Thumbs Up/Down

Winter Fun

Thumbs Up: It hasn’t been much fun to be outside this past week, with the temperatures and wind chill in the downright uncomfortable, if not dangerous, zone. But there’s supposed to be a warmup this weekend, and plenty of opportunities to have fun outside. Sleepy Eye Area Sportsmen’s Club is sponsoring an ice fishing contest on Sleepy Eye Lake on Sunday. On Saturday, the River Valley Dutchmen Snowmobile Club will hold its Snowmobile Hill Climb, starting at 10 a.m. at the Golden Gate Campground north of Sleepy Eye. Even if you aren’t into ice fishing or snowmobiling, the temperatures in the 30s should make it more pleasant to get out and do whatever you need to do. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Eye in the sky?

Thumbs Down: So, a huge, high altitude balloon from China is drifting across the U.S. The Pentagon suspects it was sent to spy on us. The Chinese government says it is a weather balloon that got blown off course. In the meantime, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has canceled a visit he was supposed to make this weekend to ease tensions between the two countries. Somehow, we don’t exactly buy the weather balloon story, but we can’t believe China would send a big, floating balloon to spy on us. Spying is supposed to be done in secret, and this big balloon isn’t exactly inconspicuous. There’s nothing it could see that can’t already be seen by spy satellites. Perhaps it is some kind of provocation, a practical joke that China sent over to rile us up. We will probably need to develop some kind of defensive paintball missile system to mess up its lenses and solar panels.

No oversight of funds

Thumbs Down: The Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) issued a report Thursday that says the state has vague policies overseeing the distribution of millions in grant funds to non-profit agencies, and the that state agencies aren’t complying with those policies anyway. It is no wonder that Feeding Our Future, a non-profit that supposedly was setting up food and meal programs for kids, is accused in a $250 million scheme that is the largest pandemic-related fraud in the country. The OLA’s report should spur legislation, and soon, to require stricter oversight and hold state agencies accountable that don’t follow the state’s policy.


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