Thumbs Up/Down

Thanks, Veterans

THUMBS UP: In recent years, America’s military has relied on an all-volunteer military force. Americans should be grateful to all those who have chosen to serve in the military. These men and women choose to serve out of a sense of duty, out of patriotism and a wish to serve their country in a special way. In their country’s time of need, they step forward, as generations before have done, to put themselves on the line against whatever foe their nation faces.

On this Veterans Day, let us all say “Thank You” to our veterans and relish the peace and liberty they have provided for us.

Rooting out sexual harassment

THUMBS DOWN: This may be a special time in our country’s history. Like the Civil Rights movement, during which casual and systemic racism and bigotry were rooted out from the societal norm, women today are saying “No More!” to the culture of sexual abuse and predation that has been part of our culture. Women are speaking out about the abuses they have endured, and demanding that something be done about it.

It is happening in the entertainment industry, and just about everywhere else where men and women work together. This week it even cropped up in Minnesota state government, where two members of the Legislature have come under fire for alleged sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior toward women lobbyists and legislators.

Due process should be carried out before punishments and condemnation are administered, but no longer can these kinds of incidents be swept under the rug. Those in government, in business, in society in general need to understand that the day of sexual harassment, disguised as playful banter, is not right. It is hurtful to the victims, and should carry consequences for the perpetrators.

GFW gets message

SIDEWAYS THUMB: The results of the GFW School District’s referendum on its building bond question are clear. When voters reject a referendum by a 4-1 margin, it means that the question was too expensive, or that voters didn’t see the value in the proposed projects, or that the school district did not do a good job of selling it to the voters, or all three.

GFW needs to start over, and get the people on board from the beginning. In District 88, a citizen’s task force spent a lot of time examining the options involving school facilities. The task force’s recommendation to build a new high school carried weight with the voters, who knew task force members had their same concerns about tax increases and getting the best investment for the money.

GFW will have to find out what the people want, and how much they are willing to pay before they offer another referendum question.