By Richard Peterson
The county commissioners have determined it’s in the county’s best interests to take over old US 281 and keep it open as long as possible. That was the right decision. We’ve lost enough roads in Benson County and it’s not wise to close another road before it’s necessary.
That portion of old US 281 north of the Brinsmade Road to US 2 has to be kept open no matter what. There are a number of people in that area who can’t get along without the old highway. Presently the lake poses little threat to the road, except at the bridge north of the Helgeseth farm. Hopefully the state will deal with this problem before turning the road over to the county.
Old US 281 north of Minnewaukan is temporarily closed while the concrete barriers are removed. The barriers were in place to protect the road from wave action and to keep waves from depositing fenceposts, tree limbs and other flotsam and jetsam on the highway.
With the barriers gone, this could create some problems when there’s a strong wind from the east.
The old highway from Minnewaukan to the Brinsmade Road will be closed in the wintertime because the county can’t handle snow removal.
The state has agreed to fix the worst potholes in the road before the county takes it over. The county will not be doing anything other than minor repairs to the road. Commercial truck traffic will be prohibited, which will cut down on wear and tear. Gates will be put in place to close the road when necessary.
If the lake comes up a couple feet, old US 281 will probably go under water. Waves may eat away at the roadbed, making it unsafe for travel. So be it. At least it will be the lake closing the road for good reasons and not the commissioners closing it arbitrarily.
Liability was considered thoroughly. Old US 281 north and south of Minnewaukan is surrounded by water and there is a liability issue.
However, old US 281 does not create more liability issues than any other road in the water. The road to Graham’s Island and the Wood-Rutten Road also have their liability and safety issues, but nobody advocates closing those roads because of liability or safety.
At any rate, that’s why the county has insurance.
A reader wrote: "Since the Farmers Press columns are frequently peppered with Bush Bashing maybe you would consider adding a little balance by publishing the following story, not new, but it makes a point that some of your readers might appreciate:"
"The Pope is visiting Washington, DC and President Bush takes him out for an afternoon on the Potomac, cruising on the Presidential yacht, the Sequoia.
They’re admiring the sights when, all of a sudden, the Pope’s hat
(zucchetto) blows off his head and out into the water.
Secret Service guys start to launch a boat, but President Bush waves them off, saying, "Wait, wait. I’ll take care of this. Don’t worry."
Bush then steps off the yacht onto the surface of the water and walks out to the Holy Father’s little hat, bends over, picks it up, and then walks back to the yacht and climbs aboard.
He hands the hat to the Pope amid stunned silence.
The next morning, the headlines in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Atlanta Constitution, Washington Post, Boston Herald, Buffalo News, Houston Chronicle, Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal, Minneapolis Tribune, Denver Post, Albuquerque Journal, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle all proclaim:
"Bush Can’t Swim!"
If pointing out the many mistakes made by the Bush Administration, documenting the deceptions George W. Bush has tried to pull on the American people and telling the electorate of his incredibly bad judgment is Bush Bashing, I plead guilty, guilty, guilty.
All those newspapers listed print the truth about George W. Bush.
Conservatives can’t handle it. They want the media to be cheerleaders for Bush and when the newspapers don’t go along with the Bush line, they’re Bush Bashing.
I think the character of George W. Bush is best summed up in his grandstanding stunt of donning a flight suit and landing a small airplane on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln on May 1,
2003 after the US invaded Iraq.
A banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished" was the backdrop for the president’s speech. The White House said the crew of the carrier furnished the banner. It was later revealed that the White House furnished it.
The president said, "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended."
He went on to say that "We have not forgotten the victims of September the 11th, the last phone calls, the cold murder of children, the searches in the rubble. With those attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States, and war is what they got."
". . . The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11th, 2001 and still goes on."
Now why do you suppose he said that? Simple. He wanted the American people to think the 9-11 attacks were linked with Saddam Hussein. It took months, but Bush finally admitted that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9-11. He had to know that when he made his speech on the aircraft carrier.
He’s deceitful to the core and I have many examples