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  Monday October 20th, 2014    

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EDITORIALS : JOHN EDSTROM  (ARCHIVES)Back to Current
Marching and Municipal Band (06/13/2012)
By John Edstrom -- Written in 1983 after Steamboat Days

I’m one of those sentimental souls who can’t be in the presence of a marching band without experiencing a lump in the throat. So when Dick Lindner and his troop ... 

FULL STORY >>


I give you – Kramarczuk Field! (05/13/2012)
By John Edstrom -- Forget about naming rights. The new Vikings facility should be known to future generations as Kramarczuk Field, after the premium sausage made by the same process which finally got the stadium bill pa ... 

FULL STORY >>


Shedding light on frac sand concerns (03/18/2012)
By John Edstrom -- It is difficult, amid the uproar over the issue of frac sand mining and transportation, to get a grip on what the realistic concerns are, and whether they have been or are being addressed. An article  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Why must we pay so much for gas? (03/11/2012)
By John Edstrom -- Early last week President Obama was forced to the dubious expedient of lobbying Senate Democrats to vote down a measure to keep him from blocking the construction of the Keystone oil pipe line from Ca ... 

FULL STORY >>


Let’s make a stadium deal now (03/07/2012)
By John Edstrom -- Progress towards design, placement, funding and construction of a new football stadium in the Twin Cities resembles a Shriners’ dragon snaking its way along a summer parade route. The locomotive power ... 

FULL STORY >>


Bain vs. Obama Capital (01/22/2012)
By John Edstrom -- The verbal ‘rassling matches, otherwise known as debates, between the Republican presidential candidates provide the usual preponderance of smoke vs. light, but comments made by Newt Gingrich and Rick ... 

FULL STORY >>


How am I doing? (01/15/2012)
By John Edstrom --

With the number of problems Fran has had with her health, surgeries, hospital stays, and lengthy recuperations, friends and well-wishers have taken to asking me, “And how are you doing? No one ever ... 

FULL STORY >>


Christmas trips (12/25/2011)
By John Edstrom -- As Christmas cards and letters roll in from all points of the compass, especially from old classmates in high school, it gives me pause to think about how few people live their lives in one place and  ... 

FULL STORY >>


What’s not to like about the Keystone pipeline? (12/18/2011)
By John Edstrom -- President Obama’s threat to veto legislation extending the payroll tax cuts if it is tied to his approval of the Keystone oil pipeline from Canada flushes some of his most perverse and carefully veile ... 

FULL STORY >>


Surprise budget surplus for MN (12/04/2011)
By John Edstrom -- After a week of gloomy predictions of a new deficit in the $500 million to $1 billion range, the Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner came forward last Thursday with the happy news of, instead ... 

FULL STORY >>


Re the editor’s latest operation (11/27/2011)
By John Edstrom -- Progress reports to our readers detailing Fran’s recuperation from the latest major surgery (every two years whether she needs it or not) have become routine in this publication. Perhaps we should jus ... 

FULL STORY >>


November pheasant hunt (11/20/2011)
By John Edstrom -- When I was in my twenties and first began to hunt around here, the old timers that hung around at Graham & McGuire Sporting Goods, (whose proprietors were known affectionately as Grumpy and Grouchy),  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Rush to judgment on the old coach (11/13/2011)
By John Edstrom -- The story which continues to unfold out of Happy Valley is fascinating in its details, and even more so in the various reactions to it, many now verging on hysteria. Yesterday it was called the worst  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Get a stadium deal done (10/30/2011)
By John Edstrom -- Veteran readers of this editorial space will be quite startled to find in it praise for Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, who I have dubbed Governor Goofy II on other occasions. What Dayton is doing pre ... 

FULL STORY >>


Brief stopover on the path to success (10/23/2011)
By John Edstrom -- An interesting article, “Minority firm disqualified on Central Corridor,” appeared in last Monday’s Minneapolis Tribune. A disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) contractor for the light-rail constru ... 

FULL STORY >>


Flea Party nostrums (10/16/2011)
By John Edstrom -- Herman Cain’s climb up the Republican presidential candidate polls is interesting for a number of reasons. First of all, he has become the darling, at least for now, of the Tea Party, mainly because h ... 

FULL STORY >>


Occupy Wall Street !!? (10/09/2011)
By John Edstrom -- The “Occupy Wall Street” protests in New York and similar ones springing up around the country have given the mainstream media great joy and have provided a grateful Obama administration with much-nee ... 

FULL STORY >>


The president’s NCLB double-talk (09/28/2011)
By John Edstrom -- Last week President Obama more or less repealed the federal No Child Left Behind law, giving states the right to opt out of its provisions, mainly the standardized tests which determine Adequate Yearl ... 

FULL STORY >>


Obama jobs proposals DOA (09/18/2011)
By John Edstrom -- President Obama’s new $447 billion jobs proposal, which has most pointedly not been called a “stimulus,” looks very much like a second round of just that. It’s components are:

1.) $250 billion in mos ... 

FULL STORY >>


Obama amnesties illegal aliens by executive decree (08/28/2011)
By John Edstrom -- Our president has been tough on congressional opponents after the markets cratered following the recent downgrading of the U.S. federal government’s credit rating. Certain (tea) parties, he grumped, c ... 

FULL STORY >>


Harold ‘Rip’ Streater RIP (08/21/2011)
By John Edstrom -- Rip Streater was one of those colossal characters you remember from growing up in a small town. A tall, shambling figure, he radiated an authority over his large brood of children that permeated his  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lord of the fries (08/14/2011)
By John Edstrom -- Amidst all the the 24 hour coverage of the debt ceiling crisis, with graphics depicting the billions of dollars in government borrowing piling up by the second, and apocalyptic predictions of our fisc ... 

