The Free Press, Mankato, MN


February 22, 2013

Our View: Don’t deny a walk in the woods

To authorities of the Three Rivers Park District in Scott County that has started to ban walkers and hikers from trails in Scott County parks to make room for snowmobilers.

It’s an absurd policy and one that even snowmobilers say isn’t right.

Apparently authorities were worried that because the walking trail allowed snowmobilers, there would be risk to the walkers, some of them elderly. If safety was that big of a problem, the common sense response would be to ban the snowmobilers.

Fortunately, authorities are re-examining the decision. They recently found snowmobilers were veering off the trails into prairies and destroying some of the natural beauty of the parks. Some snowmobilers were using the grassy hillsides as jumping points and digging all the way down to the dirt in other places.

Rota Hart, a 71-year-old walker at the park, got 100 neighbors to sign a petition to change the policy back to allowing walkers. Even some snowmobilers signed on. Perhaps there’s a peaceful coexistence for both walkers and snowmobilers in the parks, but banning walkers is not the answer.

Let’s hope common sense prevails here. Pedestrians are not a danger to snowmobiles.

Lowering C-section rates is a good sign

To the health-care providers who are reducing the rates of cesarean section deliveries — rates that still remain too high in many parts of Minnesota.

The use of C-sections to deliver babies has increased dramatically across the nation in recent decades. C-sections are valuable when a vaginal birth could endanger the baby or mother. But they have been increasingly used solely to make it easier on the schedule of mother or doctor.

Many doctors and health-care facilities are now trying to reduce unnecessary C-sections after research concluded that shortening the length of a pregnancy by even a short time can cause problems for babies.

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