The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Editorials

June 21, 2014

Our View: Community responded to flood victims

Thumbs up to the tremendous community response to help victims of this week’s floods and windstorms.

As two waves of storms blanketed south central Minnesota with total rainfall in the 10-12 inch range, homes and businesses were flooded, high winds tore down trees and made a general mess of areas from Mapleton to Mankato and the rest of the region.

But as usual, friends, neighbors and various organizations as well as government jumped right into help clean up debris, dry out homes and generally lend physical and moral support for the victims. This kind of help is sometimes taken for granted but it should be noted and recognized whenever possible.

It’s part of what makes living in the Mankato region great.

Another blow to ‘Redskins’ name

Thumbs up to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, for revoking this week six trademarks of the Washington Redskins on the basis that the word “Redskins” is, and was at the time the trademarks were granted, disparaging to Native Americans.

It’s not the first time the office has so ruled — an earlier ruling was reversed by a court on appeal in 2009. The team will appeal this ruling as well, and it will be years before the legal issue is settled.

Still, Wednesday’s ruling continues to step up the pressure on the team and league. We argued last fall that the nickname is doomed, and that the sooner the franchise and league dumps it the better it will be for everybody. That remains the case.

Federal rights for gay couples

Thumbs up to the Obama administration for trying to ensure that gay and lesbian Americans are eligible for the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.

Obama is directing the Labor Department to ensure that the Family Medical Leave Act applies to same-sex couples, allowing gay and lesbian employees to take unpaid leave to care for a sick spouse regardless of whether or not they live in states that refuse to recognize gay marriages performed in other states.

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