Archive | Reader’s Forum

“Bill” Reacting To My Piece On Ethanol….

Posted on 15 July 2013 by admin

Editor’s Note: In the interest of furthering the ongoing debate about ethanol, Bill’s response was published from a post he placed on The Tribune News website. Unfortunately, Bill only signed his first name.

July 3’s edition of the Tribune News carries a response to my criticism of blended ethanol gasoline. The author, “Bill”, presents a lengthy “cut and paste” argument that ethanol is “good and will only get better.” He invites a response.  I will reply to several of his statements that represent either a misunderstanding of the issues involved or an attempt to mislead readers. I don’t know Bill and he fails to mention his last name, so I have no idea of his personal credibility or motivation…I don’t know if he’s a concerned citizen or a defender of ethanol hired by the industry. I will say, however, that I find it unfortunate when a publication prints articles or letters that are anonymous.  I like the Tribune News and the folks have been very generous in printing my Op Ed pieces, however, each of those pieces is always signed and every letter I’ve written to any newspaper has been signed.
One of my basic premises in my Op Ed addressed the loss of fuel efficiency with an ethanol blend. Simply put, if you lose 10% of your MPG by using a 10% ethanol blend, you are using the same amount of gasoline you would have been using without the ethanol. Mr. Bill does nothing to counter this statement, and doesn’t even challenge its accuracy.
He mentions that the US is using less gasoline today than before ethanol was mandated into use, implying that, somehow, the two are related. This is a position as fanciful as the rooster taking credit for the sun coming up each morning. We are using less gasoline for two main reasons: a) we’re driving more fuel-efficient vehicles; and b) we are, as individuals, driving fewer miles. These important changes result, in turn, from two motivators; a) we’re more concerned about the environmental and political ramifications of our fossil fuel use; and b) gasoline has become more and more expensive. The reduction in gasoline usage has come about in spite of, not because of, the introduction of the ethanol mandate.
Mr. Bill celebrates Brazil as the prime example of the production and use of ethanol as a fuel. He fails to mention that the circumstances in Brazil have little parallel to those in the US. I invite you to read the Wikipedia entry on “the history of ethanol vehicle fuel in Brazil.” May I just mention several chief elements:  a) the ethanol fuel industry in Brazil is hugely subsidized by the government; b) the primary source of Brazilian ethanol is the sugar cane residue from the production of sugar…It’s produced chiefly as a by-product without the huge impact on the farming economy that American corn-derived ethanol has; c) the automobile industry in Brazil produces automobiles specifically designed to burn ethanol…a large portion of the production is 100% ethanol “neat” vehicles, which will not burn gasoline as a fuel. They also have converted gasoline-engineered engines (in production, not retro-fit) to “flex-fuel” vehicles. This requires a much higher compression, different injection configurations and the replacement of all components that are subject to ethanol corrosion. If we, in the US, were to introduce a line of vehicles which were 100% neat ethanol vehicles and sell straight ethanol as a fuel for them, I would be supportive of the concept as a choice for the American consumer…That’s not what we’re doing. Instead, we’re requiring American drivers to use a 10% ethanol blend in vehicles which were not designed for ethanol, perform poorly on that blend, and incur damage from it.
Mr. Bill dedicates a great deal of his piece to criticism of the petroleum industry. I have no quarrel with criticism of that industry. In fact, over the years I’ve written several pieces very critical of the environmental, economic and political damage from our dependence on petroleum. Mr. Bill implies that, because I’m critical of the ethanol industry, I’m, therefore, supportive of the petroleum industry. His logic is very, very faulty. I drive a Prius and would be ever so happy if everyone else did too. We need to reduce our dependence on petroleum, but ethanol use is not the only, not the best, and, by all objective measures, the very, very worst way to do so.
I think we’d all like to see a smaller carbon footprint, less dependence on foreign oil and lessened environmental impact from our vehicles. Our current efforts to employ blended ethanol fuel have taken us further from that goal rather than closer and remain a distraction and hindrance to our achieving it.
By the way, Mr. Bill, my name is Gary CRUM and I sign everything I write with my name. I personally feel everyone who writes for publication should have the confidence and courtesy to do the same.

