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Ready to listen

THUMBS UP: It is one of the sadder stereotypes about politicians that they are vitally interested in the issues that matter to you — right up to the time they get your vote. Then it’s “See you in two years (or four years, or however long their term is).”

That’s why it is refreshing to see Gov.-elect Tim Walz and his Lt. Gov.-elect Peggy Flanagan held listening sessions throughout the state this week. Granted, the sessions were announced with very short notice, hardly enough time to get the word out to the public and allow people to plan to attend, but it is a signal that Walz’s desire to build “One Minnesota” will include the ideas of lots of Minnesotans. We hope there will be more such sessions held in the future, with a little more planning and notice.

Of course, our local state legislators are old hands at holding listening sessions. Rep. Paul Torkelson and Sen. Gary Dahms are inviting people to attend their joint town hall meetings on Dec. 12. They’ve been doing this a long time, and know that it’s a good idea to let people know about it ahead of time.

Advent Calendar

THUMBS UP: A nice Christmas tradition with a German flair is being held again this year by the New Ulm Sister Cities Commission, the New Ulm Advent Calendar. Businesses throughout New Ulm have agreed to display a large, colorful poster showing a traditional German Christmas scene in their windows. A new one will be displayed every day from now up to Dec. 25.

The first one is on display today at the Guten Tag Haus, 127 N. Minnesota Street. The Journal will be printing a small notice with the picture and location each day. See page 8A for the Dec. 1 notice.

It’s a nice way to start revving up the Christmas spirit.