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Pioneer Viewpoints: No ‘miracle,’ but still a lot of fun

It isn’t 1980. There’s no Cold War. But admit it, the rivalry between the United States and Russia in men’s hockey still stirs the blood.

And this past weekend’s game at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, rekindled those memories.

Sure, the U.S. squad isn’t a bunch of amateurs, as they were in Lake Placid, N.Y., going up against the big, bad psuedo-professional Russians.

Men’s hockey in the Olympics now features mostly professional players from the NHL and leagues in other countries. Yet, that doesn’t diminish the pride factor for either country. In fact, some may argue it amps it up. The game was a back-and-forth affair and the tension and drama had us all at the edge of our seats as the game went into overtime and then the shootout.

And on an even more selfish note, those of us in northern Minnesota were especially proud when one of our own — T.J. Oshie of Warroad — scored the game-winning goal.

Other viewpoints

● A majority of respondents to a survey on what should be done for south shore cleanup said they favor cleaning both the beach area and the lake itself, although that option would carry the higher cost. The BSU-connected firm conducting the survey said response to the survey was greater than anticipated, which is encouraging. The more people who take an active role in the future development of the south shore, the more likely whatever path is chosen will be successful.

● A little-known service of local law enforcement received some extra attention this week. We here at the Pioneer found out about it much as other business owners might. We received a card from the Bemidji Police Department that said they had checked our business and surroundings the night before and everything was A-OK. Because they deal with crime, criminals and tragedy on a daily basis, local law enforcement always are not portrayed with positive stories. So when there is a way to point out the positive impacts of their work, it is well-deserved.

● In other sports-related news, hats off to Bemidji High School’s gymnastics team, who persevered through the loss of a teammate’s mother to record-setting performances and a fifth-place finish at the section meet. While BHS did not have any individual qualifiers for the state tournament, the class and poise they showed makes them champions in our book.