Regards,
Gary Crum

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Ethanol

Posted on 24 June 2013 by admin

Contributed by Gary Crum

Two college buddies were headed down the Eastern Seaboard, going to Florida for Spring Break.  At about 3 AM they pulled into an all-night gas station/convenience store for gas and to switch drivers.  The one who had been sleeping got out, paid for the gas, hit the restroom and bought a large coffee.  The one who had been driving was asleep when he got back to the car.
About two hours later the guy stirred a little when the sun shone through his window.  He looked again, woke up immediately and said to his buddy, “geez Billy Bob, you’re going the wrong way!”  Billy Bob replied, “yea, I know it, but we’re making such good time, I really hate to turn around.”
We’ve showed this Billy Bob stubbornness over the last fifty years in our foreign policy, which, while a high profile example of our stubborn nature, is far from the only example. We’re just as stubborn, perhaps even more so, as we deal with domestic issues. To me, the crowning example is our Billy Bob dedication to ethanol as a central feature of our energy policy…. wow, what a fiasco.
We entered the ethanol era with the best of intentions. We were going to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, lessen our total petroleum use, switch to a sustainable energy source and reduce our carbon footprint. It would have been a great idea…if only at least one of those things had been achieved. Unfortunately, none of them have and, for a little bonus, we’ve experienced huge and damaging unintended consequences as well.
One of the chief contentions was, of course, that substituting a 10% or even a 15% blend of ethanol into our gasoline would reduce our consumption of gasoline. The math was, at first blush, very simple. However, it was based on one very fallacious assumption…that a 90/10 gas/ethanol blend would yield the same mpg as 100% gasoline. This has, demonstrably, proven to not be the case.
Hundreds of carefully run studies comparing consumption have all shown the same thing: a gasoline/ethanol blend yields significantly lower mpg. Some studies have shown a 20% or more decrease. I, personally, switched from the 10% blend to 100% gasoline and my mpg in my Prius increased from an average of 42 mpg to averaging over 46 mpg.
So may I suggest that introducing that 10% ethanol into our gasoline has not decreased our consumption of gasoline AT ALL.  We’re still burning the same amount of gasoline; we’re just burning that 10% additional ethanol as well. Of course, this is not even considering the petroleum production needed to produce that ethanol…petroleum-based fertilizer to grow the corn, fuel to run the farming equipment, fuel to transport the corn to ethanol plants and energy to run those plants.  “Hey, Billy Bob, the sun’s shining in the wrong window!!!”
And, of course, without the introduction of ethanol actually decreasing our consumption of oil, those noble intentions…lessen dependence on foreign oil, switch to a sustainable resource, and reduce our carbon footprint simply cannot possibly be achieved.  Put, very succinctly, ETHANOL IS A NON-STARTER.
Moreover, the introduction of ethanol has presented several very serious unintended consequences. With federal subsidies prompting the switch, millions of acres that formerly produced traditional farm commodities (corn, soybeans and grains for human consumption and livestock feed) have been dedicated, instead, to growing corn for the ethanol industry. Consequently, the prices of these farm commodities have steeply risen and, of course, the cost of meat (dependent on corn and grain feed) has correspondingly risen. The ethanol industry has seriously disrupted the agricultural segment of our economy and inflated the cost of essential commodities.
We, as well, can’t ignore the damage that ethanol has imposed on engines and fuel systems that were not designed for it. Ethanol is a caustic substance and melts rubber fuel lines, seals and gaskets in machinery. Americans have incurred hundreds of millions (likely billions) of additional maintenance and repair costs because of the presence of ethanol in our fuel.
Of course there now exists a very powerful ethanol lobby comprised of those corporate entities reaping huge profits from its production. We’re still providing subsidies, still disrupting our food production systems, and still damaging the fuel systems of every engine burning ethanol. We’re still blithely driving in the wrong direction…wasting resources…wasting money…and becoming more and more entrenched in supporting the industry.
We’ve made a huge mistake and, it seems, we’re getting no closer to acknowledging and correcting it.  At some point we’ve got to convince Billy Bob to turn around.

