On the left side of this page [in print version], you’ll find an interesting article by long-time Star Tribune editorial writer and columnist Lori Sturdevant.

On the left side of this page [in print version], you’ll find an interesting article by long-time Star Tribune editorial writer and columnist Lori Sturdevant.

She was one of the speakers we heard at the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) last week in Duluth.

Having grown up in Dell Rapids, South Dakota, a town similar in size to Granite Falls, she confessed to being a dyed-in-the-wool Minnesota convert.     

She said that when she would go with her folks to visit relatives in Minnesota,  it seemed that the small towns here looked better cared for and more prosperous than those in South Dakota and she wondered why that was.

She later learned that among several reasons, the “Minnesota Miracle” crafted in 1971 by conservative Senate Majority Leader Stanley Holmquist of Grove City and Governor Wendell Anderson had a lot to with that. That bit of history formed the basis of her remarks and, later, her nearby column.

Afterwards, she joined our table during a panel discussion featuring four legislators and  Commissioner of Revenue Cynthia Bauerly followed by a question and answer session with Lt. Gov. Tina Smith.  

Afterward, she rounded up a couple of other mayors, tossed us a few questions and asked us for our opinions.

Her many years of experience and background made for a fun   session as she scribbled notes while staying in front of the conversation.

 Being involved with the CGMC provides us with a chance to be heard and a seat at the table when state policies that affect our rural communities are being discussed. It also provides  us with connections from all corners of the state.

Most of the discussion at CGMC meetings is about politics but the organization is non-partisan and is friends with whoever is willing to help the cause of the cities in Greater Minnesota whether they are Rochester, Duluth and Mankato or Ely, Benson or Granite Falls.

It’s always good to have connections and it’s good to have a chance to be heard.

             *   *   *   *   *   * 

Revenue Commissioner Bauerly told me that the famous Granite Falls Popcorn Stand was closed the last time she was here but I assured her it would be open when she visits the Minnesota River Valley again during the up coming Meander. She heard about the Popcorn Stand a couple of years ago and was determined to find it open this time.

              *   *   *   *   *   * 

 We took an extra day of vacation and kicked around the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth on Friday and enjoyed that always interesting town and  then headed to Minneapolis to catch up with our sons and take in a Twins game on Saturday.

Yes, that was the night of the disgusting come-from-behind Yankee win powered by Alex Rodriguez’s three home runs. The collective groan at Target field was more than loud.

 We stopped to pick up some coffee on our way out of the cities late Sunday morning and ran into Dick and Mary Kollen, riding their bikes on a street near the coffee spot in downtown Minneapolis.

 I  knew there was work piling up back home after being gone for five days and I was ready to hit the road but that chance meeting lead to a few minutes of catching up before they headed down the street to look over the latest work on the new Vikings stadium and we headed westward onto Highway 212 and back home.

 It was an interesting few days.