You know it's cold when the United Way people in Austin won't go out to "raise" the thermometer showing how much money's been raised:
WE WILL NOT BE RAISING the thermometer this morning because it’s just too cold. And since we picked one of the coldest days I’ve attached the press release regarding our most current campaign update.
Thanks and stay warm
United Way of Mower County
United Way 2nd Thermometer Raising
The United Way of Mower County has raised $781,417.74 or 71% of the community goal of $1.1 million.
United Way kicked off its 2013 campaign Oct 5th. The United Way campaign publicly runs until Dec. 15th although many campaigns will wrap up in January and February of 2014.
“We encourage anyone who hasn’t made a donation to United Way to consider doing so. There are many programs in our community who rely on funding from United Way to provide their services.” said Mandi Lighthizer-Schmidt, Executive Director
If you’d like to donate to United Way please send your donation to P.O. Box 605 Austin, MN 55912 or drop it off at our office 301 N Main Street.
"The rollout of the health care law has been plagued with problems so deep that even some of its strongest supporters have soured on its potential. The bottlenecks in the federal online insurance exchange, which serves 36 states; the cancellation of hundreds of thousands of policies that did not comply with the minimum requirements of the new law; and the high price of some plans sold through both federal and state-run exchanges have all cast a pall over President Obama’s efforts to win support for the law.
But for all those problems, people are enrolling. More than 243,000 have signed up for private coverage through the exchanges, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, and more than 567,000 have been determined eligible for Medicaid since the exchanges opened on Oct. 1. For many, particularly people with existing medical conditions like Mr. Acosta, the coverage is proving less expensive than what they had. Many others are getting health insurance for the first time in years, giving them alternatives to seeking care through free clinics or emergency rooms — or putting it off indefinitely."
If this isn't in the top 5 stories clicked at our website today, I'll eat a cannibal sandwich.
You never know what you'll find on the Wisconsin wire...
Just got this from Creators Syndicate:
Bill O'Reilly is going to stop writing his column at the end of the month/year.
We have a lot of great subs, and .. more Pulitzer Prize winners than any other syndicate. Here are a few suggestions:
Judge Andrew Napolitano
Chuck Norris (his opinion column - we also syndicate C-Force which is his fitness column)
We're also launching Dr. Ben Carson on Jan. 1 and should have samples soon. Meantime, here are samples from The Washington Times.
The list goes on and on ...
OK, nobody has forced us to run O'Reilly, and he has his crossover fans from Fox News, but IMHO, there are more literate and insightful writers out there who will represent the conservative viewpoint more effectively.
If you want to help choose a replacement, I'm all ears.
Dress warmly tomorrow and stop by the Tots for Tots drive-thru:
Rochester, MN December 6, 2013: Due to unusually cold conditions, The 2nd Annual US marine Corps Toys for Tots Drive Thru Drop off at Rochester Toyota will now be from 9am-1pm. Concerns for the safety of volunteers has lead to this decision. Please update any report or social media accounts with this information. Thank you.
The US Marine Corps will host their 2nd Annual drive thru toy Drop off will be held this Saturday, December, 7th 2013 at Rochester Toyota just off highway 63 south from 9am-1pm. Record low temperatures are expected this Saturday but people donating a new unwrapped toy will not have to get out of their car to make a donation. Dodge county sheriff department will be on hand with their lights on to highlight the donation area.
Gunnery Sergeant Vince Reynolds who is in charge of the SE Minnesota campaign says this year is harder than others, “the demand is increasing every year and we expect this year to be no different. With Thanksgiving being so late in the year we have 6 less shopping days in the season and we are witnessing the effects already on our donations. We are behind in donation’s compared to this time last year so we really need the publics help in donating a new unwrapped toy as soon as possible.”
Last year the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots drive in SE Minnesota helped 11,000 children in 8 counties. All toys donated in SE Minnesota stay in SE Minnesota. Monetary donations are accepted thru the website or specific donation partners which include Rochester Toyota. When someone make a monetary donation The US Marine Corps will purchase toys at one of our retail partners that offer a discount to make the monetary donation go further in supplying toys. Over 120 drop locations have been established in SE Minnesota with 60 in the Rochester area.
GySgt Vince Reynolds, USMCR
Coordinator, Southeast Minnesota Toys for Tots
We're assembling our local comments and angles on Nelson Mandela -- if you have comments, were lucky enough to hear him speak or shake his hand somewhere along the way, let us know.
