The Princeton Union-Eagle http://unioneagle.com Community newspaper of Princeton, Minn. Wed, 02 Sep 2015 01:00:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Citizens try their hand at firefighting http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/citizens-try-their-hand-at-firefighting/ http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/citizens-try-their-hand-at-firefighting/#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 01:00:57 +0000 http://unioneagle.com/?p=117605 Among the exhibits and displays on hand at the Princeton Public Safety Day Aug. 22 was a demonstration in which audience members were invited to try and extinguish a fire. Here, 13-year-old Nickolas Schmidt practices his technique, with coaching from the firefighters to aim the extiniguisher at the base of the flames and use a side-to-side sweeping motion. ]]> http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/citizens-try-their-hand-at-firefighting/feed/ 0 Take the steps to help battle the spread of aquatic invasive species http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/take-the-steps-to-help-battle-the-spread-of-aquatic-invasive-species/ http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/take-the-steps-to-help-battle-the-spread-of-aquatic-invasive-species/#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 01:00:50 +0000 http://unioneagle.com/?p=117610 Images courtesy of the Army Corps of Engineers  Pictured are a couple of problematic aquatic invasive species, eurasian milfoil on the left and zebra mussels on the right.
Images courtesy of the Army Corps of Engineers
Pictured are a couple of problematic aquatic invasive species, eurasian milfoil on the left and zebra mussels on the right.

It is rare to drive down the road and not hear an announcement on the radio or see a billboard warning of aquatic invasive species (AIS) infiltrating Minnesota’s waterways. Whether it be thick mats formed by Eurasian watermilfoil, spiny waterfleas clogging fishing gear, or the razor-sharp shells of zebra mussels, each variety of AIS poses unique hazards to people, property and the natural environment.
There are several steps people can take to combat the spread of AIS. When such measures are followed by those who use the waterways in Mille Lacs County and beyond, the steps work together to help stop the spread of AIS.
It is required that boaters and others using the lakes clean all aquatic species and plant material from watercraft and anything else that touched the water. Thoroughly clean boats, motors, gear, trailers, docks, lifts, kayaks, canoes, paddles, stand-up paddle boards, water toys and basically anything that touches the water. All water must be drained and the boat transported with its drain plugs removed. The third requirement is to dispose of bait in the trash, not onto the ground or into the water.
After cleaning off all aquatic species, it is recommended that boats be sprayed with high-pressure hot water, either at a decontamination station or with a personal high-pressure sprayer unit. Decontamination stations are found at various locations around the state. High-pressure hot water (120 degrees) should be sprayed on all areas of the watercraft or equipment for two minutes; however, if the hot water is at least 140 degrees, then watercraft or equipment can be sprayed for 10 seconds.
With or without the high-pressure spray treatment, it is recommended that a boat, trailer, or other equipment should be left to dry for at least five days before being moved to a new body of water. However, it is a law that docks and lifts must dry for at least 21 days before being moved to a new waterway.
To access a link to the Department of Natural Resources’ decontamination station calendar of locations, visit the county’s website at www.co.mille-lacs.mn.us; click Departments > Land Services Office > AIS.  If you don’t see a decontamination station listed for your area, contact the DNR for further information.
According to Dillon Hayes, Environmental Resources Technician with the Mille Lacs County Land Services Office, “There are many pieces involved in stopping the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species. If everyone does their part to follow the regulations and recommendations and encourages others to do the same, our Minnesota waterways can be enjoyed by future generations for years to come.”
It is important for the future health, safety, and enjoyment of Minnesota lakes and rivers for everyone to work together to control AIS and keep them from spreading to other waterways. Get more information about AIS at the county’s website. ]]> http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/take-the-steps-to-help-battle-the-spread-of-aquatic-invasive-species/feed/ 0 Attend the Tillage and Technology Field Day on Sept. 10 http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/attend-the-tillage-and-technology-field-day-on-sept-10/ http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/attend-the-tillage-and-technology-field-day-on-sept-10/#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 01:00:33 +0000 http://unioneagle.com/?p=117608 The University of Minnesota Extension formed a team with the Minnesota corn growers, Minnesota soybean growers and several companies that make tillage equipment to present a free Tillage and Technology Field Day 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, September 10, at the West Central Research and Outreach Center, 46352 MN 329, Morris. In case of heavy rain, the alternate date for the field day is Sept. 11.
Registration begins at 9:15 a.m., including exhibits and displays, with a programs at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., as well as field demonstrations beginning at 1:15 p.m. that will include vertical tillage, 22- and 30-inch strip till and different shanks for chisel plows. A box lunch will be available at noon for $6 from the Stevens County FFA Chapter.
This field day event provides opportunities to learn about and see several items and topics: new variable-depth tillage equipment, side-by-side field-equipment demos, building soil structure for maximum soil productivity, discovering how strip tillage can fit individual soil and crop rotation situations, setting planters for improved emergence and residue management and saving time and money while building soil productivity.
Companies planning to attend the field day include Kuhn-Krause, Salford, Gates, Environmental Tillage Systems, MonTag, Twin Diamond Industries, Orthman, Pederson’s Agri-Services and Amundson/Peterson.
While there is no registration fee, attendees are asked to pre-register for the day so that arrangements and meals may be planned accordingly. Register by sending name, address, phone and email information to UMN Extension, 1802 18th Street NE, Willmar MN 56201; call 320-235-0726, extension 2001; or go online to http://umn.edu/tillagefieldday.
For questions and more information about this event, contact Regional Extension Educators Jodie DeJong-Hughes at 320-235-0726, Doug Holen at 320-589-1711 or Phil Glogoza at 218-236-2008.
Iowa soil tour garners stewardship lessons
Loess soils are large deep drifts of soil ground to a powder from the bedrock by glaciers and blown across the landscape by strong winds. Loess soil is mostly silt and drifts can be miles long and up to 250 feet deep. The soil in northwest Iowa is thought to be some of the most productive in the country.
Extension Educator Dan Martens learned more about loess soils while attending a National Extension Conference in Sioux Falls in mid-July. Even though the loess soil is very deep, topsoil and organic matter in the top soil is very vulnerable to loss. The topsoil is more brown than black, and most of the subsoil on road cuts was yellow. Wind and water erosion are obvious problems. Terraces, like the one shown in the picture, are installed to reduce the amount of water running down long slopes.
One farmer who explained that he farmed some land with as much as 5 percent organic matter and some with as little as 1.5 or 2 precent organic matter. His grandfather’s legacy was to implement contour strip cropping for the good of the land. His father’s legacy was to install terraces and grass waterways. His goal is to leave a legacy of building organic matter by reducing tillage and potential use of cover crops. He also needs to make a living in the process.
It seems logical that building and improving soil starts with stopping the loss – whether on the loess soils of Northwest Iowa, or the soils of central Minnesota. There can be no gains until losses are minimized. The land needs care where there are gullies, rill and sheet erosion and wind erosion.
Martens learned the crop residue left on or near the surface of the soil contributes more to building soil and organic matter than what is buried in the soil. Manure applied strategically on the land is good for soil biology and to recycle crop nutrients.
Extension research and education, technical and financial resources through SWCD and NRCS, and services of thoughtful agronomy advisors can be helpful to farmers working toward the goal of caring for the land while producing crops and livestock for our food, fiber and energy needs. ]]>
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Deleno G. Peterson http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/deleno-g-peterson-2/ http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/deleno-g-peterson-2/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 22:29:06 +0000 http://unioneagle.com/?p=117680 Deleno   G.  Peterson

