The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

June 8, 2014

Ask Us: Reader says police, DNR don't give a honk


“Unfortunately, the DNR doesn’t have staffing or resources to respond to every injured or distressed wildlife report. However, information and advice can obtained by calling the DNR Information Center at 1-888-646-6367 during regular business hours.”

Q: Just a follow up for you on the automatic doors for Herberger’s and JCPenney. I have a daughter who is in a wheelchair and there is also no electronic door opener at Barnes and Noble. I have to agree with your reader that if one has a walker or wheelchair, going all the way down to the food court entrance to get to an automatic door is not realistic. Although I am not a big shopper at Herberger’s or JCPenney, I do frequent Barnes and Noble. This has always been an irritant to me as getting around with a mobility issue is hard enough (not to mention the snow and ice last winter). But if there is a small way to make things a little easier for people who have these challenges, why wouldn’t a successful chain like these not go out of their way to accommodate?

A: This question references a previous column where a reader was concerned about the lack of electronic door openers on the west wing of River Hills Mall and wondered if the Americans With Disabilities Act required them. The ADA doesn’t mandate that, only that doors be of a certain width and not be so heavy that they’re difficult to open, among other things.

While the main mall entrances have electronic doors and some stores (such as Target and Scheels All Sports) have chosen to install them, mall Manager Paul Wilke reported that individual stores are responsible for door choices at their locations.

Electronic doors, of course, are more expensive and can be a hassle to keep in working order. Aesthetics can also play a role, which is the reason cited by Barnes and Noble.

”Part of our Barnes & Noble store design since the beginning has been the large wooden doors,” said the chain’s spokesperson, Mary Ellen Keating. “That being said, all of our stores are ADA compliant.”

Contact Ask Us at The Free Press, P.O Box 3287, Mankato, MN 56002. Call Mark Fischenich at 344-6321 or email your question to; put Ask Us in the subject line.

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