Thumbs up to North Mankato’s efforts to increase the amount of local public art.

As part of an extensive project to reconstruct Commerce Drive the city included the installation of sculptures that were chosen by a committee of local artists, business leaders and other community members.

The gateway sculpture titled “Aspire” is an 11-foot steel piece atop a fountain that was created by Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton High School teachers Aidan Demarias and Tim James.

The corridor, between Lor Ray and Lookout drives, is one of the busiest stretches in the city. While people may think of artwork being in parks and gardens the pieces chosen show that sculptures are just as fitting in a busy commercial district.

Public art has grown in downtown Mankato and North Mankato and it’s good to see it expand to other parts of the local urban landscape.

Sooner is better than later

Thumbs up to the tentative agreement between Blue Earth County and Mankato on how to handle the intersection of Adams Street and County Road 12, where a giant truck stop is planned.

A conventional intersection would be sufficient before the truck stop opens years down the road, but once that business — needed with the Walmart distribution center nearby — does begin operation, the intersection figures to be a safety hazard, with big rigs making left turns on a 55-mph road.

The agreement forged this week still has some financial details to work out, but the consensus is that it is better to build the intersection with a roundabout now and have it ready for the development. It is a wise conclusion.

No delay in election

Thumbs down to President Donald Trump’s suggestion Thursday morning that the election be postponed — and even more so to those Republicans in Congress who couldn’t bring themselves to reject the notion out of hand.

Some, like Texas Sen. John Cornyn and North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer, shrugged it off as a joke. Iowa Sen. Jodi Ernst said she wasn’t taking questions.

The president, to be sure, has no authority to halt the election. The Constitution specifically assigns the task of scheduling federal elections to Congress, and there is no appetite in Congress, even in the GOP-majority Senate, to delay the election.

The United States held presidential elections during the Civil War and World War II; it can certainly hold one this year, even with the virus.

It is quite possible that Trump was merely trying to deflect attention from the truly dismal economic report that was released just before his provocative tweet. But even so, his suggestion is a blatant attempt to besmirch an election that seems increasingly destined to repudiate his presidency — and in the process damage democracy itself. Even his partisan allies should repudiate that.

Thankful workers

Thumbs up to major retailers Target and Walmart for making the decision to be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

Both say they want to give their employees a chance to celebrate the holiday in a safe and peaceful way.

These decisions may lead to all of us rethinking the need for a rush for “Black Friday” sales in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Target said it will begin offering holiday deals in October and spread them out over the season to keep crowds down.

Walmart said it will close on Thanksgiving to give its employees time to celebrate the holiday, and praised them, saying it’s been a “trying year.” Some employees will also get bonuses of $150 to $300.

The efforts to provide hard-working people with a little break around the holidays is the right thing to do.

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