Thumbs Up/Down

Projekt Neu Ulm

THUMBS UP: Filling those vacant downtown storefronts is one of those things everyone wishes someone would do, but no one seems to know anyone who will do it.

In New Ulm, however, a new initiative, Projekt Neu Ulm, is getting underway to take on the problem. Local entrepreneurs and business people are banding together to assist people interested in starting a business, but need some help getting started. They can pitch their ideas in a “Shark Tank” style of presentation, and those whose ideas are chosen get a variety of benefits, from advice on setting up business plans to financial help from local banks and subsidized rent.

Small business owners with big ideas will be the new blood downtown needs. Good luck to Projekt Neu Ulm.

Take time, GFW

THUMBS UP: The school board for the Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop is taking a little extra time on its decision on closing a school. Faced with statutory operating debt and the need to cut costs, the board has been considering closing one of its three schools and consolidating classes in the other two communities.

The board was scheduled to make a decision on Monday, but delayed the action until Feb. 24 after receiving a financial offer from the City of Gibbon.

Closing a community’s school building is an emotional, traumatic experience, and the GFW board should take every bit of time it needs to hear everyone and consider all of its options.

Punish MLB cheaters

THUMBS DOWN: The Houston Astros issued an apology of sorts this week for the sign-stealing scandal that helped them win the 2017 World Series.

Major League Baseball needs to come down harder on the Astros than they have so far. Cheating as systemic and advanced as this needs to be thoroughly squashed to protect the integrity of America’s Pastime.