FULL STORY >>


County Board should take back hiring authority (07/31/2011)
By John Edstrom -- After a brief honeymoon period over at the Winona County government center with the arrival of new County Administrator Duane Hebert and new commissioners Mena Kaehler, Wayne Valentine, and Greg Olson ... 

FULL STORY >>


GRSF Fantasticks a feast (07/13/2011)
By John Edstrom -- Try to remember the kind of

September

When you were a tender and

callow fellow

Try to remember and if you

remember,

Then follow.

A lovely song and lovely lyrics, which could st ... 

FULL STORY >>


Ray Martin, R.I.P. (07/03/2011)
By John Edstrom -- I got to know Ray Martin back when I was in high school. We had discovered the vast area of back channels, islands, and sloughs across from East Winona and Homer and would motor through Swift Creek, a ... 

FULL STORY >>


Henry IV part 1 staged by GRSF (06/29/2011)
By John Edstrom -- Honor pricks me on. Yea, but how if honor prick me off when I come on? How then? Can honor set to a leg? Or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a wound? No. Honor hath no skill in surgery then? No.  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Happy 100th, Mom (06/19/2011)
By John Edstrom -- Sometimes these days when I get up in the morning it takes me more than a few steps to work the kinks out, and I wonder why it is that my feet don’t seem to work as well as they used to. This usually  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Financial reform? (06/12/2011)
By John Edstrom -- As part of the comprehensive financial reform package that Congress passed last year, the swipe fees levied on debit card transactions by banks was capped at 12 cents, a 70% discount from the current  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Local governments can economize too (06/05/2011)
By John Edstrom -- The May economic numbers are in and they are uniformly doleful. Unemployment has crept back up to 9.1%, and a meager 45,000 jobs added to the economy is the lowest total in eight months, far fewer th ... 

FULL STORY >>


Too many people, too much budget (05/29/2011)
By John Edstrom -- Fran and I treated ourselves to a trip last week to hear the Gipsy Kings in concert at the old State Theater in Minneapolis. (They are gypsies born in France, who play guitar exquisitely and sing in S ... 

FULL STORY >>


How we can save Li’l Wilkie (05/22/2011)
By John Edstrom -- Back in 2009, after the city fathers/mothers had succeeded in eradicating the replica Steamer Wilkie from Winona’s river front, the then Downtown Revitalization Committee turned its sights on the mini ... 

FULL STORY >>


High gas prices, cheap demagoguery (05/15/2011)
By John Edstrom -- As gas prices top the $4 per gallon mark last seen in 2008, the shaky economy grows yet wobblier. The increase in gas prices by $2 a gallon is like a tax on all car owners of about $40 for every fill- ... 

FULL STORY >>


Katherine (KC) Saxon R.I.P. (05/01/2011)
By John Edstrom -- I can’t express how odd and unreal it feels to be sitting in front of the computer on a Friday, like nearly a thousand others except that KC Saxon, who worked with us here at the Post for the last 17  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Bluegrass legend in Wabasha (04/24/2011)
By John Edstrom -- Sometimes if you sit still long enough the world will come to you, or someplace close, like Wabasha, where Ralph Stanley and the latest version of the Clinch Mountain Boys performed last Sunday. Stanl ... 

FULL STORY >>


Obama speech doesn’t add up (04/17/2011)
By John Edstrom -- About the only credible claim President Obama made in his speech on the deficit and fiscal policy Wednesday was that the George W. Bush prescription drug program was expensive. From there it ranged fr ... 

FULL STORY >>


Serious debate about spending...? (04/10/2011)
By John Edstrom -- Driving in to work this morning I inadvertently tuned to some sort of testimony before Congress. A guy was talking about the very large number of women in his family, and how much he loved them all. H ... 

FULL STORY >>


Where’s our dog in Libyan fight? (03/27/2011)
By John Edstrom -- Would somebody please step up and explain just what dog it is that we (the U.S.) have in this Libyan fight? Of course, that country’s strong man, Moammar Gadhafi, is a monster, but by the standards of ... 

FULL STORY >>


Was JFK nuts? (03/20/2011)
By John Edstrom -- Rhetoric emanating from the public employee unions and their political allies over in Madison recently has been hard to decipher. They are, of course, upset with the efforts of Scott Walker, Wisconsin ... 

FULL STORY >>


Let the welfare cup run over (02/27/2011)
By John Edstrom -- Representative Steve Drazkowski (R - Mazeppa) has been much in the news lately, mostly for introducing a bill requiring anyone applying for long-term welfare benefits to undergo drug and alcohol scree ... 

FULL STORY >>


Governor Goofy II (02/13/2011)
By John Edstrom -- In the face of a $6.2 billion budget deficit, Minnesota’s new governor, Mark Dayton, is calling for increased spending on K-12 education, all-day kindergarten, and infrastructure repairs. And to think ... 

FULL STORY >>


MNC will not be missed (02/06/2011)
By John Edstrom -- News broke this week that the Minnesota News Council has closed its doors. A piece by Gail Rosenblum which ran in the Minneapolis Tribune last Thursday eulogized the Council as a promoter of “media ac ... 

FULL STORY >>


Why would the SEIU go to bat for illegal immigrants over U.S. citizens? (01/23/2011)
By John Edstrom -- In the news Friday was the firing by Chipotle Mexican Grill of some 350 employees in its chain of 50 Minnesota restaurants. According to an article in the Minneapolis Tribune, “Chipotle fires hundreds ... 

FULL STORY >>


Kill it now, kill it dead! (01/16/2011)
By John Edstrom -- My response to the Tucson shootings and the ensuing debate crystalized Friday morning upon viewing Steve Sack’s political cartoon in the Minneapolis Tribune depicting the new House speaker, John Boehn ... 

