Editorial: What deserves a thumbs up or down this week

Published 8:50 pm Friday, November 18, 2022

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To all of the viruses traveling around the community.

All you have to do is look around the community and you’re sure to find several people in your own circles who are battling some type of respiratory illness, whether it be influenza, COVID-19 or RSV. 

Public Health officials have stated influenza cases are rising at a faster rate this year than in the recent past, while the peak usually does not occur until January or February. 

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The sickness is causing notable absences for children and staff at area schools and for employees in the workplace. 

While most of the time these illnesses can be managed at home, they’re never fun to have to go through. 

We encourage people to increase your hand washing and to stay home if you are sick to help prevent the spread. 

To the return of winter driving conditions.

With the return of snow and ice this week, slippery driving conditions have come back to the area.

Hundreds of crashes were reported across the state this week, including some with injuries in the area. 

We remind motorists to take efforts to practice safe driving habits. Slow down, get rid of distractions and make sure you take precautions to stay safe in the event you end up off on the side of the road. 

In addition to the snow and ice, the temperatures are dropping, so it is important to be prepared in the event you end up stranded and will not have help immediately available. 

Most importantly, if you’re doubting whether you should be out in bad conditions and don’t absolutely need to go out, it is probably wise to stay safe at home. 

To the efforts underway to return 13 city-owned properties to the private market.

We are pleased to see the Albert Lea City Council on Monday approve seeking requests for proposals for 13 city-owned properties, including the Freeborn National Bank and Jacobson buildings downtown. 

Also included are nine empty lots, as well as a house at 604 Giles Place in Albert Lea that has been cleaned and had sheetrock removed after a fire, and a structure at 728 S. Newton Ave. that the city had previously acquired through tax forfeiture. 

While the city had hoped to make some structural repairs to the Newton Avenue house and then return it to the market, it has now been determined that it is not economically viable to save the building. The city is looking for a developer to remove the building and put in a residential property in 24 months. 

We hope people who are looking for opportunities in the residential market will consider these properties, get them out of the hands of the city and ultimately back on the tax rolls. 

To International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day.

Thank you to Bonnerup Funeral and Cremation Services, which is hosting an event today for suicide loss survivors to come together for International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day and find connection, understanding and hope. 

Suicide has impacted many people in our community — particularly in recent years — and we hope the families and friends of those who have died from suicide know that there are many people out there who support them. 

In addition to this local opportunity for suicide loss survivors happening at Bonnerup, we can help these survivors know of other resources available and help them remember their loved ones in whatever way they choose. 

It is important to remember the good times with these loved ones. 

The event at Bonnerup, at 2210 E. Main St., runs from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.