Granite Falls Advocate Tribune
  • River Ramblings.....

  • The news wasn’t good when Les Bergquist called at 7:20 on Tuesday morning. The Kiwanis Club’s Popcorn Stand had been vandalized in a cruel way with a portion of a brick thrown through the north window and glass shattered all over the inside of the unique little building. I was on my way to work and got ...
    • email print
  •     The news wasn’t good when Les Bergquist called at 7:20 on Tuesday morning.
        The Kiwanis Club’s Popcorn Stand had been vandalized in a cruel way with a portion of a brick thrown through the north window and glass shattered all over the inside    of the unique little building.
        I was on my way to work and got there shortly after he called. It was disappointing to say the least. There had also been a chunk of road asphalt tossed toward the building, hitting the west window frame and scraping the glass but not shattering or even cracking it.
        Later, it came to light that there had been a report of someone throwing rocks at the Granite Falls Bank, directly acrosss the street from the popcorn stand. sometime after that, a nearby upstairs apartment resident mentioned hearing some noise “like glass breaking” between 2 and 3 a.m.
        That’s all the police have to go on but they are hoping the unidentified person who called in shortly after midnight will call again so they could ask for some additional descriptions of the people who were throwing rocks at the bank.
        Most folks were taken aback to see the popcorn stand get trashed by some hooligan. We’d all like to straighten out his or her priorities but that may never happen. Meanwhile most people were offering their concern and help. the popcorn stand is a community asset. One person contacted Les Bergquist, the popcorn guru and offered to  organize a fundraiser. He said it has been amazing and a demonstration that we truly live in a caring community.
               *   *   *   *   *   *
        It was fun to see a local company listed in the Star Tribune’s annual run of the 100 largest publicly traded companies in Minnesota. Granite Falls Energy was number 52 on the list by annual revenue. which listed out at $254.4 million in the 12 month period ending on January 31.
        Of course, part of that is due to GFE’s purchase of Heron Lake BioEnergy but that is just another example of the strong decision making that has been a hallmark of the GFE operations from the start. They have stayed focused on what they do best and been vigilant about retiring their debt and investing where it makes good sense.
        While that $254.4 million in revenue pales in comparison to the largest companies, it is still a very substantial amount and its effect can be felt all around the community. This is a very positive kind of noteworthiness.
    Page 2 of 3 -     Good for GFE and for its investors and employees and our community.
               *   *   *   *   *   * 
        It’s nice to see the community garden movement has caught on in our area. Granite Falls Lutheran Church has generously offered the use of their open lot on the corner of 4th Street and 8th Avenue for small garden plots and folks are taking advantage of that space. It has more sunlight than my increasingly shady garden and should produce some good bounty.
        It’s a wide-open spot that probably has fewer mosquitoes than my shady garden. Last week those dang pests were so thick that they nearly carried me away.
        We may see some more community garden spots open up in near future. The city has discussed having some areas available for the school and there may be other places. its a good way to use open space and a nice way to spend your time.
               *   *   *   *   *   *  
        You’ll notice this week the return of college student Isak Kvam’s writing. He stopped by the office just last week and asked if he could send us a column on a regular basis while he was in Colorado again for the summer.
        Isak is familiar to our readers, having worked at the Advocate Tribune three summers ago as a student intern. Last summer we had lots of good comments about his columns from Colorado and I told him we’d be delighted to have him pen some lines for us, again this summer.
        I got a kick out of his “Mountain Mumblings” column title. I wonder where he came up with that?
         Also this week we introduce our student intern for this summer, Laura Butterbrodt. She is just getting started but you’ll see her around and will read her writing through out the summer. She came on the recommendation of last summer’s student writer, Allison Carmany.
        Also contributing to our writing this week is Nicole Zempel. Nicole wrote a column in the paper each week during the several years when she worked at the Chamber of Commerce office and enjoys putting words on paper.                 She has asked about writing an occasional article in the past so I decided to see if she was still interested in doing that. She was excited to get started so you’ll see some of her writing and reporting this summer, too.
    Page 3 of 3 -     On another front, Joe Hauger has been kind enough to send us his well-written column about the stars and planets nearly every month for the past few years.     
        Joe dutifully sent us a column this week but we were really tight for space so we have to hold his column until next week’s edition.