FULL STORY >>


Wild ride (12/29/2010)
By John Edstrom -- After the snow started to fall in December, and before Christmas, I began to notice brightly colored plastic items – giant trays and saucers? – left in discreet places about the house and garage. It b ... 

FULL STORY >>


Read these books (12/19/2010)
By John Edstrom -- It has become a tradition in the Christmas season, when the available editorial fodder is either scant or, worse yet, too depressing to be suitable for the season, for columnists to recommend reading  ... 

FULL STORY >>


House Dems gird for big fight (12/12/2010)
By John Edstrom -- The political theater playing out in Washington D.C. currently is amusing as well as instructive. I speak, of course, of the tax deal hammered out between President Obama and, supposedly, the Senate R ... 

FULL STORY >>


Let the ‘mature conversation’ start pre-stimulus (11/21/2010)
By John Edstrom -- While he was in Asia last week, President Obama’s bipartisan commission on dealing with the deficit and national debt came forward with its recommendations. These numbers are $13.7 trillion in nationa ... 

FULL STORY >>


Election over – now what? (11/07/2010)
By John Edstrom -- The political tsunami that rolled in Tuesday night has now, for the most part, swept back out to sea. It leaves a much changed landscape in its wake, having utterly drowned many a Democrat and their c ... 

FULL STORY >>


Let Winona Public Schools sharpen the pencil next November (11/01/2010)
By John Edstrom -- Winona Area Public Schools spends more money per student, has smaller class sizes, and higher average teacher salaries than any other district in the Big Nine. In 2007-2008, WAPS spent $10,320 per stu ... 

FULL STORY >>


How much to turn on that faucet? (10/24/2010)
By John Edstrom -- The juggernaut of Winona city expansion rolls along, with City Manager Eric Sorensen recommending that the City Council authorize a $13,000 study of how Winona bills for water services. This would be  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Record ash heap looming in November (10/17/2010)
By John Edstrom -- “Tax cuts for the rich: not a Minnesota value,” appeared as an op-ed piece in last Tuesday’s Minneapolis Tribune, contributed by Tim Walz, our congressman from Minnesota’s first congressional district ... 

FULL STORY >>


In November we should get back to being America (10/03/2010)
By John Edstrom -- U.S. voters heading to the polls in November should pay particular attention to the news out of Europe contained in an AP article which the Thursday Minneapolis Tribune saw fit to headline, “Workers’  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Local governments continue to serve (09/12/2010)
By John Edstrom -- In the news this week, the Winona City Council voted, preliminarily, to increase the city levy by 4.6%, even in these hard times. Nay votes were cast only by Tim Breza and Deb Salyards. Breza, who is  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The best stewards of Winnebago Island are already in place (08/29/2010)
By John Edstrom -- The ongoing controversy over the fate of the seven cottages on Winnebago Island, a John Latsch property donated to the city back in 1915, is another murky chapter in the recent history of Winona city  ... 

FULL STORY >>


More stimulus? (08/15/2010)
By John Edstrom -- President Obama and congressional Democrats, one-trick ponies every one, have rolled out yet another round of “stimulus,” $26 billion additional to aid the states, mainly to avoid layoffs of governmen ... 

FULL STORY >>


Target should have stuck to its guns (08/08/2010)
By John Edstrom -- In a groveling August 5th letter to employees, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel apologized for making a donation to Minnesota Forward, a pro-business group dedicated to improving Minnesota’s lousy business ... 

FULL STORY >>


Jean Francois d’Avalon (07/25/2010)
By John Edstrom -- Something that continues to amaze me as I accumulate the years, is how difficult it is to remember my life in any organized, chronological sequence of events. Memory I think, or at least mine, does no ... 

FULL STORY >>


Arizona lawsuit speaks volumes (07/18/2010)
By John Edstrom -- The Obama administration is finally doing something about illegal immigration – it is suing Arizona to keep it from dealing effectively with the problems caused by a flow of illegals across its border ... 

FULL STORY >>


GRSF Comedy of Errors a wild, hilarious ride – Shakespeare on steroids (06/30/2010)
By John Edstrom -- In Syracusa was I born, and wed

Unto a woman happy but for me,

And by me, had not our hap been bad.

With her I lived in joy...

I.1. 36-39

This is part of the opening speech of Egeon, which se ... 

FULL STORY >>


As the oil spews (06/20/2010)
By John Edstrom -- President Barack Obama, whose detractors are more and more gleefully comparing him to Jimmy Carter, does share one very important similarity with the oldest surviving ex-president – extremely bad luck ... 

FULL STORY >>


Spending cuts, anyone? (06/13/2010)
By John Edstrom -- A June 9 story on Minnesota Public Radio compared the different approaches the three DFL candidates for governor would take to balancing the state budget and erasing our approximately $6 billion defic ... 

FULL STORY >>


Steve and Nan tie the knot (06/06/2010)
By John Edstrom -- Memorial Day weekend a rather improbable chapter in Edstrom family history was written when my sister Nancy married her old high school classmate, Steve Bachler. The match is rich in symmetries, as n ... 

FULL STORY >>


Commissioner wants to discipline Arizona (05/16/2010)
By John Edstrom -- Before making his farewell to Winona County government after the fall elections, Commissioner Dwayne Voegeli is taking care of some crucial business, for example, instituting a county boycott of Arizo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Is this where we are headed? (05/09/2010)
By John Edstrom -- Yesterday was a bad day. Headed out to Pleasant Valley at about 2:30, I turned on my car radio crossing Broadway on Mankato Avenue. A reporter was broadcasting live from the New York Stock Exchange, s ... 

FULL STORY >>


County squirrels finally under control? (05/02/2010)
By John Edstrom -- For years it was a standing joke around town that Winona’s fastest growing enterprise was not Fastenal Inc., but county government. Now, thanks to some excellent investigative reporting by the Post’s ... 

