Thumbs Up/Down

The New Guard

THUMBS UP: Last week we gave a Thumbs Up and thank you to the local public servants whose terms of office were up on Dec. 31, who are retiring or were defeated in the November election.

This week we want to recognize those who are moving into their place, the New Guard, many of whom will take their oath of office on Monday. They put themselves out there, campaigned hard and succeeded, and are willing to take on the responsibility of public service.

So here’s a Thumbs Up to Jeff Veerkamp of Comfrey, the incoming Brown County 5th District Commissioner; Jason Seidl, the incoming Brown County Sheriff and Amanda Groebner of New Ulm who is joining the District 88 School Board. To all the returning incumbents, congratulations and thanks again for your service.

Wonders of space

THUMBS UP: Some of our older readers will remember the thrill of the space race, when Russia and the U.S. rushed to see who could put a man in space first, who could spend the most time in space, and who could land on the moon. Each launch was a national event, with people glued to their TV screens.

Some of that wonder is lost these days and we don’t pay as much attention to manned space flight, but there are still amazing things happening. This week NASA’s New Horizons probe, which is on its way to Pluto, sent back pictures of a 21-mile-long, bowling-pin shaped formation in space. The probe has traveled 4 billion miles to the edge of the universe in the past 12 years. It may not be as dramatic as Neil Armstrong’s “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” but it is still amazing that we could send something that far and have it perform so well. Who knows what secrets the information it sends back will unlock about the formation of the solar system?