Unorganized Territory

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Life in unorganized territory
Updated: 3 hours 10 min ago

No trickle down economy on election advertising

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 9:12pm

Spoiler alert. There will be some whining in this Unorganized Territory. I’ll try to bring myself back around to positive thoughts at the end of this week’s column, but I really need to share a pet peeve. It’s because I’ve received a glut of political campaign press releases from all over the region, the state and the country—and it’s only the primary.

I’m guessing that faux news releases will really ramp up as we get into September and October. I wouldn’t mind these announcements if they actually contained real information on a candidate. But the majority of the “news” sent out by politicians is reports of alleged misbehavior by their opponents.

I’m somewhat used to that. I think we Americans know when a political ad is tweaked and comments are taken out of context and twisted. I am inclined not to vote for someone who uses that sort of campaign tactics. The advertisements and news I want to see from candidates is where they stand on issues.

I want to hear whether or not they have some sort of plan to resolve the flood of children across our southern border. I want to hear constructive suggestions on what can be done to fix the glitches in the Affordable Care Act and the devastating mishandling of veterans affairs. I want to know what my representatives are going to do to work with the other party—not how they are going to stonewall one another.

Unfortunately, we don’t get that sort of information. And the straw that broke the camel’s back this week was yet another ad sent out to a mailing list of Minnesota newspapers telling us about the upcoming campaign ad to be launched on television— and the millions of dollars spent on that campaign.

At least once a day I receive an email announcing, “Thanks to our generous supporters the Joe Candidate campaign is airing two TV advertisements during the primary season. The initial ad began airing across the 8th District on August 16.”

Or, an email decries the falsehoods in an opponent’s ad and asks for the print media’s help in setting the record straight.

So obviously, these political machines realize that newspapers are an effective way to reach voters. But for some reason they don’t want to spend any of the hundreds, thousands, or millions of dollars they have raised in campaign funds to get their messages out in newspapers.

I don’t know if I would have voted for President Hoover, but his ads were clever!

The decline of the newspaper is vastly overstated. Time and again the newspaper industry has surveyed its readers and advertisers and finds that people are reading and that newspapers are trusted sources for information. As recently as 2014, a study conducted for the Minnesota Newspaper Association by Scarborough queried Minnesotans. The survey found that 89 percent of Minnesotans had accessed a newspaper in print or in digital format in the past month. The net print readership was found to be 71 percent. Even more important was the reasons why people turn to newpapers. The survey found that newspapers were the most important resource for 56 percent of readers interested in local schools; for 50 percent of readers concerned about crime; 52 percent of readers looking for “things to do;” and 49 percent of readers wanting to learn about local government.

There are more reasons why people read their local newspaper and I wish these massive political campaigns realized that. I don’t know how candidates and campaign managers think newspapers will be able to stay afloat to help spread their message without their support. There is no trickle down economy when it comes to campaign financing.

Fortunately the story is quite different for our local politicians. Many of the folks running for township, Tribal government, city, county, school, hospital board, sheriff, or other elected seat, place ads in the Cook County News-Herald.

We truly appreciate it. Not only do we believe that we are one of the best methods to reach the people in the community who vote, the ads help us cover the cost of reporting on the election. Their hard-earned dollars stay in the community with us and help us keep the 123-year tradition of the Cook County News- Herald alive.

Their funding helps tide the local newspaper over for a bit after the election. It helps us cover those folks once they are elected and serving on the county board or the city council or a township board. They may not appreciate that we report comments made by an upset citizen or when we carefully monitor their actions to make sure they are not violating open meeting laws.

But these candidates support us anyway, with their campaign ads and by being cooperative and providing real answers to tough questions.

It takes a village to run a newspaper. We’re thankful to all of the loyal subscribers and advertisers who help us bring all the news to the community. We couldn’t do it without you.

***********

Never argue with someone
who buys ink by the barrel.

Charles Bruce Brownson


Categories: Member Feeds

Where are We in August?

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 12:27pm

Cook County News-Herald staffers love to get out and about the county. So we decided, while we are traveling the highway and bushwhacking through the forest, to take pictures to see if our readers can guess WHERE ARE WE?

We did not receive any entries that were wrong in our July WHERE ARE WE? which was a little bit different than past locations. It was not a scenery shot, but was instead inside a building and we had a good response from people who knew that the photo was taken inside Johnson Heritage Post in Grand Marais. Thanks to Carolyn Wilhelm for sharing the idea.

And congratulations to Donna Gestel of Grand Marais whose entry was drawn from the correct answers. Donna wins a one-year subscription to the Cook County News-Herald.

Try your luck! Take a look at the August photo.

Where is this flag flying? Where was the News-Herald staffer standing when this photo was taken? Take a guess!

If you think you know where we were when we took the picture, send us your answer. The location will be announced next month and a winner will be drawn from all the correct answers. Whoever is drawn will win a free one-year subscription to the Cook County News-Herald (a $30 value). Good luck!

