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That morning wake-up on the path around the Falls has been a little discouraging lately because of the later arrival of daylight. Given the fact that this past weekend was the last during daylight saving time, there will be a small reprieve starting Sunday when we return to standard time. Unfortunately, the morning reprieve will be offset by an earlier onset of darkness in the evening, which can be just as depressing.

Daylight does wonders for a person’s attitude. The concept of daylight and depression came into play for the last time in another situation Sunday night when the Vikings hosted the Packers at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The Viking fans were so depressed that many began leaving at the start of the fourth quarter. Once they exited the stadium, they were not greeted by daylight to brighten their attitude. Sometimes being a Vikings fan is a heavy load to carry.

The Metrodome is a great structure to defy the weather elements, but there are no windows to let in the light. This will all change because the stadium will start to be replaced at season’s end. Based on the way their season is going, there is little likelihood that the demolition will be delayed due to any playoff games.

The next two seasons’ home games will be played at the University of Minnesota outdoor stadium, so there will be plenty of sunlight for the daytime games. Given the venue for the next two seasons, Viking fans may need to add to their collection of team attire with some cold weather gear.

The new stadium’s design includes lots of glass. We are not sure if it was hoped that the daylight would improve their fortunes, but right now, anything is worth a try. The Packers’ fortunes looked pretty bright Sunday night even without any windows.

Bright light streamed through the windows at City Hall on Monday morning when state Sen. Tom Tiffany and Rep. Jeff Mursau held a listening session. The crowd was not very big, which allowed for an extensive dialog on educational issues.

Rep. Mursau is a member of the recently appointed Rural Task Force, which is gathering input in a number of locations. Having no competition for the ears of the legislators, there were no restrictions to a three- or five-minute time slot as can be the case with many of the legislative committee hearings.

The two seemed genuinely interested in education-related concerns but did not offer much in the way of bright light over the horizon for school funding. They did, however, have copies of the latest edition of the Wisconsin Blue Book and current state maps.

Funding and budgets were on the agenda for a special meeting of the Oconto Falls School Board on Monday night. That was the final step in the long journey to the annual budget and the setting of the school tax levy. Things got a little hectic at the end since a recently passed property tax relief package required the Department of Public Instruction to make some adjustments in state equalization aid. The package provides funding that passes through the school aid formula but then is used to lower the December tax bills rather than providing additional support for school purposes.

One thing the School Board needed to consider in setting that final levy had to do with costs related to the high school fitness center. This has great community use with many community members coming in as early as 5 a.m.

The center was equipped as part of the referendum passed in April 2000. Some of that equipment is beginning to show its age and needs replacement. The district has the ability to collect a community service tax levy to support some of these services. With passage of a slightly higher community service levy, the equipment will be updated as needs come up.

The use of the fitness center can be a bright spot in a person’s daily schedule, even if that early morning trip comes on the last dark week of daylight saving time.

David Polashek is superintendent of the Oconto Falls School District.