Columns from 2003

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Not Eudora  
By Harry Welty

About this column title. I’m not related to Eudora Welty, the short story writer, and she didn’t care a whit about politics so this is definitely not Eudora. 
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire Published Jan 9, 2003   “'Liar, liar, pants on fire. Your nose is longer than a telephone wire.'   Good luck Governor Pawlenty! When I broke a promise not to raise taxes back in 1998 a former school board member sent me a heated email with those lyrics in the subject line. . ."

God to the Rescue  Published Jan 23, 2003  "If God saw people suffering in Hell he’d go there and rescue them."

Please Don’t Hurt Us or Duluth Days in St. PaulPublished Feb 6, 2003   "House Speaker Steve Sviggum told the assembled Duluth boosters at the Duluth Days breakfast meeting that he intended to be fair and balanced in making spending decisions. ..... As I tried vainly to hold my laughing in check I peered guiltily over toward the legislators hoping they hadn’t seen me. I didn’t want to embarrass myself or Duluth . . ."

Legacy   - Published Feb 20, 2003  "My sister tells me that, according to some teachers she’s met from Duluth , I am a despised and infamous school board member. . ."


43 and 41 Published March 7, 2003  "John Wayne may have starred in the Sands of Iwo Jima but he sure as hell never fought there and his real name wasn't John, it was Marion. . ."


One Nation, Under Allah, Indivisible Published March 20, 2003  "I pledge allegiance, to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under Allah, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Omniscience.Com Published April 4, 2003  "I recently discovered Omniscience.Com. Better than Google this site uses the synergy of the Internet to assemble vast quantities of data to make remarkable predictions about the future. What follows are some of the startling predictions Omni has made for the future of Duluth."


Spitting on Bill Published April 18, 2003    "After the Vietnam War I read news stories about servicemen who were spat on when they returned to the United States . The stories were anecdotal and a few years later I read an opinion column that said these stories were all fabrications. I wanted to believe this because, whatever the follies of our foreign policy, servicemen were the wrong people to blame."

Even In Your Grief  Published May 1, 2003  "Claudia says that when I die she’s going to park a dumpster next to our house and throw all my papers out the window into it."

One Hundred Spoons  Published April 16, 2003  "We broke the School Board’s Human Resource Committee record. I’ve attended meetings before that only lasted five minutes. On Monday we met for an hour and forty-five minutes. . ."


Mr. Randolph Wants to Know   Published April 30, 2003  "Crusades can suck all the oxygen out of a fire and leave it smoldering. That seems to have happened in Duluth over Mike Randolph. . ."

Coach on the Bubble Published May 13, 2003  "The Duluth School District will lay off 72 teachers this year. We may lay off a similar number next year. School Board members are arguing about whether a high school will close after next year or in three years. Our secondary schools will only offer . . ."

Sticking to my Guns  Published June 27, 2003 "I used to kill my friends with impunity as a kid. Sure, they’d get up right after I shot them and yell, “You missed me.” But I knew better. My aim was true. Theirs’, however, sucked. They never touched me."

HW4SB Published July 11, 2003   "As I was painting the railing along 21st Avenue East the day after our last school board meeting, a fellow in a pickup zipped past and yelled, “You’re a spineless bastard Welty. . .”

Be Careful What You Wish For Published July 25, 2003  "For four years the school board members from western Duluth, Dorothy Neumann, Laura Condon, Mike Akervik and Mary Glass-LeBlanc have labored over the District's long range plan secure in the knowledge that no matter how many schools the District had to close western schools, at least, were safe. . ."

Like Father Like Son  Published Aug. 8, 2003  "When my son was in First Grade I became the Chairman of the Games Committee for Chester Park’s School Carnival. . ."

Caving in to the Voters  Published August 22, 2003  "I got home after the ten o'clock news so I had no idea how our School Board meeting was covered. My buddy called this morning and told me that WDIO reported that the School Board had "caved in," to the Save Our School
Committee and was about to offer an excess levy. No one should be surprised. . ."

Plan B  Published September 5, 2003  "Plan A" honors the status quo and avoids change. It’s supported by the Denfeld led SOS (Save Our Schools) Committee. It would keep Duluth ’s three high schools open by passing an excess levy. . .  What Duluth voters must ask themselves is this: if an excess levy referendum fails what’s Plan B going to be? . . .


Dividing the Baby  Published Sept 19, 2003 -  "Monday - The latest in an interminable series of long-range planning meetings starts at about 6:30 PM . Its crunch time. If the School Board is going to offer an excess levy with any credibility it, we, will have to explain what we are going to do with the $4.9 million it raises"

The Last Eight Days  Published Oct. 3, 2003   "Monday - My son’s band is playing at Beaners tonight. I haven’t heard him play the sax for three years and I’d really like to join Claudia to hear him play. Unfortunately, there’s another damned, long-range planning meeting tonight. I hope it ends early. It doesn’t. As I sit down I hear a couple of board members kvetching about my latest Reader column."

Damned if you do  Published Oct 17, 2003   "Today at the Education committee I discovered that, because the Duluth Schools have done so well teaching our youngest students to read, Minnesota ’s Republican Administration has told us that we are no longer eligible for a “reading” grant to help our students."


Role Reversal  Published Oct 31, 2003   "When I was a little kid and got hurt my Mom would quiet me by telling me, “Your Grandfather was shot and he didn’t cry.” Since he’d been shot in battle and been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor I was impressed into a pallid facsimile of his stoicism (except where hypodermic needles were concerned).". . .

You, me, and Julio down by the schoolyard  Published Nov 13, 2003 "Gentlemen/Ladies: (of the School Board) I have a suggestion regarding the renewal of the Superintendent's contract. . ."

Avast! Rightwing Conspiracy   Published Nov 26, 2003  "The fortieth anniversary of Jack Kennedy's murder has called attention to Duluth's nationally recognized expert on JFK's assassination, Professor Fetzer."

Good Faith  Published Dec 11, 2003   "Like the bullet that first passed through JFK and then through Texas Governor Connolly I shot two victims with my last column. My intended target was Jim Fetzer.  My Governor Connolly was an innocent bystander, Bill Wells."

AFSCME’s Christmas Gift  Published Dec 25, 2003   "There it was, bold as brass, in the Labor World’s December issue, AFSCME’s holiday greetings to all union members from its Director and union reps including Duluth City Councilor-Elect, Laurie Johnson."

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