The Free Press, Mankato, MN

September 29, 2013

Close loopholes in clean water rules


The Mankato Free Press

---- — In big news for clean water recently, the Obama Administration has released a new report on the importance of small wetlands and streams to the health of our major waterways like the Minnesota River. They also plan to move forward with a rule-making that closes loopholes in The Clean Water Act so that all waterways are protected.

Currently, multiple loopholes in The Clean Water Act pushed by industrial and agricultural polluters threaten clean drinking water and waterways Minnesotans count on for all the outdoor thrills our state has to offer.

Minnesotans are proud of their beautiful waterscapes; I know I take pride in maintaining these environmental attributes for years to come. Outdoor sports and other water focused pastimes are a way of life for Minnesotans. Next time you waterski in Madison Lake, jog along The Minnesota River bridge, or go canoeing in the Boundary Waters, consider how valuable yet vulnerable these waterways are and what you do to help preserve them.

The latest step towards protecting these waterways is significant. We need to be aware and concerned about the well-being of our state’s landscape in order to ensure we have the freedom to safely and readily enjoy them in the future. Finalizing these protections will be a battle.

We must continue to fight polluting industries as they try to keep the status quo and use our waterways as dumping grounds. That’s why I urge you to get involved; let your government leaders know you expect our waterways to be clean and protected for generations to come.

Abby Wedrickas

Mankato

Politics destroying Minn. Orchestra

The dumbing down of Minnesota continues apace. Generally seen in state politics, it is now destroying our collective arts icon — The Minnesota Orchestra.

This group was set to attain greatness beyond that of its predecessor, The Minneapolis Symphony, due in no small measure to an extraordinary music director.

In the face of this, the board’s initial financial offer was a bloody insult, setting the stage for the bitterness and for the lockout.

Too many musicians have already left, logically finding places where they will be appreciated.

I haven’t been to Orchestra Hall (I preferred Northrop Auditorium) for a long time. Does the outside still look like the deck of a tramp steamer?

Never mind, the renovation inside will make us feel better. But what kind of shadow ensemble will appear on stage?

Walter O. Jones

Lake Crystal