Deleno Gordon Peterson, age 71, of Pine City, passed away on Sunday, August 30, 2015 at the Saint Cloud Hospital.
Deleno was born June 29, 1944 in Elk River, MN the son of Edwin and Gladys (Erickson) Peterson. He graduated from Princeton High School and following graduation entered into the United States Army. He was stationed in Germany within the Army Postal Unit. Deleno worked as a carpenter, doing many finishing and trimming jobs. He was a member of the American Legion. He was a huge fan of baseball and enjoyed attending his grandchildren's games and events. Deleno was an accomplished wood craftsman, he enjoyed woodworking and always had a project he was working on.
He was a practical joker with a good sense of humor and enjoyed doing card tricks. Most recently he enjoyed playing cards and cribbage. His family was very important to him and he especially adored his grandchildren. He will be dearly missed.
Deleno is survived by his daughter, Melanie (Joe) Knutson of Pine City; grandchildren, Kristina and Casey Knutson; siblings, Ronald (Judy) Peterson of Princeton, Janice (Jim) Dery of Princeton, Carol Kint of El Cajon, CA, twin sister, Delores (Jack Mulroy) Knutson of Treasure Island, FL; special friend, Carolyn Marx and several nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives.
He is preceded in death by his parents.
A Celebration of Deleno's Life held at 11 a.m., Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Princeton. A gathering one hour prior to the service at the church on Thursday.

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Donald S. Thompson http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/donald-s-thompson-2/ http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/donald-s-thompson-2/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 22:27:22 +0000 http://unioneagle.com/?p=117677 Donald    S.  Thompson

