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Pioneer Viewpoints for May 7

Atypical fishing opener is still an opener

OK, maybe it isn’t the Opening Day of fishing we envisioned, what with the cool temps and late ice outs on many area lakes.

Still, this coming weekend’s opener is a big part of who we are and what we do here in the Bemidji area. We are fortunate enough to live on the jewels of Lake Bemidji and Lake Irving, as well as the many smaller lakes that dot our landscape.

And the governor will be just down the road a bit, too. Park Rapids is the host community for this year’s annual Governor’s Walleye Opener.

Question is, will he be using an auger?

“The weather’s nice, birds are back — and the ice is thick,” Jason Durham, a longtime Park Rapids-area fishing guide who is scheduled to host Gov. Mark Dayton on Saturday on Fish Hook Lake, joked to Brad Dokken of Forum News Service. “We still have a snowball’s chance of seeing open water by the opener.”

So, even if it’s a little colder and icy this year. Opening Day in May is something to be celebrated.

Good fishing!

Watch the words

Gov. Mark Dayton is coming to Park Rapids this weekend for the fishing opener. If the fish don’t agree with him, he may end up calling them “rude” and “juvenile.” Heck, we’ve all probably called fish worse when they’ve escaped the line.

So, we’ll forgive Dayton for that. But for calling Minnesota residents those same terms, he may want to think twice. Dayton apparently uttered those comments about an audience in Shakopee early last week. Seems the “Meeting with Mark” event got a little testy when Dayton tried to explain his belief that state lawmakers should get a pay raise, The Associated Press reported. Of course, a Republican political committee hoping to unseat Dayton recorded his comments about the crowd and made them public, AP reported. Asked again about the comments, Dayton said some in the crowd were rude and he likened them to junior high students.

Reel it in, Governor. Can’t make allies that way.

Perkins’ best save

In an era of multi-millionaire, and sometimes multi-billionaire, athletes making headlines for selfish acts on and off the court, last week’s news about Minnesota Twins pitcher Glen Perkins was welcome relief.

If you hadn’t heard, BSU student Alex Berg was in the Twin Cities recently hoping to see a Twins game with his girlfriend and some family. Worried that he may have been cheated from an online broker, Berg went to Twitter and tweeted to his favorite Twins player — Perkins — about his plight.

What did Perkins do? Dismiss the tweet, as many other self-important athletes might. No, he took it upon himself to make sure Berg had his tickets. Once news of Perkins’ deed hit The Pioneer and other websites, the closer became somewhat of a media sensation.

“For whatever reason, I just felt like, ‘Why not?’ It’s something as simple for me as typing a password on my phone,” Perkins told the Star Tribune. “It cost me 80 bucks that I’ll never notice came out of my check. I don’t know, it just hit me right. Money well spent.”

A few years ago, Perkins found himself in manager Ron Gardenhire’s doghouse because he wasn’t sticking in the starting rotation. And there were some players union issues involved there, as well. But Perkins matured, accepted his new role and has blossomed into a very serviceable major league closer.

Nice save, Mr. Perkins. On both counts.