Thumbs Up/Down

Time to reconsider on Fort Ridgely

THUMBS DOWN: The public information session on the Fort Ridgely State Park golf course closing in New Ulm this week did little to diffuse the outrage of the state park’s supporters. If anything, it illuminated why the DNR didn’t hold such hearings before it made its decision.

There is still time, though, for the DNR to reconsider. One idea brought up at the meeting was a moratorium on the closing. Let the course stay open this summer while the DNR?and the Friends of Fort Ridgely explore possible solutions for improving the financial situation at the golf course. Better staffing at the course would undoubtedly result in more greens fees being collected. Perhaps volunteers could fill in the gaps in the evenings and weekends.

Give the supporters a chance to help improve the situation. If the situation can’t be improved, then perhaps the course should be closed. It will be sad, but at least it wouldn’t be for lack of trying.

Price vs. USA label

THUMBS DOWN: This week’s Associated Press-GfK poll presented some sad information for supporters of “Made in the USA” goods. The vast majority of people polled said they would like to buy goods made in the U.S., but when it comes time to make the purchase, the lower price of foreign goods is what drives their decision. For many, it’s hard to even find domestic goods in the stores.

This is not a surprising result. It is a vicious circule. In a time when so many people are feeling an economic pinch, they need to make their dollars stretch as far as they can. Retailers looking for sales will supply the merchandise that people want to buy, and most of the time that means lower-cost foreign-made goods. As more manufacturing jobs move overseas, it means fewer jobs at home, and that leads to a bigger economic pinch.

How do you break the cycle??If we knew, we’d run for president.

Still can’t agree

THUMBS DOWN: State legislators can’t agree on a lot of things, but they should be able to agree on some things.

Take transportation funding. Everyone agrees the state needs to put more money into it. But they can’t agree on how much. Same with broadband technology. Again, everyone, DFL and Republican, agrees statewide broadband access is vitally important for businesses to successfully compete in today’s economy. But how much will it take to provide it? Gov. Mark Dayton wants to put $100 million into it this year. The DFL-controlled Senate wants to spend $85 million. The Republicans in the House propose $28 million for rural expansion, with another $7 million for school internet expansion.

If they can’t agree on the basics, how will they every iron out the details?