Editorial: Thumbs

Published 7:00 am Monday, October 25, 2010

UP — To Marley Cardona.

This 17-year-old senior organized participation Oct. 20 at Albert Lea High School in the national event called Spirit Day. Participants wore purple — which is easy find here in the land of the Minnesota Vikings — to honor teens who have recently committed suicide after anti-gay bullying. It seems the event, started by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, might morph into a annual day for students to honor all who have been bullied. This is a part of a demand for change in school environments. Let’s hope Spirit Day happens every Oct. 20.

DOWN — To Freeborn County Commissioner Dan Belshan.

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We don’t take issue with Belshan wanting to be careful with tax dollars. That’s a good thing. But we strongly disagree with his comment Tuesday that the Public Health Department should be punished by paying for the cost of an event at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club with local dollars rather than federal dollars. Does he wish to punish local taxpayers? Most any Freeborn County taxpayer will say that, while all tax dollars are important, officials should spend federal dollars when possible so that local dollars can be saved. Moreover, he should be pushing for a policy, rather than playing gotcha games with staff, which only creates enmity. We agree with the public health nurse that some meetings can achieve better results in the right setting, rather than in a cramped board room. If time is as precious as dollars, the public health nurse ensured the time in the room made sure that education was achieved for all.

UP — To the Albert Lea Police Department.

The trading cards displaying police officers are an excellent way of reaching out to children and showing them they, hey, the police are the good guys. This comes in conjunction with meeting the kids face to face and speaking to them about the dangers of abusing drugs, including prescription pills and alcohol. The cards are made possible through the Drug-Free Communities Support grant from the federal government.