"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Make way for snowplows?

Mr. Lynn Schulz has something to say about cars being towed in order to accommodate snowplows. It appears UMM students are being nailed by this, causing them to go home for Christmas with maybe some choice cusswords crossing their lips about the Morris community.
Here's my take: We have not had a true winter storm yet. In the event of a true winter storm, we'd all be more aware of the need to move our cars. We got a robo call early in the winter advising about an approaching storm. It didn't seem to amount to much. We have had a couple of what I would call moderate snowfalls. The air will be thick with flakes for a while, or maybe intermittently, but there's no true storm. This is winter in Minnesota. We get snowfalls like this.
Schulz saw many towed cars in the old Valu Ford lot. I guess it costs $118 to retrieve your car. The wise Mr. Schulz sees this matter as a reflection of the longstanding problem with campus/community relations. Is our local government overreacting to what seems like ordinary Minnesota weather? Are Morris officials, including law enforcement, overzealous on some fronts? Don't these officials have enough other important things to think about? Is their vigilance becoming a headache? Just look at the large amount of space taken up by district court news in the newspaper in many weeks.
We have a police department that issues seat belt citations as a primary offense. I know because it happened to me. Police can help collect tons of fine money that goes into state coffers. When I shared some thoughts about this with a city council member (while waiting for our orders at McDonald's), he just smiled and said "revenue." Was he serious? Should that really be the motive for law enforcement? Do elected city officials have any power to control the way law enforcement exercises its powers?
And now we have UMM students suffering because of an overzealous road maintenance policy. Sometimes we in Minnesota have to drive through a little snow. Can't we accept that? Can't we deal with just a little bit of adversity? Is perfectionism starting to become a pain? Thanks to Lynn Schulz for shedding some light on this matter.
I remember when Lynn retired from UMM and they had the usual spring fete honoring retirees at Oyate Hall. At one time, these affairs could become tacky because some retirees would get a standing ovation and others wouldn't. In Lynn's case, some people tried starting a standing ovation but it didn't catch. Jim Carlson, of all people, didn't get a standing ovation. (I'm starting to sound like Red Buttons at those Dean Martin roasts, remember?)
I remember a female employee who I didn't even know, getting an enormous standing ovation, and when I queried later, I recall learning that her union activism was the reason. A pox on all this.
Oh, and I note that the flashing lights on school buses get your attention far better than the old lights. They really shout at you to "stop!" I think a problem was developing of too many school bus stop arm citations being given. Too many? Well, I think it was a problem in terms of people not realizing the absolute need to stop. Didn't a former Morris mayor get two of these citations? In the vast majority of cases, I'm sure, the offending motorists are responsible people who are driving slowly and cautiously.
As a community we cannot allow these citations to be thrown around so liberally. People's lives get affected. There are people for whom the size of the fine itself is a problem. And then, I imagine one's insurance rates would be seriously affected, causing financial adversity. Added to this is the humiliation of having your "name in the paper" and being whispered about by your friends, like at church. 
I recall reading about a couple of these stop arm charges being "dropped." How can this kind of charge be falsely made? Might we have an overzealous school bus driver? Are there school bus drivers who start fancying themselves as law enforcement?
I remember once coming out of the alley going east from the senior center, and seeing a school bus parked in front of the dental building. We would be approaching the side of the bus. I stopped and then got set to turn, but the driver, an acquaintance of mine, motioned to me not to move. Did he save me a stop arm ticket? If he did, bless him. Cautious as I am about this situation, I nearly got in trouble. My general policy is to not go near orange school buses. I'll change my route if I have to. When in doubt, just pull over to the curb and sit there.
But don't park and leave your car if the snowplows might be approaching! Schulz can make a case in print just as well as he plays the accordion.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com


  1. how can not anybody be aware of a snow emergencay give the upteem # of ways it is communicated via e-mail ,text messaging, phone calls, fb ,radio station etc.

  2. how can not anybody be aware of a snow emergencay give the upteem # of ways it is communicated via e-mail ,text messaging, phone calls, fb ,radio station etc.