The newsroom weighs in on this week's five things they would like to see happen locally or around the world.

A welcome boost in scheduling technology

    The Park Board on Monday, likely courtesy of Parks & Recreation Director Scott Riopelle and Finance Director Angel Hoeffner, will get their best, so far, look at the new online registration, scheduling and payment system that’s been in the works for some time. When it’s fully functional and up and running, the new system might not be for everyone, but chances are it’s going to be just the ticket for a lot of busy parents who have kids that enroll in various youth athletics and activities pretty much four seasons out of the year. So let’s see how it looks and go from there. Hopefully this new way of doing things is a major step in the right direction.

A walking trail on the south side of Crookston

    Last week, we had nice weather and it was the perfect time for a walk. Living on the south end meets for a bit of a challenge. Some neighborhoods don't have sidewalks so the street is the only option. Most of the time, the traffic is quiet so this doesn't pose too big of a problem. However, if you are trying to walk across the railroad tracks on the main road, it can get scary with all the large trucks and speeders. The Crookston Trail Committee has said that Fairfax Avenue is one of those areas where we could really benefit from a trail. Everyone on the south side would agree. We know the committee is working hard to make this happen and they should know there are a lot of people anxiously waiting.

Young people, be informed and opinionated on political issues

    Countless social media, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, are loaded down and vandalized with political ads, whether it be for a particular campaign member or a pending national policy. The sheer amount of information is nearly infinite. It can be hard as a teenager to accurately form your opinion about politics based on the numerous forms of persuasion demonstrated through advertisements, commercials and the previously-mentioned social medias, as well as listening to the adults in your life telling you their views and how they are "right." So how does one begin to form a political identity-- a set of views-- that defines their opinion as a whole while still remaining open to the vast sea of political information? Easy-- become informed. Read the newspaper, research political campaigns, comprehend and understand a debating policy by researching and interoperating. The only way young people are going to become informed is by diligently attempting to understand the consistently-changing politics and government reforms around them.  Becoming informed will not only help the country as a whole but will help young people understand that the power of the governmental future depends on them and will change and bend and sway with their votes, their opinions and their knowledge. – Torrie Greer, student writer

Don’t let the score fool you: Vikes offense didn’t cut it

    Well, Sunday was a must-win game, you know. History shows that something like only 5 percent of National Football League teams who start a season with two losses make the playoffs, and no such team has done so for something like five years. All of which adds up to your Minnesota Vikings being in deep trouble, and it’s still only September. One look at the scoreboard Sunday will tell you that offense must have been sharp, what with 30 points on the scoreboard. But anyone who watched the game knows that the opening kickoff was returned for a touchdown by Cordarelle Patterson and a fumble was returned for a touchdown by defensive end Brian Robison after a sack of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. So what does that mean? Our Christian Ponder-led offense scored 16 points. Of the Bears’ 31 points, seven were in the form of a gift interception from Ponder and easy touchdown return. If Ponder’s going to turn the ball over every week, this team might not win any games at all. He is asked to simply not lose the game, but he’s lost two games out of two so far. This isn’t necessarily a cry to put in his backup Matt Cassel, but it’s just citing another batch of evidence that says Ponder is a failed, high draft pick.

Celebrating tennis consistency

    Year after year the Pirate girls' tennis team posts winning records and goes deep into the postseason and, yet, they don't receive the recognition they deserve because it's not a major sport. Head coach Mike Geffre's squad is 9-5 this season with about two and a half weeks remaining in the regular season. The Pirates travel to Bemidji Tuesday for a pair of duals and compete in the Litchfield Tournament on Saturday. The Northwest Quadrangular is then Tuesday, Sept. 24 and the Pirates host Park Rapids and Roseau on Saturday, Sept. 28 before finishing the regular season Tuesday, Oct. 1 against Bemidji in Grand Forks at Choice Health & Fitness. Thanks to a deep team the Pirates are in position to go deep into the playoffs again. Geffre will have his squad peaking heading into the post season and the Pirates will make at run at state, both as a team and individuals. Best of luck to the Pirates in the final weeks of the regular season and into the postseason.