Editorial: Thumbs

Published 5:35 pm Saturday, October 19, 2013

Editorial: Thumbs

thumbupTo women in the U.S. Senate.

There are 20 female senators, more than ever in the history of the chamber. Three Republican women — Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire — were instrumental in founding what became a 13-member bipartisan group whose plans were at the center of the deal to reopen the federal government and avoid a dangerous default. In a nutshell, these three women saw a way out when no one in the House or Senate could or would. They disregarded threats from their own party and still risk backlash back home because they had had enough. They showed profiles in courage — like the book of the same name — that the public desires. Three Democratic women joined that bipartisan negotiation group. They were Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire. Kudos to these women for taking over when so many powerful men let intransigence get in the way of doing their jobs.


thumbdownTo crime and bad behavior at the skate park.

For or against the moving of the Albert Lea skate park, everyone agrees that criminal activity, fights, foul language, public urination and vandalism are unwarranted and unwanted. Many children know that community members pay taxes, perform volunteer service and hold fundraisers to support schools, parks, streets, police, fire, library, animal control and so many great services, but some children do not know this, likely because their parents didn’t care to teach them one iota about local civics and respect for other people’s property.

The city parks board, which meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the City Arena to discuss the matter, is an advisory panel and doesn’t have the final say. It already recommends moving the facility. The Albert Lea City Council does have the final say.

Whether it decides to leave the skate park at City Beach or move it to near the pool, we recommend that, in the future, bad behavior be punished by temporarily closing the skate park. That’s one way to teach the troublemakers a civics lesson. We urge the youth who use the park to shape up or ship out.


thumbupTo Celebrate Albert Lea.

It was great to see the city leaders and residents come together last weekend to celebrate a renovated Broadway. The festival was called Celebrate Albert Lea. The Color Dash was a blast, and people gathered downtown for pumpkin painting, face painting, a children’s obstacle course, food demonstrations, sidewalk sales and a street dance. Many people have commented on how nice the new streetscape looks. And the bumpouts? Well, they aren’t that bad, right? They kind of are handy for getting across the street. We would like to add that the underground utilities, well, they probably look quite improved, too. At any rate, our city deserved a new downtown, and we commend the downtown merchants for pushing through a difficult summer. Thank them by visiting their stores.