Author’s note: If you feel I’m wrong in the above assessment, please respond with an opposing argument. I’ve yet to talk to anyone who still believes ethanol is a good move…I’d love to hear or read that supportive position. Thanks, Gary Crum

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TIPS for Train Travel: UFF DA

TIPS for Train Travel: UFF DA

Posted on 24 June 2013 by admin

Noel B_ Ness

By Noel Ness
Thinking about a summer vacation?  TAKE A TRAIN TRIP! This is my 2nd column about rail travel, which is my favorite mode of travel.
I have 30-years experience riding the rails. In my younger days I rode coach. Now that I’m older, I ride in a sleeper car. It’s more comfortable than coach and more importantly, at least for me, one has privacy
If you’ve never taken a train trip, try a short trial run. Take a coach trip first, maybe a trip to Portland. The tracks parallel I-5. I always feel sorry for the folks driving on I-5 while I’m kicking back on the train. Make sure, at all costs, to avoid the Amtrak bus. Check with your ticket agent. You might want to board in Salem. The bus is Ok but you’ve paid good money to ride the rails, not the highway. Reserve your tickets far as advanced as possible, especially for a sleeper car. Folks use the train. Check out Amtrak discount options on www.Amtrak.com. Also check out Amtrak Guest Rewards. Both Albany and Eugene have Amtrak Stations.
In addition to self-service handcarts in a number of Amtrak stations, you can count on uniformed Red Caps to provide free baggage-handling assistance at many major stations. Amtrak recommends that you accept assistance from only uniformed Red Cap agents. All baggage handled by Red Cap is protected by a claim check. Amtrak helpers wear red caps and red vests. I asked a red cap, as he was driving us and our baggage to our sleeper car, why he wore red. He said “I don’t really know. Maybe so folks can see us better.” I felt like a total moron. Of course that’s why they wear red!
When riding coach bring a blanket, pillow, books, snacks (comfort food), tooth brush, tooth paste and other such items. Bringing someone’s hand to hold is also a nice touch. Ear plugs will assist with sleeping. I suggest smokers wear a nicotine patch. Smoke stops are few and far between.  Coach cars and sleeping cars have attendants. They are there to make you comfortable, answer questions, take dining car reservations and watch over you. Nice folks.
Walking through a train is a challenge. Trains buck, sway, twitch, shift, jerk and bounce.  Walking is especially challenging when you’re clipping along at 80-miles per hour through northern Montana and northern North Dakota. Walking normally is not an option on a moving train. You must always support yourself with at least one hand. The tops of coach seats, walls, hand rails. Please do not support yourself by placing your hand on the heads of coach passengers. This is frowned upon. I strongly suggest going to the bathroom or taking a shower should be only undertaken when the train is gliding, moving slow or has come to a complete stop. Men, let me speak to you from my heart. Every man on this planet is notorious for having bad aim when doing our business. Please, for the love of Pete, do not attempt to do your business while standing in the bathroom of a train going 80-miles per hour. This will only add conformation to our reputation as complete idiots.
The Sleeper Car: We always bring a small cooler into our sleeping car. Beer, wine and spirits are expensive on a train. It’s acceptable to bring, via the cooler, adult beverages to your sleeper car. Also bring condiments such as pepper, mustard, Tabasco, etc.  A container of moist hand wipes are a good thing to have. There are many sleeper car amenities such as bathrooms in your room, sinks and nearby showers. Remember showers are not advised at 80-miles an hour. A pot of coffee is always nearby (36-cups). Newspapers and ice, to refill your cooler, will be delivered by your attendant at certain station stops. Free champagne and wine has also appeared as perks for sleeper-car passengers.
Tipping a sleeper-car attendant is advised (30 bucks). I always tip at the start of the journey rather than the end. I just figure my attendant should know I appreciate what they do. Your attendant does everything for you. Such as luggage service, turn down your beds, change you sheets, convert your beds into seats, dining car reservations or will bring food to the privacy of your room.
Sleeper-car passengers also have access to special lounges in select stations where you can access the Internet, enjoy complimentary beverages, watch the news and even get assistance with your ticketing. Check those locations in advance.
There’s a sleeper car for the mobility impaired. It’s located on the lower level and has ample space for a wheel chair. If you need assistance with baggage moving through the station, a station-provided wheelchair or people mover is there for you.  Please let Amtrak know as far in advance as possible. This service is available at most staffed stations.
Sleeper-car passengers are allowed two carry-on bags per passenger. You are permitted to check one bag which will be stored in the baggage car. Some trains provide wine and cheese tasting plus movies in the lounge car. The National Park Service often offers educational programs on the area you are traveling through. Cell phone, please don’t aggravate the rest of us by constant yakking. Ladies please learn to lock the shower door. If I walk in on one more naked lady I’m going to start riding the train more often. UFFDA!
I strongly suggest you Google Amtrak. Everything and I mean everything you want to know about riding the rails in on their website. Be sure to also Google the “Amtrak Virtual Tour.” View the Dining Car, Family Bedroom, Sightseer Lounge, Roomette, Sleeping Car and Snack Bar/Lounge. All forms of travel have their ups and downs so when riding the rails “Bring Your Patience.” My friends, in closing may I say, if you’ve never ridden the rails, put it on your “Bucket List.”

