■ The city has cut down most of the trees downtown. Maybe some needed to be trimmed, but I don't think they all had to be cut down. So now we have a summer without shade trees in the shopping area, which most everyone appreciated. Does the city have a plan to replace them? I hope so, and also expect to see some trees planted this fall. What is the plan? - Dick D.
■ To my knowledge, we didn't have a marching band in the July 4 parade. That's too bad, as they add a lot to the event. Why doesn't CFHS have a marching band anymore? I know that out-of-town bands can get very expensive. But our own Cannon Falls band? They should have been there. - Dick D.
■ Driving around the countryside, one can't help but notice the proliferance of wild parsnip in the ditches. It is considered a Prohibited Noxious Weed by the MN Dept. of Agriculture and justifiably so. Although the root is edible, the plant sap can cause a rash that can be worse than poison ivy.
It seems to be kind of difficult to control, being that if it's mowed at the wrong times (when they usually mow the ditches) it can actually propagate the nasty stuff. It's pretty easy to spot as it has bright yellow seed crowns, kind of like the dill in your garden.
So keep an eye out for it and be careful not to come in contact with it. If you have some that you want to go away, check it out on the Internet or contact your county extension agent. - Cal F.
■ It was fun to go to the Caitlyn Smith concert at the Winery Friday evening. She put on a great show for her hometown crowd. It was nice to hear about her successes and some of the inroads she has made in the music business that will, no doubt, lead to bigger and better things.
Rod Johnson and I were chatting with her dad Jim and it came up that in the mid-90s when Rod was announcing the Bomber baseball games and the Smiths ran the bed and breakfast across the alley from the ballpark, how Caitlyn would show up at the announcer's booth, totally unsolicited, and sing the national anthem at the beginning of the games.
She sure is a natural. - Cal F.
■ 65th Ave. So. Has been the scene of a couple of nasty accidents lately. I would consider that stretch to be one of the more accident-prone areas around. The fatal accident involving a highway patrol man on the 4th of July is particularly disturbing.
According to a knowledgeable source, the extent of the damage to the patrol car put his speed to at least 70 mph.
Sure Shorty screwed up, but the question needs to be asked, why is a seasoned veteran of the patrol traveling at that speed, in a high-risk area, on one of the busiest travel days of the year? - Cal F.
■ Work has started on the mural at Brewsters. It will be fun to see it progress, as we have a front row seat. - Cal F.
■ The CV Fair may be over but the celebrations press on. This weekend festivities include the Wine and Art Festival in Hannah's Bend Park where food trucks, artists and music join with regional wineries to provide a great experience. Then Friday, July 25, an open house celebration for the new state-of-the-art clinic and hospital goes from ribbon cutting at 2:30 to fireworks after dark. Then the annual Firemen's Street Dance, also on the 25th will pop with excitement. Beginning July 25 and running through Sunday, July 27, the annual Little Log House Antique Power Show opens with more than a person can take in on one day (my advice: buy the weekend pass). Set up your lawn chairs on Friday, Aug. 1, for the evening country cruise with the Cannon Cruisers' awesome restored cars. The next day, Saturday, Aug. 2 plays host to the customer appreciation pancake breakfast put on by the Chamber, and the Historical Society's ice cream and pie social along with a look at the new prairie plantings by the Harvest Mural. The 4-H'ers will take you on a tour of their plantings, and Shepherd's Center is providing a free 2 p.m. concert. Sunday that week, August 3 the Cannon Cruisers Car and Truck Club will present the Car and Truck Show. Then there's the Night to Unite on Aug 5. Lots to do in Cannon Falls! - Sue S.
■ Small town helpfulness scores again. I was looking for a certain flavor of foaming hand soap from J.R. Watkins, discovered while visiting in Virginia a few weeks back. I've often walked by the sandwich board in front of Hjermstad Hardware, so I knew they stocked Watkins products. They didn't have the specific Aloe and Green Tea soap I was seeking, but Cheryl offered to order it for me. Since we did have other soap and weren't abstaining from handwashing until this particular brand was sitting on the sink, I said that would be great. Cheryl called me a few days later to tell me that the particular soap I wanted wasn't available at the warehouse. I accepted this, thanked her for trying and went back to washing my hands with ordinary soap. I was pleasantly surprised when Cheryl called me a couple of days later to say that she had seen the specific soap I wanted on a display at a big box store in a neighboring town, and also told me exactly where to find it in the store. I went there, found the soap, and now have the bottle prominently displayed next to the sink. Thanks so much to her for going way beyond what she needed to do. No one at the big box store would have done this, had the tables been turned. We are so lucky to have such thoughtful, caring folks staffing our local businesses. - Betsy F.
■ How and when to communicate money values to children is one of the toughest challenges that parents face. You want to support your children, to shield them from the hardships of life. But without facing the hardships, they won't appreciate the value of money. My boys have been working hard to earn money this summer. They've weeded in the garden, picked up sticks before mowing and miscellaneous chores. They wanted to buy an Xbox 360 and games to go with it ... Monday was finally the day! I almost hated taking their money, but I am happy that they learned the lesson of earning money and spending money.-Mel R.