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Pioneer Editorial: Cheers and Jeers

Cheer: Gasman honored as friend of arts

Greg Gasman, who has defined himself as an actor/grocer, has been chosen from numerous nominations as the 2009 Bemidji Community Arts Center Friend of the Arts. Gasman is the 21st recipient of the honor and will be celebrated at a reception at 5:30 p.m. June 8 at the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts. Gasman, whose day job is general manager of Harmony Cooperative Natural Foods, started acting at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse and launched the Bemidji Community Theater. He and his wife, Kay, own KG Entertainment and also spin off into prize-winning independent film shorts.

Cheer: Chamber awards

Area businesses and entrepreneurs earned Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce Awards of Excellence during a ceremony last week. The late Charlie Naylor received the Lifetime Achievement Award, dedicated to his memory by his family. Naylor did so much to foster the community's growth and development. MedSave Family Pharmacy earned Business of the Year, and Trish Ritchie and Jennifer Theison of TJ Design Studio earned Entrepreneur of the Year. Numerous other local businesses received recognition. All these business people keep Bemidji a strong regional center in northern Minnesota.

Jeer: Record nonsense

True records are interesting, and the "Guinness Book of World Records" -- developed to settle bar bets -- logs longest, shortest, biggest and other superlatives. But sometimes, the greatest and largest become the grossest. For example, for some reason, Fin Keheler, 11, a Sandy, Utah, boy, is hoping to verify his snail-face for the records. He placed a tray around his neck and stuck a mug-shot-obliterating number of snails, complete with shells, on his face, hoping to break the 10-second, largest-snail-number record. Well, OK, he's 11. Who set him up and provided the snails? Community service might have been a better outlet for preteen energy.

Cheer: Parks shine

Beltrami County instituted a long-range parks improvement plan a few years ago, and the efforts are bearing fruit. From upgrades in trails to the popularity of Rognlien Park on Grant Lake near Wilton, the assets are blooming. An archeological dig at Three Island Park last week showed that people have been enjoying the natural beauty and fish and wild rice resources there for probably 1,000 years. We live in a rich environment, and we thank the Beltrami County Board for recognizing these riches and working to preserve and enhance them.