The giving season
THUMBS UP: About this time of year we like to recall the words of Ebenezer Scrooge's nephew, Fred, who said Christmas was "...the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys."
Many people celebrate Christmas by helping those less fortunate, giving to the Food Shelf, to Coats for Kids, adopting families, and so on. One of the most successful programs is Santa's Closet, begun by Brown County Family Services in 1975, and taken over by the Sertoma Club in 1985. As many as 600 children a year have been given Christmas presents through the program. The Sertoma Club raises and spends around $19,000 a year to make sure these children get toys, books, a warm hat and mittens.
They do it with the support of hundreds in the community who raise funds and donate presents. We are blessed during this season by their generosity.
THUMBS UP: Bavarian Blast organizers decided this past week to go ahead with a 2012 festival. Poor attendance last year, due in part to extremely hot, humid weather, had put the festival in a financial hole, and the organizers seriously considered whether to have another festival or give up.
We're glad they decided to give it another try. New Ulm has a long history of successful summer festivals that have attracted people to town and built awareness of the city. We need that.
The festival, however, needs the support of the local community as well as folks from out of town. We hope people will give it a chance, and take a day out of their summer to go have some fun at Bavarian Blast.
THUMBS DOWN: The Y-intersection of Highways 14 and 15 north of New Ulm have long been known as a dangerous spot. A couple of accidents there this week have confirmed that reputation.
We know the Minnesota Department of Transportation is planning on reworking the intersection in a few years as part of the Highway 14 4-lane project. It can't come too soon.
We'd like to see MnDOT make that project a top priority and get it done before many more people get hurt or killed there.