The newsroom weighs in on their top five things they want to see happen this week

Better wi-fi at the CSC

It’s not surprising that when the Park Board or other groups that meet regularly to discuss things going on in the community, Crookston Sports Center is a frequent focal point of the conversations. Whether it’s a tournament coming up that’s going to fill hotel rooms or some new event that attempts to achieve the “multi-use” goal for the facility, it’s often a hot topic. That’s the case, too, when there’s something that needs to be fixed or improved at the CSC. But one thing that hasn’t come up much at all, it seems, is the CSC’s wi-fi network. But it needs to be addressed. To be kind, it’s inadequate. It needs a boost in bandwidth to increase speed and capacity for CSC visitors who use it. Sure, it’s free for them, but if they can’t really do much of anything on their devices when they’re in the building and accessing the network, what’s the point of offering it at all? It should be discussed.

Even more taxi service?

Maybe it’s just that Crookston residents, whether it’s at a Tommy Helgeson dance, at a company Christmas party or just a bar, really like to party during the holiday season. But it sure seems as though the Ampride Taxi Service is in high demand these days. First they had one vehicle, and then they added another. Do they now even have a third one they use from time to time? Someone said that the other day. Don’t misunderstand, this is mostly a good thing; if people are going to drink alcohol and then decide it’s best to call the taxi, more power to them. But last Friday night, the wait time for the Ampride Taxi Service for those who called around midnight was up to 90 minutes. Clearly, the service was being overwhelmed at that moment. Obviously, there are taxi rules and regulations, so you can’t just make any old vehicle a taxi on a temporary basis. Then there’s the labor costs of paying more drivers. But maybe there’s an opportunity to grow the service, even if it’s only utilized at absolute peak times.

Let’s remember what really matters at Christmas

Christmas. It's practically here! Relatives are flying or driving in, food is ready to be cooked, and gifts are ready to be opened. As you're gathered around the tree with your big plate of Christmas ham, remember what this season is about. No, the answer is not presents. It means different things to many people, but it all leads back to family and togetherness. In a child's eyes, unfortunately, the biggest part of Christmas does usually mean gifts. They eagerly await for Santa Claus to bring what they have asked for all year or what they think they want during the last few minutes of filling out their wish lists. Some parents are getting better at trying to create holiday traditions and teaching their children to give to others, but there are still those who want their child to have everything they've ever wanted. They buy every item on their list and hope they receive an extra hug now and then for fulfilling those dreams. What they don't know is that this child usually only plays with these gifts for a few days and then forgets about them. It has become all about the "wants" and not enough about the "needs". What we need to do is teach children that gifts are not the most important part of Christmas. Teach them about the joy of giving and helping those who might not have anything this holiday. Once they realize that there are other people in this world who aren't as fortunate as they are, maybe then will they begin to see what truly matters.

Dear Santa: Could you bring us some championships?

Dear, Santa, we have a lot to be thankful for in 2013. Pirates athletes and teams had great success and there is a lot to be proud of. Golden Eagle athletes and teams also had success and showed big improvements. Certainly, the Pirates and Golden Eagles are on your "nice list" this year. For Christmas we would like wins, and lots of them. And not just the regular season wins that give you a winning record. We want postseason wins. We want to make plans for state tournaments and conference tournaments. We want to be on the big stage. Also, please give a little luck the Minnesota Wild and Minnesota Timberwolves. The Minnesota sports scene has suffered through years of heartbreak and dreadful seasons. It's time we get a championship. It's a travesty the Stanley Cup has never been won by a Minnesota team. So, please, Santa, brings us a winning 2014.

Take it easy on Christmas Eve

The media certainly have been known to overhype a storm from time to time, especially when they’re of the winter variety and are forecast to bring lots of snow, cold and wind. So hyping something that doesn’t deserved to be hyped is not the goal in this space today. But, that doesn’t change the fact that Tuesday, Christmas Eve, when lots of people will be on the road to spend the holiday with family and friends, could be a bit nasty, especially during the daytime. It’s going to be cold, with windchills approaching 40 below, and windy, too, with gusts topping 30 miles per hour. Add to that the couple inches of new snow that’s expected to fall and things could be interesting. Don’t overreact, of course. Don’t immediately cancel your Christmas plans. But be prepared, and be safe. Don’t rush anywhere. Take your time. Your families are willing to wait a little longer if it assures that you’ll arrive safe and sound. Merry Christmas, have fun, and be safe.