Donald Swan Thompson was born at home on his parents farm east of Princeton in Wyanett township on August 2, 1918 to Elmer and Alma (Sederlund) Thompson.
He went home to heaven on Friday, August 28, 2015 at Elim Care in Princeton, Minnesota.
Donald grew up on three different farms east of Princeton. He attended district 46 and district 19 country schools in Wyanett township. He began his love of music under the inspiration of country school teachers Hazel Oliver and Alvie Erickson. After the eighth grade Donald worked on the family farm until he was 20. In 1939 he moved to Rockford Illinois where he worked as a lathe operator at American Cabinet and Rockford Brass Works.
Don knew Marion Larson as a friend from the Wyanett Free Church near Princeton. They started dating while he was in Rockford. They took the Zepher train many times to visit each other. They were engaged at Christmas time,1943, and decided to get married before Donald was scheduled to leave for the Navy. Don and Marion were married on March 18, 1944 at the Wyanett church. They moved into the brick home on the farm they had purchased which was located about four miles east of Princeton. Donald and Marion enjoyed life together on this farm for 64 years. Marion was the lifelong love of Donald. The home they shared together was filled with kindness, hospitality, laughter, music, and love.
After he was married, Donald farmed for several years. He later worked as a construction foreman for Westman Silo Company, and as a plumber for the Princeton Coop. In 1954 he began his career as a carpenter. He skillfully and carefully built many homes, apartment buildings, and churches. He worked for contractors Vern Franzen, Ray Rust, Ron Anderson, and the Kroy Company. He retired in 1984. During all the years on the farm Donald enjoyed working the land and raising animals. In addition to carpentry work Donald raised Hereford cattle on natural feed and sold the meat to neighbors and friends. He loved gardening and shared lots of vegetables with family and friends. During his retirement he constructed hand finished furniture for his children and grandchildren.
For the last eight years of his life Donald lived at the Caley House and Elim Care Center in Princeton. There he received the wonderful care and love of many staff members.
Donald was active in his community and church. He served on the Wyanett Telephone Board. He was sextant of the Wyanett Bethany cemetery for forty years. He served as bus driver, Sunday School superintendent, song leader, and chairman of the Wyanett Evangelical Free church over the years. He served on the board of the Oxlip Evangelical Free Church.
Donald loved music and shared his gift of song as a soloist at numerous church services, funerals, weddings, and family events. Marion accompanied him on the piano. Donald also played the harmonica.
Donald was a strong, kind, and loving person. He liked people and spoke highly of everyone he knew. He had a wonderful sense of humor. He loved all of his family deeply and took a special interest in what was happening in each of their lives. He was a wonderful father and grandfather. Donald had an unwavering trust and faith in Jesus, his Savior and friend. May God bless his memory, life, and example to the generations yet to come.
Donald is survived by his son Dennis (and Paulette) Thompson of Faribault; daughter Diane and (Steven) Wilcox of St. Cloud; eight grandchildren – Jonathan (Deirdre) Thompson, Anne (Taylor) Vander Martin, Kristen (Keith) Pickard, Jen (Blake) Koelmel, Charles (Elizabeth) Thompson, Bethany Wilcox, Richard Wilcox, and Josh Wilcox; 17 great grandchildren, Carter, Levi, Jonah, and Owen Vander Martin; Evan and Ainsley Thompson; Andrew, Katelyn, Emma, and Benjamin Pickard; Charlotte, Nora, Shae, and Hudson Thompson; Clark, Grant, and James Koelmel; and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his parents Elmer and Alma Thompson; wife Marion; brothers, Wallace, Lawrence, Woodrow, Warren, and Edsel Thompson; and sisters, Gladys Anderson, Marion Lundgren, Francis Carlson, Millie Swanson, Lillian Palmquist, and Dorothy Olson.
A funeral service will be held 11a.m., Friday, September 4, 2015 at The Oxlip Evangelical Free Church, 29237 Roanoke Street NW, Isanti, MN 55040 with visitation one hour prior to the service. Interment will be held in Wyanett Free Church Bethany Cemetery.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home, Princeton.

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How to Grow a Business http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/how-to-grow-a-business/ http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/how-to-grow-a-business/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 19:33:17 +0000 http://unioneagle.com/?guid=a02e060ff7351c3bd92c7f259493f787 Some small businesses start with a strong initial intention and moneymaking idea; others seem to begin accidentally with no deliberate strategy. As your business evolves, the need to develop a conscious strategy becomes more important. Here’s what to know.

Conventional wisdom recommends creating a long-term business plan for the next five years and then a tactical plan for the near term, typically one year. The problem with this approach: Your business assumptions often change faster than your ability to execute ideas. Businesses require continuous planning to keep pace with changing market forces and new demands from customers and employees.

John Hagel III, co-chairman of Deloitte's Center for the Edge consultancy, challenges the conventional approach to strategic planning, arguing that the best-performing companies – especially in technology – deploy an effective approach he calls “Zoom In-Zoom Out.”

First, successful companies zoom out to develop long-range assumptions about the forces that may affect the business over the next 10 to 20 years and create a vision around these findings. Then they zoom in to focus on a short time, say six to 12 months, and work on two or three initiatives that Hagel terms “needle movers.”

He also warns against the common pitfall of spreading skimpy resources over too many choices, benefiting no one initiative. Growing is a great business objective if growth translates into results.

Leaders must also stay engaged with the status of long-term assumptions. Hagel explains how companies often latch onto rigid assumptions in their long-range plan, failing to alter strategy when the market shifts. Eastman Kodak (KODK) and Microsoft (MSFT) offer two examples: Both once dominated markets, but failed to adapt to change.

Hagel explains how Kodak’s executives believed that photography’s future always hinged on film (oddly, the company was among the first to seriously explore digital photography, in the 1970s, yet missed the opportunity to invest in this new direction). Microsoft accomplished its initial goal of becoming the leader in desktop computing, then became mired in its own plan as the likes of Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) outmaneuvered Bill Gates and company in the personal technology space.

Kodak and Microsoft zoomed in to create initial success, but neglected to zoom out to challenge assumptions.

