Cheers to student-athletes and coaches keeping priorities in perspective

    Believe it or not, there are more important things than sports. Quite a few things actually. Recently, Crookston High School students and coaches reinforced this concept. This last Pirates track meet that took place on Monday, April 1 in Moorhead, a number of Pirate athletes stayed behind for some final prepping for the ACT. The ACT is not the most important aspect in an education by any means, but it is encouraging to see teenagers ranking preparedness for a standardized test for college admission above a regular season track meet.

    The coaches are just as deserving of praise as the student-athletes. At one point, the students notified their respective coaches they would not be competing Moorhead, and none of the coaches protested. The heads of the teams realized the severity of the ACT and did not object.

    An instance such as this puts priories in perspective. Obviously, anyone who competes in sports owes it to their coaches, their teammates and themselves to put forth their best effort. Competing in sports provides numerous advantages, but at the end of the day, as cliche as it sounds, it really is just a high school game, match, meet or tournament. A successful ACT performance will do more for an individual than a practice meet, and it is satisfying to see student-athletes and coaches realizing this.

Nolan Beilstein, Sports Editor

Jeers to the thought of live video of council meetings only being on Channel 3

    During the 2019 Crookston City Council Strategic Planning Session, the agenda listed the possibility of having live video of council meetings, and potentially other city board and committee meetings as well, broadcast on Channel 3, the city’s public access cable television channel available only through Midcontinent.

    This “Jeers” is not meant to diminish Channel 3’s benefit to the community. In fact, Crookston is lucky to have a public access cable TV channel like Channel 3. Local organizations wishing to submit a public service announcement or upcoming event on Channel 3 are able to do so by simply emailing tv@crookston.mn.us, faxing 281-5609, or hand-delivering the message to City Hall, and it will be published.

    While waiting for Midcontinent to return a phone call with the number of Midco cable subscribers in Crookston, the Times decided to do a Google search for more information on Channel 3 and more than a couple concerns came up.

    The first link that pops up is the city’s website describing Channel 3. That link leads to a “Page not found.” (To be fair, the third link down that lists “Resident’s Services” describes what Channel 3 is.)

    The second link on Google says it’s Channel 3’s Slideshow. Sounds awesome for those of us that don’t have Midcontinent, but have satellite TV, streaming online only, or no television access. When we click on the link, it takes us to a slideshow that says the current weather conditions are not functioning and they’re working on a fix, and, on the eighth slide down, lists city meeting notices from June 2017. You can probably guess that the rest of the slides are from 2017 as well, and you’d be right. Bummer. Perhaps they got rid of the slideshow and this author wasn’t aware.

    At the planning session, Ward 2 Council Member Steve Erickson told the group that there are a lot of people that listen to the audio files of the meetings currently published on the city’s website and Ward 3 Council Member Clayton Briggs added to that saying, while it is popular, it’s also tough for some people to recognize who is speaking.

    City Administrator Shannon Stassen also said to the group that he and City Information Technology Director Phillip Barton have had a lot of conversations about posting live video of the council meetings on Channel 3.

    That sounds great for all the people that have access to Channel 3 through Midcontinent, but what about the people that don’t?

    If you’re trying to reach a larger audience and be more transparent to the community, wouldn’t it also make sense to stream video of the meetings on the city’s website so those people with internet access can watch or tune in later?

    This author knows there’s potentially a lot of expense and labor that goes with providing a live video stream, saving those files and allowing people to have access to them later. But, if you’re going to do it for Channel 3, you might as well do it on your website, too.

Jess Bengtson, Assistant Editor