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The Ortonville Independent
Ortonville, Minnesota
February 1, 2011     The Ortonville Independent
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February 1, 2011

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Editorial comment GUEST EDITORIAL... Lower, middle-income shouldering more of State's revenue burden (By Jeff Van Wychen Minnesota 2020 Fiscal Policy Fallow) Since 2000, Minnesota's state and local taxes have become more regressive, meaning low and moderate income families shoulder a disproportionate share of the tax load. It s a nationwide trend progressing more aggressively, in Minnesota than nearly every other state, according to our latest report, Minnesota's Tax Fairness Retreat: A 50-State btudy. It could be found at Minnesota is slipping when it comes to its level of tax fairness. Low and middle income families, who are already struggling to make ends meet:should not be asked to pay a larger percentage of their income to fund state and local-government services than high income households. Using data from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, our organization, Minnesota 2020, a St. Paul-based progressive policy think tank, compared tax systems in all 50 states. The study finds an increased reliance on property taxes--which are regressive--and decreased dependence on income taxes--which are progressive--as a major set ot forces pushing Minnesota toward becoming a more regressive tax state. One of the main reasons for this shift is "no new taxes" state policy, which led to reductions in state revenue sharing with local governments, thereby forcing property tax hikes. Middle-income Minnesotans saw a significant rise in property tax rates since. 2. 000,compared to a sizable drop for the state s wealthiest households. Overall Minnesota's middle-income earners pay 10.3 percent of their income in taxes comparedto t.he state s highest earners who p, ay 7.7 percent ot their income in taxes. Minnesota s sales and excise taxes have also become more regressive. , Efforts to reduce regressivity are not "socialism" or 'class warfare," but simple tax tairness. While making taxes tairer is the right thing to do, there's an economic benefit to giving low- and middle- income Minnesotans more purchasing power. These folks tend to spend a larger share o-f income in the local community on goods and services than high income families. Respected economists agree that a stronger recovery will start when 'aggregate demand" rises. That won t come by giving untargeted tax breaks to the rich. Despite conservative policy, more tax breaks for wealthy business owners will not result in more jobs. We need toput money back in workers hands to spur the demandthat will get businesses hiring again. We've tried the no new tax myth for eight years now. It's done nothing to improve our economy: Minnesota ranks 32nd in percentage growth in employment (Jan. 2002 to Nov. 2010) Minnesota ranks 36th in the percentage growth in per capita personal income (2002 to 200-9) Minnesota ranks 42nd in thepercentage growth in median household income (2002 to 2009) There are several policy options which could halt or reverse the state's growth in tax regressivity: :Increase dependence on progressive revenues, such as the income tax, and reduce dependence on regressive revenues, such as property and consumption taxes. Enhance income tax progressively with a more steeply graduated rate structure and refundable credits, such as the working family and dependent care credits. Reduce consumption tax regressivity by using progressive sales tax credits. blegressivity increases in Minnesota and other states should cause concern for many reasons, but most importantly because it undermines the notion ot fairness which is essential for public support ot the tax system. I checkour web site I By JDK Hats oft" to all who had a hand in mak- ing for a highly successful first-ever "Arts on Ice" showing at Ortonville's Skating Rink last Friday night. Luckily, the weather was perfect, and a large, enthusi- astic crowd enjoyed themselves. Credit goes mainly to out" managing editor and daughter, Sue Kaercher Blake, along with all the members of the Big Stone Arts Council and the Watertown Figure Skating Assn. Bigger plans are afoot for