Fair and balanced. No, this is not an editorial about a cable television network, which is itself making the news this week. Rather, we are talking about taxes. Specifically, property taxes and those paid by Minnesota businesses. In a recent visit to the Pioneer, Jim Pumarlo, director of communications for the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, outlined the chamber’s goals and priorities for this year’s legislative session, which is on Easter break.
Like Lake Bemidji itself, the state park that shares its name is a jewel nestled among the tall trees in this area we call home. And part of what makes Lake Bemidji State Park such a wondrous place are the people. People like John Fylpaa. The LBSP naturalist will be calling it a career in early April after some three-plus decades here in Bemidji. From kids fishing events to snowshoeing treks to leading the park's bog walks, Fylpaa shared his love for the outdoors with countless visitors to our backyard.
Some cheers for the news events of the past week. Quickly becoming a focal point for entrepreneurship in Minnesota, the LaunchPad in Bemidji already is expanding and deserves a cheer. As part of the revamped Mayflower Building downtown, the LaunchPad helps startup business and entrepreneurs, offering co-working space, meetups and training.
Have an opinion to share with the community? We don't care if you are right, left, or right down the middle politically. We welcome all letters, and we print virtually all the local letters to the editor we receive, as long as they meet long-established criteria. Letters must be signed by an actual person and include a home address and a telephone number. The address and telephone number are for verification purposes only and will not be printed. Letters can't attack private individuals or be libelous.
When organizers moved the annual Water Carnival festival from near Paul and Babe downtown to the Sanford Center because of park reconstruction, there were immediate cries of foul, as many thought the downtown business district was being left behind. Now, after two years at the Sanford Center parking lot, the Water Carnival is looking to return to downtown. Ironically, it needs to move because of construction -- the ongoing development of the South Shore.
On Wednesday, Bemidji Chief of Police Mike Mastin released the department’s strategic plan for the next three years.
The Bemidji region continues to grow and one of the drivers of that is the availability of health care options to local and area residents.
They came from all around the region. And the country. And the world. An estimated 4 million people took to the streets in some fashion on Saturday to express their concerns about women's rights, education, minority rights, the environment and health care. The spark that lit this fuse, of course, was the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States, and it is no coincidence that the events worldwide took place a day after his inauguration.
In the movie "Jaws," when Chief Brody and oceanographer Matt Hooper are trying to explain the danger to the town of Amity by a rogue Great White shark, Mayor Vaughn smugly says: "Martin, it's all psychological. You yell barracuda, everybody says, "Huh? What?" You yell shark, we've got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July." In Bemidji, you yell stoplight or stop sign, everybody says "Huh? What?" You say roundabout, we've got a panic on our hands at City Hall.
The first week of January sure did deliver with some highs and lows. The lows were in the form of temperatures, as a winter deep freeze settled in for the Bemidji area. So, let’s concentrate on the highs, the good news of the past week. While it will be a different downtown Bemidji without Kelsey’s Jewelry, the legacy they leave shines bright as a diamond.