The Free Press, Mankato, MN

September 7, 2013

Shoe donation gives kids solid footing

The Mankato Free Press

---- — Thumbs up to the YMCA’s recent ReShoe donation program that provided new or gently used mostly sports or tennis shoes for kids in need.

The Y collects the shoes and turns them over to Mankato Area Public Schools who make them available at gym classes. There are plenty of families in the district who need shoes, especially when children quickly grow out of them. The Y collected about 150-200 pairs of shoes last year and was aiming to generate more donations this year.

The Y also has been gathering donated backpacks and eye glasses as part of its social responsibility mission. It’s a small program that makes a big difference for kids and families who need something as simple as shoes to participate fully in school activities.

Kudos to the Y for organizing it and taking up the cause.

Walz, others rightly question Syria action

Thumbs up to U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, D-First District, and 139 other members of Congress who have asked President Barack Obama to consult with Congress before any military action is taken against Syria.

Walz said in a statement that “I have heard from many southern Minnesotans who are rightfully concerned about the justification for U.S. military action in Syria. While the use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians is unconscionable and there is a moral responsibility to defend the defenseless, we cannot rush into this decision.”

Walz met with constituents Friday in St. Peter to get more input. These kinds of serious actions that put our soldiers at risk should be thoroughly discussed.

Health plans, state help consumers

Thumbs up to the Minnesota health plans and the state for opening up information on the new state health exchange nearly a month ahead of the required date.

The plans and the state worked together to have health insurance products and prices available Friday, far ahead of the Oct. 1 starting date. This will give Minnesotans interested in the plans plenty of time to review prices, co-payments and provider networks involved in the plans sold on the exchange.

The help hotline for the so called MNsure exchange also opened up earlier this week and is ready to take consumer calls and questions.

There is no doubt — like anything health insurance-related — there will be a learning curve to understanding how it all works. But the state and the providers and the health insurers are stepping up to make sure people have as much information as possible to make good decisions on this crucial service.

Editorial Board

Take pride in the USS Minnesota

All Americans, but especially Minnesotans, should salute and welcome the latest super Navy vessel, the USS Minnesota SSN 783, to our fleet.

It will be commissioned today, Sept. 7. The $2 billion nuclear submarine is the most advanced warship of all time and it carries the name Minnesota.

To show our pride in this great ship and its grand name, wouldn’t it be great if all veterans of the U.S.Navy would wear their caps today and that all citizens wear something with the name “Minnesota” on it?

I will be wearing my Navy hat toy.

Denny Warta

New Ulm