Get excited for Chalk It Up/Queen City Art Festival

The Queen City Art Festival and Chalk It Up are returning Saturday, September 7 to downtown Crookston with art stations, a community art project, food, and more, and they want YOU to join in on the fun. Over at the former Wayne Hotel parking lot, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., you’ll find a chalk “selfie” area, squares for individual chalk art (it’s FREE to participate), regional featured artists, hair chalking (it’s really fun to try) and kid’s games. Kids of all ages, 0-100, are invited to this event sponsored by the Downtown Crookston Development Partnership, Crookston Kiwanis and participating businesses. Are you a local artist that wants to be a part of this event? Call Shirley at 280-2854.

Check out a busy library

The Crookston Library has many events planned for September and October for all ages. September events include a program on Women’s Suffrage in Minnesota (Sept. 11) made possible by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, bus trip to Camp Ripley and the Charles Lindberg Museum in Little Falls (Sept. 14), STEMsational Tuesday (Sept. 17), Books and Brews adults only book club (Sept. 17), Genealogy Research with DNA Testing featuring local expert Rick Crume (Sept. 23), Spinecrackers Book Club (Sept. 24), and a program by author Chris Ingraham (Sept. 25.) October events include Music by Mestifonia (Oct. 2), Medicare 101 (Oct. 8), What’s On Wednesday (Oct. 9), STEMsational Tuesday (Oct. 15), program by author Leif Enger (Oct. 15), Scavenger Hunt (Oct. 17-18), Cupcake Decorating (Oct. 17), Teen Cupcake Wars (Oct. 18), Spinecrackers Book Club (Oct. 22), Emergency Preparedness Workshop (Oct. 23), and Decorate a Candy Bag (Oct. 31.) Plus, they have regular events like Storytime Thursday mornings and Baby Bounce the second and fourth Tuesday mornings. Enjoy your Crookston Library all year long, but especially this fall.

Give Kyle Sloter some love, but let’s be reasonable

It’s always been said that the backup quarterback on a football team is the most popular player with fans, especially when the starter is struggling. Which brings us to Kyle Sloter, who isn’t even the backup to Vikings’ starter Kirk Cousins; he’s the third stringer. But for two years, at least in the preseason games, Sloter has played just about perfect, so, naturally, he’s a fan favorite, a cult hero, even. But Sean Mannion looks like Cousins’ backup, mostly because Head Coach Mike Zimmer says Sloter typically struggles in practice. Hey, we’re not saving Sloter is any kind of savior, but he’s a big kid with a big arm, and if Cousins should get injured, maybe Sloter deserves a shot to see how he performs in games that actually count in the standings.

We need to save our planet’s ‘lungs’

The Amazon rainforest, known as the “lungs” of planet Earth, is getting tons of media attention these days because of unprecedented fires that are burning massive numbers of acres, but let’s not pretend that the attack on the rainforest is only recent and only attributable to fire. Clear-cutting of the Amazon has ramped up to make room for farmers, at the order of Brazil’s new president. Scientists say the Amazon rainforest is at a tipping point, which, in this age of ridiculing science and smart people who have devoted their lives to science, those who care little about Earth’s long-term viability as a suitable home for humans will dismiss it. And the unprecedented fires in the Amazon rainforest will continue to burn. These are our lungs. They are important. They need protection. Even unprecedented levels of protection.

Applaud all students starting school the same day

The 2019-20 school year in Crookston Public Schools gets underway on Tuesday, Sept. 3, the day after Labor Day. And for the first time in several years, classes will start on the same day for all students, from kindergartners to high school seniors. That’s the way it should be. For the past several years, K-6 kids have started classes two days later than the older students, so that parents, teachers and students can spend two days in pre-school year conferences to get to know each other and make sure everyone is on the same page. It’s a great concept, but starting school for some students two days before a different age group of students seems unnecessary. Parents, teachers and students in the younger grades still have a chance this week to sit down together, on Aug. 27-28, and that’s great. But it’s before the actual start of the school year, which is even better.