On Barrette Estates, Mickelson, rain, opportunities, and Morneau...

More progress at Barrette Estates
Piles of dirt and digging equipment are the surest indication that “Barrette Estates,” Crookston’s latest subdivision that came together through a partnership between the City of Crookston and property owner/developer Bob Herkenhoff, continues to come along. No, houses aren’t yet being built, but water and sewer and other utility lines are being buried along the back of the 17 lots available for a mere $500 permit fee, most of which have been spoken for. Hopefully, soon, we’ll see signs of the first house being built, and then another, and then another.

No more Phil overkill
If you follow professional golf, you probably either love Phil Mickelson or you love to hate Phil Mickelson. If you follow the PGA Tour, you probably know everything there is to know about the golfer they call “Lefty,” no matter how you feel about him, because his story has been told, told again, and told again by the media that cover golf. A lifelong talent, Mickelson is the smiling fan favorite living the dream life with three perfect kids, and a beautiful wife who’s fought a fierce battle with breast cancer. Mickelson, deservedly so, won the British Open at Muirfield, Scotland in resounding fashion on Sunday, and as golf fans have seen before, there he was afterward, squeezing his wife and trio of kids tight. And within three feet of the family clutch, there stood, crouched and kneeled around 20 photographers click, click, clicking away. Moments later, when it became official that Mickelson had won, the embrace was repeated, as was the almost embarrassing gaggle of photographers. Enough. We get it. Phil the family man and amazing golfer won another tourney. Give him some space. Give us some space.

How about one of those significant, timely rains?
As the wet, cold spring slowly gave way to summer, those who know or thing about the soil and moisture stressed that the drought that kicked in big time last summer was still a very real thing, that the subsoil remained incredibly dry, and that farmers were going to need frequent, timely rains in order to enjoy a successful 2013 growing season. Well, we’re staring down August, and those timely rains have gotten pretty infrequent lately. A good chance of thunderstorms has been forecast numerous times, and yet they keep missing the Crookston area. Yes, we’ve had a very brief deluge here and there, and a sprinkle or two, but the yards are browning up. A timely rain, please?

When opportunity knocks, be sure you at least answer the door
It can be easy to get caught up the hustle and bustle of life and let opportunities slip by, seemingly unnoticed.  But what if that opportunity could change your life? What if that opportunity could help you realize and grow as an individual and learn things about yourself that you never knew and will only help you to better succeed in life?  It's true that not every single opportunity that comes knocking at your door will change your life; its okay to be busy and to pass up opportunities for whatever reason you may have. That's the beauty of opportunities-- the choice is up to you. However, the more opportunities you take, the more diverse, detailed and cultured your life-- and your experiences-- will be. You only get so many opportunities, so why not take a few that you normally wouldn't? You may just learn a thing or two about yourself, people and the world. – Torrie Greer, Times intern

Don’t just dump Morneau
We are ten days away from Major League Baseball's non-waiver trade deadline. With the Twins flirting with another 90-plus loss season, it's time they unload veterans that other teams may need for a playoff push. However, we fear the Twins will trade the wrong veterans. Unless the price is right, Justin Morneau should remain a Twin. Trading him would be devastating, not only as one of the only clubhouse leaders, to the young, but to the underperforming Twins infield. Plus, without his power he won't garner much in return. Instead, trade away closer Glen Perkins because MLB teams overvalue closers. The Twins also need to send Josh Willingham packing, Jared Burton should go, as well as Kevin Correia. All of those guys can be replaced, but letting Justin Morneau leave with nobody prepared to play first base full time would be foolish. Please, Terry Ryan, keep Morneau as a Twin and make the smart moves.