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raised bed gardens plans

Building a Beautiful Raised-Bed Garden

Posted on 20 May 2013 by admin

raised bed gardens plans
By Edie Moro
It is time to put in our veggie patch, also known as our “garden”. This part of our yard is not to be confused with our “landscape,” which is the beautiful, manicured, colorful non-food-growing part of our property.
Wait a minute. Let’s back up here. Why does our garden area have to look utilitarian just because it is the food-producing work-horse part of our yard? With a little thought and extra prep work, our “garden” can be as beautiful and inviting as the rest of our yard.
There are two basic ways to do a garden: raised beds or rows. The benefits of raised beds are many. They give us a well-defined area within which to work the soil; and they help warm the soil faster in the spring, which is good for getting directly sown seeds started. They can be built in different shapes to accommodate our space. We can build them high enough so we don’t have to stoop low to pull weeds or pick veggies.
When I think of an example of beautiful raised beds, what comes to mind is a set of L-shaped raised boxes that the gardener built around a small patio. Paths between the boxes extend from the patio. Flat boards along the top edge act as seating, making it easy for the gardener to work. These raised beds are an attractive, integral part of the landscape. This type of garden bed design could go in the front yard of a home without neighborly complaints.
If you have enough room for rows in the ground, long low raised beds, or just long mounds of dirt, you can grow a lot more veggies. How do we keep this type of garden from looking so utilitarian? I like to think of this type of veggie patch as a medieval walled garden, complete with a fence to keep out deer, dogs, and maybe the neighbor’s cats. Build a gated arbor for the entrance and use it for growing vines such as beans or a grape. You can arrange the rows so that there is an open area in the center or in one corner for a table and chairs. That way, when the gardener wants to take a break for tea or wants to prep some veggies before carrying them inside, she has a place to sit and enjoy her work.
The area around the edge of the fence is a great place for larger edible shrubs or herbs. If you have a deer problem, you could plant a row of blueberries, raspberries, or currants inside the fence. Outside it, you could put a hedge of rosemary, lavender, and Artemisia such as ‘Powis Castle’ or southernwood for their aromatic foliage.
Once you have designed and built a beautiful place to grow your garden, you can plant it. May is the time to transplant starts of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, squashes and gourds, pumpkins, melons, onions and leeks. Once the ground is warm enough, about 70°F, you can direct sow squash and cucumber seeds, as well as beans. Direct sow greens any time now. Put in another section of radishes as you pull ones that are ready.
If you would like a schedule of when to start or direct sow seeds, you can call or email me.
Edie Moro is a local landscape consultant and designer and JC Garden Club member. She can be reached at 541.998-8852 or by email at ediesgardens@gmail.com.

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Memorial Day

Posted on 20 May 2013 by admin

By Noel Ness
Memorial Day is a federal holiday that occurs every year on the final Monday of May. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the Armed Forces.
Every Friday night I try and make it to the Vet’s Club. This is where I meet my paratrooper buddies. We all belong to the West Coast Airborne Association and enjoy sitting around a big round table and socializing. My paratrooper buddies were all sitting at the table – Gary McElroy, Bill Hayes, Mike Reuter, and Patrick Simpson. Wives also joined us and are a very important factor in our gatherings because they translate for us stone-deaf paratroopers. If I had a nickel for every time I heard my paratrooper pals utter the words “what did he say?” I’d be a rich man. So my wife Barb, Doris Hayes, Bev Reuter and Pat Mangers were also there. Pat’s husband Bob recently passed away.
Stories for Memorial Day:  The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those who have been wounded or killed while serving on or after April 5, 1917 with the U.S. military. With its forerunner, the Badge of Military Merit, which took the form of a heart made of purple cloth, the Purple Heart is the oldest military award that is still given to members of the U.S. military, the only earlier award being the obsolete Fidelity Medallion. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New Windsor, New York.
Let me tell you about the men I was sitting with.

