Sunday, July 15, 2012

It is hot.
I am glad I am not working the Alpine horse show.
As a matter of fact I am full time tree and out of the horse show business.
It is a mixed blessing.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Legacy SalesTax

Minnesota's Legacy Sales Tax

This is the text of the questions I offered to Ron Shara at his press conference with Bob Lassard and Bud Grant along with the Pheasant and Duck folks just before the constitutional sales tax was voted in. He was very rude and right in my face. He asked where I got my facts. I said the DNR, EPA, MPCA.... same as him. Then he got really rude and ugly. Ron Shara is a very small, petty man.

A Point by Point on the Legacy Amendment.

By: Forrest C. Wilkinson, President of The Northern Oak Trading Company. L.L.C

POINT: By Roger Holms, Former DNR official. “Habitats, and the fish and wildlife that depend on them, are at risk of being lost forever.”

FCW: For goodness sake… Minnesota is the third greatest property owner in the nation, behind the U.S. Federal Government and Alaska. Minnesota is still acquiring property, be it through wild and scenic areas or scientific and natural area designations or parks and trails... or what not. And then there’s the counties and cities purchasing property, and also the perpetual and decade easements being arraigned through R.I.M and C.R.P and C.R.E.P and legacy programs and the like… funded by special license plates, special lines on tax forms and other means. And groups like Ducks Unlimited and the Sierra Club can purchase property and set it aside as well. There is lots of “protected” Habitat in Minnesota, and more being set aside each year already. With lots of funds to do so.

POINT: Senator (ret.) Steve Morse: ex. Dir. Minnesota Environmental Partnership. ”Two in five lake tested that are too dirty for swimming or fishing.”

FCW: I cannot believe that two in five of Minnesotas’ 10,000 plus lakes are not suitable for swimming or eating fish. Maybe the criterion for designation as “un-swimmable” and “un-fishable” is unreasonably low and is often triggered by normal background readings.

Look at the number’s, there is nothing to get alarmed about, if we’re down to worrying about soil turbidity in rivers and alga growth in lakes, were doing fantastic.

POINT: Senator (ret) Gene Mirrium, President of the Freshwater Society, and member Guardian Council. “The Minnesota River is one of the most polluted rivers in the nation.”

FCW: If you think of soil as a pollutant, then it is, I guess. I’ve swum in the Minnesota River lots of times ate the fish too, yes it’s full of silt, due to its unique geology. And the Nitrate argument suggests we should seek drinking water nitrate standards for rivers. Not reasonable. Methomoglobonemia, “blue baby” syndrome is serious, but the last reported cases were two children in the1980’s. Since then we’ve seen the creation of the



The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), under the direction of the United States

Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), formed a Nitrate Work Group to develop guidance for use by state, county, and local government units to map nitrate contamination. The nitrate work group participants represented various federal, state, and local government agencies, including the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), United States Geological Survey (USGS), Olmsted, Brown-Nicollet, and Carver counties, University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Extension, Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD), and MDH.” FCW: And they are doing a fine job. Do we really need another “council” to “direct efforts”?

POINT: Governor (ret.) Arne H. Carlson. “Without accelerated attention, our cherished natural resources and cultural heritage will become nothing more than a fond memory, and with it will go the wonderful quality of life that binds us to our state. Future generations will not enjoy the same access to clean water, wildlife, natural areas, and arts and cultural heritage.”

FCW: The drinking water throughout Minnesota is safe. All municipal wells and water supplies are required to report water quality data to the state Dept. of Health. Our tap water is safe and will remain so, with or without this Amendment passing. Implying anything else seems unnecessarily alarming. You can sleep well voting no.

POINT: Paul Douglas: “…it might slip away…what we have is a natural treasure and its not going to stay that way by accident and we have a moral responsibility to do the right thing….”

FCW: The rain will fall on Minnesota with or without this amendment, (and with the normal, naturally occurring, mercury levels as expected.). Yes, Minnesota is a treasure; no one knows that more than I. I also think we have a moral responsibility to not scare people into things. Let’s share this treasure with all people, come to Minnesota, and bring your swim suit, and fishing pole. Swim in our waters, eat our fish. Come to Minnesota; and fear not, it's O.K. if you don’t make it this year, it will still be a treasure when you get here, no matter what the vote on the Legacy Amendment. I’ll have a shore lunch waiting for you.

POINT: By Vote Yes Minnesota (Website)-“Our lakes are getting dirtier. Our fish and wildlife are facing harder times. Our history and culture are fading from lack of support.” And from their TV ad “Our drinking water is at risk”.

