Archived Story

No need for the show to go on

Published 10:34am Friday, March 11, 2011

Gov. Mark Dayton’s desire to have a weekly radio show like his predecessors has apparently been thwarted because broadcasters don’t want to give him the same time slot — Friday morning drive-time — that governors Ventura and Pawlenty enjoyed.

The best deal he could get was Saturday at 7 a.m., when even in the metro area only six or seven people have the radio on.

Gov. Dayton told the Star-Tribune newspaper that he thought that was insulting to the people of Minnesota.

Actually, it’s probably more of an insult to the governor’s perceived entertainment value. Gov. Ventura was entertaining in a Don Rickles sort of way: One never knew who he was going to insult. But Gov. Pawlenty was definitely not must-listen radio; by the time he left office, broadcast executives were probably regretting that they’d given him a prime time show. Dayton would be more of the same.

So, apparently, no show.

But that shouldn’t really matter. If the governor is really eager to connect with the people of Minnesota, what he needs is a weekly on-line chat. The audience potential for that dwarfs any Minnesota radio station’s reach.

Gov. Dayton already has what he needs: his own, ultra-dull, government-issue web site. So why not spice it up with a moderated chat once a week?

Heck, the governor could interact with us every day if he wants. He could stay in touch with constituents, chatting away like mad from the keyboad on his Blackberry, Android or iPhone, pretty much 24/7, without even needing his web site. It’s called Twitter.

So forget the radio show, Gov. Dayton. Get modern.

Last week’s column about crows brought in a few e-mails and calls from readers.

Mark Bjorlie, the executive director at the YMCA, called my voice-mail to report that the Y solved its crow problem (the usual droppings-all-over-the-place-while-roosting deal) with a couple of owl decoys. I’d quoted a supposedly authoritative crow web site that said decoys don’t work for long, but that wasn’t the Y’s experience. “They worked for us,” Bjorlie said.

Betty Benner wrote that last week’s crow column reminded her of a poem she authored at a writers’ workshop in November, in response to the stimulus, “what kind of animal are you?”

I got a laugh out of the poem, so with Betty’s permission, here it is:

A crow, big and black,

flapping my wings as I come to rest

on the big oak that overshadows

a little grey house on sixth avenue.

I won’t crow about it, but in just two days

I covered the little red car under the oak

with yellow, white and brownish

dollops of what humans call crow droppings..

It was a logical move, because

across the street from the little grey house

is a medium sized white house,

decorated for Christmas with Santa and reindeer

and a multitude of lights.

The white house is owned by the humane society lady,

who is big on stray animals, big on birds.

She feeds me and my crow friends daily,

and sometimes the starlings come too.

I have no animosity toward the gray haired woman

who owns the red car, but

I could teach her a thing or two about

where to park.

I could tell her she is most unattractive

as she makes faces at her polka dot car and

says bad things about good birds.

Birds will be birds, honey, I say,

and lift my wings and caw to emphasize my words.

Maybe…if she left food for me

I would change my tactics, defecate on the

humane society lady’s black truck across the street.

In the mean time, red car lady, eat crow.

Or dirt.

One final bird note: I wrote several weeks ago about eagle sightings in the area. I’ve since been told that there is at least one long-established bald eagle nest not far from Austin and perhaps another.


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