We're heading to Mankato and Rochester this morning for a full day of convention speeches, door knocking and phone banking by Democrats in the First, though we'll probably take in some birding in the Minnesota River valley and Nicollet County's Swan Lake.
The Austin edition of the Post Bulletin reports Walz frustrated with state of Veterans Affairs. From the sounds of it, the forum was well-attended:
Veterans need to know they're going to be taken care of by their country, Walz said. But the nation is lacking the political will to deliver the needed level of care, he added.
Walz said he wants to ensure that the country fulfills its "moral responsibility" of properly caring for its veterans and current service members.
The first-term Mankato Democrat hosted a veterans forum Friday at the American Legion Post 91 in Austin to talk about the care of veterans. The session drew a crowd of about 100 people. The congressman talked about issues related to veterans, including past actions in Congress and the current budget process.
Since the forums are open and unscripted, there was give and take:
While taking questions, Walz got applause from many attendees after a man thanked him for his work.
However, another man, who cited numerous problems with Veterans Affairs, told Walz that the VA is "so negligent it's not funny" and that Walz has done nothing to help his situation.
In opening the forum, Walz led the promotion of James Hecimovich from master sergeant to command sergeant major and awarded him the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq and Kuwait.
Law enforcement officials in Martin County worry about how Federal cuts would affect local drug fight, the Fairmont Sentinel reports.
In a letter to the editors of the Mankato Free Press, reader Max Hailperin of St. Peter writes that Walz on right side of dispute about allowing vegetables to be grown on acres enrolled in commodity programs. The Winona Daily News runs an AP article about the issue, brought to national attention by a column in the New York Times by Southeastern Minnesota organic farmer Jack Hedin. Walz is quoted:
“Whether they’re growing sweet corn to sell at their local market or beans to be canned by the Green Giant, many farmers in southern Minnesota are interested in diversifying their crops,” said Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn.
For ourselves, we're eager for the frost to go out of the ground. We're traditionalists: plant spuds by Good Friday, though we push the envelope but planting tomatoes before Decoration Day.
More signs of the waning days of Babylon in Martin County?
One of our loyal readers frets that the ultraconservative Fairmont Sentinel is morphing into an alternative hippie Twin Cities style venue. He must be ready to head to head to Idaho this morning, for the Martin County daily reports in Salvation Army offers fair trade:
A display inside the Salvation Army promotes “Fair Trade,” with items like jewelry, baskets and hand-carved wood crafts marked with affordable prices.
Fair Trade is about giving third-world producers reasonable returns for their products, money that might otherwise go to the middle man, who in turn may sell the products for high profits. The crafts for sale at the thrift store were purchased directly from the artisans who made them and brought to Fairmont from remote villages in Belize, a small country in Central America.
The idea of fair trade is an appealing one to Paul and AmyJo Ferguson, captains at the Salvation Army in Fairmont, who want to prevent producers from being exploited.
“We pay too much and they’re not making enough,” Paul said.
The movement, which began in the 1960s, is gaining momentum in recent years with businesses and nonprofits.. . .
We half expect the editorial pages to sing the virtues of the minimum wage and the right of workers to organize, wherever they live, any day now.