FULL STORY >>


Titan clash of philosophies in St. Paul (04/25/2010)
By John Edstrom -- The struggle in St. Paul over how to balance the state budget and cover a $4.6 billion deficit is building to an epic climax, a naked clash of conservative and liberal philosophies clearly and vividly ... 

FULL STORY >>


Fine to be on the water again (04/18/2010)
By John Edstrom -- Born and raised in Winona (but still somewhat an outsider, being that my father settled here as recently as the 1930s) and having spent as much of that time on the Mississippi as possible, I am amazed ... 

FULL STORY >>


Durand’s dismissal will haunt district (04/11/2010)
By John Edstrom -- Inexplicably, but as was feared, the Winona School Board did not renew Superintendent Paul Durand’s contract last Thursday night, and his employment with the district will end June 30. Durand has many ... 

FULL STORY >>


Buddy can you spare a dime? (04/04/2010)
By John Edstrom -- Readers of the Minneapolis StarTribune’s recent series on drunken driving, “Smashed,” will have been treated to, more than anything else, another heavy dose of that newspaper’s humbug editorial policy ... 

FULL STORY >>


Board orders private wind turbine down (03/28/2010)
By John Edstrom -- The idea of wind energy, cheap, clean and powered by an endless free source, is fascinating, and seems like it should be the answer to the renewable energy puzzle. Unfortunately, there are monumental  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Durand deserves new contract (03/21/2010)
By John Edstrom -- The District 861 School Board’s action last Thursday night in tabling the matter of Superintendent Paul Durand’s contract renewal (or not) is difficult to understand. It had become generally known tha ... 

FULL STORY >>


Judicial elections a good thing (03/14/2010)
By John Edstrom -- Judge Nina Gerson of the Eastern District of New York just ruled that Congress had no right to cut off funding to ACORN, the recently disgraced left-wing activist group. She called the congressional a ... 

FULL STORY >>


And which doctors will they be seeing? (03/07/2010)
By John Edstrom -- Any clear-eyed scrutiny of what is going on in Washington these days is bound to engender massive cynicism, leading near to despair amongst all but the government classes and their clients. First we  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Tiger – shut up! (02/28/2010)
By John Edstrom -- The public confession and self-abasement of Tiger Woods last week was one of the weirdest, creepy-crawly spectacles I can remember. What in the world does it say about our culture (do we want to know) ... 

FULL STORY >>


We need Green Acres for green acres (02/21/2010)
By John Edstrom -- Property taxes are an insidious thing. Unless you pay close attention, tax rates and your assessed value (and therefore, tax bill) go up incrementally year after year and you hardly notice until at so ... 

FULL STORY >>


‘O Canada,’ oh no! (02/17/2010)
By John Edstrom -- A few nights ago we happened to catch the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Winter Olympics, featuring some diva plodding through the Canadian national anthem, “O Canada,” at such a mournfully slow  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Growing government to create jobs like prescribing whiskey to cure alcoholism (02/14/2010)
By John Edstrom -- Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s State of the State address Thursday gives further strong evidence that he may well be part of the GOP presidential ticket in 2012. It should certainly ring out to tho ... 

FULL STORY >>


News of Fran (01/24/2010)
By John Edstrom -- Fran and I got up Thursday morning at 4 am, the filthy hour reserved by Stalin’s secret police for breaking down doors and claiming their victims. We were not in a very happy mood, heading for the May ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hot wind from county commissioner (01/17/2010)
By John Edstrom -- Tuesday morning, our office received a phone call from an individual wanting to know if we had a reporter at the County Commissioners meeting. “They’re ripping you pretty good,” he informed us. Actual ... 

FULL STORY >>


Economy growing – where are the jobs? (01/10/2010)
By John Edstrom -- The new national unemployment numbers are out for December and they are not good. Nationally, 85,000 jobs were lost, and underemployment, a more arcane measurement which takes account of discouraged w ... 

FULL STORY >>


Ho,ho,ho, get out of here! (12/13/2009)
By John Edstrom -- The front page of Wednesday’s edition of the Post offers a simple and valuable lesson in civics, specifically local government. The first story, “5% city tax increase possible,” has City Manager Eric  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hold your hat – more stimulus coming (11/29/2009)
By John Edstrom -- Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day, Hugh Miller, president and CEO of RTP Co., stopped at our office with a piece he had written about the massive, looming federal deficit, an attempt to make the avera ... 

FULL STORY >>


My Uncle Roy (11/22/2009)
By John Edstrom -- One of my earliest memories is a summer night in the early fifties, down at the Band Shell at Lake Winona, after the band concert. My mother informed me that I and my cousin Patty Edstrom would be rin ... 

FULL STORY >>


Employment shrinks as government grows (11/15/2009)
By John Edstrom -- Numbers on the federal deficit, dismal and scary ones, hit the streets on Friday. For fiscal year 2009, ended Sept. 30, the federal budget ran $1.42 trillion in the red, a record $942 billion over la ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lambeau Field revisited: the second coming of Brett Favre (11/08/2009)
By John Edstrom -- Last summer, when some of us charter members of the Cool Guys Club decided to attend last Sunday’s showdown between the Vikings and the Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, it had been announced th ... 

FULL STORY >>


Harry McGrath, R.I.P. (10/25/2009)
By John Edstrom -- Last October 18, Harry McGrath concluded his journey in this world, a very long one. He was 100 years old, so old that those of us who remember him from his working days as a teacher in Winona’s publ ... 

FULL STORY >>


District bled dry by excessive legal fees? (10/04/2009)
By John Edstrom -- For those who have wondered why the Winona School District, ISD 861, has been spending so much money in legal fees lately, a couple of rulings handed down in the last week should provide some instruct ... 