FCW: Please, this kind of “over-the-top” rhetoric is unwarranted and unsubstantiated by the data gathered on the ground. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is the lead state agency for most aspects of pesticide and fertilizer regulatory functions.” To date, no impairments for pesticides have been identified.”

POINT: By Governor (ret.) Wendell Anderson: “We are nearing a tipping pint in the fight to preserve what we enjoy today for future generation.”

FCW: No, I don’t think so. I think we have done remarkable things to clean up our nest after the wars and tumult of the twentieth century; and we now have systems in place to manage all outputs of cities and industries. I see a very bright future for Minnesota.

Conclusion: The language often used to support the Legacy Amendment is exceedingly harsh, alarming and frightening beyond the ecological situations they attempt to describe. In Minnesota, the earth is good, the air is clean and the water is fresh and it will continue to be so, even if you vote no.

Minnesotans can sleep guilt free if they should vote no on the Legacy Amendment.

Forrest C. Wilkinson:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Snow Falls For the First Time in 2010

Today is Saturday, 13 November and the first snow is falling wet, big, and heavy.

The flakes stick to the screen on the windows and frames the big red barn like a picture out of Currier and Ives.

It is a nice day to stay in, and I am; until later tonight.

I am to attend a small party at "HH" Stables tonight. Should be fun.

The roads are now plowed, I will probably run to the local outfitter and get a new set of coveralls.

It is a great first snow here in Forest Lake, Washington County.
The white blanket has covered about a third of the state of Minnesota.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Post Election Party.

It is 6 November and I feel a need to write an election followup article.

My review of the Eight Congressional House Elections of 2010 in Minnesota led to the following...

I expect
the 1st to Randy Demmer. (thats a risky call but I'm making it)

the 2nd to John Kline

the 3rd to Eric Paulsen

the 4th to is 50/50 so it leans to B. Mccullom

the 5th to Kieth Ellison

the 6th to Michele Bachmann

the 7th to Colin Peterson

the 8th to Jim Oberstar

I predict the Governors race is won by Tom Emmer. "

The results were close with an odd difference in that, like bookends, the upset I predicted in the first actually appeared in the eighth.

That, and the Governors race is yet undetermined and is probably headed to the courts, although it may lean over enough during the recount for Emmer to concede.

But if you understand what I said you realize a momentous thing has happened.

Jim Oberstar lost the race in the eighth to Chip Cravaak.

That is something the people of the eight district of Minnesota really needed, some hope for change.

This is truly change, and it brings hope.
(tomorrow; the 7th, is my 48th birthday and that was the best present possible!)

Not only that, but the Minnesota House and Senate underwent a great sweeping... out went much of the driftwood from the 70's.

I do enjoy the notion of not having to listen to Senate Majority leader Lawrence Pogemiller, he can go to the back bench now.

Same with Nancy Pelosi in the U.S. House.

It is now post election and I am now concentrating efforts to other things.

I think I will be doing some work for the Forest Workers League of Minnesota.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Who Takes the Prize in the Eighth?

[you can read my review of the 8 Congressional Districts of Minnesota here]

In the eighth district you have what is turning out to be a lively race, where little or no challenge was expected.

The seat is held by Jim Oberstar. He was born in Chisolm got a B.A. from Saint Thomas and a masters degree in European Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges Belgium.

For twelve years Jim was the chief staff assistant to then 14 term Representative John Blatnic. When he decided to not run again he endorsed Jim and he won.

Jim has been re-elected sixteen times, and conventional wisdom says he is a runaway to win it again this year.

However things have changed a little since his last election.

These changing situations appear to Jim and the voters of the 8th district in the form of one Chip Cravaack.

Chip was born in Charlston West Virginia and received a Bachelor of Science degree from United States Naval Academy and a Masters Degree in Education from University of West Florida.

Chip is offering a real challenge to our longest sitting house member in Minnesota history.

Chip lives in Chisago City with his family.
Jim lives in Potomac Maryland and owns his boyhood home in Chisolm.

I'll put it bluntly.
Jim Oberstar is a rude, arrogant, entrenched, politician prone to berate and bully his way through any challenges he and his hard DFL positions may encounter.

I've dealt with him personally and I think he is a pompous ass.
He is very comfortable in his position.

The 8th district of Minnesota has always been a DFL stronghold.

Yet there has been a generational shift and the results of decades of more and more programs and agencies has not made the standard of living in the rugged north that much better.

The mines are having trouble with the agencies and the programs don't do anything productive.