next year's showing. We understand this may be the only outdoor skating event in the na- tion...and WCCO television may have cov- ered the show this year. Here's an oddity for you: This year we will experience four un- usual dates...1/1/ll, 1/ll/ll, 11/1/11, ll/ll/ll...NOW go figure this out...take the last two digits of the year you were born plus the age you will be this year and it WILL EQUAL TO 111. WOW! Some exciting news from a very proud former resident and long-time friend and reader Pete Christensen, now of the metro area. He sends us an article from the Osseo-Maple Grove newspaper, telling of high honors achieved by Pete's grandson, Jonny Dill, an l lth grader who recently chalked up his 103rd win in wrestling at Maple Grove High School. Jonny also shot his first-ever deer in our Ortonville last No- vember and Pete is also so proud of Jonny being an "'A" student. See photo elsewhere this issue showing Pete and Jonny when Jonny won his 100th match in wrestling. From Cottage Grove, former resident and readers, Doug and Doris Orton, send renewal and say "we enjoy the Independent very much. Nice to keep up with everything going on! We are in Panama City, FL, for the 20th winter. Very cool here. Hope you both, Jim and Sue, stay well in the new year!" From St. Louis Park, reader Ber- nice(Swenson)Mattke sends renewal, bringing back some fond memories of days of vore. At age 13, we went to work for her father, the late Mel Swenson, at a farm just south of Clinton, to work with a threshing crew ...a gang of about a dozen farmers, one of who was Mel. At the time, Bernice was several years older, and we thrilled at her wholesome beauty and congenial personal- ity...all of.which made our work so enjoy- able. She writes, with renewal, "days are ,,oino by so much faster as we a,,e. Your colunm is longer now too. Really admire our drive, Jim, and your anabition. I hope u continues for a long time!" So do we, Bernice! She and husband, Harold, are "going to San Juan to start a Cruise on Feb. 5th. "which should help us shorten the win- ter. Laurie and Tim(children)will be with us. so am really looking forward to it. Stay warm and well...the best to you and yours." We have also been long-time friends of Bernice's brother. Roger, who became a miaistcr and who we understand is still in- volved in Christian work. Mary Ann Kelly(nee McElderry) of Brooklyn Center, sends renewal and says "enjoy the paper and reading it on Tueso day...thanks to the Postal Service. Always enjoy your Odds 'n Ends column. I have been retired from the Postal Service for 26 years, 20 of those serving as State Secretary for the NARFE(National Active Retired Federal Employes). De- cided not to run for re-election this year. Will miss it, but have other volunteer work I want to do. Keep up the good work!" On a recent WCCO radio talk show, dis- cussing what folks thought about the U of M's Minnesota Daily newspaper printing a pretty gruesome photo with a story about a dead man's body being found on the rail- road tracks in the metro area. Many voiced distaste, others said they could care less. All of this talk brought back memories of perhaps the most horrible murder-suicide- fire event that happened in Ortonvi!le many years ago, shocking our community like never before...and thank goodness never since! Without mentioning names, though many of our older readers know of whom we speak, here is what happened, as we re- call being told us by late father Lem. The man of the house killed the lady of the house, then started a fire in the basement, following which he hung himself. The time was about I or 2 a.m. Ortonville's Fire Dept. was called to the scene because of the fire, and Lem was also called with cam- era to cover the story. In our youth, we were fast asleep. When Lem arrived, he knew nothing of the murder-suicide...only that there was a fire. The flames were put out before much damage to the house, and Fire Chief at the time, the late Harlan Parker, and Lem began an inspection walk- ing through the debris. The night was pitch black as was the house with no lights. Lem had a speed graphic camera at the time which operated with a flash that when trig- gered, lit up a huge area. In total darkness, Harlan said to Lem," I think I have a good picture for you in the basement....walk down this