The Free Press, Mankato, MN

April 19, 2014

Our View: Y helps kids with skatepark

The Mankato Free Press

---- — Thumbs up to the YMCA and supporters working quickly to open an interim roller sport park.

When fire destroyed Chesley Roller Sports Park in February, the Y made the commitment to rebuild it this summer and fall. But the Y also moved to give skateboarders an indoor park to use in the meantime.

Today, the temporary park opens inside the former fire station on Madison Avenue. The park opens at 1 p.m. with an open house.

Neighbors around the temporary site also need to be congratulated. While there were some early concerns about noise and disturbance from a park, residents got behind the project after meeting with skate board enthusiasts and Y staff.

Cheers to area winemakers

Thumbs up to local wineries Chankaska Creek Ranch and Winery and Indian Island for their recent awards in the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in Rochester, N.Y.

Chankaska won the prestigious double gold award for its Minnesota Marquette red wine, which also was recognized with a top honor at the Cold Climate Wine Competition in 2013. Indian Island Winery of Janesville also won silver awards for its Brianna and Frontenac Gris. Its Frontenac wine took a bronze medal.

Chankaska’s Petite Colline won a gold, its Lone Oak Tree Marquette Reserve won silver and its La Crescent won a bronze medal.

The Mankato region is fortunate to have so many local wineries to choose from with not only Chankaska and Indian Island but also Morgan Creek. Their wines are coming into their own and are drawing attention from around the country.

They add to the area’s quality of life as well.

Congress helped with housing funds

Thumbs up to those in Congress who had the will to end sequestration cuts last year and come to agreement on a budget deal. That led to Mankato getting cuts to its Section 8 housing program restored.

It allows the city to open up the waiting list for people eligible for the low income, subsidized housing that does a lot to help people gain self-sufficiency by having a stable place to stay and helping them maintain their employment.

Many of the recipients of the housing are children. An in-depth series in The Free Press in December showed a growing number of homeless in the area and a dire shortage of affordable housing.

The restoration of the funds will allow the city to open up a waiting list again and provide about 50 new people with housing vouchers. The recipients must live in Blue Earth County and be working at least 32 hours a week or be in school.

Editorial Board

Opry Jamboree was enjoyable

Who knew the Mankato area had so many talented musicians?

Howard Mock did, and along with a great crew, he brought to Mankato a great “Mankato Opry Jamboree,” featuring many of those talented musicians.

I am sure I speak for the two sell-out crowds in saying it was a very enjoyable evening.

The music was great, the sound was great and it was a pleasure to see such great crowds at the Kato Entertainment Center. We need more of this kind of entertainment in southern Minnesota.

Thank you to Mock and to all the great sponsors

Don Haupert

North Mankato

Community supported Wells fundraiser

We have good, thoughtful people in the Wells community.

The Wells Lions Club put on a community spaghetti supper April 6 at St. Casimir’s church hall. The event was a fundraiser for the Doyle family. Their son, Tyler, has had a bone marrow transplant and is recuperating at home. There have been several hospital emergency room trips.

More than 800 suppers were served to the people who attended. There was a well-supplied bake sale and a silent auction, which both went well.

There were food donations. Young people helped with setting up table service and cleaning up.

Violet Hoeg