More tax abatement talk
Maybe Brent and Jasmine Melsa, owners of Drafts Sports Bar & Grill, will get the two year tax abatement they’re asking the city council to give them once their business is up and running. Maybe they won’t. But, either way, their request has spurred a larger discussion among council members and city officials about the role of abatements in the city’s overall development policy. Should all new businesses get a couple years of their taxes abated? How about when a business expands or builds an addition? New homes already get an abatement, but what about when people improve their homes or add on? Should they be rewarded with an abatement for bettering their properties, which betters their neighborhood and community as a whole? That’s the discussion that’s commenced, and it’s a good thing.
Tiger didn’t win, so let’s try to move on
It’s probably a good thing Tiger Woods didn’t win another Masters on Sunday, which would have been his 15th major, three short of tying Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18. Had Woods won, his two-stroke penalty saga would have been given a much longer shelf life, and rightfully so. If you don’t know what this is in reference to, you’re probably not reading this little blurb anyway. But if you follow golf, you likely agree with the opinion here that Woods, because he turned in an incorrect scorecard after the second round at Augusta, should have been disqualified. Because of some timing issues, the Masters rules brass only assessed him the two-stroke penalty. Fine by them, but it’s up to Woods to know the rules, and he broke one. Then he compounded the problem by signing an incorrect card. Once he found out he wasn’t disqualified, he should have disqualified himself.
Extended spring sports season?
Discussion has broken out on the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) website about adding two weeks to the spring sports season. Clearly there would be a numbers of hurdles this would have to clear before its is approved but it's an interesting idea. You have to feel for the seniors, whose final chance to qualify for a state tournament is being significantly hampered. And as the discussion heats up, cold temperatures and snow continue their strangle hold on the entire state of Minnesota. It looks as if even adding two weeks to the spring sports season may not be enough. So, as the cancellations and postponements continue to pour in, we realize that the already busy month of May is going to be jam-packed with as many events as spring sports teams can fit in. That is, if the mother nature gets her clock synchronized and comes to the realization that it's actually spring.
Page 2 of 2 - A weather radio: There are far worse things you could invest $20 in
Winter doesn't want to end, does it? But we know it can't last forever. Summer will be here, along with its potentially violent weather. That said, do you have a weather radio? They are one of the most important things to have on hand during the severe storm season. Why? They alert you the moment a watch or warning is issued. Some will say that there is no need for one because they can watch the scroll on the TV or take cover when the siren sounds. There's a flaw with this thinking. First of all, who says you'll be watching TV when something is issued? Second, tornado sirens are meant to warn people outside that there's a storm coming. You may not hear it from inside all the time and it may come too late. This is mostly true for when storms strike overnight. Weather radios, battery powered devices, are designed to have a loud volume so you can wake up if a storm is particularly violent. It may be annoying but it will save your life. Invest in a $20 radio today, and keep ahead of the storm. Amanda Wagner, Times’ intern
Be aware this week
It is Severe Weather Awareness Week. Snce 2000, thunderstorms and tornados have claimed the lives of 21 Minnesotans and caused more than $373 million in federally declared damages. On Monday, review when and why the community sounds its outdoor warning sirens and what action to take when they are activated. On Tuesday, take some time to learn more about facts and fiction surrounding lightening. Wednesday is the day to focus on floods and how you and your family can prepare and respond to spring flooding and flash flooding. On Thursday, the National Weather Service will issue a simulated tornado warnings for all Minnesota counties at 1:45 and 6:55 p.m. Be sure your home and business have an emergency plan in place, should severe weather arise. Finally, on Friday, the focus is on extreme heat brought on stormy summer weather.