Hagel emphasizes achieving critical mass in a market before any potential competitors. Think about how you might create a winning strategy that other businesses in your area or field can’t replicate easily: a clear market niche, a unique solution to your optimal consumer’s biggest challenge or a recruiting program that makes your business the employer of choice.

Over-diversification of operations, especially into incompatible or competing activities (think of a manufacturer that makes bird feeders, lawn mowers and silicone implants), tends to strain resources and retard growth in each separate line of the business. If you need too long to explain your whole enterprise, it’s likely to be poorly structured.

The best-performing companies define the optimal customer and that customer’s needs and expectations, and methodically build products and services to respond to that need. Leaders must challenge assumptions about the business, considering regulation, demographics, new methods of competition, the investment environment and emerging client needs. Hagel advises business leaders to discuss long-view issues in every management meeting and dive into specific objectives every six months.

Hagel cautions against two common failures: ignoring the big picture and focusing solely on the incremental and adopting a rigid long-term strategy. While businesses do tend to look at financial metrics, these lagging indicators may not help you understand trends that might affect you long term. Hagel favors metrics to serve as leading indicators, such as customer satisfaction, levels of repeat business, demonstrations of loyalty through referrals and major sources of business opportunities.

Discuss trends revealed through the leading indicators, and then decide the direction of your business and what you must do to get on the right path of growth.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Scott Thompson is the co-founder of Bridge Business Consultants (BBC). BBC is a consulting firm that specializes in helping business owners and certified public accounting firms recognize tax incentives and realize expense recovery. BBC also specializes in business exit planning and has been recognized by The Wall Street Journal for their Business Exit Solutions. Scott is a certified specialist in Retirement Planning. Laura Thompson (co-founder) is a CPA and certified specialist in Estate Planning.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

]]>
Some small businesses start with a strong initial intention and moneymaking idea; others seem to begin accidentally with no deliberate strategy. As your business evolves, the need to develop a conscious strategy becomes more important. Here’s what to know.

Conventional wisdom recommends creating a long-term business plan for the next five years and then a tactical plan for the near term, typically one year. The problem with this approach: Your business assumptions often change faster than your ability to execute ideas. Businesses require continuous planning to keep pace with changing market forces and new demands from customers and employees.

John Hagel III, co-chairman of Deloitte's Center for the Edge consultancy, challenges the conventional approach to strategic planning, arguing that the best-performing companies – especially in technology – deploy an effective approach he calls “Zoom In-Zoom Out.”

First, successful companies zoom out to develop long-range assumptions about the forces that may affect the business over the next 10 to 20 years and create a vision around these findings. Then they zoom in to focus on a short time, say six to 12 months, and work on two or three initiatives that Hagel terms “needle movers.”

He also warns against the common pitfall of spreading skimpy resources over too many choices, benefiting no one initiative. Growing is a great business objective if growth translates into results.

Leaders must also stay engaged with the status of long-term assumptions. Hagel explains how companies often latch onto rigid assumptions in their long-range plan, failing to alter strategy when the market shifts. Eastman Kodak (KODK) and Microsoft (MSFT) offer two examples: Both once dominated markets, but failed to adapt to change.

Hagel explains how Kodak’s executives believed that photography’s future always hinged on film (oddly, the company was among the first to seriously explore digital photography, in the 1970s, yet missed the opportunity to invest in this new direction). Microsoft accomplished its initial goal of becoming the leader in desktop computing, then became mired in its own plan as the likes of Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) outmaneuvered Bill Gates and company in the personal technology space.

Kodak and Microsoft zoomed in to create initial success, but neglected to zoom out to challenge assumptions.

Hagel emphasizes achieving critical mass in a market before any potential competitors. Think about how you might create a winning strategy that other businesses in your area or field can’t replicate easily: a clear market niche, a unique solution to your optimal consumer’s biggest challenge or a recruiting program that makes your business the employer of choice.

Over-diversification of operations, especially into incompatible or competing activities (think of a manufacturer that makes bird feeders, lawn mowers and silicone implants), tends to strain resources and retard growth in each separate line of the business. If you need too long to explain your whole enterprise, it’s likely to be poorly structured.

The best-performing companies define the optimal customer and that customer’s needs and expectations, and methodically build products and services to respond to that need. Leaders must challenge assumptions about the business, considering regulation, demographics, new methods of competition, the investment environment and emerging client needs. Hagel advises business leaders to discuss long-view issues in every management meeting and dive into specific objectives every six months.

Hagel cautions against two common failures: ignoring the big picture and focusing solely on the incremental and adopting a rigid long-term strategy. While businesses do tend to look at financial metrics, these lagging indicators may not help you understand trends that might affect you long term. Hagel favors metrics to serve as leading indicators, such as customer satisfaction, levels of repeat business, demonstrations of loyalty through referrals and major sources of business opportunities.