flight of 12 steps, then turn your body 90 degrees to the right, have your camera set to focus about 10 feet from you and take your picture." Lem did as Harlan instructed...and when the camera's flash went off, creating a brilliance of light, Lem almost passed out! There in front of Lem was the suicide victim's body...a tall, huge man...hanging by a rope from the ceiling, his body charred to a brown from the fire, his eyes bulging out with tongue hanging out...looking right at Lem and his camera! Lem told us he was shaking in his boots when he came up stairs and claimed it took him several days to recover. Getting back to the subject of the start of this story, dis- cussing the Minnesota Daily photo, Lem made a print of the photo he took and sub- mitted it to the Associated Press for publi- cation, as he frequently did as an AP correspondent at that time. The AP returned the photo, saying they would "never pub- lish anything so gory!" Lem returned the photo to Harlan for his Fire Dept. files, and we understand Harlan kept it for many years in his desk at his Pioneer Meat Mar- ket .... reportedly showing it only on occa- sion? So, putting yourself in the shoes of the radio talk show responders, what would your thoughts be as to publishing such a photo in print, as the Minnesota Daily did?? We know what ours would total agreement with the AP! Also, wisely enough, Lem did not use the photo in The Independent! Talk about a MIRACLE! A story we viewed recently on the internet has to top the list! Two high school basketball teams from Maine were in a close contest, one leading the other by a point with two minutes to play. The team that was ahead was inbounding the hail under its own basket. Time left to inbound the ball was nearing the end, so the inbound player threw the ball to one ot his mates just in time to keep the clock running. The ball never got to the intended player, however, hitting the court floor and taking a bizarre bounce off one of the de- fenders. The ball then ricocheted directly into the net for a two- pointer! Absolutely incredible! Big Stone County 4-H fruit sales on Big Stone County 4-Hers will be selling fruit from Jan.17 through Feb. 15 as one of two major fund raisers for the year. Beef Sticks, Washington Red and Golden Delicious Apples, Granny Smith Apples, Braeburn Apples, Fuji Apples, California Navel Oranges, Washington D'Anjou Pears, Texas Rio Star Red Grapefruit, Pineapple, Mixed Fruit Boxes, Glad Corn, Beef Sticks and String Cheese. An addition this year will be a nine pound mixed fruit box. One of our most popular options is the string cheese, which comes wrapped indi- vidually with 24 per box. Beef sticks made in Wisconsin are also available. The gift box includes grapefruit, oranges, pears and a sampling of five different apples. We are also featuring a small and large Sampler Box of WasNngton Apples containing red and golden delicious, Granny Smith, Braeburn and Fuji. Delivery date of the fruit will be March 5. The money raised will help pay the cost of 4-Hers attending 4-H Camps, YELLO, Citizen Washington Focus, State Fair, and provide for pro- ject materials and supplies, etc. Your local youth welcome your support. Contact a 4-Her the Big Stone County Extension Office, 839-6380 or 1-800- 279-2518, for more information. ONCE AGAIN... MANY THANKS Recent new and renewal sub- scribers to The Independent which we gratefully acknowledge with thanks for your loyalty: D. Braun Kathy Athey Alice Hansen Judy Nichols Darrell Tober Vernica Vanorny Marlys Johnson Gilbert Roscoe Dave Clods Anne Hedemark Russell Wall Donald Swanson Joe Krueger Sharon Folk Lula Hagen Lavay Anderson Barbara Sorlien Carol Koosman Mary Kelly Robert Karels Dennis Bakeberg Diane Carlson Dan Jurgens Randall Tietjen Edna Schwandt Meg Johnson Patrick Kvidera Margaret Fishbeck Vivian Sennott Dorothy Rygajlo Allen Pearson Pat Taffe Lloyd Whiting Jean Mersch Wiibert Volkenant Carol Kohler Betty Ann Nelson Elsa Canterbury Frank Hoffman Joanne Carlson Dale Kiitzke Bernice Mattke Crystal Clear Carwash Marvin Gess .I// Southwest Initiative, Valspar partner for community projects Applications are now being accept- ed for consideration in the Minnesota Beautiful Program, a grant program that provides paint and coatings to complete various restoration projects in