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Articles written by Ann Markusen

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Art is back on Avenue C

Early this morning, a ruby- throated hummingbird scouted our bird feeders, then departed for sweeter options. I poured sugar into a quart jar, added water and shook, retrieved and filled the feeders... Full story

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    May 21, 2021

On The Mark: Cromwell-Wright held fast to in-person learning

Reflecting earlier this month, Cromwell-Wright principal and superintendent Nathan Libbon recounted how he and his teachers, staff, parents and school board members managed to host most of their K-12...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    May 7, 2021

On The Mark: Counterpoint: Yes, raise the minimum wage

Even newspaper owners don’t always agree, and that’s OK. This week I’d like to examine the other side of the argument for raising the minimum wage, in response to my fellow Pine Knot board membe...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    April 30, 2021

On The Mark: 'April is the cruelest month'

T. S. Eliot begins his "The Burial of the Dead," the first section of his poem, "The Waste Land," with this: April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and... Full story

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    April 23, 2021

On The Mark: Staying in touch with godchildren is a joy

Do you have godchildren? It was customary when my husband and I were born, mid-twentieth century, to acquire them. Having godchildren and keeping in touch can be so much fun, a form of extended...

 
 By Ann Markusen    News    April 9, 2021

Changes ahead for highways, business makeup

The city of Cromwell is prepping for major roadwork on Minnesota Highway 210, scheduled to begin next year. Last week, Mayor Sharon Zelazny summarized a variety of projects coming up over the next...

 
 By Ann Markusen    People    April 2, 2021

On the Mark: Passion, practice rule music contests

A goodly share of Cromwell-Wright High School students participate in vocal music every year. It's an art form requiring intensive individual work and attentiveness to instruction as well as the... Full story

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    March 19, 2021

On The Mark: A little mindfulness can get minds off Covid

Though you can practice alone, even in a small space with minimal props, yoga is more pleasurable and probably better exercise when done with others or in classes. I’ve been doing yoga for more...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    March 12, 2021

On The Mark: Remembering my role model

The death of a beloved elder causes deep mourning. Some of us lose parents way before their time. My father died in a rock climbing fall when I was 27. My grandmother, Ruth Lee Markusen, Cromwell's...

 

On The Mark: State and regional Covid-19 responses are above the curve

There are two complementary ways to avoid Covid-19 and reduce its incidence in our communities. Social distancing is one: the tiresome masking and regression to private spaces and the internet for...

 

On The Mark: It's best to just embrace deep winter head on

We're in a deep freeze. It's beautiful: a bit windy, but gloriously sunny with ample snow. Yet not snowbound. This stretch is a skier, skater and morning walker's heaven. Walking this Tuesday morning...

 
 By Ann Markusen    News    February 5, 2021

DNR wants input on trail systems

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is asking for online public comment through Feb. 15 on its outdoor recreation task force recommendations for enhancing the state's outdoor recreation oppo...

 

On The Mark: Here's a look at how pandemic relief was spread

Since March, trillions of dollars of pandemic-related aid has flowed from the federal government to the states. This aid took many forms, including direct add-ons to unemployment payments and grants... Full story

 
 By Ann Markusen    News    January 22, 2021

Mayor remains optimistic despite tough year

A difficult pandemic year did not spare the city of Cromwell. As mayor Sharon Zelazny said, “When it came to challenges and achievements, the challenges definitely won out.” Zelazny said the city...

 

There's a magic to outdoor skating

Finally, the lakes froze three or more inches deep. So deep that, with temperatures in the teens or lower, snow did not stick to the surface. It seems magical to me that water I swam and paddled in...

 

On The Mark: It's time to consider prison rates

Once again, husband Rod Walli and I headed out to clear the Fond du Lac Forest cross-country ski trail of annual downfalls and upstart saplings. Once again, the Willow River Challenge Incarceration...

 

On The Mark: Child labor offers lessons for life

A good economist colleague and friend of mine, University of Minnesota professor Deborah Levison, has spent more than 20 years studying child labor around the world. Despite many laws formally... Full story

 

On The Mark: Family memories bring comfort this holiday

Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on family history. Covid affords us, regrettably, more time to do so. To pore over old photo albums, view what our parents and grandparents and great-uncles...

 

On the Mark: Companionship of cousins is a blessing

I feel lucky to belong to a huge extended family on both my parents' sides. I'm an "only girl" with two brothers. Our first, second and third cousins have made up for that. I just spent part of a...

 

On The Mark: Exploring the Buddhist way

It’s surprising how important Buddhist beliefs and practices have been to evolving world communities and their ability to live together in peace and mutual respect. I first learned about Buddhism...

 

On the Mark: Online options are a saving grace during pandemic

Since Covid-19 crept into our communities, many of us have descended into a strange solitude. Neighbors, co-workers and merchants whom we love to patronize hunker down the way we do: behind closed doo...

 

On The Mark: Finding out what makes politicans tick

Have you ever wondered why our neighbors decide to run for office? What life encounters led them to do so? Here are my endorsements for three local candidates - Michelle Lee, Mike Sundin and Quinn...

 

Sawyer native wins Minnesota Sings contest

Due to Covid-19 and social distancing mandates, the 11th annual Minnesota Sings competition took place virtually this year. Participants submitted videos of their performances via YouTube. Sawyer...

 

On The Mark: Scarecrows bring a fall flair to Cromwell

If you've driven through Cromwell this past week, you'll have glimpsed the 10 scarecrows lining the main street downtown. Because the usually annual Harvest Fest had to be canceled, the Cromwell Area...

 

On The Mark: There are always surprises when putting garden to bed

Three nights of frost propelled us into motion. Our roomy veggie garden still had lots growing in it: squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, chard, kale, basil and other herbs. Green beans that have bee...

 

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