Discuss trends revealed through the leading indicators, and then decide the direction of your business and what you must do to get on the right path of growth.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Scott Thompson is the co-founder of Bridge Business Consultants (BBC). BBC is a consulting firm that specializes in helping business owners and certified public accounting firms recognize tax incentives and realize expense recovery. BBC also specializes in business exit planning and has been recognized by The Wall Street Journal for their Business Exit Solutions. Scott is a certified specialist in Retirement Planning. Laura Thompson (co-founder) is a CPA and certified specialist in Estate Planning.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

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Deleno G. Peterson http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/deleno-g-peterson/ http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/deleno-g-peterson/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 19:06:20 +0000 http://unioneagle.com/?p=117666 Image-19547Deleno Gordon Peterson, age 71, of Pine City, passed away on Sunday, August 30, 2015 at the Saint Cloud Hospital.
Deleno was born June 29, 1944 in Elk River, MN the son of Edwin and Gladys (Erickson) Peterson. He graduated from Princeton High School and following graduation entered into the United States Army. He was stationed in Germany within the Army Postal Unit. Deleno worked as a carpenter, doing many finishing and trimming jobs. He was a member of the American Legion. He was a huge fan of baseball and enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s games and events. Deleno was an accomplished wood craftsman, he enjoyed woodworking and always had a project he was working on.
He was a practical joker with a good sense of humor and enjoyed doing card tricks. Most recently he enjoyed playing cards and cribbage. His family was very important to him and he especially adored his grandchildren. He will be dearly missed.
Deleno is survived by his daughter, Melanie (Joe) Knutson of Pine City; grandchildren, Kristina and Casey Knutson; siblings, Ronald (Judy) Peterson of Princeton, Janice (Jim) Dery of Princeton, Carol Kint of El Cajon, CA, twin sister, Delores (Jack Mulroy) Knutson of Treasure Island, FL; special friend, Carolyn Marx and several nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives.
He is preceded in death by his parents.
A Celebration of Deleno’s Life was held at 11 a.m., Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Princeton. A gathering was one hour prior to the service at the church on Thursday. ]]>
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Donald S. Thompson http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/donald-s-thompson/ http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/donald-s-thompson/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 19:04:25 +0000 http://unioneagle.com/?p=117663 Image-19540Donald Swan Thompson was born at home on his parents farm east of Princeton in Wyanett township on August 2, 1918 to Elmer and Alma (Sederlund) Thompson.
He went home to heaven on Friday, August 28, 2015 at Elim Care in Princeton, Minnesota.
Donald grew up on three different farms east of Princeton. He attended district 46 and district 19 country schools in Wyanett township. He began his love of music under the inspiration of country school teachers Hazel Oliver and Alvie Erickson. After the eighth grade Donald worked on the family farm until he was 20. In 1939 he moved to Rockford Illinois where he worked as a lathe operator at American Cabinet and Rockford Brass Works.
Don knew Marion Larson as a friend from the Wyanett Free Church near Princeton. They started dating while he was in Rockford. They took the Zepher train many times to visit each other. They were engaged at Christmas time,1943, and decided to get married before Donald was scheduled to leave for the Navy. Don and Marion were married on March 18, 1944 at the Wyanett church. They moved into the brick home on the farm they had purchased which was located about four miles east of Princeton. Donald and Marion enjoyed life together on this farm for 64 years. Marion was the lifelong love of Donald. The home they shared together was filled with kindness, hospitality, laughter, music, and love.
After he was married, Donald farmed for several years. He later worked as a construction foreman for Westman Silo Company, and as a plumber for the Princeton Coop. In 1954 he began his career as a carpenter. He skillfully and carefully built many homes, apartment buildings, and churches. He worked for contractors Vern Franzen, Ray Rust, Ron Anderson, and the Kroy Company. He retired in 1984. During all the years on the farm Donald enjoyed working the land and raising animals. In addition to carpentry work Donald raised Hereford cattle on natural feed and sold the meat to neighbors and friends. He loved gardening and shared lots of vegetables with family and friends. During his retirement he constructed hand finished furniture for his children and grandchildren.
For the last eight years of his life Donald lived at the Caley House and Elim Care Center in Princeton. There he received the wonderful care and love of many staff members.
Donald was active in his community and church. He served on the Wyanett Telephone Board. He was sextant of the Wyanett Bethany cemetery for forty years. He served as bus driver, Sunday School superintendent, song leader, and chairman of the Wyanett Evangelical Free church over the years. He served on the board of the Oxlip Evangelical Free Church.
Donald loved music and shared his gift of song as a soloist at numerous church services, funerals, weddings, and family events. Marion accompanied him on the piano. Donald also played the harmonica.
Donald was a strong, kind, and loving person. He liked people and spoke highly of everyone he knew. He had a wonderful sense of humor. He loved all of his family deeply and took a special interest in what was happening in each of their lives. He was a wonderful father and grandfather. Donald had an unwavering trust and faith in Jesus, his Savior and friend. May God bless his memory, life, and example to the generations yet to come.
Donald is survived by his son Dennis (and Paulette) Thompson of Faribault; daughter Diane and (Steven) Wilcox of St. Cloud; eight grandchildren – Jonathan (Deirdre) Thompson, Anne (Taylor) Vander Martin, Kristen (Keith) Pickard, Jen (Blake) Koelmel, Charles (Elizabeth) Thompson, Bethany Wilcox, Richard Wilcox, and Josh Wilcox; 17 great grandchildren, Carter, Levi, Jonah, and Owen Vander Martin; Evan and Ainsley Thompson; Andrew, Katelyn, Emma, and Benjamin Pickard; Charlotte, Nora, Shae, and Hudson Thompson; Clark, Grant, and James Koelmel; and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his parents Elmer and Alma Thompson; wife Marion; brothers, Wallace, Lawrence, Woodrow, Warren, and Edsel Thompson; and sisters, Gladys Anderson, Marion Lundgren, Francis Carlson, Millie Swanson, Lillian Palmquist, and Dorothy Olson.
A funeral service will be held 11a.m., Friday, September 4, 2015 at The Oxlip Evangelical Free Church, 29237 Roanoke Street NW, Isanti, MN 55040 with visitation one hour prior to the service. Interment will be held in Wyanett Free Church Bethany Cemetery.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home, Princeton. ]]>
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Saved Enough to Retire? http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/saved-enough-to-retire/ http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/saved-enough-to-retire/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:31:35 +0000 http://unioneagle.com/?guid=c1b006c4a7d92dae80dbb5b8bfe29886 One reason retirement funding may mystify you: How do you know when you saved enough so you won’t run out of money during your golden years? The answer begins with an understanding of your day-to-day expenses, and how those expenses may change in 30 or more years of retirement.

