Despicable lunch shaming must cease now and forever

It’s called “lunch shaming,” and it’s one of the cruelest, most outrageous forms of punishment ever visited upon children.

And what’s disgusting is it’s happening in schools across America. The vile practice has to be stopped and stopped now. It shouldn’t take a panel of researchers and months if not years of study to determine if lunch shaming is good or bad. Anybody with even a smidgen of kindness will know lunch shaming is wrong, it’s despicable and no child should have to endure even one example of it.

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Welcome to our Mighty Mississippi

It’s such a good thing that our Mighty Mississippi River right here in central Minnesota was chosen as the venue for the 2017 Governor’s Fishing Opener.

A good time to show off.

The fishing opener, which attracts media from far and wide, will shine the spotlight on the wonderful river, and it should remind us all, once again, what a great resource that magnificent river is.

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Summer is coming quickly; don’t leave kids, pets in vehicles

As summer approaches and the weather gets hotter and hotter and even hotter, it’s time to think about the dangers of children and pets in vehicles that are baking in the heat.

Already, before summer has officially begun, five children have died in the American South: a boy, 1, in Pinehurst, Fla.; a boy, 2, in Brandon, Fla.; a girl, 3, in Ville Platte, La.; a boy, 1, in Vestavia, Ala.; a boy, 23 months, in Burleson, Texas.

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Support Dayton plan for water protection

Minnesotans should be rallying around Gov. Mark Dayton’s “Year of Water Action” plan the same way so many pushed back at town-hall meetings against efforts to shred the Affordable Care Act.

There is a de-regulation mania going on in the nation’s Capitol as well as at the Minnesota State Legislature – both entities in the control of Republicans. Here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes (actually, it’s more like 14,000), some legislators are determined to delay or kill by attrition the “Buffer Law,” which will require buffer strips between cropland and lakes, rivers and streams. There are efforts underway to quickly approve permits for mining operations, such as in the pristine forests of northeast Minnesota. There are plans to raid Legacy Amendment funds for road improvements and other purposes never intended for those funds. The Legacy Fund was approved nine years ago by voters for the purpose of enhancing and protecting the state’s air, water, other natural resources, and recreation and cultural opportunities.

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Why make roundabouts so expensively pretty?

Sartell City Council member Mike Chisum said it best: “They (roundabouts) are not a tourist attraction; they’re not a claim to fame; they’re a traffic tool . . . a glorified stop sign.”

Chisum made his comments at the March 27 city-council meeting just before voting against a roundabout-landscaping proposal. On a 3-1 vote, the proposal was approved by Mayor Sarah Jane Nicoll and council members Ryan Fitzthum and Pat Lynch. Fitzthum, however, noted he has serious reservations about the cost involved and – with the mayor – will meet with the landscaper to find out more about the project and its estimated cost. Council member David Peterson was not at the March 27 meeting.

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Please be sure to give input for city’s comprehensive plan

Residents of St. Joseph should be sure to speak up about what they would like to see in the city’s next 10-year comprehensive plan.

Too many people daydream or grumble about what they want or do not want in their city, but they never express their thoughts unless it’s to family and close-knit friends. Time to share your views.

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Veteran suicides remain appalling national tragedy

In what is a sad irony, combat is not the leading cause of death of American soldiers serving in the Mid-East. Suicide is.

American combat deaths, thank goodness, have declined in the past three or four years in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is due to a changed strategy, with American troops serving in advisory capacities and with the use of targeted airstrikes against ISIS terrorists rather than direct combat. Instead of thousands of American soldiers killed, the number last year was under 20, which of course is 20 too many.

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Pass bonding bill to fix Fort Snelling

Historic Fort Snelling of St. Paul is under attack.

No, not from enemy forces but from the ravages of time and sad neglect.

Many of its buildings are a sorry state, verging on crumbling ruination.

The good news is the 2017 legislative bonding bill will include $34 million for a major restoration for that historic complex of buildings, including its huge iconic round fortress tower.

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