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Lori Paris, president of the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce, resolves to improve her knitting and crocheting skills in 2010. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

New Year's resolutions: 'I resolve...' Bemidjians make 2010 pledges

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New Year's resolutions are a tradition dating back about 4,000 years to the Babylonians, who marked the beginning of each year in March when spring begins.

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The Romans also celebrated a spring New Year on March 1. Julius Caesar changed New Year's Day to Jan. 1 to honor Janus, the two-faced god who looks backward into the old year and forward into the new.

In the spirit of this ancient tradition of setting goals at the beginning of the year, Pioneer reporters asked some Bemidjians about their New Year's resolutions, whether lighthearted, serious, personal or professional.

For example, Lori Paris, president of the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce said, "When first asked about my New Year's resolution, my gut was to say 'To keep a cleaner desk!' knowing full well that resolution would not last but a day. I don't normally make resolutions for that very reason."

However, she did think of a skill she plans to improve upon this year.

"I want to become more efficient at knitting and crochet - my goal is to graduate from dish cloths and scarves and become better at translating directions," she said. "I think I can keep this resolution going at least a few months. Check with me in the spring."

Below are some of the other resolutions.

Jon Quistgaard

President, Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College

--My longtime New Year's resolution continues to be the hope for world peace in our time.

--My personal resolution is to resume playing golf and shoot my age.

Carol Johnson

Chair, Bemidji School Board

--I want to learn to play the accordion that I inherited from my uncle.

--I want to become more technology savvy.

--I want to spend more time with my friends.

--And of course, I want to lose some weight.

Zach Curtis

Artistic Director, Paul Bunyan Playhouse

--I resolve to make the beginning of the Playhouse's next 60 years as entertaining, challenging and artistically satisfying as the first 60 years have been for this town.

--Oh, and more waterslide visits next summer.

John Persell

DFL State Representative, Bemidji

--My New Year's resolution is to continue to work for sustainable job creation in our area.

Richard Lehmann

Bemidji Mayer

--To continue to work really hard for the city of Bemidji to continue moving us in a positive direction.

Jim Hess

Superintendent, Bemidji School District

--To help create a community support structure that provides every ninth-grader in Bemidji an individual talent plan and coach to help students realize more of his or her potential.

--To spend a little more time playing in the grass and a little less time mowing, trimming and fertilizing the grass.

Mary Olson

DFL State Senator, Bemidji

--Part 1: Try to find the right balance between government services Minnesotans need and costs they are willing to pay. In light of our present budget difficulties, thoughts and suggestions will be appreciated.

--Spend at least one hour each day thinking about something other than Part 1.

Jack Frost

Chairman, Beltrami County Board

--As we look at the year 2010, knowing that we're going to be facing some budgetary challenges, we will strive to keep running at peak efficiency looking for creative ways to provide excellence to our citizens and not have an impact to our levy - our goal is to keep our levy flat -and hold the line on spending.

Beverly Everett

Director, Bemidji Symphony Orchestra

Some of my New Year's resolutions:

--Dedication to Spin class (the stationary bike kind).

--Write more poetry.

--Read at least three books about Thomas Jefferson.

--See a professional production of "Hamlet."

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