FULL STORY >>


Last call for socialized medicine (09/13/2009)
By John Edstrom -- Reports now have it that President Obama is laying the groundwork to ram a government health care bill through the Senate by an arcane process known as “reconciliation” which will only require a bare  ... 

FULL STORY >>


CapX towers to cross at Alma!...(?) (08/30/2009)
By John Edstrom -- Winonans breathed a sigh of relief Thursday when CapX2020 representative Tom Hillstrom announced, at a meeting held down in the town of Houston, that the preferred Mississippi River crossing site for  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Health care scare stories (08/19/2009)
By John Edstrom -- Congressmen back at home this summer are finding that the distance between Washington D.C. and their districts is often greater than the mileage, particularly where health care “reform” is concerned,  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Better get down to that town meeting... (08/09/2009)
By John Edstrom -- Now the politicians heading home for summer break are getting the earful they deserve; the news is filled with coverage of angry townhall meetings mobbed by citizens waking up to the radical change Wa ... 

FULL STORY >>


Government run health care – a quack remedy (07/26/2009)
By John Edstrom -- In attempting to sell the public on his version of health care “reform” the other day, President Obama resorted to a little anecdote which revealed a great deal more about his thinking than he could e ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Daly News – another GRSF hit (07/15/2009)
By John Edstrom -- Monday night we attended a sort of bonus event offered by the Great River Shakespeare Festival, a musical review called The Daly News, written by Jonathan Gillard Daly of the GRSF troupe. He also play ... 

FULL STORY >>


City has no business in the real estate business (07/05/2009)
By John Edstrom -- A front page story in today’s edition of the Post contains the news that the city of Winona may soon be getting into the residential housing business. If the City Council approves it, the Community De ... 

FULL STORY >>


GRSF stages The Tempest (06/28/2009)
By John Edstrom -- “Full fathom five thy father lies;

Of his bones are coral made;

Those are pearls that were his eyes;

Nothing of him that doth fade

But doth suffer a sea change

Into something rich and strange.

S ... 

FULL STORY >>


Fed’s med insurance takeover – DOA (06/14/2009)
By John Edstrom -- It is becoming clear that a major feature of the health care “reform” currently hatching in Wasington will be some kind of government-sponsored health insurance program. President Obama has been quot ... 

FULL STORY >>


County ignores economical and attractive building option (06/07/2009)
By John Edstrom -- Winona County’s tentative plans for an addition to its Third Street office building are perplexing on a number of fronts. As everyone knows, times are tough. The space to be replaced by the addition i ... 

FULL STORY >>


School politics never change (05/31/2009)
By John Edstrom -- Some things never change, and public education politics is a prime example. Way back in 1992, or thereabouts, I sat on one of those task forces designated to provide cover for the school district’s co ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hollywood should ride to the rescue (05/27/2009)
By John Edstrom -- GOP Governor Tim Pawlenty, vetoing a last minute tax increase from the DFL Legislature, revived a grand old political term originating in our state’s proud agricultural heritage: “Hogwash,” he exclaim ... 

FULL STORY >>


Sen. Ropes owes retraction, apology (05/10/2009)
By John Edstrom -- There is actual good news on the economic front these days, although it can be a bit hard to interpret. The latest unemployment figures for April, while still trending up, have slowed their increase;  ... 

FULL STORY >>


A scabby chicken comes home to roost (05/03/2009)
By John Edstrom -- This past week was a great one for cynics, particularly those who disdain politics and regard politicians as a lower order of humanity than petty thieves, pickpockets, grave robbers, and vandals. The  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Titan clash of political philosophies in St. Paul (04/26/2009)
By John Edstrom -- The struggle in St. Paul over how to balance the state budget and cover a $4.6 billion deficit is building to an epic climax, a naked clash of conservative and liberal philosophies clearly and vividly ... 

FULL STORY >>


School board end run (04/19/2009)
By John Edstrom -- The controversy which developed at Thursday night’s District 861 School Board meeting raises interesting questions. Teachers union representative Jeff Hyma announced that the union had voted to releas ... 

FULL STORY >>


How to deal with pirates, by J.E. (04/12/2009)
By John Edstrom -- The attack on the U.S. flagged cargo ship Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates affords a priceless editorial opportunity. Now that this column has solved the problem of securing Aghaming Park against the  ... 

FULL STORY >>


American gun control for Mexico? (04/05/2009)
By John Edstrom -- With liberals back in control of the White House and Congress, we can expect to see cherished elements of their agenda de-mothballed, recommissioned, and rolled out once again. Now, a new twist has be ... 

FULL STORY >>


Changing the tax rate on donations a snatch and grab from charities (03/29/2009)
By John Edstrom -- President Obama’s scheme to limit the deductibility of charitable contributions is destructive in itself, and the rationale he gives for it is downright obnoxious. For couples with incomes more than $ ... 

FULL STORY >>


Aghaming Park conundrum (03/22/2009)
By John Edstrom -- Part of John Latsch’s enduring legacy to Winona, Aghaming Park, has received less than responsible stewardship from the city of Winona lately. Across the river from Latsch Island in Buffalo County, Wi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Tax cuts best antidote to recession (03/15/2009)
By John Edstrom -- The stuff that flies across your desk in a newspaper office is generally interesting at any time, but especially so during hard times, when costs and budgets must be cut, especially in the public sect ... 

FULL STORY >>


Dow reacts to stimulus with nosedive (03/08/2009)
By John Edstrom -- It is now 2 pm Friday, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down another 100 points, to under 6,500. (Until fairly recently this would have been a problem mainly for rich guys; nowadays, however, a ... 

FULL STORY >>


Start hiding your dimes – the dollars are called for (02/22/2009)
By John Edstrom -- Recently it has come out that the city of Winona has compiled a sort of wish-list of projects that, hopefully, will be financed by money doled out to the states from the federal stimulus package. Firs ... 

