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Everywhere I go I find a pal

Everywhere I go  I find a pal Everywhere I go  I find a pal

Peter Weinschenk, Editor, The Record-Review

This week, we are publishing a wealth of letters to the editor. They are on a variety of topics and represent all kinds of political perspectives.

They are, I believe, what democracy looks like.

With two months left before the November general election, I expect we’ll get even more letters. It’s a good time, then, to go over our letter policy in order to avoid hard feelings as we get closer to what will likely be an emotionally fraught, contentious vote. Our policy is simple. Letters must be signed and we need a phone number to check authorship. Letters on all topics are welcome, but we will not run letters that endorse federal or state candidates. Thus, a letter writer can praise or slam Trump or Biden, but we won’t publish a letter that urges people to vote for these federal candidates. That kind of message belongs in a paid advertisement.

In the week before the election, our policy is that you can praise candidates in letters, but no letter with a campaign accusation that requires a rebuttal will be published. People should have the chance to defend themselves.

Keep democracy strong and vibrant. We look forward to your letter!


It felt so strange.

On Saturday, I returned to a DNR public fishing area on the Prairie River adjacent to the Gross farm in Lincoln County. I learned to fly fish for trout on this section of the river. I return to this place year after year. I know the river well. I know where the holes are, the boulders lay, the weeds grow and where there is a big rock that I can sit on to take a rest.

The river I returned to, however, was gone. It was transformed. It was a brand new river.

Sometime this summer, the DNR took on a massive, one-mile project to fill in and narrow sections of the river, insert river bends in long, straight stretches and to dot the river with large boulders.

It was truly weird. I had caught a lot of fish on this section of the Prairie over the years. It was a special spot in my life. Now, it was gone. The river I knew so well is but a memory.

In my experience, the Prairie has always had “improvements” that kept the river running deeper and colder.

This summer’s improvements, however, dwarf past efforts. I fished an entire evening and did not come to the end of the river reconstruction, which included new islands, point bars and wing deflectors.

Some guys like to golf. They hit a little white ball inside a park with groomed lawns and well designed landscaping. I never enjoyed this. I prefer wild nature.

The crazy thing about fishing a reconstructed Prairie River is trying to enjoy and appreciate being in a “natural”setting that has been designed by man. I have a feel for where nature will roll a boulder into a river and know how to wade safely around the obstacle. I can never predict where a designer will put a boulder in a river, however. I forever bump into them.

Maybe all this will just take time. New shrubs, plants and flowers will overtake the new river banks and the fish will populate the newly created habitat. I will become habituated to the new twists and turns of the river. What seems fake will, perhaps, in time, seem totally natural.

I caught one nice brown trout in a brand new section of the river, but I got my line wrapped around a new log placed across the stream. It took forever to free my fishing line.

This will be a work in progress.

Contact Peter Weinschenk at pweinschenk@