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Published October 07 2012

Forum editorial: Weather hyperbole gets weed

LEAFY SPURGE: To the breathless, almost-panicky broadcasters who go nearly apoplectic when the first snowfall of autumn whips into the region. It’s like they’ve never experienced an early snow before. It’s like they view a minor snowfall – that melts away quickly – as a blizzardlike monster that will paralyze traffic, freeze children and bring commerce to a frozen halt. What silliness. Moreover, the tenor and content of the first-snow-cold-weather reports are replete with warnings and advice about how to cope with the frightful weather. Apparently the perpetrators of this stuff believe their viewers (and yes, newspapers do it, too) are really dumb. But most folks know to put a coat and hat on the kiddies when the temperature drops. They probably also understand driving might be a tad difficult. Please, reserve the panic for really dangerous weather, not a normal early season snowfall.

LEAFY SPURGE: To AFL-CIO leaders who are calling for a nationwide boycott of Crystal sugar because American Crystal Sugar Co. of Moorhead continues a lockout of union workers. The company is sticking to its final contract officer. The union has rejected the contract three times. The lockout has been under way for 14 months. The AFL-CIO’s stunt won’t solve anything, nor will it affect Crystal’s sugar sales. First, a very small percentage of the company’s sugar is sold in retail stores under the Crystal name. Even if everyone who purchased Crystal sugar quit doing so, it would not significantly affect the company. Second, since most of the company’s sugar is in processed food products (breakfast cereals, for example), it is virtually impossible for boycott-prone consumers to know a product has Crystal sugar or some other sugar brand as an ingredient. The union knows as much, so the call for a boycott is little more than an empty feel-good scam. It’s a waste of time, when the union should be re-examining its positions on specific provisions of the offered contract.


Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.