FULL STORY >>


Not the change we were waiting for (02/15/2009)
By John Edstrom -- By the time this issue of the Post hits the streets, the $787 billion stimulus package may well have been passed by both House and Senate. The bill goes 1,071 pages, which virtually no one voting on i ... 

FULL STORY >>


Wrong time for government spending spree on borrowed money (01/25/2009)
By John Edstrom -- If you stop your ears against the constant harping by the mainstream media on economic catastrophe, you might look around and spot a few rays of hope that things are already beginning to turn. It can’ ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hard winter (01/18/2009)
By John Edstrom -- The schools, apparently run by recent migrants from California or Florida, called off classes Thursday because of a mere little cold spell during which the daytime high reached all the way to 5 degree ... 

FULL STORY >>


Washington’s ‘cure’ could be worse than recession disease (01/11/2009)
By John Edstrom -- Fresh bad news hit last week with notice that Herff Jones of Lewiston, producer of high school Memory Books, will consolidate with its plant down in North Carolina, entailing the loss of nearly 250 j ... 

FULL STORY >>


Here’s for a Happy New Year! (12/28/2008)
By John Edstrom -- Retail sales figures for the holiday season are in, and the dismal forecasts of the big media, both broadcast and print, have been largely borne out. According to Spending Pulse, a division of Master  ... 

FULL STORY >>


A Christmas goose hunt (12/21/2008)
By John Edstrom -- When Tim Beier called me at the end of November to invite me along on a Wednesday, December 17, goose hunt over in the Rochester area, I stalled him with a little small talk while quickly checking wea ... 

FULL STORY >>


Blago lesson for Winona (12/14/2008)
By John Edstrom -- The latest juicy scandal emanating from the rancid venue of Chicago and Illinois politics should be the inspiration for a whole new generation of small government conservatives. I can see quotes which ... 

FULL STORY >>


Chamber of secrets? (12/07/2008)
By John Edstrom -- The Winona Chamber of Commerce decision to bar the local media from last Thursday’s general membership luncheon with Mn/DOT engineer, Jai Kalsy, came as an inexplicable shock to us, not the least beca ... 

FULL STORY >>


Have yourself a merry little Christmas (11/30/2008)
By John Edstrom -- To read the national news these days, is to experience the horrors of living during the Second Coming of the Great Depression. And there is plenty of bona fide bad news besides the usual end-of-the-wo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Why rush new bridge construction? (11/16/2008)
By John Edstrom -- Lead articles in the Friday editions of both the Minneapolis Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press told of the final results of the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation of the August ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mel Beier celebrates his 90th (11/09/2008)
By John Edstrom -- Most every year for the last 15 or so, my friend, Butch Beier, and I make the drive north to Little Falls, Minnesota, to hunt at LeBlanc’s Rice Creek shooting preserve. Butch, his brothers, and their  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Open government for Winona? (11/02/2008)
By John Edstrom -- Open government, as opposed to public business being conducted away from public scrutiny “behind closed doors” has become a major issue in the city elections to be held Tuesday, especially the mayor’ ... 

FULL STORY >>


Few last words before end of the world (10/12/2008)
By John Edstrom -- Fran likes to tell the story of our first home mortgage loan, lent us by Joe Krier out at the new Town & Country Bank back in 1973. This was after an officer at one of the other banks had marked our a ... 

FULL STORY >>


Vote no on additional sales tax (10/05/2008)
By John Edstrom -- Hidden on this November’s ballot is an amendment to the state constitution to raise a 3/8 percent sales tax to fund various environmental initiatives, as well as the “arts.” A personal aside: I have h ... 

FULL STORY >>


Remember that bridge? (08/31/2008)
By John Edstrom -- Last week the city of Winona sent out a formal Request for Proposals, soliciting an architectural consultant to study and analyze the possibility of a multipurpose Shakespeare/performing arts theater ... 

FULL STORY >>


Time to rethink drinking age? (08/24/2008)
By John Edstrom -- Back in 1984, during one of those recurring periods when lawmakers take up the belief that they can eliminate bad behavior by passing more restrictive, cleverly worded laws against it, the federal gov ... 

FULL STORY >>


Performing steamboat basketball arena? (08/17/2008)
By John Edstrom -- The recently reconstituted Downtown Revitalization Committee, despite being predated by both the Levee on Main Task Force and the Riverfront Committee, was asked to make recommendations to City Counci ... 

FULL STORY >>


Why is price of oil coming down? (08/10/2008)
By John Edstrom -- Recently, our office received a press release from the office of Tim Walz, our Democratic congressman from the First District here in Southern Minnesota. It was entitled, “Walz Votes To Expand Drillin ... 

FULL STORY >>


‘this scepter’d isle...this other Eden’ (07/16/2008)
By John Edstrom -- Monday evening at the home of Bob and Marlene Kohner, a gathering of friends, supporters, and company members of the Great River Shakespeare Festival were treated to some upbeat news by Festival Found ... 

FULL STORY >>


‘this scepter’d isle...this other Eden’ (07/16/2008)
By John Edstrom -- Monday evening at the home of Bob and Marlene Kohner, a gathering of friends, supporters, and company members of the Great River Shakespeare Festival were treated to some upbeat news by Festival Found ... 

FULL STORY >>


A river rescue (07/06/2008)
By John Edstrom -- Not since the spring of 2001 has any significant high water resulted from the winter snowpack. It is generally the thaw plus heavy spring rains that produce record floods like we experienced in the sp ... 

FULL STORY >>


GRSF stages Merchant of Venice (06/29/2008)
By John Edstrom -- ...I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?...If you prick us, do we not bleed,? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do w ... 