Gary’s Story: Gary was hit by an AK 47 round fired by Viet Cong on August 27, 1969 in Binh Dinh Province. Gary was hit in the left shoulder which deflated his left lung and buried itself in his spleen, which was removed. He was serving with C Company, 3rd Battalion. 173rd Airborne Brigade. We were in the same outfit. Different times, different Battalions.

Bill’s Story:  Bill parachuted in to Normandy 0n June 6. 1944. He also fought in the Battle of the Bulge at Bastogne. Bill was wounded by shrapnel during Operation Market Garden in Holland. The German attack began with a lot of small arms fire and the firing of bazookas at the trees to get the effect of the flying shrapnel. This was just getting underway when he woke up lying on his back. Bill had been hit in the side of his face, hard enough to knock him out for a very short time. Fortunately, according to Bill, it was not a serious wound. Bill held his hand to his face and withdrew it to see a lot of blood. Bill also remembers, while on leave in London, he heard a  V-2 rocket  explode. The V-2 was a short-ranged ballistic missile that was developed in Germany and specifically targeted London. How many folks do you know that have heard that sound? I know one.

Mike’s Story: Mike was wounded on February 2, 1944 while taking part in the beachhead landings at Anzio, Italy. The beachhead was surrounded and the Germans held the high ground. Mike was hit by shrapnel from an artillery round in the arm, chest and head. His platoon Leader, Lt. Frank and Company Commander, Lt. Winsko were both Killed in Action about the same time Mike was receiving his wounds.

Patrick’s Story: Pat told me “my wound was very minor, just a mortar fragment wound that was taken care of at the Battalion Aid Station.” The mortar attack occurred on an afternoon in June of 1969 as he was clearing out a firebase east of Duc Pho in Southern I Corps, Quang Nhai Province. Pat said he was lucky, because he heard the first round explode about 100 yards away and knew instantly that it was an incoming mortar. Pat ran to a shallow overgrown bomb crater and had his head sticking up as three rounds landed in the immediate area. Pat got a frag from one of them and that same mortar attack killed his Battalion Commander and wounded about 8 – 10 others, and a scout dog. If Pat had been inexperienced (a newbie), he might not have realized immediately that the first round was an incoming mortar round. Others who were wounded didn‘t react as quickly as he did, nor did they have an instinct to know where there was a depression in the ground.

Bob’s Story:  Bob parachuted into France at 2:15 AM on June 6, 1944. He landed in a flood plain up to his neck, cut his parachute lines and headed for the bank. Hitler had ordered the flooding at possible parachute landing zones to drown the troopers. And many did drown with all the gear they had on them. Bob also fought in the Battle of the Bulge.  Bob was on a jeep with four other troopers and after conducting a foot patrol they slept at a farm house.  Bob sent his men back to headquarters while he stayed behind to report on enemy activity with the field radio that he had. He was eventually captured because he had stayed behind the lines to call artillery on German troops. He managed to escape three times but was always recaptured. Bob was great at escaping but not so great at staying uncaptured. I asked Bob how he was treated. He said “pretty good.” I got a kick out of that. We all loved Bob and miss him a lot.

Thus ends my Memorial Day story about five brave men who’ve I’ve had the privilege of being with at the Vet’s club. As my five buddies and I sit at our table folks walk by and notice older men having a beer and talking. They don’t realize my five buddies have all been awarded the Purple Heart for blood spilled in the defense of their freedom.

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BlackSpot_onRose

Is There A Safe Organic Fungicide?

Posted on 14 May 2013 by admin

Contributed Photo Rose leaves plagued by a garden fungus, causing ugly discolored spots and stunted growth.

Contributed Photo
Rose leaves plagued by a garden fungus, causing ugly discolored spots and stunted growth.

