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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Opinion: This week's five things

  • The Times newsroom weighs in on their picks for this week's five things they would like to see happen locally or around the world.
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  • Yes, scrutinize...it’s easy
    Ward 1 Crookston City Council Member Tom Jorgens said something interesting at last week’s council Ways & Means Committee meeting, at which four applicants who want to be the city’s new administrator were selected for interviews, with a fifth alternate. As everyone around the table talked about who would do background checks and reference checks and a timeline for those various checks, Jorgens interjected that he’d already done some checking on the potential interviewees, and that at least two of them are in need for further “scrutiny.” Then, he added, all of the information he’d gathered was “readily available.” It other words, he’s Googling these people. He’s surfing the Internet, where the names, work histories and other information, even newspaper stories about “separation agreements” between a council elsewhere and one of the applicants, is right there, waiting to be read. So, yes, do some official background checks. Make some official reference calls. Maybe even get on the road and visit some spots where these people have worked previously in their careers. But maybe before you do that, Google them, so you get at least a basic idea of who you’re dealing with.
    A little more information for motorists not familiar with Crookston’s roads?
    Road construction seems to have taken over the south end of Crookston. Those who live or work on the south end know where it's at and where to go for detours. What about those people who live out of town and need to navigate to find a different route? Most of them don't know which direction to go and end up either holding up traffic by their slow driving or just stopping completely to try and figure out where to go. This can be a huge pain for us locals. Would it be that hard to put up detour signs with directions to, at least, get to the highway? Not only would it free up the long lines, but it would help those out-of-towners get to where they need to be.
    A short week, and needed break for students, teachers and staff
    MEA Week – known commonly as the Minnesota Educator's Association – is coming up on Oct. 17-18. So no school on Thursday or Friday! While many would find this as a reason to celebrate, there are individuals who will do nothing but work during this time. MEA and its associates no longer wish to go by this name, opting instead for the title of the Education Minnesota Professional Conference. Many teachers and educational administrators will flock to the Twin Cities for meetings regarding the National Educator's Association, education in general and the role the State of Minnesota hopes it will play in the lives of its residents. Whether you're planning to go to these conferences or couldn’t really care less, it's a great week not only off from school but for some fun and relaxation if you play your cards – and spend your money – right. While education is invaluable and extremely important, it's important to have a little break here and there from the daily grind and do things that involve parts of the brain besides the ones responsible for learning. Whether you're taking these two days and the weekend to go on a trip or simply to catch a few extra Z's, this time is important for parents, teachers, administrators and students alike and will benefit them in whatever way they choose to spend it.                              – Torrie Greer, student staff writer
    Page 2 of 2 - Quarterback, schmuarterback...it’s the Purple’s defense
    All this talk about the three-headed circus that is the Vikings quarterback situation got a lot clear with Sunday’s embarrassing, 25-point loss to the so-so Carolina Panthers. Matt Cassel did not play well, so his short run as the Vikings starter, in which he led them to their lone victory over the Steelers in London two weeks ago, appears to be at an end. Former starter Christian Ponder likely won’t take a snap behind center for the Purple again, and may not be on the roster come November. That means the Josh Freeman experiment will likely begin in earnest this Sunday when the Vikings take on the winless Giants. But Freeman could play a great game and the Vikings could still easily lose not because of anything the offense does, but because of their defense, which has been bad every game this season but continually overshadowed by the saga surrounding the quarterback position. This defense is playing far under expectations, which were clearly set too high from the get-go.
    Are the Twins taking notes?
    Hopefully the Minnesota Twins are enjoying the 2013 Major League Baseball Playoffs. It's terrific drama with a bunch of fantastic storylines. The Pittsburgh Pirates ending a 20-year span of losing seasons, the Cleveland Indians rebounding after a few poor seasons, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS, the Boston Red Sox banding together after the Boston Marathon bombing. If the Twins head-honchos take away one thing from the playoffs it should be that all these teams have one thing in common: Elite pitching up and down the rotation. True, all the teams have pretty balanced lineups, but hitting comes and goes in the postseason. It's pitching that gets a team into the playoffs and advances you in the playoffs. Pitching can steal games and can blow games. Check out any playoff team's rotation. Twins hurlers like Vance Worley, Mike Pelfrey, Scott Diamond and Liam Hendriks would be subjected to bullpen duty on any of the playoff teams. Now, obviously elite starting pitching doesn't grow on trees, but the Detroit Tigers, Red Sox, Dodgers, Rays and others seem to find a good mix of developing elite arms and signing big-name free agents to round out their rotations. Take note, Twinkies.
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