The Free Press, Mankato, MN


November 30, 2012

Our View: The value of diversity



A round for the Planning Commission

Thumbs up: To the Mankato Planning Commission for toasting imaginative business displays by supporting a proposed ordinance that allows rooftop displays in a specific part of town.

The skyline logo ordinance would reverse the effects of a prior notice that Wine Cafe owner Mike Baumann had received saying his rooftop display of an illuminated martini glass had to come down.

The proposed ordinance would establish a district from Vine Street south to Jackson Street along Riverfront Drive and from Cherry Street south to Byron Street along Front Street.

If guidelines are established that require quality displays similar to the martini glass, the ordinance could help boost exposure to the Old Town/downtown area. The ordinance proposal will go before the council in January.


The right and wrong words

Thumbs up: To The Associated Press, which announced this week that it will no longer include the words “homophobia,” “Islamophobia” and “ethnic cleansing” in its Style Book.

Words and phrases are often used in inaccurate and even destructive ways, and AP regularly points out the problems with that. Sometimes we agree with their adjustments and sometimes we don’t, but they’re correct in pointing out that the “phobia” words, in their words, are “just off the mark.”

A phobia is a fear, and “homophobia” and “Islamophobia” have been routinely used to insult people who take opposing political positions. It is wrong to automatically ascribe a mental disability to someone to whose positions we disagree with.

AP reminds us to fight fair. Words matter. And the English language should be used more thoughtfully.

Editorial board


Community made ChiliFest a success

Thumbs up: The fifth annual Mankato’s ChiliFest planning committee would like to take time and thank all those in the community who supported this year’s event.

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