The Times' Newsroom staff weigh in on their top five things they'd like to see happen.

If you’re against legislation, vote against it, don’t abstain

Shauna Reitmeier, who heads up Northwestern Mental Health Center in Crookston, testified at the Capitol in St. Paul late last week against a bill authored by District 1 State Sen. Mark Johnson, an East Grand Forks Republican, to implement work requirements for “able-bodied” Minnesotans seeking to receive Medical Assistance. We can talk much more about the legislation itself later, but what is worth noting in this space today is that the bill narrowly passed its first committee vote, 7-6, to advance to the next committee, and that was with a state senator and committee member from Chaska, Republican Scott Jensen, abstaining. In choosing not to cast a vote, Jensen, a physician, said he thinks Johnson's bill is "part of the journey" to improve health care, but he could not “accept the legislation in its current form.” Then vote against it in its current form. Don't abstain. That's weak. Are you elected to abstain? 

Attend UMC International Dinner Finale on Wednesday

UMC’s International Dinner Series will wrap up with their final event Wednesday starting at 5 p.m. in Bede Ballroom and the Northern Lights Lounge with dinner, dancing, singing, and more. Over the last five weeks, they have featured international students sharing their love for their countries and culture, and, of course, food. Ticket holders have “traveled” to southeast Asia (Hmong), Cayman Islands, and Zimbabwe, and will end the dinner series with multi-cultural entertainment and food. Wednesday, there will food from several countries and international student performances. Tickets for this week’s finale are $25 and must be purchased in advance. For tickets and information, contact Rae French at 281-8339 or

Families: Use the new sports floor at Crookston Sports Center

The Crookston Sports Center’s sports floor is up in the event arena and is available for use not just for student-athletes, but for the community as well. The floor has lines for basketball, volleyball and tennis, and equipment for use during open times. You can view the “Open Gym Court” schedule online at and figure out the best time to check it out if you haven’t already. The Crookston Youth Basketball Association (CYBA) has used it for two large events (Hoops on Halloween and their annual tournament) and the CHS boys’ tennis team is utilizing it after school as well. If you attended the Easter Egg Scramble Saturday, even the Easter Bunny was having fun shooting hoops. Give it a try.  

An appreciation for Ryan Suter, in his absence

To everyone who thinks iron-man Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter is overrated and gets too much credit for things he does and not enough criticism for things he doesn't, get ready to be proven wrong. Suter reportedly broke his leg Saturday night in Dallas, and his season, even if the Wild make a long playoff run, looks like it's over. Yes, Suter isn't super-human, but he plays 30 minutes a night, the puck is constantly on his stick, and he leads the team in assists by a wide margin. He's smooth as silk, is a calming force on the ice, and he wins countless puck battles. With fellow defenseman Jared Spurgeon also out with a partially torn hamstring, the Wild's blue line that was seen as a strength will now be a liability. The Wild will still likely make the playoffs, but they need Suter, and Spurgeon, to make a run.

A tradition unlike any other...yes, it’s Masters Week. Enough said

Someone was heard to ask last week, "It it the week of the Masters next week?" Well, yes, me'am, technically you're correct, but if you had any idea what you were talking about, you'd know it's not the "week of the Masters," It's "Masters week." It's a "tradition unlike any other," home to pine straw and not pine needles, patrons and not the gallery or crowd, the second cut and not the rough. Magnolia Lane. Amen Corner. A pretty name for every single hole. And, best of all, limited commercial interruptions during the television broadcast. It's a bit much, to be true, a tournament and course, Augusta National, that are both a little too full of themselves. But with Tiger back and playing well and Phil playing rock-solid, it's must-see TV.