— Thumbs up: To the St. Paul City Council for reinstating a former tradition of allowing police to donate confiscated booze to the Holy Family Residence.
The organization houses about 100 poor, elderly people. The home had used the donated alcohol during a weekly happy hour, but the police dropped the donations a few years ago. Recently, Sister Theresa Robertson, who runs the home, wrote to the St. Paul police chief asking him to resume the donations.
The council this week voted to let police ship up to $10,000 in confiscated alcohol to the home each year.
Sister Theresa called it “such a pleasant treat” for some of the residents.
Cheers to St. Paul.
Parry, Quist barbs self-destructive
Thumbs down: To the self-defeating rhetoric that is increasingly defining the Mike Parry and Allen Quist campaigns as the two Republicans vie for votes in the Aug. 14 primary election — an election that will decide which of them becomes the nominee to run against Democratic Rep. Tim Walz.
Typically, Republicans like to charge Democrats with being tax-and-spenders. Instead, Parry and Quist are accusing each other of the “crime” and making it harder for either one to carry on a credible campaign through November.
In their attempts to convince voters they’re the biggest tightwads in the race (and the other guy is a spendthrift), voters must be scratching their heads.
Young voters show voting apathy
Thumbs down: To young voter apathy.
A recent Gallup poll found that a mere 58 percent of U.S. registered voters aged 18 to 29 say they will “definitely vote” this fall.
“That is well below the current national average of 78 percent and far below 18- to 29-year-olds’ voting intentions in the fall of 2004 and 2008,” reported Gallup which also pointed out that this 20-point deficit in intentions is the largest among all major demographic groups.
An engaged electorate is necessary for a vibrant democracy and the apathetic are abdicating their responsibility as well as any right to complain about how the nation is being governed. The fact that this has fallen on our youth does not bode well on a promising outlook of our future leadership.
Prairie restoration project great for memorial
Thumbs up:To those working to restore prairie between Rasmussen Woods and Mankato’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
When the BMX track off Stoltzman Road near the Vietnam memorial was retired, local veterans had plans to restore the track to native prairie. Now, they’ve secured some funding and will take up the project in earnest.
It’s another example of Mankato residents caring about how their city looks. Kudos to organizer Tom McLaughlin and to Chuck and Amy Vokal, organizers of Mankato’s ChiliFest, who donated $6,800 to the project from this year’s fest.
The group has plans to expand the memorial and the original designer, John Domeier, a St. Clair vet, drew up expansion plans at the city’s request. The group also moved in about a dozen, 13-foot tall evergreen trees from the old Minnesota Department of Transportation site.
Plans call for a passive walkway along the creek and eventually a footbridge.
It sounds like a great project and one that will enhance the Rasmussen area and the Vietnam Vet’s Memorial.
Encore service learning builds character
Thumbs up: To the Encore program and its effort to encourage young people, fifth- to seventh-graders, to get involved in service projects.
The Community Education & Recreation Summer program, part of the ACES child care program, not only gets kids involved in summer activities and field trips, but it adds a service component.
The kids do field work at the Blue Earth County Community Farm, do chores at the Misfit Acres horse farm and help deliver meals and wheels to area elderly.
About 30 kids have signed up for the program. It’s a good way to help kids learn early that it’s important to give back to their community.