To the help The Free Press received from the public and historical experts in doing its 125th anniversary commemorative edition, which publishes Sunday.
Many people assisted with the edition’s news content, and their input certainly makes for a good read.
Area residents and businesses sorted through their archives and old photos when asked to contribute their voices to our story. Former staffers enthusiastically shared their Mankato experiences; most even had their copy in early, before deadline.
The Blue Earth County Library came through with space to display newspaper memorabilia.
A special thanks to the Minnesota and Blue Earth County historical societies. Their volunteers and staff were extremely helpful with research for the five-section project. The organizations’ massive collections made it possible to find information about newspapers and the history of Mankato in a matter of minutes, instead of hours and days.
Senseless destruction of art
To the vandals who damaged one of the 34 sculptures of the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour.
It’s frustrating, but not all that surprising, that vandals again find the public art too tempting to leave alone. Last year there were several incidents, including a stolen sculpture that was later recovered and a damaged sculpture that was repaired.
Local fans of the sculpture walk in the downtowns of Mankato and North Mankato were hoping this year’s tour would remain untouched, but two weeks after installation, the criminal or criminals struck.
It’s baffling trying to figure out what kind of satisfaction one would get from breaking off a piece of artwork. In this recent case, the sculpture on Belgrade Avenue in North Mankato is of cattails with a bird perched on them. One of the bird’s feet — made of a thin piece of metal — was broken off. The sculpture was removed for repair.
The organizers have, for the most part, selected bigger pieces this year that would discourage this kind of damage. Unfortunately, that’s a good plan — even though the more fragile pieces make for a more diverse display.
It’s a privilege for Mankato to host such an attraction. Too bad not everyone sees it that way.
Get off center on tax cuts
To former President Bill Clinton using his clout to promote a solution to at least one of the contentious issues in Washington, D.C.
Clinton this week suggested broad tax cuts that expire in January should be temporarily renewed, including for the wealthiest Americans.
Democrats and the GOP have been deadlocked on what to do about the pending expiration of tax cuts. Democrats generally support continuing some payroll tax cuts that would put more money into workers’ pockets.
Democrats have opposed renewing tax cuts for people earning over $250,000 a year.
It doesn’t matter which side of the argument you come down on. The fact is that if the tax cuts expire at the same time that $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts take effect Jan. 1, it will be an economic shock to America. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and others have warned that letting both events occur would suck so much money out of the economy that it could spark a renewed recession next year.
It’s highly unlikely Congress will be able to make budget cuts on their own that would head off the automatic spending cuts. Clinton’s words may offer a chance for the two sides to at least negotiate an agreement on tax cuts that would keep money in the economy.
MSU baseball had another strong season
To the Minnesota State University baseball team that ended up taking third place in the NCAA Division II World Series.
The Mavericks played well enough to get into the semifinal round where they lost 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning, in part because of a controversial call.
But the Mavericks went home from the World Series with a 50-12 record, and after losing the first game in the World Series, they won three straight to force the rematch with the Delta State Statesmen.
As coach Matt Magers said, you can’t control umpire calls. “All you can control is your effort. We gave 100 percent today, and I’m proud of that.”
The Mavericks had a fine season, were a competitive baseball team all along and are one of the three best teams in the country.