Return answer by mail, e-mail or fax to:

Cook County News-Herald

PO Box 757

Grand Marais MN 55604

starnews@boreal.org

Fax: 218-387-9500

Answer to the August WHERE ARE WE? must be received by September 15, 2014.


Categories: Member Feeds

No losers at Fisherman’s Picnic

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 2:37pm

On Sunday afternoon, at the end of the Fisherman’s Picnic, as people walk away from the Grand Marais Lions Club information booth where the grand prize drawing is held, nearly everyone is on a cell phone calling a friend or relative to say, “You’re a loser.”

Mike Carlson, a Grand Marais Lion, presents the “big check” to EvaLyn Carlson. My granddaughter RaeAnne was with her when she accepted her winnings.

It’s a joke of course, but Fisherman’s Picnic ending with the big drawing that only one person wins does seem a bit anticlimactic. My mom always says the end of Fisherman’s is the end of summer. I don’t agree—I think we have a few more sunny days in store. But it is certainly the beginning of the end of warm days.

This year the finale was a bit more exciting than usual as my former minister and friend EvaLyn Carlson of Grand Marais was the lucky holder of the ticket for the $10,000 grand prize.

My granddaughter RaeAnne could hardly contain herself. She was thrilled that someone she knew won and she ran to where she had last seen EvaLyn to share the happy news. It was fun to get a picture of EvaLyn grinning widely, accepting the “big check” from the Grand Marais Lions.

But then, as it always is on Sunday evening of Fisherman’s Picnic, the party was over. People milled about Harbor Park and strolled down the still blocked off, but now deserted streets. A few people wandered over to the American Legion bingo tent for a last game or two, but that is about all that is going on.

It seems as if there should be something more. As I joined the wandering “losers” of Fisherman’s Picnic this year, I thought it would be nice if the Grand Marais Lions had one more musical act. I wished the stage wasn’t as forlorn as the streets. It would be cheerier if a band offered a last bit of music outdoors. It could be a nice and mellow group, playing some soothing songs to send people on their way.

I hesitate to make the suggestion to the Lions Club though. By Sunday afternoon, the Lions that have organized parades, softball tournaments and minnow races, erected kiddie rides, gathered prizes, listened to complaints, sold raffle tickets, given directions to vendors, fried fishburgers, supervised log sawing, found lost children, lined up bands, and so much more are frankly, exhausted.

I’m exhausted just trying to cover it all.

And the Lions are still not done. They have a lot more to do. They have to clean up and haul away the fishburger stand. They have to dismantle the stage and ticket-selling tents and tables. They have to organize the over 100 raffle prizes for distribution. They have to take down the kiddie rides. And they have to deal with News-Herald staff bugging them for results of all the various contests that took place over the weekend.

It takes several days to get everything cleaned up and put away. And then the planning starts all over again for the next Fisherman’s Picnic.

Why do they do it all? I think it is because the Lions are doing a lot more than throwing a great party. Although the Fisherman’s Picnic itself is a great benefit to the community, bringing hundreds of visitors to Cook County year after year, the organization does a great deal more.

The Lions serve our community in myriad ways— giving to youth through scholarships to local graduates, supporting school activities like Knowledge Bowl and Robotics, and contributing to improvements of the baseball field. They support the community’s health through support of vision screenings and the donation of glucometers to our clinic. They’ve contributed to projects for the elderly, like the walkway between Sawtooth Ridges Senior Apartments and the hospital. And they’ve worked to preserve our community’s history with donations to projects like the restoration of the Bally Blacksmith Shop.

We are all winners just having a strong Lions Club group in our community.

So, as the Superior Lumber & Sports ad declared last week, “Hey! If you see a Lion or Lioness in the street, thank them!”

Better yet, join them!

**************

Keep doing good deeds long enough, and you’ll probably turn out a good man in spite of yourself.

Louis Auchinclos


Categories: Member Feeds

Where were We? — July 2014

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 2:25pm

Only a few more days to submit your guess!

Cook County News-Herald staffers love to get out and about the county. So we decided, while we are traveling the highway and bushwhacking through the forest, to take pictures to see if our readers can guess WHERE ARE WE?

We did not receive any entries that were wrong in our June WHERE ARE WE? The person drawn from all the correct entries was John Green, who not only knew the location was Cascade River, but added, “You are standing beside Highway 61 looking at the mouth of the Cascade River as it tumbles through the 1.1-billion-year-old basalt lava flows into Lake Superior. Nice place! Nice day!”

John wins a one-year subscription to the Cook County News-Herald.

Try your luck! Take a look at the July photo shared by reader Carolyn Wilhelm. If you think you know where we were when we took the picture, send us your answer. The location will be announced next month and a winner will be drawn from all the correct answers. Whoever is drawn will win a free one-year subscription to the Cook County News-Herald (a $30 value). Good luck!

Return answer by mail, e-mail or fax to:

Cook County News-Herald

PO Box 757

Grand Marais MN 55604

starnews@boreal.org

Fax: 218-387-9500

Answer to the July WHERE ARE WE? must be received by August 11, 2014.


Categories: Member Feeds