Banana idea should have gov’t a-peel

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JOEL KLAASSEN
Bar codes on bananas. Why not?

I went through the checkout at the grocery store the other day and saw how easy it was to scan all of the items I bought-except the fruit. With all of the biogenetic capabilities we have, and with all of the cockamamie ideas for government grants these days, someone could probably get a grant to research it and see if a bar code could be grown on the outside of a banana. The idea has a-peel, doesn’t it?

This issue of the Free Press marks the completion of our fourth full year of publishing. It’s amazing to me how fast the time has gone. We couldn’t have done it without our energetic and dedicated staff who have done everything we’ve asked of them. Nor could we have done it without the support of our many advertisers and readers. “Happy Birthday” to all of us.

Our premier issue on Aug. 12, 1998, carried the lead story about Dairy Farmers of America deciding to shut down the former AMPI plant, and the 85 people who would eventually lose their jobs as a result.

Almost to the day four years later the DFA/AMPI building is in the news again-the City of Hillsboro wants to buy it if a few issues can be resolved… such as environmental concerns, liability for the gas line that runs through the property, and the maintenance and upkeep of the facilities until a permament use for the property is determined.

I’m not the biggest fan of government getting involved in the private sector’s business, but in this case it seems wise to move forward and control the destiny of the building rather than leave it to absentee owners.

Have you ever thought what the world would be like if someone hadn’t discovered how to harvest rubber and transform it into products such as tires for cars, trucks and airplanes? Try landing a 747 with steel wheels or rolling down a concrete highway in your car at 70 mph with steel lugs on your wheels.

Here’s a tip: Don’t turn off the electricity to save money when you go on vacation. My uncle once did that. Two weeks later, the stuff in the freezer wasn’t much good.

Watching the threshing demonstration at Goessel’s Threshing Days this past weekend brought back memories of when my dad used to run one of those rigs in Minnesota back in the ’50s. In spite of the heat, the crowd was impressive-as was the array of vintage tractors that crawled through the main drag during the big parade.

I was surprised by the absence of political candidates, unless they weren’t invited.

I have never yearned to travel to Europe, but one thing could get me there. The neatest thing to do would be to land in Germany, rent a Mercedes and take it up to about 150 mph on the Autobahn.

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