The Free Press, Mankato, MN

May 4, 2013

Our View: Dayton, public need to accept discourse realities

The Free Press

— Thumbs down: Dayton called Shakopee residents who attended his town hall meeting “rude” and “juvenile” for laughing at his comments that lawmakers deserve a higher salary.

Video of the meeting showed the crowd to be raucous and some in attendance took advantage of the time to posture or heckle. It should be no surprise that people are dissatisfied with the performance of their lawmakers.

Twice now voters have totally upended party governance because of their dissatisfaction — once toward Republicans and now toward Democrats. The governor should listen more clearly to the tone and message people are sending him and other legislators rather than chide them for how it is delivered.

 On the flip side, we shouldn’t be taking our lessons from radio talk show hosts on how to conduct political discourse. We can have our differences and be civil in expressing our opinions.


CADA improves victim safety plan

Thumbs up: A program operated by Mankato’s Committee Against Domestic Abuse got deserved statewide recognition for its longtime efforts to help keep victims of domestic abuse safe.

CADA has since 2008 operated the Safe at Home program which provides a substitute address and mail-forwarding service to victims of sexual assault, domestic abuse or stalking. The program offers a post office box that has mail automatically forwarded to the address where victims are living, thereby keeping it confidential from those who would do them harm.

The program helps victims of abuse do every day things safely like being able to order a pizza without worry that their former abusers will find them. It allows abuse victims to lead a more normal life, not having to worry about being victimized again.

CADA was recognized because of the number of people who it has helped with this program. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said CADA has worked at developing and promoting the Safe at Home program to a point where it regularly serves about 50 people.

It’s good to know efforts continue on many fronts to keep victims of violence safe in the Mankato region. CADA has long been working with victims in Blue Earth, Nicollet, Brown, Le Sueur, Sibley, Watonwan, Waseca and Faribault counties. Many are safer because of its efforts.


Students deserve credit for Academic Decathlon

Thumbs up: To the students of Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial and St. Peter high schools for their recent strong showings in the state and national Academic Decathlon competitions.

Student teams from the two schools took the top two spots at the statewide competition, with St. Peter taking first and Lake Crystal taking second.

At the national competition in Minneapolis, Lake Crystal student Michael Coates won the bronze medal, finishing third among 500 competitors from across the country. It’s quite a rare accomplishment and speaks well for Coates, Lake Crystal Decathlon coach Billy James and the school. Coates was recognized with the bronze medal for the interviewing category getting 985 points out of 1,000 total.

Academic Decathlon involves teams of nine students competing in 10 subjects.

Area teams have always done well in these competitions and that speaks well to the importance teachers, schools, students and parents put on academics.