Thumbs up: To the Mankato Department of Public Safety, Cmdr. Amy Vokal, officer Melissa Myers and a young Somali boy by the name of Ibrahim Ibrahim for their efforts to create a line of communication and understanding between public safety and the Somali community.
Myers and Vokal ran into Ibrahim Ibrahim on a couple of different calls they were on, one involving a routine investigation and another involving an emergency situation. From there, they just got to know him from visiting the apartment complex he lives in. The public safety officials were able to communicate with the boy the nature of their work and he was able to translate this to his mother and family.
Ultimately, Ibrahim Ibrahim ended up inviting the public safety officials to his school for lunch, and they’ve become good friends.
Both public safety and the Somali community benefit from this kind of outreach, and it takes both sides to make these relationships happen.
Incensed about census visit
Thumbs down: To the rural Austin, Minn., man charged with threatening to shoot a census worker. Law enforcement authorities said that not only did he order the census worker off his property, but he followed her to a neighbor’s house and threatened to shoot her if she didn’t leave.
If the guy didn’t want a census worker paying him a visit, he should have mailed in his form like a major share of Minnesotans have done.
Without knowing the man’s mindset — he told deputies he’d never spoken to a census employee — it’s tricky to say what his motivation would be for threatening a worker. But anti-government rhetoric that has been laid on thick lately surely must weigh on the mind of every census worker who approaches another house.
Counting heads and knowing the demographics of a country’s population is important for meeting the nation’s needs. Money is allotted according to the information as well as figuring out congressional district boundaries.
Threatening a census worker is not only a crime, but it’s a missed opportunity to be counted when it counts.
Thumbs up: To the YMCA for trying a new natural method of keeping their pools clean.
On Friday the facility installed sphagnum moss filters. The method is supposed to cut down on the need to use as much chlorine, which will reduce the antiseptic smell as well as being easier on swimmers’ skin and hair.
The moss is supposed to be one of nature’s most efficient cleaners, so this switch makes a lot of sense if it’s effective.
Hats off to the YMCA leadership for being receptive to a member’s suggestion about trying the moss filters.
Rotary encourages kids to read
Thumbs up: Bravo and many thanks to the Rotary Club of Mankato for recently giving a copy of Shel Silverstein’s book “Where the Sidewalk Ends” to all School District 77 third-grade students.
Rotary members personally presented the books to the third-graders and encouraged the kids to read. What an outstanding gesture by the Rotary members. This is an example of the many good deeds happening in our community that go unsung.