On Spring Clean-Up Week (twice), gay marriage, Pirate baseball, and graduation...

Spring Clean-Up Week I
It is spring clean-up week in Crookston. Throughout the neighborhoods are neatly stacked curbside piles of items people no longer have a use for. It is wonderful if someone can turn trash into treasure rather than filling the local landfill with even more waste. However, if you are out and about seeking a real find, please be respectful about it. Don't rip into trash bags to see if there is anything "good" inside and proceed to leave trash strewn about the boulevard. Pick up after yourself. You are getting items at no cost. The least you can do is keep bags and piles in order for not only the sake of the homeowner, but for the ease of city workers who will be picking up discarded items.

Spring Clean-Up Week II
This just in from the “Better Late than Never” department, it’s Spring Clean-Up Week. There were still significant amounts of snow piled up on everyone’s boulevards and curbsides during the last week of April, when the event normally takes place, and city officials were worried that Public Works crews would be wrapped up in a potentially significant flood fight, so the decision was made to delay it. Judging by the amount of stuff piled by the streets around town to be picked up, maybe the extra time gave everyone added opportunity to get rid of some things. And, of course, the boulevard-browsers are out in force, in search of hidden treasures or scrap metal to make a buck.

When gay marriage, homosexuality aren’t big news...
Each morning at the Times, a list of stories from the Associated Press is compiled and someone in the newsroom posts those stories on our website for readers to peruse throughout the rest of the day. We call it the “AP web list.” Last week, jokingly one day, as the Minnesota House approved a bill making gay marriage legal in the state, it was suggested that we call that day’s compilation of stories the “AP gay marriage list.” Maybe the real battle will be won on this issue when things having to do with gay marriage or a professional athlete coming out of the closet doesn’t generate, stop the presses, breathless media coverage. Our legislature is doing some important work in St. Paul, and, yes, gay marriage is a big part of that. But it’s not the only part. Let’s get to a time and place where the other parts don’t get shoved to the background because of the gay marriage part.

Big week for Pirate baseball
It's been difficult spring for sports teams in the area but with a few weeks under our belt it is starting to feel like normal again. With all the missed time, though, it means cramming games in before the postseasons get underway. The Pirate baseball team has jumped out to a 6-3 record and is 6-0 against section opponents. They face a big test this week, however, with a doubleheader on Tuesday against Warroad, the top team in Section 8AA North, a non-section game on Thursday against Badger/Greenbush-Middle River and a game on Friday against section opponent Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton. The good news is all four games are at home. But do the Pirates have enough pitching depth to compete in that many games in a span of four days? If the Pirates are going to continue their success they will need to bring their runs allowed per game down below six. It should be an interesting week and we'll see where the Pirate nine sit afterwards.

Students: Enjoy graduation, but be responsible, smart and safe
The high school graduation season is finally upon us, and seniors will be celebrating everywhere. Parties will either be held after a commencement ceremony or sprinkled throughout the month of May. It's definitely a festive time. But, it's also a dangerous time. Often times, graduating students are irresponsible after the fact, and on Graduation Night they party and drive around into the wee morning hours. Graduating also seems to be a good excuse for them to drink and get into a lot of trouble. Accidents have been known to happen. Listen up, seniors. If you're planning a get-together on the night of graduation, do it responsibly. Just because you're out of school, it does not give you the right to be careless. You don't need to have a rowdy party with friends or illegally drink to celebrate and have fun. Get a group of classmates and watch movies or have a sleepover. Just keep it on the down-low, and nobody will get hurt. - Amanda Wagner, Times’ intern