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Anything outdoors!  Tornadoes, eagles, blizzards, or auroras.  If it is in the sky, running through the woods or swimming in the water, I'm there!

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rain rain go away...and the City of Fergus Falls is terminal

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Yup, I am officially sick of the rain now. Drier than heck most of the normal storm season now we see the sun maybe 1 or 2 days out of the week. I am SO looking forward to Saturday and the possibility of getting out and about. Rather odd week still unfolding so we'll see what happens.

In news not weather related, I've been following the political turmoil unfolding in my home town of Fergus Falls, MN over the proposed construction of a new hockey area. Of course my sentiments lie with getting it built but I understand where the opponents are coming from. Fergus has always had a reputation for being about as bass ackwards as you can get for making poor decisions for the future...but what do you expect from a community which was the last to repeal prohibition in Minnesota and may still very well hold the title for the most churches per capita in the state. There is a difference between conservatism and being scared the sun is going to rise in the morning. Oh yeah, lets not forget about the 3M mess which gave Alexandria, MN a strong economic base and left Fergus as the armpit next to the prairie. Fergus is a dying town. When the state hospital shut down, the economic mainstay of the community closed also. It's been in decline ever since. Enrollment in the schools has been dropping steadily and with a weak economy not related to agriculture, the writing is on the wall. So, how in the heck can anyone in their right mind justify a $4M levy (works out to about $66 per year for 20 years on a $125K property) on an $8M project. Between what the city is asking taxpayers to shell out and what the school is willing to kick in (even though their referendum was voted down), that leave about $3M in fundraising for the hockey association. Watch out, here come the kids selling candy bars and magazine subscriptions. Let me also point out participation is WAAAY down. Back in the day there were house leagues through Pee Wee, A and B (and some C) traveling teams from squirts up through bantams. The high school consistently pumped out good players who went on with their careers beyond high school. Now they are looking at likely not having a JV high school team in the future as the youth program is having difficulty getting enough players for an A and B traveling team. Why? Because no one want to (or can afford to) live up there. Not that it is expensive, but because there is NO MONEY in the economy. Hockey is freakin' expensive to participate in. Everyone knows that. Crap jobs that pay crap wages...I can just smell the prosperity ripening.

Here are some numbers....do the basic math.

Population 19054
Avg. House value $82300
Income per household $36245

So, tomorrow morning the taxpayers are holding a protest at the courthouse complete with invited media to cover the event. I've strung video of political riots and protests in the past, but this one could be interesting. Stay tuned as people are pissed about how the city county quietly slipped this one past.

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