The economy in the 8th is not good and hasn't been for a while.
Jim and his party are, for the first time in living memory, being asked serious questions.

Jim and his party typically respond with bluster and name calling and thats what we are getting from Jim Oberstar and the DFL party.

Jim and his abrasive ways do not play well live and in debate.

Chip is getting support and is a stand up guy.
I hope he win.

I really, really hope he wins.

The odds are against him because of the unique makeup of the 8th district and the inertia of such a long incumbency, even with a voting record like Jim's.

Yet the people are awake and today they vote.
In the sober light of the morning I think Jim will win by a nose. I give Jim 3 to 2 odds to win.

But if I am wrong and Chip wins, I may move back to the district of my birth.


There you have it.

I expect
the 1st to Randy Demmer. (thats a risky call but I'm making it)
the 2nd to John Kline
the 3rd to Eric Paulsen
the 4th to is 50/50 so it leans to B. Mccullom
the 5th to Kieth Ellison
the 6th to Michele Bachmann
the 7th to Colin Peterson
the 8th to Jim Oberstar

I predict the Governors race is won by Tom Emmer.


A Sure Thing in the Seventh?

[you can read my review of the 8 Congressional Districts of Minnesota here]

Collin Peterson is the incumbent House member from Minnesotas district 7.

He was born in Fargo and received a B.A. from MN State, Moorhead. He was a State Senator since 1977. He ran for the U.S. House seat three times and finally won, by 121 votes, defeating a seven term republican.

He nearly lost his re-election, the district being less receptive to a classic DFL agenda.

He fancies himself an agriculture man.

Collin has styled himself a "blue-dog" democrat. They say they feel collared by the leadership, or they would vote more the way the "blue-dogs would want.

That position has worked in the past....

He has a republican opponent for the seat, he is named Lee Byberg. Lee is also a nice man but I think he is way underfunded for such a large district.

Unless Collin; who is good at saying little, should say too much, I think he will hold his seat.

I predict Collin stretches out his lead and takes it by five lengths.

Solid in the Sixth

[you can read my review of the 8 Congressional Districts of Minnesota here]

The race for the U.S. House Seat in Minnesotas' District Six is one of the hottest and most watched nationwide.

Bets are being waged from coast to coast.

The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi has stated that she has targeted for defeat, the incumbent; republican Michele Bachmann.

She says she thinks it would be better if I were represented by the DFLer Tarryl Clark.

I think Nanci should mind her own bees wax. Better yet I think her constituents would be better represented by John Dennis.

Michele was born in Waterloo Iowa and moved to Anoka where she graduated high school. She then went to Winnona State and went on to receive a degree in tax law from the College of William and Mary's.

She was a U.S. Treasury Department Attorney in the U.S. Federal Tax Court in Saint Paul.
Her and her husband now own a business in Stillwater.

She first won elective office in a very dramatic fashion. In 2000, she defeated the 18 year incumbent Gary Laidig in their republican primary race for his State Senate seat, dist. 56.

Then she won the general election.

She had taken State Senate seat 56 from the DFLers, "Independents", and the seated weak Republican.

Then, the redistricting fiasco of 2002, [thank you Arne Carlson] forced her to vie for a newly drawn district (52) against a strong DFL'er named Jane Krentz.

She beat her too, and became the State Senator from the newly drawn district 52.

Then, when the U.S. House Dist 6. incumbent Mark Kennedy decided to run for Senate, and leave the seat open, Michele ran for the seat and won.
She took the office in January of 2007, and won re-election in 2008.

She now is facing a well funded opponent.

Tarryl Clark was born in Norfolk Virginia. She attended Drake and graduated with a B.A. in Sociology. She has a masters in education from Arizona state and a law degree from William MItchell in Saint Paul.

She was very involved in "community Action" and when the MN senate dist 15 dave Klies won the election for mayor of Saint Cloud, a special election was held.

Tarryl Clark ran and won. She was re-elected to a full 4 year term in 2006.

She now has supporters nationwide who, don't love her so much as they hate Michele. In so many ways they do.

I love that Michele bugs them so much, I see it as an enduring quality.

I know the State of Minnesota and I know the 6th district. Michele is safe and all that money coming from all over the nation is just wasted cash.

Michele voted very wisely lately; and the newly attentive, no longer silent majority, have noticed.

I give Six to one odds for Michele to keep her seat.
...and then we will watch her establish a caucus of freshmen to help keep their focus.

Garrison Keillor may consider going back to Europe, he said he felt more comfortable there than in Minnesota.

this is going to be good.