I took a look at a column written nearly 30 years ago that bemoaned things I absolutely couldn't understand. Scarily, some of those are still in place. But I'm here to report that I've gotten some of my wishes taken care of.
On top of the list is that our major league baseball team is back outside where it belongs. Yes, there are still some bad days and nights as far as weather goes but we're still better off with an outdoor stadium. I was talking Sunday with another baseball fan who, probably surprisingly to some, enjoys September baseball. So do I. The crowds, unless the team is in the thick of a pennant race, are smaller, the weather is often still nice for an afternoon game,and the pace a bit slower. Maybe it's my liking for September afternoons for football that leads to the same for baseball. Okay, I still like the outdoor stadium 13 years later.
One of my gripes was about Jesse Ventura and his too-public persona at that time. Yes, he got his nose into Minnesota politics last fall, endorsing Gov., Walz for that office but has, thankfully, disappeared since then even though he praised himself when he spoke last November. My comment in 1993 was this: "The ex-governor has faded into anonymity, a place he should have gone to more than four years ago." Let's hope that continues.
Another gripe was that Princeton doesn't have a marching band. For years and years Princeton was known around the state, and even in other states, for a top-notch marching band. Towns much smaller than Princeton have marching bands, why can't we? It's a shame on Memorial Day and when the Rum River Festival comes around without a local band in the parade.
Another was why it took so long to rename LaGrande Avenue in Princeton to Rum River Drove. Why did it happen in the first place? Thanks to those who wanted it changed to Rum River Drive. That's a lot more appropriate, even if a bunch of letterheads and envelopes became extinct (eventually).
I was bummed 30 years ago that legislators didn't want an expansion of gambling. That has changed but what hasn't changed is that casinos don't pay taxes They could do so voluntarily and it would be a great public relations move. Sports betting is in every state that surrounds Minnesota and there go those taxes to those states, as well as motel stays, trips to eateries, gas stations, and the like. Couldn't figure it out in 1993 and still can't today, even with many, many people going over the borders to place their bets.
Why can't the powers that be (governor and Legislature) give some of that $17.5 billion revenue excess (a new forecast Monday showed that inflation hadn't made a dent in that figure) back to the public? There's talk of decreasing taxes long-term but that won't have an immediate effect for anyone. And while they're at it, drop the tax on Social Security that is hurtful to many senior citizens who have worked for, let's say, 50 years. Besides being an island for sports betting we are one of few states that imposes a tax on Social Security benefits with, of all things, all those billions of dollars sitting in the state's treasury.
It's partly the pandemic but I haven't gone to more than one or two movies for three years. At the time I stopped there were few good movies around. Maybe it's my fault. Maybe I should try again. I tried the movie about the life of Elvis Presley last summer and it was great. Austin Butler made himself a star by depicting Elvis, doing a fantastic job. But I haven't been back inside a theater since.
When I wrote that column 30 years ago, I didn't mention the Minnesota Vikings.Now I wonder why they can't put together a honest-to-goodness offensive line to protect their quarterback. And many would add that the defensive line isn't very good anymore. Or is it the scheme and coaching and not the personnel? I hope someone figures it out by next September.
And, if voters were so keen last fall on having an undivided Legislature (and governor) why is there nothing being done so far with that revenue excess? Yes, some money should be saved for the so-called rainy day to add to the pot that is already there. But make some real moves to give back to the taxpayers who are footing the bill. I don't think residents are fleeing the state in droves because of high taxes, as some Republicans say. But a bunch of cash back to the taxpayers would be a good idea, as well as changes in tax laws.
All easy for me to say, right?
- Feb. 28, 1963 - Princeton finished the regular season 16-2 by beating St. Francis 71-42 and Foley 63-58, and finished tied with Mora and Elk River at 10-2 for the Rum River title. Steve Lindell averaged 17.0 and Dean Hansen 14.2.
- Feb. 29 , 1968 - Bob Backlund repeated as Region Four wrestling champ, this time at 175 pounds . . . Princeton beat Elk River 71-65 to tie for the RRC title with Elk River and Mora at 9-3. Tom Enger scored 24 and Steve Carlson and Jerry Ruis each had 12. Ruis put Princeton ahead on a layup with 45 seconds left and Carlson made two free throws with four seconds remaining.
- March 8, 1973 - City league basketball finals were scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday with Dairy Queen owner Larry Winter giving away 100 free shakes . . . Jim Beck was second on the horizontal bar at the Moorhead Invitational and third in the all-around . . . Mike Solheim scored 19 in a 59-56 win over Elk River as Tom Rogde, Tom Holbrook and Dave Mingo also scored in double figures.
- March 2, 1978 - Michelle Ziegler won the all-around competition as PHS placed second in the subregion gymnastics met . . . The girls basketball team ended the regular season 6-11 with a 46-43 win over Sauk Rapids as Pam Finelli scored 16.
- March 3, 1983 - Princeton beat Sauk Rapids 58-50 as Nathan Murphy had 17, Tom Blomberg 16 and Brian Dorr 10 . . . Eighth-grader Chris Williams broke the school breaststroke record in the Two Rivers Conference meet . . . Barb Blomberg scored 17 in a 50-45 loss to Sauk Rapids, becoming the first PHS player to score 1,000 points.
- March 4, 1988 - Senior Erik Halvorson earned a trip to the state wrestling meet with a second-place finish at Hibbing . . . The girls beat North Branch 54-49 for a fourth straight Rum River title as Judy Bornholdt scored 21, Dawn Haehn had 18 points and 9 rebounds and ReNee Zeroth had 8 points and 15 rebounds . . . Princeton upset Sauk Rapids 62-58 to keep the Indians from a title tie with Mora. Craig Talberg had 14 points.
- March 4, 1993 - Princeton upset Cambridge 61-48 as Matt Sahlstrom scored 17 points, and the Tigers beat Sauk Rapids 57-56 on a Sahlstrom three-pointer with four seconds left, Brent Hofman scoring 16 . . . Corrine Lundell scored 22 in a 62-48 win over St. Cloud Tech and she had 25 in a 48-43 win over Cloquet.
- Feb. 26, 1998 - Julia Fulton placed 25th on the uneven parallel bars at the state gymnastics meet . . . The B1 bantam hockey team, 41-5-6, won the District 10 tournament . . . Jeremy Olson scored 31 points in a 75-62 win over Virginia.
- Feb. 27, 2003 - Kevin Englund scored an overtime goal to give PHS (21-7) a trip to the state tournament with a 3-2 win over St. Cloud Cathedral. Also scoring were Travis Schneider and Ryan Fuller. The Tigers beat Proctor 7-1 to get to the finals as Steve Braun, Charlie Ross and Englund each had two goals. . . . Justin Bronson (34-1) won the section title at 215 pounds to advance to the state wrestling meet. He had three pins in the section meet.
(Luther Dorr compiled these items, is the former editor of the Princeton Eagle (2 years) and Princeton Union-Eagle (32 years), and has written about sports in the Princeton area for the past 55 years.)
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