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Pearl Harbor In my generation the moment that is entrenched in our mind is where we were when we heard about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In my parent's generation, however, the "moment" was when they heard of Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. I bring it up because tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 7, is the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Reporter Jon Echternacht has a comprehensive piece in this issue about the lives of people impacted by the events of the day.
With Christmas and busy times just around the corner, it is a difficult time of the year to think about civic duty, but that's exactly what must happen this month if someone is thinking about running for a position on a local board in the spring election. Despite the hectic schedule many of us face in the weeks ahead, now is the time to be exploring the procedure for seeking office in the city of Hudson, village of North Hudson, School Board, St. Croix County Board or the various town boards. There is also a couple circuit judge positions up for election.
Kelly Collins Jacques, a 1997 Hudson High School graduate, is in the midst of a five-month assignment in Antarctica as an environmental technician for Raytheon Polar based in Denver, Colo. A highlight of her trip, however, was being on the same plane as Ann Curry, host of "The Today Show" on NBC. Jacques and Curry were together on a military transport that went from MucMurdo Station, Antarctica, to the South Pole. Jacques' responsibilities on the trip include monitoring drinking water and doing environmental testing and monitoring.
As we enter the Christmas season, it may be a good time to remind people that it makes good fiscal sense to shop locally. Before the big box stores came to Hudson (Wal-Mart, Target, Menards, etc.) newspapers always wrote editorials reminding people to shop locally -- support your local merchant.
Whenever we are visited by state politicians, we newspaper reporters routinely become engaged in a conversation about current legislation or fighting at the capital. When State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf visited the Star-Observer last week, I changed the tactics and asked her a series of questions about her personal life. Harsdorf, of course, is the Republican 10th District state senator who lives in River Falls. My first question was: What do you do for Thanksgiving? "We usually spend it with family," Harsdorf said. In her case, "family" includes a large farm near Beldenville.
It may be Thanksgiving today, but do we stop to really consider how thankful we should be? Often at Thanksgiving dinner someone might ask, "What are you thankful for?" Of course, there is not a wrong answer and the conversation may not last more than a minute or two. From the question comes a variety of answers, usually related to health, food, jobs, friends, God, etc.
The first look at the North Hudson budget shows an increase in the tax levy of $98,258 said Village President Larry Larsen at the North Hudson Village Board meeting Tuesday, Nov. 6. The 8.3 percent increase comes in two areas, construction of the new village hall and general operating expenses. The 2008 budget includes a $52,409 levy increase for payments on the village hall remodeling currently under construction. The general operating expenses will increase the levy by $45,849. "We have 1,260 properties in the village, so the average increase would be about $78 per unit," Larsen said.
We often complain about the actions and reactions of our politicians, but they often get things right and in the past week we have seen government work well. The result is the addition of a fourth circuit court judge in St. Croix County. The need was quite obvious. The county currently has three circuit judges (Eric Lundell (branch 1), Edward Vlack (branch 2) and Scott Needham (branch 3). Statistics already show that St. Croix County is need of about 4.6 judges, up from a 4.2 need in 2005.
It appears that St. Croix County is in line to get a fourth circuit judge after the state Legislature approved the addition on Thursday. The county currently has three circuit judges. Based on state numbers, St. Croix County has needed a fourth circuit judge for a number of years. In fact, St. Croix County Clerk of Court Lori Meyers said the county may need a fifth judge by the time a fourth takes office. "Our current need is about 4.6 judges," Meyer said. "That's up from 4.2 in 2005." The need is based on the number of cases judges hear in each county.
Every Nov. 11, United States citizens observe Veterans Day. Today we recognize the contributions of our nation's military veterans - those who served in both war and peace, stateside and abroad. The local ceremony is at the St. Croix County Government Center, but note that it will be held Monday, Nov. 12 at 11 a.m. This year's speaker is Kyle Gruber of Durand who has served in Iraq and is a member of the UW-RF ROTC program. When we think about the sacrifice made by veterans, it is overwhelming. The cost of freedom is anything but free.