The Free Press, Mankato, MN

August 24, 2013

Drug Court milestone shows value

The Mankato Free Press

---- — Thumbs up to the Blue Earth County Drug Court for marking its 100th graduate.

The Drug Court has operated in Blue Earth County since 2005 and over the years many in need of help for their chemical dependency have been served by the court’s programs that promote rehabilitation and recovery instead of punishment.

It’s a proven track record that is being replicated in other area counties and throughout the state of Minnesota. Drug Court is also proving itself as a way to help offenders avoid repeating their destructive behaviors. The program has shown that people going through the program re-offend only on half or one third as much as those who go to prison.

Drug Court is a great service for those who need help with chemical dependency and it’s a great deal for taxpayers.

Local food program will benefit all

Thumbs up to the Minnesota ValleyAction Council for it’s initiative onpromoting local food.

MVAC’s “food hub” idea is one of 18 finalists for the Minnesota Cup contest that awards venture capital for entrepreneurial ideas.

The food hub would work with numerous small farmers in southern Minnesota, purchasing their produce, eggs and meats, among other things; creating a large-scale supply of food; and then selling it to institutions in the area, such as hospitals, public schools, restaurants and colleges.

They would also develop a Community Supported Agriculture network in which people would buy subscriptions and get boxes of freshly grown food from area farms during the summer and fall.

Good luck to MVAC as they vie for a top slot — and some funding — in the upcoming final rounds of the competition. Their efforts to support local, healthy food should be applauded.

Editorial Board

City Council made good call in e-cigs

On behalf of the American Lung Association in Minnesota, I would like to congratulate the City of Mankato for adopting an amendment to end tobacco and e-cigarette sampling in businesses here in Mankato. The City of Mankato and the council have shown the foresight to eliminate tobacco sampling before it becomes a problem.

This amendment prohibits the sampling of nicotine and tobacco products in businesses of e-cigarettes, Hookah, and other tobacco products. The importance of this will ensure safe and clean air in the workplace, and more importantly help curb the temptation for people to explore this highly addictive substance.

The residents of Mankato spoke overwhelmingly in the 2006 referendum demanding a smoke-free environment, and the City Council upheld that with this amendment. This amendment ensures that all Mankato residents will have their rights preserved.

Alison Fradenburgh, Mankato

American Lung Association program manager

Municipal band continues to delight

Another great summer of Tuesday evenings at Sibley Park thanks to the Mankato Municipal Band. I always look forward to these evenings and I was fortunate to have another grandchild attend this year as well!

The city crews who attend to Sibley Park have done another spectacular job of assuring that Sibley Park as well as the City of Mankato are looking their finest! Thank you again for wonderful summer evening memories.

Debi Cumming, Mankato

Miracle League volunteers deserve recognition

Thumbs up to the volunteers in the Miracle League of North Mankato baseball.

These people spend many hours of preparation, scheduling teams and being sure equipment is ready. Individual attention is given to each child, being sure each is a winner. They are truly up to bat for them in every sense of the word.

Barbara Granberg, Amboy