Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 9:09 pm Friday, July 27, 2018

To Hawthorne Elementary School Principal John Mahal.

Welcome to Hawthorne Elementary School Principal John Mahal, who is starting as principal at the school this year.

Mahal has previously worked in education positions in Shakopee and Northfield and as the assistant men’s basketball coach at St. Olaf College.

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Two of his big goals are to build relationships with students and gain an understanding of the community during his first year.

We wish him the best of luck in his endeavors.


To organizers of Chapel Con.

Thank you to the organizers of Chapel Con for planning the second year of the comics and pop culture convention last weekend at Albert Lea City Arena.

We are proud to see residents start new events in our community and bring people from across the region — and further away — to our city.

Not to mention, it’s always fun to have celebrities in town, which this time included Sam Jones, Christopher Mihm, Jayson Warner Smith, Joshua Mikel, Kiowa Gordon, RJ Mitte, Ryan Hurst, Charles Wright and Aaron Schwartz.

We hope people will continue to stand up to support this fun event for the community — not only by attending the convention, but through sponsorships and other actions as well.


To organizers of The Story Show.

Kudos to the organizers of The Story Show for planning a successful event in memory of the late Randy Kehr, the former executive director of the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce. The event was Thursday night at Marion Ross Performing Arts Center and had a good turnout.

The event featured nine local storytellers, Jerry Gabrielatos, Ava Corey-Gruenes, Nate Peterson, Alexa Drescher, Luz Ruiz, Solveig Lange, Lindsay Kramer, Holly Karsjens and Shane Koepke. They all spoke about how they or someone they know has “let their light shine.”

Proceeds from the event went to support the effort to raise money for new holiday lights and decorations downtown.


To the possibility of a trail from Albert Lea to Waseca.

We are excited to hear talks taking place again about the establishment of a user trail that would connect Albert Lea, Manchester, Hartland, New Richland and Waseca.

In Albert Lea, the trail would begin on the abandoned Union Pacific Railroad line that Freeborn County purchased in 2014 for $1.1 million with state and federal grants.

The city is asking residents questions online about how they would use the trail, whether it should be limited to certain uses, services or facilities needed along the trail, and others.

A study is also underway to evaluate grant funding options for the trail and whether it should include paths for both bikers and pedestrians.

We hope people show interest in this project, as it could be a draw to others from out of the area. It would also be neat to see the different communities connected through the path and potentially to see it connect the Blazing Star Trail and the Sakatah Singing Hills Trail. We look forward to hearing more as the results of the study are made public.