As the blizzard was just roaring to life last Thursday, top-ranked Silver Bay hosted rival Two Harbors in a very windy, cold softball opener for both teams. The Mariners, who took third in the 2007 state tourney, proved that they'll be a force to contend with this season as they overwhelmed the Agates 15-2. No matter the conditions, both coaches were happy to have gotten in their first game under the belt. "Fans were in parkas, trying to stay warm, but hey, that's northern Minnesota," said Silver Bay coach Mike Guzzo.
Tuesday was going to be the first day that all the kids from the combined Silver Bay-Cook County track team got together at a meet. But the weather has a way of intruding in Northern Minnesota and last week's blizzard postponed a scheduled quad meet at the new Two Harbors High School track facility. The day the entire squad gets together will have to wait until next Tuesday, weather permitting, again at Two Harbors. Head coach Rick Frericks said a combination of factors has reduced the Silver Bay boys and girls contingent to just five athletes this season.
I have often made the comment that I'm a hopeless optimist.
Several Lake County commissioners made their way to Silver Bay City Hall Monday night to meet with the city council and show support for the continuing use of the Mary MacDonald Center as a business enterprise center and public space. Growing cost estimates for upgrades and improvements at the city-owned facility council have been a cause of concern for the council, especially after a recent visit by city building inspector Jim Rich. He provided a frank assessment of potential costs to keep the building in compliance with city codes and complete needed repairs.
After listening to Gen. Petraeus say that a continuing presence in Iraq is needed in order to assure a stable nation, I again grew disconsolate over the fact that we get ourselves into the middle of things time and again to uncertain and often disastrous results. I was reminded again of the question asked a number of years ago for a high school philosophy contest if world peace was possible or if human nature makes war inevitable. I can't help but think about that old question again. Remembering back, three out of four of the essayists said war was fated. Can't be escaped.
You can sense by talking with Two Harbors track and field coach Tony Altiere that he's excited about the 2008 season. With two indoor meets behind them, meets that showed the Agates have quite a bit of talent, Altiere said he's optmistic that his squad will hold their own in competitions this season. In his eighth season as head coach, Altiere has built up a solid program that attracts lots of springtime athletes. This season there are 65 boys and girls out for the varsity in grades 9-12, with 55 kids in the junior high program.
The Silver Bay baseball season opened Wednesday night at the HHH Metrodome in Minneapolis with a game against Polar Conference foe McGregor. The two teams played their game following the Twins-Angels game as this edition of the News-Chronicle went to press. Mariner coach Ward Kaiser was able to get his young squad outside onto a still-frozen Lynch Field for a couple of days practice before the game, something that was needed before the big game under the dome. "I didn't want the guys to get to the Metrodome without a little work on a real field," he said.
With two straight Polar League Conference baseball titles in hand, Two Harbors coach Rick Coughlin would like nothing better than a third and a run deep into the sectional playoffs. That could be a very good possibility since the Agates return most of their starters from last season and should feature solid defense and pitching as well as having some pretty good bats in the lineup. "We'll miss Casey (Morsette) and Lowell (Hanson) from last year but we've got a pretty good bunch of guys who like playing baseball," said Coughlin, now in his 23rd year of coaching.
The public bailout of large banking and investment firms is now a reality, in order to further prop up the house of cards that has become ours and the global economy. Soon American taxpayers will receive their "economic stimulus" bonus check, duly borrowed from a higher source than the U.S. government (loan from Warren Buffet?) and intended to stem the downward trend toward economic collapse by sending out legions of spenders to buy products most likely made in China, thus stimulating the short-term economy with all sorts of freshly-borrowed capital. Let me get this straight.
If you have a public land lease in Lake County, most likely for a hunting shack, you will be assessed for the value of that land starting in 2008. The Minnesota Department of Revenue is requiring all 87 counties to comply with a 1958 state law that asks counties to assess not only private property on the leased land, such as cabins and shacks, but to also assess the leased land itself. Lake County assessor Bruce Giddings said that historically, Lake County's policy toward lease lands was that the lease fee people paid for the property took care of that tax value on the land.