The Free Press, Mankato, MN

March 1, 2014

Our View: Weather helpers are heroes

The Mankato Free Press

---- — Thumbs up to the snowplow drivers, utlility crews, law enforcement officers and anyone else out in this recent wicked weather making life safer and easier for the rest of us.

When the Feb. 21-22 blizzard hit, it was the troopers and the plow drivers and utility workers who were out and about trying to rescue people or help them out. The snowplow driver in Belgrade Township told KTOE radio he walked from his drifted-over driveway for two hours to the township garage where he spent the night so he would be able to plow roads the next morning. He had packed food and drink as well as paper and matches in case he had to dig a hole and start a fire if he got stranded on the way.

Pretty amazing dedication from him and all the others who have helped so many of us through this crazy winter.

Decathlon excellence laudable

Thumbs up to the Academic Decathlon teams of Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial and St. Peter for the recent victories at the statewide competition.

LCWM was the state champion and St. Peter took second. Students compete in 10 events including Economics, Essay, Art, Interview, Language and Literature, Math, Music, Science, Social Science and Speech. They also participate in a Super Quiz Relay, that is an oral quiz event that covers various subjects.

LCWM will be representing Minnesota at the national Academic Decathlon tournament in Hawaii in April, and St. Peter may get a wild card spot in the national event.

Academic Decathlon is a challenging event for high school students throughout the nation and encourages students to not only sharpen their academic skills but work as a team and have fun learning. Congratulations to the students and their teachers on a worthwhile accomplishment.

Bakk wise on budget reserve

Thumbs up to Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, who said he’ll insist on building a bigger state reserve with the budget surplus — and that was before the new figures were released.

State finance officials released a new budget forecast Friday showing the state with a projected $1.233 billion surplus for the current biennium. That’s an increase of $408 million from the last forecast in December.

For those with short memories, it wasn’t that long ago the main reserve hit zero and officials had to dip into the credit line to pay bills. And a healthy surplus affects the bond ratings making it cheaper to borrow money. Bakk’s emphasis on a bigger rainy day fund is well placed.

Ariz. veto was right thing to do

Thumbs up to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer who vetoed a controversial bill that would have allowed businesses in the state to deny service to gays and lesbians.

How it got that far is bewildering. Arizona’s two GOP senators urged the veto and even several GOP state legislators who voted for the measure retreated and said it was not the right thing to do. Even the segment this bill was supposed to “protect” — Arizona business — was among the strongest opponents arguing this would cost them customers. This was nothing more than misplaced special-interest ideology masking itself as legislative protection.

Editorial Board

Clovers Pathstone’s sweethearts

It was a ho-hum day at Pathstone Living where there usually is so much going on. We were having our customary 3 p.m. tea and cookies when a group of young women walked through the door.

They handed each of us a valentine and wished us a very happy Valentine’s Day. There also was a group of young men who delivered their valentines to another part of the building. I believe they all are members of the Clever Clovers 4-H Club from St. Clair. We are truly appreciative for their visit and generosity. It’s nice to see the young generation willing to help make our days brighter.

Alice Lindberg