The newsroom weighs in on the top five things they'd like to see happen locally or around the world

Ready to dig in the dirt?

It's hard to think about planting while we still have snow on the ground, but stores are starting to stock their shelves with seed packets and flower bulbs in every shape and color. For new homeowners, it is exciting to think of possible landscaping ideas and adding curb appeal. Some people want to add more color  while others just want thick lush greenery. Do you add flowers all the way around your house? Do you want them to come back every year? Do you plant more trees? The possibilities are endless. Remember that not everyone has a green thumb and you need to choose the right type of plants to go with your home's sun coverage. If you don't do research on how to care for your plants and how much sunlight they need, you might not see anything sprout and be out a decent amount of money.

St. Pat’s sense?

St. Patrick's Day, being on a Monday this year, forced most celebrations to the weekend before. Towns had parades (some being a whopping 10 minutes), bars had pub crawls and people dressed in green roamed the streets. With all the shenanigans going on, you need to be a defensive driver. Especially in downtown Grand Forks at night. Those finishing their last rounds of green beer and moving on to the next bar seem to forget they need to wait for a green light to cross the street. There were cars slamming on their brakes at all intersections because of wobbly Irishmen and women trying to run through traffic. Not only were they running across at stoplights, but they were running between cars too. Next year, let's hope there is more traffic enforcement, longer parades and smarter pub crawlers.

Spielman scored in free about the upcoming draft...

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman has made all the right moves this offseason. He has landed very good free agents in Linval Joseph, a monster defensive tackle, Captain Munnerlyn, a young up-and-coming cornerback, and Derek Cox, another cornerback who will give the team great depth at the position. Spielman has re-signed Everson Griffen, albeit at a high price, Jerome Simpson, Fred Evans, Matt Cassel, Joe Berger and Charlie Johnson. But his best move might have been allowing Chris Cook to sign with the 49ers. Cook has not lived up to his second-round pick. Spielman has done a great job improving the Vikings but none of it will matter if he can't find a future franchise quarterback in the draft. Nobody has any idea which of the quarterbacks in the draft will be capable NFL quarterbacks but Spielman needs to find one. Whether it's in the first round or the second round, where a number of recent very good quarterbacks have come from, Spielman can't be wrong. Another wasted pick on a quarterback and Spielman will be looking for a new job. Pressure's on, Rick!

Don’t feel overly slighted by Gopher snub

The knee-jerk, yet probably understandable reaction to the Gopher men’s basketball team not making the NCAA Tournament field of 68 teams is to cry foul. The Gophers had a good RPI rating and, most notably, played the fifth toughest schedule in the country. Then there’s the obvious argument that the Gophers are far better than the 69th team in the country; there are no doubt many small-conference teams that got automatic bids for winning their conference tournaments that the Gophers would likely throttle. But what outweighs all of that is the fact this team isn’t very good. They’re up-and-comers with an exciting young coach eager to put his stamp on the program, but for now, the simple fact is that they finished the season in mediocre-at-best fashion in a tough but parody-filled Big 10 conference. They, instead, got the top seed in the NIT; maybe they’ll make a run in that one. But even that’s unlikely.

Peterson announcing that he’ll seek a 13th House term

Twelve-term U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat who represents the Seventh District, is expected to announce today, Monday, that he’s seeking a 13th term. For those who lean left more often than they lean right, it’s a good thing. After all, if Peterson doesn’t run in the Republican-leaning district, whatever Democrat who would step in would face a tough battle against the Republicans’ candidate. But it’s a mixed blessing. Peterson could be the most conservative Democrat in Congress, someone who leans right on almost every issue besides farm policy. It’s no wonder Republicans can’t unseat him, it’s like they’re trying to beat one of their own.