Minnesota communities. The pro- gram is administered by the Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) in partnership with the Minneapolis-based Valspar Corporation. This 14-year partnership between the organizations provides community restoration and beautifica- tion opportunities in southwest Minnesota. Selected projects must be located within SWIF's 18-county southwest Minnesota service area. Projects must also meet criteria including visual impact of the project, public benefit to the community, volunteer participa- tion and support, current and/or intended use of the structure and ben- efit to the needy. Qualifying projects may include--but are not limited to-- historic buildings, structures or land- marks, facilities for senior or disabled citizens, community centers or other public buildings and murals or other visual impact projects. Some projects not within the scope of this program include denominational churches, city maintenance or privately-owned facil- ities that do not meet any of the above criteria. Completed application packages for the Minnesota Beautiful program must be received by March 7, 2011. Acquire an application online at or by con- tacting SWIF Community Resource Assistant Marsha Schiro at mar- or 800-594- 9480. The Southwest Initiative Foundation is a regional community foundation dedicated to advancing southwest Minnesota through leader- ship, relationship building, program development and philanthropy. The Foundation has contributed more than $53 million through its grant and loan programs in southwest Minnesota. It has also helped more than 510 busi- nesses start or expand through its business finance programs, which have created or retained more than 7,900 jobs. The Southwest Initiative Foundation is an equal opportunity provider. To learn more, visit ] INDEPENDENT WANT ADS BRING QUICK RESULTS! [ 2 31 35 m Clues ACROSS 4. Take in marriage 37. Origina Equipment 1. Smallest mergansers 5. Tin Mfg. 6. Minute floating marine 6. Antimony 38. Bachelor of Laws tunicate 7. Linen liturgical 39. Largest English 11. Made from genus vestment dictionary (abbr.) quercus 8. A country in SE Asia 40. The most electro- 12. Bored feelings 9. Photocopy positive metal 13. Spoke 10. Place of Hindus 41. Classical music for 15. Cry retreat the stage 18. Played the chanter 13. Ocular 42. Spirit presiding over 19. Lash 14. Lasso thing or place 20. Shoots a marble 16. Acorn tree 43. In a wise way 21. Dentist's group 17. Wife of Saturn 45. Promotions 24. Trees in 11 across 21. Behave in a certain 46. A piece of land 25. Prince Hirobumi manner 48. What the sun did 26. Opposite of capitalism 22. Cease living yesterday 30. Eats decaying wood 23. Swiss river 50. "Rule britannia" composer 32. Facial twitch 26. Painting on dry 51. Scum at the surface 33. E. central English river plaster of molten metals 35. Sound wave reflection 27. Not off 43. Goalless 28.6th tone of the scale 53. __ Adams, early US patriot 44. Central processing unit 29. Pre-Columbian 54. Chinese term for 45. Wings Indians of Peru poetry 47. Million barrels per day 31. Bit-by-bit 56. Present tense of be (abbr.) 34. The 26th state 57. Atomic #52 48. Noah's oldest son 36. Hour (Bible) 49. Tenet 51. "Rocky" actress Talia 52. Bullocks 54. Repeated product phrase 55. A roofed patio 57. "Police station" in South Asian countries 58. Cosmogeny matter (pl) 59. 1967 Nobel chemist Manfred Clues DOWN 1. Bouncing Bess 2. Australian friends 3. Supplemented with difficulty The Ortonville Independent (U.S.P.S. 412-460) I i JAMES D. KAERCHER Publisher / Managing Editor SUZETTE KAERCHER-BLAKE Editor and Advertising Sales MIKE SWENSON Associate Editor / Advertising Rep Tucs.Feb 1,2(111 Vol. 93:No 3 Continuing the ORTONVILLE JOURNAL STAR Published Every Tuesday at 29 2nd St. N.W. Ortonville, MN 56278 Periodicals Postage Paid at Ortonville, Minnesota SUBSCRIPTION RATES $35.00 per year in Big Stone, Lac qui Parle, Traverse and Swift Counties in Minnesota, Grant and Roberts Counties in South Dakota. $40.00 for all other counties in Minnesota and South Dakota. All others, $45.00 per year Postmaster: Send address changes to The Ortonville Independent, Box 336, Ortonville, Minnesota 56278. NEW SUBSCRIPTION RATE SCHEDULE - ALL SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE BASED ON A FEBRUARY 1ST DUE DATE- Big Stone, Lac qui Parle, Traverse, Swift Counties in Minnesota and Grant and Roberts in South Dakota February .......... 