By: Edie Moro
Those of us who love roses also know the heartache of black spot. Healthy green leaves succumb to dark spots surrounded by yellow and then they fall off. Those of us who love to grow squashes, cucumbers and melons watch in dismay as fuzzy gray spots discolor leaves and stunt or kill our favorite veggies. We need ‘Superfungicide’ to come to our rescue.
The question is, “What type of fungicide is safe for us, for our plants, and for the environment?” Bordeaux mix (copper sulfate mixed with lime) has been used for more than 150 years to combat fungal diseases of grapes. Readily available, copper sulfate is very effective in controlling a host of fungal diseases. However, it is easily absorbed through the skin, lungs or eyes, and is highly toxic, not just to humans but to other animals and fish. It is not a comfort to think that vineyard workers who die of liver disease might have gotten it from this fungicide, rather than from drinking too much of their product. While copper compounds dissolve readily in water, they quickly adsorb to soil particles, so do not tend to percolate into ground water. However, this means that copper can build up in the soil, decreasing its fertility. It doesn’t sound like copper fungicide is what “Superfungicide” would use.
Sulfur is another naturally occurring element useful in controlling plant diseases. It comes in dust, wettable powder, and liquid forms, and is very effective when used properly. The trick with sulfur is to apply it before a disease rears its ugly head, as it is much better at preventing diseases rather than curing them. Who can remember that? Plus, aside from smelling like rotten eggs and harsh on skin and lungs, sulfur is also harsh to many plants. Also, don’t use if you’ve sprayed oils within a month, or if temperatures are over 80°F. Who can keep track? This doesn’t sound like a candidate for “Superfungicide” either.
Horticultural oils and neem oil are effective on powdery mildew but not on other fungal diseases. They can indirectly control viral diseases by killing the insects that transmit these diseases as they feed on your plants. The oils can not be used in high (over 90°F) or low (under 40°F) temperatures, and some plants are sensitive to them.
Maybe “Superfungicide” should just turn in her green cape. Wait a minute. Could it be? Yes, here comes “Superfungicide” with another class of fungicides, ones that are safe for humans (we actually put some of them in our food), safe for plants (some of them act as fertilizer), and safe for the environment. What could this be? Bicarbonate. That’s right, common baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), potassium bicarbonate, and ammonium bicarbonate all act as fungicides. You can even mix up your own, using 4 teaspoons of baking soda per gallon of water, and spraying every 3-4 days to prevent diseases in roses, cucurbits (cukes, melons & squash), and other plants.
The question is, “Can something this simple and safe be effective?” Of the three bicarbonate compounds, each is more effective on some types of plants or diseases and less effective for others. Baking soda is somewhere in the upper middle. Effectiveness increases with the addition of a tablespoon of insecticidal soap, household soap, or horticultural oil as a surfactant to keep it on the plant’s leaves. Some over-the-counter bicarbonate fungicides come with the surfactant added.
Whatever fungicide you chose to use, read and follow the instructions on the label. Do NOT deviate from the dilution rate or spray interval for your fungicide, or you may end up frying your plants. “Superfungicide” can only recommend – she is not there to make sure you follow directions.

Edie Moro is a local landscape consultant and designer and JC Garden Club member. She can be reached at 541.998.8852 or by email at ediesgardens@gmail.com.

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The Meaning of UFF DA!