I guess there's no reason for the state Chamber of Commerce to say "great," or "good job," or "boy, that's good news," but it's just interesting to see how major players in the state are responding to what's clearly -- absolutely clearly -- unadulterated good news for Minnesota. You wouldn't know it reading this news release, which is mainly a sour demand that Dayton and the DFL repeal the B2B taxes, which was already a foregone conclusion.
Legislature should repeal all three B2B taxes as first step in tax relief
The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce renewed its call for the2014 Legislature to repeal all three sales taxes on business-t0-business services, following today’s budget forecast that showed a surplus of $1.08 billion for the two-year budget cycle that began July 1.
“The surplus removes any obstacles for repeal of these B2B taxes. The Governor and Legislators on both sides of the aisle have stated these are bad taxes and have expressed their support for repeal,” President David Olson said. “We ask them live up to their word and act quickly to repeal the three new B2B taxes early in session before they do any more damage to jobs and businesses in key Minnesota industries.”
Eliminating the B2B taxes should be just a first step, given the size of the projected surplus, Olson said. “The Governor and Legislature clearly overcorrected on revenues with the huge increases in taxes. This needs to be fixed immediately. Otherwise, the higher costs on businesses – which translate into higher costs for all Minnesotans – will be a drag on the growth and development of the economy.”
The Minnesota Chamber, as leader of the United for Jobs Coalition, is asking the Legislature to repeal the three taxes early in the 2014 session, which convenes Feb. 25. The coalition represents trade associations and thousands of employers from across the state.
The 2013 Legislature extended the sales tax to three B2B services: repairs of business equipment and machines; purchases of telecommunications equipment by telecommunications providers; warehouse and storage services. The first two taxes went into effect July 1, 2013; the warehouse tax is scheduled to take effect April 1, 2014. Minnesota is in the distinct minority among states that tax these services.
“We continue to hear from businesses that are thinking twice about whether it’s in their best interests to stay and/or expand in Minnesota.” Olson said. “We should repeal these taxes before they further harm Minnesota’s competitiveness and take additional toll on Minnesota jobs.”
Statement from Dayton on today's budget surplus forecast:
“Today’s new Budget Forecast, projecting an additional surplus of over a billion dollars during the current biennium, is great news for Minnesota. The principal reason for this dramatic improvement is the stronger-than-expected growth of our state’s economy.
That credit belongs, first and foremost, to the people of Minnesota – to the businessmen and women, who reaffirmed their commitment to our state, by expanding their businesses and adding 123,000 jobs here during the past three years, and to their hard-working employees, who made those business expansions successful.
Credit is also due to the Legislature and my administration, for setting a course of fiscal responsibility and sticking to it. In 2011, legislative leaders and I made permanent reductions in state spending of two billion dollars.
Last spring, the new legislative leaders and I continued those spending cuts, raised new revenues, primarily from our state’s wealthiest citizens and largest corporations, and invested most of it in education – from early childhood, to all-day kindergarten, to college tuition freezes.
Critics claimed that this balanced fiscal approach would have “a chilling effect on Minnesota’s economy.” Today’s Forecast proves those critics wrong. If fact, it will be amusing to watch some of the people, who were criticizing Minnesota’s economy yesterday, claiming credit for it today!
We have used our strong economic growth to pay back all of the 2.8 billion dollars previously borrowed from our schools. Thanks to the insistence of the DFL majority in the House of Representatives, today’s Forecast will trigger the immediate repayment of the final 246 million dollars we owe our schools.
It will also permit the elimination of yet another left-over gimmick, 15 million dollars owed the Airports Fund.
Which will leave $825 million remaining from the $1.086 forecasted balance. This news will no doubt launch a blizzard of legislative proposals to reduce taxes and increase expenditures.
There will be another Budget Forecast in just three months, which will update today’s projections. I will await that forecast before I submit my proposed budget revisions to the legislature.
If this forecast holds, however, I expect to propose the elimination of all three B2B taxes, effective April 1, 2014, at a cost of $231 million for the biennium. My other priority is a tax cut for middle-income Minnesotans by, for example, conforming to all of the federal tax cuts, which would cost about $205 billion for this biennium. That would include eliminating the marriage penalty, which would reduce state taxes for 640,000 Minnesota taxpayers.
It would also include increasing the working family credit, which would lower state taxes for 53,000 taxpayers.
These two tax cut packages combined would total $436.4 million, still leaving $388.6 million for other purposes. I do not expect to make other specific proposals until after next February’s forecast.”
