The Free Press, Mankato, MN


February 22, 2014

Our View: Winter whining justified

Thumbs down to winter.

Not winter in general, just this unrelenting, depressing, brutal one.

To date, Mankatoans have seen below-zero temperatures on 38 days since the start of December, compared to just 14 times all of last winter.

The coldest temperature in the previous two winters in Mankato was -9 degrees each year.

Mankato has dropped to double-digits below zero 16 times so far this winter. There was the alluring warm-up earlier this week, seducing us with thoughts of spring — only to body slam us with a late-week blizzard.

Yes, we all like the idea of being Minnesotans, wearing our badges of winter with honor.

But come on, we’re not enjoying this at all.

There, we feel better.

Wheels generosity supports family

Thumbs up to Jerry’s Body Shop and the Minnesota Valley Action Council for its annual effort to get a fixed-up vehicle into the hands of someone who needs their own transportation.

This year the donation, thanks also to Progressive Insurance for the vehicle and Enterprise Rental for $300 in gas, went to Douglas Foster and Sallie Beltz of New Ulm and their 20-month-old son.

Anyone who lives in rural Minnesota in the winter knows how important it is to have a vehicle to get around. Thanks to the vehicle donation, the parents can get to work, childhood classes and the grocery store without walking a long distance in extreme weather, asking for rides or relying on limited public transportation.

MVAC has run the Wheel Get There program for the past 10 years in which people can donate their cars, and MVAC fixes them up and sells them at a bargain price to low-income individuals and families.

About six years ago, along came Jerry’s Body Shop, which wanted to help that program along. After coming up with a nomination system to find a deserving family, the annual donation was born.

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