To the tone of the campaign battle between Allen Quist and Mike Parry. The two candidates vying to gain the Republican mantle to challenge U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, D-Mankato, have been wallowing in an insubstantial debate over who said the wackiest things in the past.
Parry has been criticized for tweets he made months ago that some considered racist and homophobic. Parry told The Free Press, "That's so long ago that's past history."
But, he's been dragging up embarrassing quotes by Quist -- including one about husbands being genetically predisposed to lead wives -- that go back nearly 25 years. For his part, Quist tried to deny he ever said it -- until a tape recording of the original interview surfaced.
The level of the debate is doing nothing but harm to either man's chances in running a strong campaign against Walz. Still, it is kind of entertaining.
Hearts open for Open Door
To the Greater Mankato United Way for getting a jump on fundraising with its Women with Heart event and choosing a cause to focus on.
This year's emphasis is being placed on the Open Door Health Center, which provides medical and dental services to the low income. The clinic has been a lifesaver for people who both need preventive and immediate care but can't afford it. Dental services have been expanded to include students at local elementary schools. Even with the expansion, the needs are still great and the United Way is taking notice.
The 400 women gathered at the Women with Heart event Wednesday now know more about Open Door and what it has done for the community. With their help and others who respond to the fall campaign, the clinic and other United Way agencies will get the support they deserve.
The summer school edge
To the parents and teachers who firmly place their support behind summer school.
Five weeks of instruction for summer school students finished up last week in Mankato, and teachers say the progress among the kids is noticeable. At the grade-school level, about 500 students are split between Rosa Parks, Washington, Franklin and Monroe elementary schools.
A recent study by the Rand Corporation found that students who attend summer programs do better academically than students who do not, MPR reported. Researchers say most students lose a month or two of math skills over the summer. But children from low-income families also lose an additional two to three months of reading skills.
Not having to do as much remedial work in the fall benefits the students as well as entire classrooms that have a lot of new material to tackle during the school year.
Welcome back to Mankato, Vikings
To the return of the Minnesota Vikings to Mankato. Players began to report to training camp on Thursday, light practices began Friday, and this week fans will begin lining up for autographs.
It's hot, but that won't dilute the enthusiasm of the Vikings' devoted fan base, which awaits glimpses of first-round draft choice Matt Kalil, young quarterback Christian Ponder and all the other Vikings preparing themselves for a challenging season ahead. Change is good, but we're glad that one tradition hasn't changed, and that is that the Vikings appear at Minnesota State University every summer.
It's good for the town, good for area fans, and don't be too concerned if the players complain about the heat. Hey, it's not our fault.
Tourtellotte great place for swim meet
Thanks to Jim Rueda and The Free Press for the great coverage of the AB finals meet at Tourtellotte Pool, sponsored by the Mankato Mantas Swim Club.
Thanks also to the coaches and staff who organized this very large meet (more than 500 swimmers), to the YMCA for the management of the pool, to the city of Mankato for the maintenance of the pool, and to the lifeguards and staff who manage the pool on a daily basis.
Tourtellotte Pool is a summertime treat for swimmers of all ages.
Nancy Hamer, Mankato