Et Cetera …

Mall playground coming

We extend our congratulations to “Kids Just Want to Have Fun,” the grassroots group that has raised enough funds for a playground at Five Lakes Centre in Fairmont. We’re sure children and their parents are going to love it.

Kudos to the mall for taking on the responsibility of insuring, cleaning and maintaining the playground.

And thanks to all those individuals, businesses and foundations that donated the $55,000 it will take to buy and install the equipment. This is going to be a nice amenity for the community.

Trying time handled well

Emergencies that occur during the holidays can be especially trying for those involved, and for those who come to the rescue. So it was good to hear this week that the residents of Sherburn handled a water main break on Christmas Eve day with patience and understanding, while the city worked to keep residents informed and get the problem fixed.

Beemer Companies deserves the many thanks it has been receiving for sending a crew to fix the leak. Its workers gave up time with family and friends to make sure the people of Sherburn could get their water supply restored.

Stay safe this winter

The Fairmont police chief offered good reminders this week about winter safety. We hope area residents heed his advice about staying safe out on the ice, in fish houses, riding their snowmobiles and when simply driving around town.

This time of year also can involve tragic house fires. A mother and four children in Davenport, Iowa, died in a recent mobile home fire. In Minnesota, 10 people have died in house fires in December, including six since Christmas Day.

Smoke alarms are a must, and they need fresh batteries. Families also need to talk about fire safety and evacuation plans.

Entitlement reform needed

President Trump and Republican leaders, fresh off their victory on tax reform, are planning to meet in coming days to plan a legislative agenda for 2018. What should they work on?

They probably will work on an infrastructure bill and a spending bill to avert a government shutdown, among other things.

What they need to work on is entitlement reform, i.e. the tens of trillions in unfunded liabilities associated with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Unfortunately, this reform is likely to get pushed off into the future again, leaving a time bomb looming over all of us.