The Free Press, Mankato, MN

March 8, 2013

Our View: A story of life, love and illness

The Free Press

— To Jim Roe for sharing his touching story about his wife, Judy, and their battle with Lewy body dementia. A two-day story package was published March 2-3 in The Free Press.

The Roes opened up their lives to reporter Robb Murray and photographer Pat Christman to inform the public about what the disease can do and, in the spirit of helping others, showed us how to face this little-known but not uncommon form of dementia.

Their story is a love story. And a life story — about what can be dished out and how to maintain dignity and courage in the face of it all. Through the family’s candidness and honesty, readers will now know more about the disease, the stress of caregiving, and what a strong marriage is.

Ojibwe become hoteliers

To the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe for buying two big hotels in St. Paul.

Tribal leaders say the purchase of the Crowne Plaza Riverfront Hotel and the Double Tree by Hilton will diversify their financial holdings beyond gaming.

It’s an encouraging sign of a tribe securing a more secure financial future and rising above the poverty that has inflicted so much damage on reservations across the country.

Whatever your views on gambling, the advent of tribal casinos has been a major boost for many tribes, based largely on their geographical location.

Historically, average incomes of the Native American Indians have fallen well below the national averages. However, the adoption of casino gambling on Indian reservations during the past three decades has narrowed the gap.

The tribe is wise to expand its financial interests into other ventures.

Some good old-fashioned advice

To a gracious and informative appearance by Glen Taylor at the annual Morgan Thomas Executive Lecture Tuesday at Minnesota State University.

Taylor, who started a multi-million dollar empire with wedding invitations and now has more than 90 companies under his Taylor Corp. umbrella, provided excellent material this week for MSU students to chew on.

An important piece of Taylor’s advice worth considering is his response when asked to compare MSU students then and now. The best students then, he said, are the same now. But he added a warning: The worst students “probably have a feeling that the world owes them something.”

Taylor never believed the world owed him something. Instead, he went out and made the best of his abilities.

Bravo for political theater

To Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who held the Senate floor this week in an old-fashioned one-man filibuster reminiscent of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

He was blocking a vote on President Obama’s nominee to head the CIA not because he had anything against the candidate, John Brennan. Rather he wanted assurances from the administration that no Americans would be targeted for killing on U.S. soil, focusing on the use of drones.

Regardless of where people come down on this debate, Paul gave a good lesson on political theater during his 13-hour filibuster and a reminder of what Congress should be doing – debating the issues with passion and conscience.

Still things to learn

To the human thirst for knowledge.

Physicists in Italy say they are very close to concluding that what they found last year was the Higgs boson, the elusive “God particle.”

The long theorized subatomic particle would explain why matter has mass and has been called a missing cornerstone of physics.

Last July scientists with the world’s largest atom smasher, the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider on the Swiss-French border, announced finding a particle they described as Higgs-like, but wouldn’t say it was conclusively the particle. Now thousands of checks show them even closer.

The discovery may seem esoteric to many of us who struggled through high school science classes, but having another piece of evidence to help explain the universe around us is important. It shows the need for ongoing investments in scientific research and is a reminder that no matter how advanced our technology has become, we still know so little about the world.