35,00 August .............. 17.52 March ................ 32.12 September ........ 14.60 April ................. 29.20 October ............. 11.68 May .................. 28.28 November ........... 8.76 June ................. 23.36 December ........... 5.84 July ................... 20.44 January ............... 2,92 ALL OTHERS IN MINN. AND SO. DAK. February ........... 40.00 August ............. 20.00 March ............... 36.63 September ....... 16.68 April ................ 33.30 October ............ 13.36 May .................. 29.97 November ........ 10.00 June .................. 26.64 December ........... 6.67 July .................. 23.31 January ............... 3.34 ALL AREA OUTSIDE OF MINN. AND SO. DAK. February .......... 45.00 August .......... 22.50 March ................ 41 25 September ........ 18,75 April ................. 37.50 October ............. 15.00 May .................. 33.75 November ......... 11.25 June .................. 30.00 December .......... 7.50 July .................. 26.25 January ............... 375 "PUBLISHER'S LIABILITY FOR ERROR" The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The Publisher's liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an adver- tisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue or the refund of any monies paid for the advertisement. DEADLINES Church notes - Saturday mail Display ads - Friday mail Correspondence - Monday mail Pictures - 5 p.m. Friday News - Friday afternoon Classified ads - Friday noon (Any ad brought in later will be too late to classify.) OFFICE HOURS A Monday: 8 AM-5 PM A Tuesday: 8 AM-5 PM A Wednesday: 8 AM-5 PM A Thursday: 8 AM-5 PM A Friday: 8 AM-5 PM A Holidays may affect office hours. LETTERS POLICY Letters to the editor discussing com- munity issues are encouraged. Letter writers should be aware that The Independent reserves the right to edit and/or condense letters for print. The paper also reserves the right not to pub- lish letters that are unsuitable or for which it might be held legally liable. Letters should contain the writer's rinted or typed name, signature, address and telephone number. Addresses and telephone numbers will not be published. Letter writers are asked to limit them- selves to one letter per month. Please keep letter brief, perferably not over 350 words, and to the point. AD vs. NEWS The Ortonville Independent policy in determining what is advertising and what is news is based on one simple test: If an individual business or organi- zation charges for admission to an event, for an item or for a service, it will be con- sidered advertising. In other words, "If you charge, we charge." Advertising is the life-blood of a news- paper. Without it a newspaper would cease to exist. The money a paper receives for subscriptions and single paper sales is used to pay for the ink and )aper used in producing the product. It no longer does so because of paper cost increases. It still covers the cost of ink and.a small portion of the paper used. Advertising to a newspaper is like crops and livestock to farmers; meat and )roducts to the grocer; dresses and coats to the soft-line merchant; and plows and tractors to the implement dealer. Without any of those items, the particular busi- ness would not be in business. ADS: We reserve the right to refuse any advertising without obligation to justify our decision. POLICIES: A News: Our goal is to report the news as fully and accurately as possible. The staff's opinions will appear only on the opinion page. A Editorials: Opinions published on this page, whether locally written or reprinted from other sources is intended to stimu- late thinking and discussion among our readers. Opinions expressed by the edi- tors are their own and not necessarily those of other staff members. Opinions expressed in items from other publica- tions may be contradictory to the editor's own views, but are offered for their gen- eral interest INDEPENDENT Phone 320-839-6163 or fax 320- 839-3761 to place display, classi- fied advertising or news in the Ortonville Independent or via,., e-mail For Sports e-mail For the Editor e-mail sue Check our web site: Page 4 00INDEPENDENT Tuesday, Feb. l,2011