Thumbs up to all of those who worked to make St. Peter’s new dog park a reality.

The River Valley Dog Park Association raised $32,000 to create the park. The city provided the land, labor and water hook-ups. The collaboration resulted in new fenced-in grassy areas for people to bring their dogs to near 1125 Swift St.

The park already includes two connected fenced-in lawns, trees, water fountains and a picnic table. In the future dog park association members plan to have four benches installed, another tree planted and maybe a dirt mound or culvert to give dogs more activities.

Dog owners said they welcomed another recreational option for their pets besides the occasionally flooded Rabbit Road dog park.

It’s good timing to open the park this week as more people enjoy the nice weather and take to the outdoors with their pets. The park is an example of a good use of otherwise unused city land in St. Peter.

Helping hands

Thumbs up to the Mankato Family YMCA for collecting donations to support two Twin Cities YMCAs.

The local group is asking donors to help out the Y’s in Midway St. Paul and south Minneapolis. Both those neighborhoods were hard hit by looters and violent protesters last week. Because many businesses were destroyed, those business owners aren’t able to donate as they usually do to their YMCAs.

Mankato-area residents can drop off diapers, wipes, baby formula and other daily living necessities in the Mankato Family YMCA’s lobby Monday. Checks can be made out to the Mankato Family YMCA with the “Twin Cities relief” designation. The donations will be delivered Tuesday.

The Mankato Y has long been known as the organization that focuses on local residents, particularly youth. Now it is allowing area residents to lend a hand to two Y’s in the Cities that desperately need help for their youth.

Other local residents also have started drives to help out metro residents, reflecting the culture of caring in our own community.

Courageous Mattis

Thumbs up to former Secretary of Defense Gen. Jim Mattis for speaking out against President Donald Trump’s egregious photo op holding a Bible in front of a church after protesters were tear gassed out of the way.

Mattis wrote in The Atlantic that a president should not use the power of the military to destroy the constitutional rights and free speech of the people. Trump had the soldiers push protesters aside so he could cross the street and stand in front of the church.

Wrote Mattis: “When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the constitutional rights of their fellow citizens — much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”

Mattis, who resigned as secretary of defense in 2018 over Trump’s Syria policy, said Trump is the first president who seeks to divide us. He doesn’t even hide the fact, Mattis said.

We’ve said it before. Trump is unfit to be president of our United States. The chorus seems to be growing.

An embarrassment excised

Thumbs up to the Republican voters in northwest Iowa who on Tuesday put an end to the long and embarrassing congressional career of Steve King.

King’s unapologetic championing of white supremacy got him booted off his House committees, and his pariah status in Washington appears to have been the decisive factor in his loss in Tuesday’s primary.

State Sen. Randy Feenstra is likely to take the 4th District seat, and his policy views probably won’t differ much from King’s. But he is also less likely to peddle hate in the process.

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