According to a recent survey from the Employee Benefits Research Institute, 84% of future retirees believe that savings will cover their post-career years – yet fewer than one in three respondents actually calculated how much they will need. Only around 20% had more than $100,000 set aside. More than 10% had nothing at all saved for retirement.

A conventional savings rule says you withdraw no more than 3% to 5% each year from your retirement savings to make your money last, aka a sustainable rate of withdrawal. Opinions vary about appropriate sustainable rates; the 4% rule comes under considerable scrutiny lately. Working with the above range will get you close.

This equates to $1 million in retirement funds for you to withdraw $30,000 to $50,000 each year.

Don’t despair: There are ways to increase your sustainable rate of withdrawal while still maintaining a relatively high degree of certainty that your money will last.

The first and possibly most critical factor is to plan and then to monitor your plan closely, either on your own or with a financial pro. Your plan needs to include projections or modeling to show what your future income might be based on your sources of income, such as retirement savings, pensions, Social Security benefits and the like.

Developing a plan can give you more confidence in your ability to make savings last. Similarly, planning can also reveal if you saved too little and allow you time to adjust your efforts. Review and update your plan once a year or so.

Second, adjusting your portfolio holdings can also boost your level of sustainable withdrawal. More risk in your holdings is actually good for your long-term holdings; a significant position in the stock market helps you achieve a higher level of returns – and, in your retirement, withdrawals – over time. Without some exposure to risk, your funds will fall behind the inflation of day-to-day expenses, not to mention such hyper-inflation items as health care.

The third important factor regarding your savings’ sustainability: the pattern of income that you’ll need in retirement. Over three or more decades, your income needs will likely change. During your first several years, for instance, you’ll likely spend more than average as you travel or take on new hobbies. On the other hand, you may continue to save during this time of your life, perhaps with income from a part-time job.

Later in retirement, many folks lower expenses as they become more sedentary, not traveling as much and having fewer extraneous expenses. Declining health and energy in still-later years often increase health-care costs.

Best to maintain a realistic view of your own life span, erring on the long-term side. It’s not unreasonable to project a retirement plan to your late 90s. With planning, that can be completely good news.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Jim Blankenship, CFP, EA, is an independent, fee-only financial planner at Blankenship Financial Planning in New Berlin, Ill. He is the author of An IRA Owner’s Manual and A Social Security Owner’s Manual. His blog is Getting Your Financial Ducks In A Row, where he writes regularly about taxes, retirement savings and Social Security.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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One reason retirement funding may mystify you: How do you know when you saved enough so you won’t run out of money during your golden years? The answer begins with an understanding of your day-to-day expenses, and how those expenses may change in 30 or more years of retirement.

According to a recent survey from the Employee Benefits Research Institute, 84% of future retirees believe that savings will cover their post-career years – yet fewer than one in three respondents actually calculated how much they will need. Only around 20% had more than $100,000 set aside. More than 10% had nothing at all saved for retirement.

A conventional savings rule says you withdraw no more than 3% to 5% each year from your retirement savings to make your money last, aka a sustainable rate of withdrawal. Opinions vary about appropriate sustainable rates; the 4% rule comes under considerable scrutiny lately. Working with the above range will get you close.

This equates to $1 million in retirement funds for you to withdraw $30,000 to $50,000 each year.

Don’t despair: There are ways to increase your sustainable rate of withdrawal while still maintaining a relatively high degree of certainty that your money will last.

The first and possibly most critical factor is to plan and then to monitor your plan closely, either on your own or with a financial pro. Your plan needs to include projections or modeling to show what your future income might be based on your sources of income, such as retirement savings, pensions, Social Security benefits and the like.

Developing a plan can give you more confidence in your ability to make savings last. Similarly, planning can also reveal if you saved too little and allow you time to adjust your efforts. Review and update your plan once a year or so.