FULL STORY >>


Bridge closure to teach us a lesson (06/22/2008)
By John Edstrom -- In a story first appearing right here in the Winona Post, it was revealed that Mn/DOT already knew what it was going to find when the Interstate Bridge was inspected early this June. After the agency  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Not the first time the bridge nearly came down (06/15/2008)
By John Edstrom -- By now news of the Interstate Bridge's reopening on Saturday has penetrated to the darkest hollows of Winona and Buffalo Counties, relieving much anxiety, and blowing away the collective gloom over Wi ... 

FULL STORY >>


MnDOT overreacting to criticism? (06/08/2008)
By John Edstrom -- MnDOT's hasty closing of Winona's Interstate Bridge raises many questions that are not easily answered. The late Tuesday bridge closing was treated as an emergency. Hapless Fountain City and other Wis ... 

FULL STORY >>


Who is representing Winona about the new bridge? (06/01/2008)
By John Edstrom -- Representatives of the Minnesota Department of Transportation came to town recently and, as usual, departed only after casually dropping hints of various blood-curdling possibilities. Thanks to the n ... 

FULL STORY >>


‘Because, Senator, you oaf, you idiot...’ (05/25/2008)
By John Edstrom -- The energy plot thickens, and that is not an oblique reference to cornfields. A little read news story from a couple of weeks ago tells of the setback to plans for Big Stone II, a project to expand a  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Time for rational energy choices (05/11/2008)
By John Edstrom -- A recent Michael Ramirez cartoon nicely sums up how childish and irrational this country's thinking about its energy needs has been over the years. It pictures energy company executives being grilled  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Cow flops along campaign trail (05/04/2008)
By John Edstrom -- Minnesota's bridge that fell down continues to pop up along the campaign trail. At a news conference on Wednesday, presidential hopeful John McCain opined that there had been plenty of money to fix th ... 

FULL STORY >>


City mishandles its tax base (04/27/2008)
By John Edstrom -- This April will be remembered as a month in which the city of Winona and its council were especially active in the practice of bad government. At its April 14 meeting the council denied, by a 6-1 vote ... 

FULL STORY >>


Crisis in WAPS? (04/20/2008)
By John Edstrom -- Following last week's vote of no confidence in Superintendent Paul Durand by the Winona Education Association (the public school teachers union) the school board met, and by unanimous vote, expressed ... 

FULL STORY >>


High school clique (04/13/2008)
By John Edstrom -- Those who have read through the text of the supposed vote of no confidence in Superintendent Paul Durand by the Winona Education Association - the local teachers' union - will probably find themselves ... 

FULL STORY >>


WSU hoops; a rich experience (04/02/2008)
By John Edstrom -- After watching enough basketball in the last few weeks for a lifetime, (or at least until next year), one of the questions that poses itself is why, generally, does the college, or amateur game engage ... 

FULL STORY >>


Why Obama can’t shake Rev. Wright (03/23/2008)
By John Edstrom -- Barack Obama, who has probably won for himself the Democratic nomination for the next U.S. presidential election, now finds his candidacy seriously challenged by revelations that Reverend Jeremiah Wri ... 

FULL STORY >>


La inyeccion de la camarera (03/16/2008)
By John Edstrom -- People ask me why I don't write more often. As often, say, as the editor of this operation, my wife, who is generally good for a column an issue, unless she is very sick. If only a little sick, she ca ... 

FULL STORY >>


Forty new troopers needed to hold up bridges? (02/24/2008)
By John Edstrom -- Hidden away in the record-breaking $6.6 billion tax increase just passed by the Minnesota legislature, the largest in our state's 150 year history, is an item which everyone should pay close attention ... 

FULL STORY >>


Picturing a new Interstate bridge (02/17/2008)
By John Edstrom -- In this week's city council agenda is a letter from Mayor Jerry Miller to Nelrae Succio of the Minnesota Department of Transportation, an attempt to influence plans for the new Interstate bridge sched ... 

FULL STORY >>


Board disagrees on County buildings (01/30/2008)
By John Edstrom -- Citizens of Winona County are mostly in the dark about plans to build anywhere from a $13 to $51 million expansion of the county campus, even though County Administrator Bob Reinert had indicated that ... 

FULL STORY >>


Design flaw identified in bridge failure (01/20/2008)
By John Edstrom -- Since the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis went down last August, critics and enemies of Governor Tim Pawlenty's administration and friends of higher taxes have put up a steady howl, blaming him and Lt. Gov ... 

FULL STORY >>


James (Dog) Daggit - R.I.P. (01/06/2008)
By John Edstrom -- On New Year's Day we found out that we did not escape the year 2007 without the sudden and early loss of yet another good friend. Stopping for lunch at Schniepp's Bar down on East 8th, Bill Schniepp  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Christmas Mysteries (12/23/2007)
By John Edstrom -- On the way out of the office this noon (Friday) my circulation manager, Mary, called me over to the reception desk and proffered a large cardboard box with a "Golf Galaxy"ť label on it. "This came for ... 

FULL STORY >>


A doable thing (12/16/2007)
By John Edstrom -- Having been duly and properly notified in advance, for which we express our gratitude, the Post attended a news conference at City Hall Friday morning in which Mayor Miller dropped something of a bomb ... 

FULL STORY >>


Speed limit reduction bad idea (12/02/2007)
By John Edstrom -- Always beware of the person who insists that because there is a problem, something has to be done, especially when the "something"ť advocated makes no promise to solve the problem. The Winona Fire Dep ... 

FULL STORY >>


A trip to Lambeau (11/25/2007)
By John Edstrom -- For most Winona men and many of the women heading north of the wintry years beyond age 55, early memories of fall Sundays revolve around groups of people gathered for worship, not around some church  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Follow the money (11/18/2007)
By John Edstrom -- Last Tuesday, City Hall traipsed three architectural firms through downtown Winona, to measure the feasibility of three sites for a theater and conference center for the great River Shakespeare Festiv ... 