"Raucous orange" and "relic bronze," I get -- I tend to get "relic bronze" during the summer, at my age -- but "quixotic plum"? Is that a reference to the Vikings?
Best news release of the day:
Bold New Door Colors for 2014
MAUMEE, OHIO – Raucous Orange. Quixotic Plum. Relic Bronze. These are just some of the bold colors that national color expert Kate Smith predicts will be most popular on residential door exteriors in 2014.
"There are two trends I see influencing front door colors for 2014," says Smith, chief color maven and president of Sensational Color. "First, there's the trend of people painting their doors with exuberant hues as a way of telling the world they're tired of spinning their wheels in place. These people are ready to move forward, embrace challenges and show their energy through vibrant colors like Capri blue and Dynamo raspberry.
"The other trend is that some people are seeking colors that are vibrant yet at the same time connect us to a sense of community and culture. These simpler colors, like Classic French Gray and Polished Mahogany, give us comfort, warmth and reliability, which are found in these rich paint colors."
For homeowners looking to express their "colorful self," Smith recommends selecting paintable doors, such as Therma-Tru® Classic-Craft® Canvas Collection® and Pulse® doors. "These smooth-finish doors are ideal for adding personal expression to a home," says Smith. "They feature clean lines, crisp angles and attractive glass configuration options. By painting the doors in unique colors to match the homeowner's personality, people can really make a statement with these durable doors."
Top 10 Door Colors for 2014
The top five door colors* Smith has identified as gaining popularity in 2014 that match up with the "exuberant homeowner" trend include:
1 - Capri - A tropical blue that wakes up natural woods and neutral surroundings, this color adds a splash of energy on the door for a home.
2 - Raucous Orange - True to its name, this vibrant color demands attention with its energetic orange tone and makes the perfect punctuation point for the front of a home with a modern look.
3 - Dynamo - This flirty violet hue instantly updates a traditional color scheme on a home exterior to a trendier home front.
4 - Relic Bronze - A deep, almost brown mustard color, Relic Bronze reflects aged beauty on a home that shows up in unexpected exterior element combinations.
5 - Quixotic Plum - This sophisticated deep purple breaks out of its noble bonds in 2014 to dance along the edge of where trendy meets timeless as it graces the front entry of homes.
The remaining top five door colors* that follow the trend of "community and culture" identified by Smith include:
6 - Georgian Bay - Brighter and more moving than dark navy, this step-above reserved blue is a trusted color when it comes to the welcoming message it sends on a door to family and friends.
7 - Show Stopper - Like classic red at dusk, Show Stopper adds a touch of mystery to this bright hue. A slight spin on traditional red, this color warmly welcomes people to a home.
8 - Polished Mahogany - The deep, rich shade of this brown color has a staying power that traverses trends and captures a solid feeling for homeowners.
9 - Classic French Grey - Stepping out of the shadows to stand on its own, this cool, neutral grey will continue to rule the palette in 2014.
10 - Gulfstream - This bright, modern blue has an of-the-moment appeal. At the same time, it still feels rooted in something familiar and nostalgic for homeowners.
About Kate Smith
Smith, a career color trend forecaster who recently authored the free e-book, "FRESH Color Schemes for Your Home Exterior" recommends working from the "top down" when adding color to the home.
"The door is critical when adding color to the home, but you want to start with your roof color, then work down to the siding, windows, door and trim colors," says Smith. "Everything should combine in an eye-pleasing palette that allows the exterior colors of the home to flow naturally, creating curb appeal and lasting value."
Visit http://www.thermatru.com/pdfs/EBOOK.pdf to download a free copy of Smith's e-book that features color guidance for Ranch, Colonial, Bungalow, Victorian, Spanish Mission, European and New American style homes. Additional color tips, including color psychology and the "FRESH Exterior Colors for Your Home" ebook can be found at www.sensationalcolor.com.
For more information on paintable doors from Therma-Tru, visit www.thermatru.com.
Therma-Tru is the nation’s leading manufacturer and most preferred brand of entryway doors. Founded in 1962, Therma-Tru pioneered the fiberglass entry door industry, and today offers a complete portfolio of entry and patio door system solutions, including decorative glass doorlites, sidelites and transoms, and door components. The company also offers low-maintenance Fypon® urethane and PVC products. Headquartered in Maumee, Ohio, Therma-Tru is part of Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc. (NYSE: FBHS). For more information, visit www.thermatru.com, www.fypon.com or call (800) 537-8827.
*All colors referenced in this story come from Sherwin-Williams®.