Struggling newspapers a cause for concern


Friday, the Rocky Mountain News, Colorado’s oldest newspaper, printed its last edition.  The paper is $60 million in debt just two months shy of its 150th Anniversary.  On the West Coast, the San Francisco Chronicle (the city’s last daily printed in English) is facing the same fears.  Locally, the Star Tribune (the nation’s 15th largest paper) recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptsy.  What does all this mean?

The role of a newspaper has changed over the years.  One role, as a “watchdog”, is that the press is supposed to serve as an overseer of government.  It’s among the oldest, most revered principles in journalism in America.   However, it seems there is erosion of the public’s faith in the mass media and it is debatable whether that watchdog role of the press is still intact. 

Is being a watchdog one of the press’ roles in modern times?  What would we do without the Pioneer’s reports of the Council meetings or, heaven forbid, the “Sheriff’s Blotter” to call out who did what?  What if no one was held accountable in our society for their actions?  Are blogs and other mechanisms and entities replacing the newspaper for this service?  Does modern-day, mainstream press just need a new business model to survive?

You might be a Pine Citian if…

10.  You know how to pronounce “Chengwatana” and “Pokegama”.
9.  You spend more time on I-35 getting to and from events than they actually take.
8.  You think that ketchup is a little too spicy.
7.  You’ve switched from heat to A/C in the same day, and then back again.
6.  You see people wear hunting clothes or Carhartts at social gatherings.
5.  You’ve left your car running while you run into Pamida.
4.  Someone in one of the local stores offers you assistance and they don’t work there.
3.  You have ever refused to purchase something because it is too “spendy”.
2.  You’ve driven down Main Street just because it’s fun.
1.  You consider a demolition derby a major sport.

Inclement Weather a Hassle


The Horizons short term action committee dealing in research for a community center has postponed their meeting due to the snowy weather conditions.  The meeting has been moved to Thursday, Mar. 5, at 7:30 at the Pizza Pub.

Other area postponements and cancellations include:

  • Section 5A Hockey Quarterfinals:  Pine City vs. St. Cloud Cathedral has been postponed to Friday @ 5:30 P.M. at the MAC Arena in St. Cloud
  • Girls’ Basketball:  Pine City vs. Onamia has been postponed-TBD.
  • Pine Technical College will be cancelling classes after 4:00 P.M. and closing campus at 5:00 P.M.
  • The Read and Run event has been cancelled; Heather Cruz will be calling all families.
  • PTO postponed to Tuesday, Mar. 3 at 6:30 P.M.



We are now heading into our 4th week of LeadershipPlenty training, that means only 5 more weeks. I have to say I have been so impressed with all the people in the training. Being new to the community it is great to meet people that have such passion for Pine City. Right now I feel as though we are just skimming the surface of our learning and soon will really delve into it. When I went to the train the trainer sessions as we got further into the modules more discussions came about and more passion came out. There has been some great discussions just not in our large group. Being one of the trainers is great but sometimes walking around I kind of feel like an outsider and not a part of the community. I am hoping as the weeks go by and the group gets more comfortable we can have some really great discussions as a whole group.

Duskwind Farm

Discounted Groceries… No Income Limits… Any Takers?

Save up to 50% on your monthly groceries through the Fare For All program.

– A regular grocery pack includes 4 or more fresh vegetable items, 2 or more fresh fruit items and 3-4 frozen meats for $17.

– A light grocery pack features one meat item, 4 or more fresh vegetable items and 2 or more fresh fruit items for $12.

– The meat only pack contains 3-4 frozen meat items (which may include beef, chicken, pork or fish) for $12.

– The family pack consists of staple items like oil, flour, sugar, soups, canned fruits and vegetables, rice, cereals, pasta and boxed dinners.

– The vegetarian pack contains generous amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, often accompanied by dry food items such as rice, beans and pasta.

Now that you’re all excited on saving $$ on groceries… How do you get started? Well unfortunately, you’d probably have to drive out of the area to pick up your food because there is no distribution site for the Pine City area 😦

If you or your organization would like to become the distribution site for this program in the Pine City area, call 1-800-582-4291 to get started!

Horizon’s Mentoring Action Team

Hello All,

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Laurie Volk, I am currently serving as an Americrops VISTA (volunteer in service to America) and my goals are to expand Kettle Kinships existing mentoring services to Pine City and the surrounding area as well as assist in the creation of new mentoring opportunities specific to the needs of Pine City. I have been notified that many parents are interested in having a before/after school program at Pine City Elementary school and I am forming a Mentoring Action Team group to discuss what this program (and others) would look like through the Horizon’s program. I have been invited to the 02/26 Pine Dragons PTO meeting to give a presentation and discuss this. We welcome any ideas/input concerning what the ‘before & after” school mentoring/tutoring programs should look like & what needs would we want to meet through these programs. We would like each of you to consider steps that may need to be taken to start such a program and assess which you may be able to contribute your time and talents to! Also, Horizon’s Mentoring Action team has asked me to form and moderate a yahoo group open to all caring citizens interested in exploring ways to bring mentoring to the Pine City community and surrounding area with the purpose of:

-Exploring the need for/interest in mentoring in the area and how we can best fill those needs.

-Sharing ideas for creation of new mentoring opportunities that will fill the needs of local citizens.

-Develop Short term, mid term and long term goals for the Horizon’s Mentoring Action Team.

-Decide how each of us can best use our talents to help make those goals a reality.

-Building a network of Outreach Partners for the purpose of increasing public awareness and participation in mentoring programs already in place.

-Explore how we can tap into our talents to better serve our community and implement the programs. You are invited to join the group to keep up on what is going on and/or share your input and ideas:

Laurie Volk
Americorps VISTA

Ready, Set, Go! Workshop & Early Childhood Vendor Fair at Pine Technical College

Ready, Set, Go! is a workshop and early childhood vendor fair for
parents, child care providers and community members.

When: Saturday February 28th 8:30 Am- 2:45 pm
Where: Pine Technical COllege in Pine City, MN

The day includes the keynote, break out sessions and “early
childhood” vendors fair.

The fee for the workshop is $49.00 (lunch included) Some scholarships
Booth fee: $25.00 (free for non-profits)

Call Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) for information at 320-

Registration Brochures are available at Pine Tech, CHild Care
Resource and Referral, ECFE and Head Start.

Hope to see you there!

Action Team: Research & Development Committee for Community Center (RDCCC)

Next meeting will be Thursday Feb. 26th, 7:30p at Pizza Pub
Can’t wait to hear all the great responses of getting out the online survey for a PC Community Center, sounds like we’ve had a good response thanks to to Nathan Johnson & Becky Schueller.

Recent Poll Results


The following are the most common answers from the results of the recent “What do you think?” polls:

  • What is the most dangerous intersection in Pine City?  Co. Rd. 7 (Hillside Ave) & 13th St SW, 41.7%
  • What is the area you feel Pine City can make the most progress on in ’09?  Sustainability — Thoughtful planning has occurred to take our community in a forward direction, 63.6%
  • What is the primary cause of poverty in Pine City?  Jobs don’t pay enough, 43.8%
  • What should Pine City’s slogan be?  Where ‘Up North’ Begins, 66.7%

Wondering what others think about something?  Please suggest an idea for the next “What do you think?” poll.