Second, adjusting your portfolio holdings can also boost your level of sustainable withdrawal. More risk in your holdings is actually good for your long-term holdings; a significant position in the stock market helps you achieve a higher level of returns – and, in your retirement, withdrawals – over time. Without some exposure to risk, your funds will fall behind the inflation of day-to-day expenses, not to mention such hyper-inflation items as health care.

The third important factor regarding your savings’ sustainability: the pattern of income that you’ll need in retirement. Over three or more decades, your income needs will likely change. During your first several years, for instance, you’ll likely spend more than average as you travel or take on new hobbies. On the other hand, you may continue to save during this time of your life, perhaps with income from a part-time job.

Later in retirement, many folks lower expenses as they become more sedentary, not traveling as much and having fewer extraneous expenses. Declining health and energy in still-later years often increase health-care costs.

Best to maintain a realistic view of your own life span, erring on the long-term side. It’s not unreasonable to project a retirement plan to your late 90s. With planning, that can be completely good news.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Jim Blankenship, CFP, EA, is an independent, fee-only financial planner at Blankenship Financial Planning in New Berlin, Ill. He is the author of An IRA Owner’s Manual and A Social Security Owner’s Manual. His blog is Getting Your Financial Ducks In A Row, where he writes regularly about taxes, retirement savings and Social Security.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Commodities: Winners, Losers http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/commodities-winners-losers/ http://unioneagle.com/2015/09/commodities-winners-losers/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 13:02:21 +0000 http://unioneagle.com/?guid=473aff24aaf49b3b5c8ec0f6f594a932 Commodities have been in a bear market for the past seven years.  In the past several months, the downturn has accelerated significantly. This produces losers, but also winners, namely the developed world.

Three of the largest economic areas of the globe, Europe, Japan and the U.S., receive a net benefit from lower commodity prices.  Low oil and other raw materials prices, which affect consumers and manufacturers alike, are the equivalent of a massive tax reduction on consumers and corporations. 

This holiday won’t last forever, though: Low commodity prices will eventually curtail commodity supply and pricing will turn back up. 
 
But in the meantime, for commodity producing countries, especially those with high debt levels, a vicious cycle is in play.  They have to produce even more supply at reduced prices to service their debt, fund government operations and protect market share. 

Saudi Arabia is used to running government budget surpluses.  This year, the Saudi government has already burned through almost $62 billion of foreign currency reserves, and borrowed $4 billion from local banks in July – its first bond issue since 2007. The kingdom’s budget deficit is expected to reach 20% of GDP in 2015.  Conditions are similar or worse in Russia, Canada, Australia, Venezuela, Brazil and many other commodity-centric countries.

Commodity prices and stocks (even before the selloff that started last month) are getting crushed.  The iShares S&P GSCI Commodity-Indexed Trust (GSG), an exchange-traded fund that tracks a Standard & Poor’s commodity index, is down 14% year-to-date.  It is 24% below where it traded at the start of March 2009, the market’s financial crisis low point.  The United States Oil (USO) ETF, which follows the petroleum industry, is almost 50% below its Great Recession low.  Steel, as measured by producer ArcelorMittal (MT) is down 80%. Freeport-McMoran (FCX), a large copper and commodities company, if off by about half.  

Over the past five-plus years since March 2009, the U.S. economy has expanded from a gross domestic product to $18.12 trillion as of the second quarter 2015, from $14.09 trillion in 2009’s second quarter

A basic measure of economic activity is bulk transport.  Since March 2009, the iShares Transportation Average ETF (IYT) is up over 200%.  The CSX, Canadian National and Union Pacific railroad stocks have at least tripled during this time.  For comparison purposes, the Standard & Poor’s 500 is up about 190%. 

Normally, economic growth means rising demand and prices for commodities. But despite slow and steady growth, raw materials, including oil, agricultural chemicals, aluminum, copper and steel, are all down. 

One explanation is the strength of the U.S. dollar.  Many commodities, like oil and gold, are priced in greenbacks. Dollar strength means commodities are cheaper and vice versa. Because other nations’ currencies are weaker, they can buy less oil, so demand for it flags, leading to falling prices.

The chart above shows that, although the dollar has appreciated since mid-2014, it has stabilized in the past several months.  Yet commodities have legged down sharply over the summer.  The most recent negative price action in commodities is likely tied to worries about economic growth rates in China.  In recent years, China’s economy has been expanding at 7% plus.  In 2016, some economists are forecasting less than 4% growth.
 
Just recently, the People’s Bank of China provided 110 billion yuan ($17.2 billion) to 14 financial institutions to help boost the economy, a day after injecting nearly $100 billion into two government policy banks.  China also began to devalue their currency in an effort to stimulate exports, because their goods become cheaper to foreign buyers.  Many investors view the interventions as desperate measures and an indication that China’s economy and financial system is deteriorating rapidly.  The Chinese stock market continues to trade lower.
 
Slowing growth in China is a demand problem for commodities.  Possibly a bigger problem for commodities is an oversupply problem.  During the past ten years, new commodity hedge funds, China and many emerging economies created steadily rising demand for commodities that stimulated a strong supply response. 

