of you.

We have had quite the response to our new subscription/train tickets special. We still have a few tickets remaining if you are interested. If you are a new subscriber, you will receive the Chisago County Press for one year and two free train ride tickets to the historic Osceola Train. The tickets alone are a $34 value, so you are getting an $81 package for $47. That is a pretty great deal, plus you get an afternoon of enjoyment on a train. Look for the bright colored insert in this edition of the Press or just mention the train special when you call us at 651-257-5115.

Congratulations to the Chisago Lakes and North Branch Robotics team. The two schools combine each year to design a robot and compete against other high schools. Well, this year they did more than compete. This year they won the entire regional competition! These kids are some of the brightest kids you will ever hope to meet and they now get to take their knowledge and skills to the next level.

They will be competing against the nation's best in Atlanta Georgia on April 15 - 17. Since it was a surprise they won the competition (a good surprise), they had not thought about funding a trip to Atlanta. The schools and the students are asking the public for their support in getting to Atlanta. If you would like to donate to the robotics trip, please send a check to: Chisago Lakes High School Attn: Robotics trip, 29400 Olinda Trail Lindstrom, MN 55045. Or to:  North Branch High School Attn: Robotics trip, 38175 Grand Avenue, North Branch, MN 55056-6070.

Congratulations once again and good luck!

I had a very interesting call last Friday. It was from a long time reader who called to renew his subscription. He told me that he had been reading since long before my dad passed away and that he really enjoyed the Press. I thanked him and we talked about everything from the economy to lake levels.

In our conversation, the reader voiced his displeasure with the whole power plant in Lent Township ordeal. He asked me why I rarely take sides on hot topics. He reiterated that my dad was never shy about voicing his opinion on local topics.

I told him that when I first started here, I did in fact write about pressing issues in our area. I then proceeded to tell him that just like clockwork, I could tell you the phone would start ringing off the hook with angry callers. Even if I thought I was writing on behalf of the majority, it wouldn't matter, the calls would still come. The caller said he understood and that he still enjoyed the newspaper.

I thought about his call a lot over Easter weekend. Should I be more aggressive in my writing? Should I call politicians and others out on certain topics? The reason for not writing this way, kept coming back the same. I have friends on virtually every side of every issue. Am I willing to throw friendships away just to throw my opinions around? What are my opinions worth? If you ask my family they will tell you not much.

Instead, I choose to focus on the positives in our community. Positives such as good will, businesses, schools, the local economy. These topics are the topics that you will not hear about on the nightly news. These are the topics that I think the public should know about and support. If you have ever read my colum in the past, you know without question that our community means everything to me, and if I can pass along information to the public on how to help or preserve our area, I most certainly will.

Thanks to the caller for our great conversation on Friday. I welcome any and all calls regarding this newspaper. Most importantly, thanks for reading.

To piggyback off the last subject, I had an interesting visitor last week. A woman had brought her renewal to the Press. She was the cutest little lady and when I saw her I had to say hi. Her name is Betty Charbonneau. Betty told us that she is about to turn 99-years-old soon. She then told us that both her parents passed away very early in life. When I asked her what her secret to living such a long life was, she just smiled and said "walking and a good attitude". Betty told me that she has been reading the County Press forever and for that I thank her. If you happen to see Betty walking on the sidewalk, make sure to wish her a happy birthday, but then get out of her way.


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