FULL STORY >>


A parliament of whores* (11/04/2007)
By John Edstrom -- There has never been an older generation which wasn't entirely convinced that the world was going to hell in a handbasket and they have seldom been wrong. Fresh evidence came to light in last Tuesday' ... 

FULL STORY >>


Free medical care - too high at half the price (10/21/2007)
By John Edstrom -- A story of major interest last week was Congress' inability to override President Bush's veto of the bill to renew and expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program. SCHIP was originally suppos ... 

FULL STORY >>


Phillips plat still bad idea (10/07/2007)
By John Edstrom -- It was disappointing, but not particularly surprising, to see the City Council vote to approve the preliminary plat for the Phillips development out in Pleasant Valley. This time, at least, the counci ... 

FULL STORY >>


CP acquisition of DM&E gives Winona less leverage than before (09/09/2007)
By John Edstrom -- News this week of the sale of the Dakota, Minnesota, and Eastern Railroad to Canadian Pacific did not come as a great surprise. Earlier this year the Rochester Coalition, a group formed to oppose the  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Season of mud and blood upon us (08/19/2007)
By John Edstrom -- About this time of year, you wake up one morning and the lush green of the summer foliage is suddenly spotted scarlet here and there. A sure sign of the approach of autumn, you think? Yes, but more so ... 

FULL STORY >>


Let’s give GRSF pass on politics (08/15/2007)
By John Edstrom -- In today's letters section our readers will find an edited version of a four-page, single-spaced contribution, "Objects to including Gerson,"ť from a writer taking issue with Great River Shakespeare F ... 

FULL STORY >>


Greetings from Montana (08/12/2007)
By John Edstrom -- My fishing pal (Davey DeLano, the well-known sports journalist who, on these pages during the NFL season regularly and perversely casts his pearls before the Green Bay Packers and their loutish fans)  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Bridge collapse used to mine tax increase (08/05/2007)
By John Edstrom -- With some of the victims not yet fished out of the Mississippi, the tragedy of the I-35W bridge collapse in the Twin Cities is already being mined politically in a way that continues to give the field ... 

FULL STORY >>


Macbeth (07/08/2007)
By John Edstrom -- Tomorrow and tomorrow and

tomorrow

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day

To the last syllable of recorded time

And all our yesterdays have

lighted fools

The way to dusty death: Out, out br ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lunch at Harry’s Bar in Venice (06/10/2007)
By John Edstrom -- Venice is, of course, one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world. The earliest memory I have in life is standing in my crib, supposedly napping, instead staring at an old print of a Vene ... 

FULL STORY >>


Shabby treatment from City Hall (06/06/2007)
By John Edstrom -- Monday night's surprise vote by the City Council to tear down the Wilkie Steamboat Museum at the foot of Main Street is the culmination, probably, of the shabbiest, most dishonest, worst faith transac ... 

FULL STORY >>


Born-again rabbit (06/03/2007)
By John Edstrom -- A stock subject for anecdotes of foreign travel is the ludicrous, sometimes excruciating misunderstandings that can arise from experimenting with the local tongue, within which one is not entirely fl ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well (05/30/2007)
By John Edstrom -- As the years go by, the quality of our sleep grows increasingly brittle, and our dreams shallower, less convincing, lacking structure. They tend to break up, like safety glass. The other night, howeve ... 

FULL STORY >>


County Attorney acting like a commissioner (05/06/2007)
By John Edstrom -- The transfer of the Winona County parking lot to its neighbor on Johnson Street, the Winona County Historical Society, looks as if it is finally going to go forward. The lot at present provides parkin ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Essential Wooden "” an inspiring read (04/29/2007)
By John Edstrom -- Riffling through the sports pages of the Minneapolis Tribune last week in an attempt to mine some new nugget of information about the upcoming NFL draft, I instead encountered a long familiar face "”  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Could we know what the plan is? (04/15/2007)
By John Edstrom -- Against all odds, (at least as they were figured by some), the Julius C. Wilkie Paddleboat group is ready to go forward with the first phase of repairing the main deck of the steamboat replica that si ... 

FULL STORY >>


More help from the city (04/08/2007)
By John Edstrom -- The latest happy news out of City Hall is word of a workshop to be hosted by the city of Winona this Thursday, April 12, to explore the possibility of creating something called Special Service Distric ... 

FULL STORY >>


What part of "no"ť don’t they understand? (02/25/2007)
By John Edstrom -- Back in January of 2004, then City Council President Dieter Mielimonka, declared, "It is the voters, not the seven people on council,"ť who would decide if there will be a sales tax. Well, last fall's ... 

FULL STORY >>


Who is getting the truth? (02/21/2007)
By John Edstrom -- On page 7A of this edition of the Post appears a news release from a group calling itself the Minnesota News Council, which finds fault with our coverage last September of a survey conducted by the Wi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Surge in troop strength? (01/14/2007)
By John Edstrom -- Minnesota's senior senator, Norm Coleman, held a teleconference with various Minnesota media last Thursday. He wanted all of us to know that he was not supporting President Bush's policy of a "surge" ... 

FULL STORY >>


Minimum wage hike bad idea, as usual (01/10/2007)
By John Edstrom -- The topic of the minimum wage is a well-chewed one, but since the new Democratic majorities in Congress intend to make raising it a signature issue, it is worth masticating again, briefly.

Since on ... 

FULL STORY >>


What next after smoking ban (01/03/2007)
By John Edstrom -- No sooner had the dust settled from the last election, than we began to hear noises about how the new ruling majority would introduce fresh controls and restrictions into our lives in order to improve ... 

FULL STORY >>


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