Commodity companies were building new mines, processing centers, and other facilities to expand supply to meet demand.  At $100 per barrel, oil producers could not produce oil fast enough from new resources accessed by U.S. fracking technology.  This new supply has come on line and cannot be easily shut down in the short run.  U.S. oil production is currently running near all-time highs even with oil (West Texas Intermediate crude) below $50 per barrel, and in recent days briefly south of $40, and the rig count down by more than half over the past 12 months.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Nicholas Atkeson and Andrew Houghton are the founding partners of Delta Investment Management, a registered investment advisory firm in San Francisco, and authors of the new book, Win by Not Losing: A Disciplined Approach To Building And Protecting Your Wealth In The Stock Market By Managing Your Risk. Additional market commentary and investment advice is available via their websites at www.deltaim.com and www.deltawealthaccelerator.com

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

 

 

 

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Commodities have been in a bear market for the past seven years.  In the past several months, the downturn has accelerated significantly. This produces losers, but also winners, namely the developed world.

Three of the largest economic areas of the globe, Europe, Japan and the U.S., receive a net benefit from lower commodity prices.  Low oil and other raw materials prices, which affect consumers and manufacturers alike, are the equivalent of a massive tax reduction on consumers and corporations. 

This holiday won’t last forever, though: Low commodity prices will eventually curtail commodity supply and pricing will turn back up. 
 
But in the meantime, for commodity producing countries, especially those with high debt levels, a vicious cycle is in play.  They have to produce even more supply at reduced prices to service their debt, fund government operations and protect market share. 

Saudi Arabia is used to running government budget surpluses.  This year, the Saudi government has already burned through almost $62 billion of foreign currency reserves, and borrowed $4 billion from local banks in July – its first bond issue since 2007. The kingdom’s budget deficit is expected to reach 20% of GDP in 2015.  Conditions are similar or worse in Russia, Canada, Australia, Venezuela, Brazil and many other commodity-centric countries.

Commodity prices and stocks (even before the selloff that started last month) are getting crushed.  The iShares S&P GSCI Commodity-Indexed Trust (GSG), an exchange-traded fund that tracks a Standard & Poor’s commodity index, is down 14% year-to-date.  It is 24% below where it traded at the start of March 2009, the market’s financial crisis low point.  The United States Oil (USO) ETF, which follows the petroleum industry, is almost 50% below its Great Recession low.  Steel, as measured by producer ArcelorMittal (MT) is down 80%. Freeport-McMoran (FCX), a large copper and commodities company, if off by about half.  

Over the past five-plus years since March 2009, the U.S. economy has expanded from a gross domestic product to $18.12 trillion as of the second quarter 2015, from $14.09 trillion in 2009’s second quarter

A basic measure of economic activity is bulk transport.  Since March 2009, the iShares Transportation Average ETF (IYT) is up over 200%.  The CSX, Canadian National and Union Pacific railroad stocks have at least tripled during this time.  For comparison purposes, the Standard & Poor’s 500 is up about 190%. 

Normally, economic growth means rising demand and prices for commodities. But despite slow and steady growth, raw materials, including oil, agricultural chemicals, aluminum, copper and steel, are all down. 

One explanation is the strength of the U.S. dollar.  Many commodities, like oil and gold, are priced in greenbacks. Dollar strength means commodities are cheaper and vice versa. Because other nations’ currencies are weaker, they can buy less oil, so demand for it flags, leading to falling prices.

The chart above shows that, although the dollar has appreciated since mid-2014, it has stabilized in the past several months.  Yet commodities have legged down sharply over the summer.  The most recent negative price action in commodities is likely tied to worries about economic growth rates in China.  In recent years, China’s economy has been expanding at 7% plus.  In 2016, some economists are forecasting less than 4% growth.
 
Just recently, the People’s Bank of China provided 110 billion yuan ($17.2 billion) to 14 financial institutions to help boost the economy, a day after injecting nearly $100 billion into two government policy banks.  China also began to devalue their currency in an effort to stimulate exports, because their goods become cheaper to foreign buyers.  Many investors view the interventions as desperate measures and an indication that China’s economy and financial system is deteriorating rapidly.  The Chinese stock market continues to trade lower.
 
Slowing growth in China is a demand problem for commodities.  Possibly a bigger problem for commodities is an oversupply problem.  During the past ten years, new commodity hedge funds, China and many emerging economies created steadily rising demand for commodities that stimulated a strong supply response. 

Commodity companies were building new mines, processing centers, and other facilities to expand supply to meet demand.  At $100 per barrel, oil producers could not produce oil fast enough from new resources accessed by U.S. fracking technology.  This new supply has come on line and cannot be easily shut down in the short run.  U.S. oil production is currently running near all-time highs even with oil (West Texas Intermediate crude) below $50 per barrel, and in recent days briefly south of $40, and the rig count down by more than half over the past 12 months.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Nicholas Atkeson and Andrew Houghton are the founding partners of Delta Investment Management, a registered investment advisory firm in San Francisco, and authors of the new book, Win by Not Losing: A Disciplined Approach To Building And Protecting Your Wealth In The Stock Market By Managing Your Risk. Additional market commentary and investment advice is available via their websites at www.deltaim.com and www.deltawealthaccelerator.com

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

 

 

 

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