THUMBS UP: It's a complaint we hear every year - why doesn't New Ulm ever have fireworks for the 4th of July?
The answer, in large part, is cost. Big, impressive fireworks shows are expensive. The liability coverage needed is a major part of the cost as well. It's a lot of work, too. It takes a major, months-long effort to raise the funds, order the fireworks, and get them set up.
The Hermann Monument Society is taking on that task this year for the double anniversary being celebrated in September. It is the 150th anniversary of the founding of the New Ulm Battery, and the 125th anniversary of the laying of the Hermann Monument's cornerstone. The Society wants to have a fireworks display similar to the one at the Hermann Monument in 2009, the 2000th anniversary of the battle of the Teutoberg Forest.
The society is looking to raise $10,000 to $15,000 for the fireworks display. Donations can be made to the Monument/Battery Fund at Frandsen Bank &?Trust, and the society is seeking corporate sponsorships as well.
We are confident New Ulm residents will respond generously to this appeal.
SIDEWAYS THUMB: No time is ever a good time for drinking and driving. But the next couple of weeks will be a particulary good time to refrain. Minnesota law enforcement agencies are combining their efforts in a Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign between now and Sept. 2.
The reason is obvious. A total of 585 people have been killed by drunk drivers in the past five years in Minnesota. Over 2,600 have been injured.
Being ticketed for DWI?carries heavy consequences - loss of drivers license for up to a year, thousands of dollars in legal costs, fines and insurance premium increases, and possible jail time. The consequences of not getting caught can be worse - causing an accident that could result in injury or death for you or others.
It's best to just not risk it. Plan for a sober ride, or offer to be a designated driver. Don't let friends drive drunk. Report drunk driving if you suspect it, and if you are driving, buckle up to protect yourself from drunk drivers.
Minnesota Nice vs. New Jersey nasty
THUMBS DOWN: A New Jersey judge used words like "bad faith" and "evil" to describe Zygi Wilf's business dealings in a New Jersey real estate lawsuit. The judge in the 21-year-old civil racketeering suit said she found fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty in the Wilfs' dealings. She added, "I do not believe I have seen one single financial statement that is true and accurate" out of the Wilfs.
Hardly the kind of evaluation to instill confidence in the state in its agreement with the Minnesota Vikings to build a stadium. So the stadium contracts are on hold while the state stadium commission conducts a deeper background check on the Vikings principal owners and their business dealings.
Gov. Mark Dayton and pro-stadium legislators should hope the Wilfs come through the investigation. If this should result in the stadium deal falling through, there will be a lot of blame going around during the next election.