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A helping hand

THUMBS UP: It’s a story you see frequently, one that makes people shake their heads and mutter about inflexible, unreasonable government. A little kid sets up a neighborhood lemonade stand or sells cookies on the sidewalk in an innocent attempt to have fun and learn a little about business. Someone calls the cops, and a health inspector shuts the stand down because it doesn’t have a permit and meet health regulations. We sigh and wish for a simpler time.

Recently, a 13-year-old Minneapolis youth, Jaequan Faulkner, set up a hot dog stand outside his home. The Minneapolis Department of Health got a complaint and found him out of compliance. But instead of shutting him down, the health inspectors helped him meet the code and get the equipment he needed, then the inspectors chipped in to get him the $87 permit. Apparently Faulkner impressed them with his entrepreneurial drive and his willingness to do business the right way. Kudos to Faulkner and to the city officials who looked beyond the letter of the law and saw a chance to help.

Bavarian Blast

THUMBS UP: The 13th year of Bavarian Blast is up and running this weekend. This festival is an ambitious collection of stellar bands from outside, local bands and talents like the Concord Singers and the Narren, and good German food and Schell’s beer.

It’s a great time to put down the cell phones and iPads and go outside for some real entertainment. We hope people will mob the festgrounds and let the festival spirit of “gemütlichkeit” wash over them.

There are plenty of entertaining activities this afternoon as well, like the weiner dog races, the sauerkraut eating contest, the barrel rolling contest and the stein holding contest.

Sunday’s parade is always a lot of fun, and we hope those who enjoy it will head to the festgrounds afterward for some more music and entertainment.