Thumbs up to honoring the Waseca police officers who put their lives on the line when fired upon responding to a call reporting a suspicious person in January 2020.

The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association is recognizing officer Arik Matson, Capt. Kris Markeson, Sgt. Tim Schroeder and officer Andrew Harren with medals of honor because of their job performance during the tragic incident in which Matson was severely wounded by the suspect who shot him in the head.

Matson was named the organization’s Officer of the Year.

The officers’ boss, Police Chief Penny Vought, nominated them. Her written words summarize why the honors are so deserving: “These four officers faced their own mortality while successfully stopping the threat. After doing so they rendered aid not only to their brother officer lying in a pool of blood, but also to the suspect who committed this unspeakable act. In my opinion, how can you not say that the Waseca police officers that night were not heroic?”

The community recognizes the sacrifice that Matson made to serve and protect Waseca — his life forever changed by his injury. Today a benefit for him and his family takes place all day at the Waseca County Fairgrounds.

Mask advice not confusing

Thumbs down to all those news stories talking about “Confusion over mask guidelines.” The stories cite critics and folks on the street who seem in a fog about the CDC’s recent update that lifted most mask-wearing recommendations.

Reporters and those being interviewed list an array of questions showing how confused they are as federal health officials have relaxed recommendations, but some states, cities and businesses haven’t.

It’s not that confusing: Thanks to widespread vaccination, the COVID threat is greatly reduced and vaccinated people don’t have to wear masks if they don’t want to and they are somewhere they’re not still required.

But states, cities and private businesses still have every right to have stricter rules for the time being, if they choose. If there’s a sign on the door saying masks are required, then you put one on or do business elsewhere.

As for those who aren’t vaccinated, the CDC says mask up. But it’s obviously an honor system.

Nothing really baffling about any of it.

Look in the mirror, Twins

Thumbs down to the petulant reaction of the Minnesota Twins to a home run hit by an opposing player — and, for that matter, to that player’s own manager.

On Monday night in Target Field, with the Twins trailing the Chicago White Sox by 11 runs, utility man Willians Astudillo took the mound for the ninth inning. Astudillo’s “pitches” weren’t fast enough to draw speeding tickets on a county road, and when he fell behind rookie slugger Yermin Mercedes 3-0, Mercedes timed a 45-mph meatball perfectly for a 429-foot homer.

This, according to Chicago manager Tony LaRussa, was a “mistake.”

On Tuesday, Twins veteran Tyler Duffey threw a pitch behind Mercedes in retaliation and was ejected, as was Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli. On Thursday both Duffey and Baldelli were, correctly, suspended.

The bottom line is: The Twins could not, or would not, compete. That’s not Mercedes’s problem, and nobody — not even LaRussa — should pretend that it is.

Editorial Board

Environment section appreciated

Thumbs up to the new environmental section in The Free Press.

I applaud your priorities. We have critical environmental issues facing us now including the catastrophic effects of climate change, the life-threatening global harm from plastic pollution, and depleted soil, which must be restored through organic and regenerative farming.

If we are to solve these assaults on our existence, we have to educate ourselves. Devoting this section to education and solutions will be an important step in the great effort we will need to save our planet.

Jane Dow

Mankato

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