Thumbs up to added awareness about the need for mental well-being.

Mental Health Awareness Month, observed in May, has always been an important reminder of helping the many people who suffer. But this year, the observation takes on extra importance.

The coronavirus has hammered at most everyone’s mental well-being as people lose jobs and income and as they worry about themselves and loved ones.

The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that a whopping 56% of Americans report they aren’t sleeping or eating well and many are seeing existing health issues get worse and using more alcohol. Of course those who are in the trenches of fighting COVID-19 or who have loved ones sickened by it have even higher levels of stress.

Health experts say the pandemic’s effects will increase suicides and mental health problems.

It’s important that people who are suffering or see loved ones who are, seek out mental health services.

Bde Maka Ska it is

Thumbs up to the state Supreme Court ruling this week holding that the state Department of Natural Resources has the authority to change the names of bodies of water.

The specific dispute concerned a Minneapolis lake known for generations as Lake Calhoun, named for a prominent politician, slavery advocate and occasional secessionist from South Carolina who happened to be secretary of war when a military mapping party came across the lake.

Hennepin County and the city of Minneapolis asked the DNR to change the name to the Dakota name, Bde Maka Ska, and the agency agreed. Some residents objected, and a lower court ruled in their favor.

We repeat here what we said some months ago about this dispute: Renaming the lake isn’t rewriting history. John C. Calhoun remains who he was. It’s about what parts of the history we wish to honor and celebrate. Calhoun’s legacy doesn’t deserve celebration in Minnesota.

Newspapers folding

Thumbs down to the bad news that numerous weekly papers in Minnesota are shutting down or getting closer to doing so.

Newspapers covering the towns of Woodbury, Cottage Grove, Wayzata, Hastings, Two Harbors, Eden Prairie, Jasper, Osakis and others recently have shut their doors, are about to do so, or are reducing how often they publish.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, newspapers were struggling as advertising revenue continued shrinking. The pandemic has dried up the rest for the most part.

It’s a sad time for all of the hard-working newspaper staffers, who will likely have little luck finding work at daily papers, with many of them also treading water.

It’s even more unfortunate for the communities that have lost a trustworthy, dependable source of local information, including about what their city councils, county boards and school boards are up to and how public money is being spent.

The ‘Bridgegate’ fiasco

Thumbs down to the wanton spin offered by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and President Donald Trump after the U.S. Supreme Court tossed out the federal convictions of two of Christie’s top aides in the “Bridgegate” scandal that helped torpedo Christie’s presidential ambitions and probably kept him from a Cabinet nomination after Trump’s election.

Both Christie and Trump claimed the unanimous ruling “vindicated” Christie. It did nothing of the kind.

Writing with the concurrence of the full court — liberals and conservatives alike — Justice Elena Kagan wrote: “The evidence the jury heard no doubt shows wrongdoing — deception, corruption, abuse of power. But the federal fraud statutes at issue do not criminalize all such conduct.”

Deception, corruption, abuse. Let no one believe those labels equal vindication.

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