Friday, May 09, 2008

A slice of life in McLeod County

Though Governor Pawlenty vetoed the Central Corridor project in St. Paul, other transportation related projects remained in the bonding bill. Take the $500,000 for the Stagecoach trail near Mantorville.

The Luce Line Trail meanders through the southern half of my senate district and while Senator Dille supports upgrading it, it's unlikely to receive any funding for improvements so long as Ron Shimanski remains in office. There is a glimmer of hope, however.

Not only is Ron an uber-conservative, he also owns an apple orchard that abuts the Luce Line Trail as it wind its way past his home west of Silver Lake. Ron has fretted publicly the upgrading the trail surface from loose gravel and gopher holes would bring more traffic, and with more traffic, apple thieves.

Now, there's not much worse than stealing a man's apples. Or any farmer's crop, wrestled from the soil. Those wishing fresh Minnesota produce should buy it from roadside stands and farmers' markets.

But there's new hope that Representative Shimanski's dreams of earning the fruits of his labors and the aspirations of cyclists can be reconciled, thanks to exciting new developments in biotech. A friend tells me that a new natural security system has been developed for apple growers by the University of Minnesota ag school, and Ron's orchard was first to obtain this new genetically engineered technology for field testing.

My friend obtained the video below, taped early last fall, of the new biotechnology in action, protecting the apples from a small party of larceny-bent hikers. She vouched for the tape's authenticity:

It's GMO breakthroughs like this that make me hopeful for the future! I'm a little worried about the Arboretum's new line of Dog-toothed Violets, however much the DNR says our woodlands need protection from wildflower rustlers.

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