Orchids: To my best friend Johnny Snidarich on his 50th birthday. It all started over a cup of coffee at the Village Inn many years ago. I was in there with my mother after visiting a few of her friends on the Range. Then there was Johnny, cleaning off the table next to ours and we started talking back and fourth. And from that moment on to the present day we have remained true friends. The phone calls started and I always wanted to go to Virginia. My dad would not let me use the car just for riding around. He was from the times when things were not that easy to get. Now, a few more years have passed and of course we had gotten our own car and the trips up and down the highway would happen every weekend. By this stage of life we have gone through marriages and divorces, good and bad times, happy and sad times. I think the happy times outdid all the others. I thought I knew a lot of people, but traveling around with Johnny I got to meet a bit more. I could use up a whole tablet if I listed all the fun we had. Now that you are about to reach another milestone in your journey of life, I wish you all the best in what ever you do. Just keep the “Polka Faith.” (Submitted by Your Buddy, Joe Robich.)

Orchids: To the Eveleth-Gilbert Nelle Shean/Junior High PTO — especially Sheila Kutsi, Ann Livermore and Ali Perry. Your hard work made special events like the Book Fair, I Love to Read Month, DARE Graduation, and Teacher Appreciation week extra special!! (Submitted by EG Students & Teachers)

Orchids: To the Eveleth-Gilbert 5th Grade DARE Officer Jesse Linde. Thank you so much for your weekly classes and a wonderful graduation. (Submitted by E-G 5th Graders and Teachers.)

Orchids: To the westerly Highway 53 route. The westerly Highway 53 relocation route is the logical solution. It is affordable and protects the good paying jobs and production tax that United Taconite provides. There have been plenty of relocations and highway reroutes here over the years to accommodate mining and keep the economy humming. Let’s get the facts out. Are people in favor of shutting United Taconite down? United can’t exist without ore to dig and process. Keep in mind the old saying: “We Support Mining” flip side “Mining Supports Us.” The Westerly route is viable and necessary.

Orchids: To Amy Klobuchar for questioning the oil companies for shuting down six refineries all at once instead of staggered routine maintenance causing shortages and disruptions to raise the price of gas. After being told to stagger their refineries’ maintenance schedules, the price of gas is now dropping from $4.30 to $3.75 a gallon. With the big glut of oil in America, I guess the oil companies’ only recourse will be to shut down or get rid of refineries like they did last year on the East Coast to keep their prices sky high.