Editorial: Thumbs

Published 1:04 pm Saturday, September 18, 2010

DOWN — To the threat of tornadoes.

What is it with this year? Not only did Minnesota lead the nation in tornadoes this year, thunderstorms with tornado possibilities keep on coming. It’s after Labor Day, for goodness sake. We are supposed to be having football weather. Brisk. Dry. Sweatshirts. Jeans. No heater or air conditioner needed. Last Wednesday, we had high humidity and a tornado watch. Though there were rumors of a funnel cloud, none was confirmed. We had a nasty tornado season, the worst ever. Let it finally go away. No watches. No warning. Let it be fall.

UP — To using child seats in automobiles.

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Shame on anyone who cares for a child and fails to buckle the tot in a child seat when in a car. Not only is it the law, it is good sense. And this week is Child Passenger Safety Week. Under Minnesota’s booster seat law, a child cannot ride in a seat belt alone until they turn 8 years of age or reach 4 feet 9 inches tall — whichever comes first. The Albert Lea Police Department recommends keeping a child in a booster seat based on their height rather than their age. And when you use a seat, make sure it is tight. It should not move freely more than 1 inch to the left or right.

UP — To efforts to help college students get bachelor’s degrees in four years.

With lives of parents getting more hectic, families living farther and farther away from relatives, high schools dealing with budgets cuts and forms of accountability that aren’t student-centered, and the temptations students face, what has been lost — or perhaps never was too widely available — is sensible career guidance. On the other hand, young people these days know they want to enter a field where they can find happiness. What they study affects their lives forever. We commend the University of Minnesota and other programs that provide schedules and guidance that helps students reach the degree on time. And we remind students of the wisdom of waiting a year before entering college, if the need is there.