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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sub Terra Vita Chronicle #40: Questing for Normalcy: Passing a Future Day

Sub Terra Vita
By Tim Krenz
March 21, 2016

Chronicle #40: Questing for Normalcy: Passing a Future Day

Whatever one man is capable of imagining, other men will prove themselves capable of realizing.”
--Jules Verne

General Eisenhower once supposedly said, that when things happen, “plans mean nothing. . . , but planning is EVERYTHING.” Can anyone predict the future? Not a chance, but we make plans anyway.

Even when everyone makes plans for the future, like their children's education, or for retirement, unexpected things happen, things like life intervening to disrupt a sense of security and stability. We might know only two things about the future for certain: 1) It has not happened yet. 2) Things as they exist now will inevitably change in some way.

In the uncertain angst and some fear about the future, we pine for and attempt to build, or at least label, our lives in the normal routine, the familiar, the stable foundation that defines the day to address the tasking at hand. And that describes fairly well the questing for normalcy for the entire world: A routine, a stability, a foundation, something that narrows uncertainty to manageable risks. Yet, we still have the future to consider, especially in our dynamic community of Greater-Osceola.

“Dynamic” implies change in many directions. It aptly describes our area, at this point in time, where technology advances and encounters cultural values; where population demographics meet physical geography. Instead of any sort of “clash” between old and new, different and the conformity, we actually have a union of forces—technology, culture, people, and geography—that can push back barriers of growth and development. By itself, these forces could conflict. Or, some individuals may lament and obstruct their irresistible momentum to everyone's detriment in the community.

What will Osceola look like in the future? No one knows. Any plans, of course, will not survive contact with reality (to quote another long-dead historical figure). But a process of planning will provide guidance, and set the people, places, tools, and information in position to benefit Osceola and its neighbors. The hard part? That those changes reflect the past values that strengthened the community. (For these, see Chronicle #39)

How do we want Osceola to “look” in the future? I have my own ideas.

--Osceola might have an opening to attract a privately-funded, or state-sponsored community-oriented technical college. Such could focus on work-force development in training, skills, trades and programs for the industrial park and the airport facilities. Also, such things as manufacturing management and quality-control, airplane mechanics—indeed, anything to give the work force in Polk County an advantage to attract high-quality industry to locate HERE, in our area.

--An extensive, privately-funded, and -run, renewable-agricultural and -energy co-op (or company), one that does both marketing and development of these industries, but also one that might have a hand in education, and developing some new ideas, research, etc. And, also, some sort of business model that could sustain a year-round open-market, indoors or outdoors, that functions more like an agora (google it), several days a week, and open to vendors and customers.

--Some form of privately-owned media center, that has at least radio broadcasting, and a cable/internet video station, one that can better connect the citizens in the St. Croix Valley to Osceola's offerings. Such a center should include educational instruction for those who wish to learn more about the media arts.

I consider these my own pet ideas on what I would like to see in Osceola come the future. Let's hear yours.

[Author's Note: A couple of errors cropped up in last week's column. Sorry about that. One, concerned the location of the feed mill in Osceola in the 1970s. It actually stood in the current Ace Hardware parking lot. My memory? Good, but sometimes in error. TJK]


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