The Free Press
— Thumbs up: To all the area river rats who have dedicated much time and energy to improving the health of the Minnesota River.
As sort of a reward for all their hard work, the Minnesota River watershed may be among the first to be given the new National Blueways System designation. The nomination and national recognition could result in a lot of attention and resources from federal agencies to improve the river.
This river valley has the benefit of being the home to numerous citizen-led groups that are bound and determined to give the river the respect and care it deserves. Progress doesn’t come at lightning speed and funding isn’t at the levels needed to do all the work that needs to be done to clean up the river. But patience and persistence are paying off. Just this week the state announced that phosphorus pollution has significantly declined.
As the flow of interest about the river continues, chances are those improvements will continue into the future.
Mankato area gives, and gives
Thumbs up: To the people of the Mankato area and their giving spirit during the holiday season.
Now is the time when the Holiday Sharing Tree, Operation Christmas Child, Toys for Tots, Santa Anonymous and the Salvation Army kettle collection programs begin to organize their volunteers.
Happily, in good times and in lean, the people of Mankato and those in surrounding communities have fairly consistently risen to the occasion to provide cheer for children and others less fortunate than themselves.
Program goals, understandably, are set high at this time of year. Admittedly, in some years the goals have been harder to reach. Last-minute “angels” — a term embraced by Holiday Sharing Tree coordinator Liz Brown — sometimes are counted on to come through in the end.
We’re thankful the Mankato area has angels in its midst. The tradition of giving warms the hearts of everyone concerned. And thank goodness so many are concerned.
Great job on road project
Thumbs up: A short time ago, Minnesota Department of Transportation undertook a major road construction on Highway 22 south of Mankato. This was the project that closed the highway for a week.
This project had a large impact not only on property that I own, but also the Le Sueur River. I was greatly concerned about the impact on the river and as well as my property, so I wanted to be involved in the planning and implementation of this project.
Many times government agencies are called bureaucracies or get tagged with other condescending names. It was great to know that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and MnDOT worked together to limit the harmful impact on the environment.
I wanted to write this note to publicly say thank you to their Mankato offices. During this construction process I was treated with honor and respect. The staff truly cared about how their project would impact my property and the surrounding area
I also wanted to say thank you to the company that did the construction work. I was truly impressed with this company at every level. They were true professionals. What a great team they have assembled. They also truly cared about how this project would impact my property and the surrounding area.
To Mathiowetz Construction Company, from the bottom on my heart I would like to say thank you.
Eugene R. Braam
Teen’s generosity shows youth character
Thumbs up: After watching a recent play, the three of us went to Perkins for a late night snack.
The restaurant was unusually busy with an unexpected group of about 40 high schoolers.
As we were getting ready to pay our bill, a young lady from the group put a gift certificate on our table. She said, “I want you to have this, there’s $9 left on it.”
Shocked, I asked why. She replied, “I wanted to do something nice.”
A lot of people criticize our younger generation. This was proved wrong.
I want to thank this young lady. It was completely unnecessary but a very nice thought.