Posted on 14 May 2013 by admin

By Noel Ness
The wife and I have a plaque hanging on the wall next to our kitchen back door. Our plaque states the following:
The Ten Commandments Minnesota Style
1. Der’s only one God ya know.
2. Don’t make the fish on yer mantle an idol.
3. Cussin’ isn’t Minnesota nice.
4. Go to church even when yer up nort.
5. Honor yer folks.
6. Don’t kill – catch and release.
7. Der‘s only one Lena for every Ole. No cheatin’.
8. If it ain’t your lutefisk, don’t take it.
9. Don’t be bragging’ bout how much snow you shoveled.
10. Keep your mind off yer neighbor’s hot dish.
I don’t know who wrote these wise commandments but they are words to live by. I confess if I catch a walleye I’m keeping it!
Cussin’ isn’t Minnesota nice. I have two sayings I use whenever have the urge to cuss.  Let’s say I hit my thumb with a hammer. I don’t use swear words. I say “God Bless America or UFF DA!”
And don’t worry about me taking your Lutefisk. Your hot dish is a whole different ball game. I love hot dish. Hey, I’m from Minnesota.
I say Uff Da a lot and folks are always asking me what it means. So I instructed my low paid research assistant Wendy Wikipedia to find me some answers. Wendy said that Uff Da (sometimes also spelled huffda, uff-da, uffda, uff-dah, oofda, ufda, ufdah, oofta, uf daa, or ufta) is an expression of Norwegian origin adopted by Scandinavian-Americans in the 19th century. It is an exclamation that is relatively common in parts of the Pacific Northwest and Upper Midwestern states. The Northwest is plum full of Scandinavians. Uff Da is used as a term for sensory overload. It can be used to express astonishment, surprise, exhaustion, frustration or relief. It can also be used as an alternate for most swear words. Example: “Uff Da, look at all that snow outside that I now must shovel.”   Mike and Judy, two friends of mine, were vacationing in Mexico. They were lying on a beach and saw a man get hit by a huge wave and go head over heals. He struggled back to the beach and said “UFF DA!” Mike and Judy got a big laugh out of that because they’ve heard me say it so much. They never expected to hear UFF DA on a beach in Mexico.
I really wish I knew who wrote the following: The Meaning of “UFF DA” and give the credit he or she deserve because the sayings are Minnesota right on. It’s on a post card I have from Bergquists’ Scandinavian Imports – Cloquet, Minnesota. So here we go.
1. Trying to dance the polka to rock and roll music.
2. Losing your wad of gum in the chicken yard.
3. Having Swedish meatballs at a Lutefisk supper.
4. Spending two hours cleaning up my room and Mom says “UFF DA.”
5. Walking downtown and then wondering what you wanted.
6. Arriving late at a Lutefisk supper and getting served minced ham instead.
7. Looking in the mirror and discovering you’re not getting better, you’re just getting older.
8. Trying to pour two buckets of manure into one bucket.
9. Having a mouse crawl up your leg when you’re on a hay load.
10. Eating hot soup when you’ve got a runny nose.
11. Getting out of bed in the morning with a backache.
12. Getting swished in the face with a cow’s wet tail.
13. Waking yourself up in church with your own snoring.
14. Forgetting your Mother-In-Law’s first name.
15. When two steady girlfriends find out about each other.
16. Noticing non-Norwegians at a church dinner using lefsa for a napkin.
17. Eating a delicious sandwich and then discover the spread is cat food.
18. Sneezing so hard that your false teeth end up in the bread plate.
19. NOT being Norwegian.
Well that deserves a big UFF DA!
Every ethnic group has their own term for UFF DA.

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Municipal Bonds

Posted on 15 March 2013 by admin

Nearly three quarters of all infrastructure investments in public power utilities and local government made in the United States are financed by municipal bonds.  These bonds are exempt from federal taxation, state and local taxes.
Municipal bonds due to this exemption have kept financing costs low for infrastructure investments.  Public power utilities generally finance new infrastructure, maintenance and upgrading existing infrastructure by issuing municipal bonds.  About 80% of these bonds are bought and held by individuals either directly or through mutual funds and other investor-owned funds.  In part because municipal bonds are exempt from federal tax, investors accept a lower interest rate on such issuances than they demand from issuers of taxable bonds.
It would be an enormous costly disadvantage for publics if the exemption on municipal bonds were eliminated.  It would upend the more than 100-year established precedent of reciprocal immunity.  Municipal bonds have helped finance state and local investments for two hundred years and have been exempt from federal income tax since the federal tax code‘s creation in 1913.  It would result in less infrastructure built or higher cost to taxpayers and ratepayers.
Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) Chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade intends to introduce a non-binding House Resolution which hopefully will serve to highlight the importance of municipal bonds for all types of infrastructure, including that of public power.
Hopefully, constituents will contact their Congress representative and ask him/her to support this effort.  As a Board Director for EPUD, I strongly support the effort.  Also, there are continuing attempts being made by both parties to eliminate municipal tax-exempt financing for the purpose of balancing the federal budget. Let your representatives in Washington know that this exemption has helped to provide electricity reliably and at reasonable costs to our customer owners all these many years.

Katherine Schacht
Coburg, Oregon

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We invite all readers to submit to the “Reader’s Forum” for general publication. Please limit your letters to 300  words. Include your name, address and phone number for verification (address and phone number will not be published). We reserve the right to edit all submissions for length and reject all submissions containing inappropriate content. All opinions expressed are those of the author, and not of the Tribune News or its staff. Deadline is Thrusday noon.
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PO Box 729, Junction City, OR 97448

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