Editorial: ThumbsPublished 1:57pm Saturday, February 15, 2014
Kudos to the elected officials who lead the city. On a 6-1 vote, they approved an ordinance banning tobacco products outside the City Arena. A second reading is expected later this month, and that should make the ordinance official. We know the so-called “right to choose” was part of the debate. Consider this: Surveys show that 40 percent of smokers begin by the age of 16. A 2010 survey shows about 18 percent of young people ages 13 to 15 smoke cigarettes. Banning smoking at the campus of a sports facility — be it Target Field or City Arena or Albert Lea High School — is not merely about secondhand smoke. It’s about the impression the adults are making on the children. As a community, we must set a proper example. The lesson that children can live a healthy life by playing sports ought not to be offset by seeing grown-ups participate in an unhealthy habit.
Think of some of the dumb things that kids do? Tag a stop sign. Throw a rock at a window of a vacant home. Steal a bike. Those are bad. Carrying alcohol or drugs to school or on a school bus — or at anything connected to school — is worse. The school environment is about learning and growing. Parents worry enough about bad behaviors and poor influences their children pick up at school. They don’t want their children while in the school district’s care to be subjected to the very substances they warn them about time and time again. Those two students who supposedly carried alcohol onto a bus, if guilty, should be ashamed of themselves. They can do better than this. We don’t know the school punishment they received, but we believe suspension or even expulsion are proper disciplinary options for alcohol or drugs on school property or school-related property. It’s harsh, but it would be for the good of the whole. And it sends a clear message to others: Don’t do that. Ever.
Did you know that more people in America read a Sunday paper than watched the Super Bowl? We don’t mean all the Sunday papers combined. We don’t mean online news either. No, dear reader. We mean each and every Sunday, there are more people who pick up a printed copy of their local Sunday paper than watched the Super Bowl earlier this month.
Next Sunday is the biggest Sunday paper for the Albert Lea Tribune. It’s our Super Bowl. Tell any friends who don’t subscribe to go pick up a copy of this issue. It is the day of the 2014 Progress Edition. It is filled with pages and pages about you and your best friends — the people of the Albert Lea area. Publications like this, filled with good news, bind a community together and make all of us proud to be from this great place.
Curious about car chargers? It’s in there. How about the increasing activity in downtown Albert Lea? Yup, got that. Did you know a Lake Mills company manufactures cases for other companies all over North America? Would you like to meet some of the best artists in town? Which politicians inspired our local elected officials? Who says young people don’t join? The Mothers of Preschoolers group is growing fast. Did you know Freeborn and Hartland are on the verge of sharing water systems? Have you ever met the guys who gather for coffee each week at Hy-Vee? Where are our charity dollars going in this community? Have you ever experienced acupuncture? What if a tornado hit Albert Lea directly?
There’s more. Take a tour of the back parts of the Albert Lea Seed House. Meet a vegetable farmer from Hollandale. Discover a church holding Sunday school on Wednesdays. Rummage through the front seat of a police car. Learn about a local motorcycle club you never knew existed. Meet the new principal at Hollandale Christian School. Find out which RVs Winnebago Industries are making at the former Cummins plant in Lake Mills. Visit the Ecumen care facility in New Richland. Meet an Ellendale woman famous for her aprons. All that and more is in the Tribune next Sunday.