Thumbs Up/Down

Sleepy Eye at State

THUMBS UP: The Sleepy Eye High School girls basketball team earned a trip to the State High School League tournament this week. The team ran into a tough first round opponent, and we’re sure they would have liked to be playing more this weekend, but the accomplishment of making it to state caps off a big season for them.

Congratulations to the Indians for their great year.

American folk art

THUMBS UP: If you want to see some great American folk art, head over to the New Ulm Event Center today, where the Prairie Piecemakers Quilt Guild is holding its quilt show.

Quilting is a great art form born out of necessity and frugality on the frontier. Instead of throwing out worn clothing and scraps of material, women cut them into pieces and stitched them together to use for blankets and coverlets to keep their families warm. They found they could make things of beauty through the intricate designs they made.

These days quilting draws people more interested in artistic expression and a satisfying hobby. Whatever their inspiration, there’s nothing quite like seeing a roomful of quilts on display. Check it out from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.

Rehashing old battles

THUMBS DOWN: It is “deja v all over again” at the state capitol. The old battles that were fought to a standstill last session are apparently being fought again.

Take the issue of a state transportation plan. Last year, despite consensus agreement that the state needs to funnel billions of dollars into transportation projects over the next ten years (how many billions is a matter of debate, but no one is arguing that it is billions with a “b”), the Legislature could not pass a bill. DFLers insisted on using a new wholesale gas tax that would equal 16 or so cents a gallon, while Republicans insisted it could be done without raising taxes at all by using the surplus and rerouting other tax revenues. With that, only a “lights on” bill was passed, maintaining current funding for transportaton.

This year the positions have not moved. Gov. Mark Dayton has called on the Legislature to come up with some kind of plan, the DFL is talking gas tax increase, and the Republicans are again resisting.

Can they not climb out of their trenches and try to meet somewhere in the middle? Refighting old battles will result in the same old results.