Et Cetera …

Do these tests matter?

Area schools recently learned the results of their Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, or tests designed to measure students’ proficiency in math, reading and science. None of the results seem very good to us, nor do the statewide results.

Some schools say the results matter, in some way. Some schools say the results are just a “snapshot” of learning, or not even a very good indicator of student progress.

If the tests mean something, the results aren’t that great. If the assessments don’t mean much, why conduct them? Either way, some clarity is in order.

Buffer ordinance coming

Martin County is getting closer to finalizing its buffer ordinance, which will implement the state’s buffer law. The law aims to establish perennial vegetation buffers of up to 50 feet along lakes, rivers and streams, and of 16.5 feet along ditches. Buffers are meant to filter out phosphorus, nitrogen and sediment.

The buffer law in Martin County is primarily going to affect farms. The provision related to public ditches goes into effect Nov. 1, 2018. The county plans to have its buffer ordiance ready before December.

We hope landowners are getting prepared, because the state law is real and the county will enforce it.

Closing hurts Blue Earth

It is unfortunate that Walmart has chosen to close its Blue Earth store, where 80 people work. This will have a tough impact on the city when Walmart closes the doors Oct. 3

Some workers will be eligible for jobless benefits and some will find work soon. Others may struggle for a bit, sad to say. We hope family, friends and neighbors will be understanding and lend a hand.

The city of Blue Earth will immediately begin considering ways to utilize the Walmart building. We know city officials will work diligently to do what they can.

Offering some insight

Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont this week conducted a hands-on educational exercise developed by two local employees. Their operating room emergency scenarios allowed those involved to practice high-risk situations.

Mayo allowed the Sentinel access to the training, to provide an inside look to the public at how the facility stays on top of its game. We believe the insight is valuable, showing the professionalism of caregivers and life-savers, as well as their human side.

We appreciate the time, energy and effort that went into planning and implementing this exercise.