Editorial: Thumps Up

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 9, 2006

To runner Dick Beardsley.

For sharing his words of wisdom and hope to our area. When it comes to life, this man has seen the highs and lows. The marathon champion shared with a crowd of 500 at Albert Lea High School his personal struggles and his successes. It was an amazing story.

To the Farm Family of the Year.

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Loren and Jane Lair of rural Hayward were surprised to hear they had been named the Freeborn County Farm Family of the Year. How fitting for these humble people &045; all the more reason why they deserved the honor. In addition to farming, they have many irons in the fire when it comes to community involvement, and their kids, Alex and Brittni, and nephew, Troy, are deeply involved, too.

To the Just for Kix dance program.

It was wonderful seeing all the area youth dancing and having fun on March 31. Just for Kix teaches teamwork among girls.

To Rep. Dan Dorman.

Floating a

bonding bill for the state of Minnesota is no easy task. Dorman did it for the House of Representatives. Now the bill goes to the House Ways & Means Committee, and after that it will be hashed out with the Senate’s version and the governor’s version. Dorman did a good job of caring about rural Minnesota, something noticeably absent from the Senate version.

To the Albert Lea Figure Skating Club show.

Once again, the youth of Albert Lea provided quality entertainment. The event, on March 25 and 26, is a showcase for local talent and encourages healthy activities.

To St. Theodore Catholic School’s Auction & Extravaganza.

On April 1, the school held one of its major fund-raisers. Thanks to all the people who showed up to bid on items, donated items or contributed elbow grease. The turnout was better than expected. The benefit helps the school’s operating funds.

Thumbs down:

To the stoplight at Garfield Avenue and Main Street.

Motorists who intend to turn left from westbound Main Street onto southbound Garfield are often forced to commit a traffic violation. The stoplight sometimes fails to sense the presence of automobiles and won’t give them the green turn arrow. That forces the drivers to either wait several cycles for head-on traffic to pull into its turn lane, where the sensor works properly, or blow a red light or remain halted eternally.

To Tom DeLay.

It seems the tables have turned on this D.C. insider who always campaigned against D.C. insiders. He was the kingpin of K Street, the guy who formalized a pay-to-play system in the U.S. House of Representatives, the enforcer who kept his GOP colleagues in line. He ran his perks system like it was a well-oiled machine, until he was accused of gerrymandering the district boundaries in Texas. DeLay is a poster child for D.C. corruption. House Republicans are embarrassed of the scandals but happy to be free of his paymaster system. He made them look bad.