×

Editorials

Harpestad should have skills for DHS

Governor Tim Walz took steps to bring the state’s Department of Human Services under better control Monday by naming Jodi Harpestead as the new commissioner of DHS. There has been turmoil in the massive state agency since last month, when the commissioner Walz first appointed, former state ...

Goodbye, MNLARS

The State of Minnesota signed a $33.9 million deal with Fast Enterprises to replace the state’s chronically troubled MNLARS (Minnesota License and Registration System). Despite the expense, and despite kissing goodbye the more than $100 million the state spent trying to develop MNLARS, it ...

Time for more openness in state legislature

Late last month, it was reported that Gov. Tim Walz and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) were talking about the idea of subjecting the Minnesota Legislature to the Data Practices Act, which designates most public records as public information, with limited exceptions spelled out ...

Don’t buy the ‘futility’ argument

You hear the argument every time a mass shooting massacre triggers calls for more gun control. “Gun control won’t stop mass murder. Maniacs will find a way to get guns illegally.” Or, “If they want to kill someone, they’ll find a way, even without guns.” This “futility” ...

Thumbs Up/Down

Welcoming banners THUMBS UP: Those traveling up and down Broadway have probably noticed New Ulm Street Department crews putting up some new, colorful banners on the median light poles. The banners depict one of New Ulm’s many attractions, from the Schell’s Brewery, to the Brown County ...

Good neighbors vs. hate crimes

A comment about hate crime that is both disturbing and in a way encouraging was made a few days ago by a woman who apparently was a victim of it. Police in Sterling, Ohio, are investigating an explosion that reduced a home to rubble. Fortunately, no one was injured — because no one was home ...

Farmers: Collateral damage in Trump’s trade war with China

Last year, after announcing steep tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, President Donald Trump tweeted that “trade wars are good, and easy to win.” A year later, China is showing Trump that trade wars are not so easy to win, and American farmers should be telling Trump that it’s NOT ...

The warning signs were there

Really thinking about what we read so often in the wake of mass killings is the only way we Americans can find a way to curb them. What comes out within hours or days of most killings such as those in Dayton and El Paso is that the murderers showed signs of homicidal tendencies long before ...

A shocking weekend

As inured as Americans have become to the occasional mass shooting, this past week has been especially horrendous. Three mass shooting events in a week’s time, including two within 24 hours over the weekend. The toll keeps growing — three killed at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on July 28; ...

Make corporate opioid pushers pay

More than 10 years ago, a representative for a drug distributor wrote of the opioid products his company was receiving, “Keep ’em comin’! Flyin’ out of here. It’s like people are addicted to these things or something. Oh, wait, people are…” In reply, a sales representative for ...

Dealing with insulin costs

Diabetics who need insulin to survive suddenly represent a cash cow to those drug-makers who produce insulin. Minnesota lawmakers would like to address the problem of skyrocketing insulin prices. Gov. Tim Walz and lawmakers are working on a plan that would help people who can’t afford the ...

Thumbs Up/Down

Hands Free law obviously needed Thumbs Down: The “Hands Free” driving law took effect on Thursday, and came not a moment too soon. The need for this law was made obvious in one of the first traffic stops to enforce it. In Eagan, an officer saw a woman using her phone while driving. When ...

Getting serious about the river

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is getting serious about the water quality in the Minnesota River and its tributaries. The MPCA is finalising plans to address a number of problems along the river. It held a session in Mankato Wednesday to go over its report and plans. The problems ...

Something good from Washington

Sometimes good things can happen in Washington. One did this week when the Senate approved a common-sense bill to help veterans of military service. The measure is the Veteran STEM Scholarship Improvement Act, S 2011. It was introduced by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. Co-sponsors were Sent. Ted ...

So many questions, so little time

CNN’s second round of Democratic presidential candidate debates began last night with 10 of the 20 invited candidates. The other 10 will debate tonight, similar to the last debate. This is a cumbersome, unwieldy debate format, giving such a large number of debaters a mere 60 seconds to ...

What should U.S. do avert election meddling

U.S. senators were told last week that the federal government should have a bigger role in protecting states’ election systems from computer hackers such as those working for Russia. A report submitted to the Senate, on Russian efforts to interfere with U.S. elections, suggests Moscow is ...

Stronger pills raise new opioid issue

We have known for some time that even as the danger of prescription pain pills containing opioids was becoming clear, drug companies were shipping out hundreds of millions of them. Some — not all — doctors continued to write prescriptions for them despite warnings that might not be best for ...

Lowering drug costs

The rising cost of prescription drugs has been a big part of the health care debate in the past few years. Users of life-saving drugs like insulin, epinephrine, people dependent on drugs for cancer treatment, rheumatoid arthritis and a host of other debilitating diseases, have seen the price of ...

Thumbs Up/Down

Relay for Life THUMBS UP: The Brown County Relay for Life was held last night at the Brown County Fairgrounds. It is always a special celebration, featuring fun and good times, always with a serious purpose. This is the 21st year of the Brown County Relay for Life, and since its beginning it ...

Franken will have to live with regret

Former Democratic Sen. Al Franken was the subject of a profile in the New Yorker magazine this week. In it, Franken reflected on the accusations that led him to resign from his Senate seat in December 2017. He said he “absolutely” regrets resigning when he did. Franken, you recall, had ...