Local Editorials

Preschool program decision can wait a year

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is pushing — hard — for the Legislature to extend funding for his signature initiative involving preschool funding. Dayton wants lawmakers to add three years worth of dollars for the voluntary preschool program. Its funding runs out in the 2019-2020 school year. ...

Evil people will utilize any means of destruction

Events in Texas during the past three weeks are — or ought to be — a reminder of what we Americans need to do to prevent mass killings. Identifying and apprehending the human beings plotting mayhem is the challenge. A reign of terror in and around Austin, Texas, came to an end last week ...

Get tough? Yes, but treat addicts as well

President Donald Trump’s suggestion that some especially evil traffickers in illegal drugs may deserve the death penalty got the headlines. But other aspects of his initiative against substance abuse, unveiled last week in New Hampshire, deserve more attention. Buried several lines deep in ...

High court will back tenets of free speech

We Americans, who demonstrate regularly that many of us do not understand the First Amendment, ought to be happy the U.S. Supreme Court does. For example, the high court has ruled more than once that freedom of speech works both ways. That is, it allows us to speak our minds — but it also ...

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City tackling nuisances The city of Fairmont made a decision last year to up its enforcement of City Code violations related to private property. Infractions include tall grass, junk storage or inoperable vehicles. The city is having an impact on the problem, with the number of cases it has ...

Reforms needed on federal food stamps

The federal Farm Bill is important to many people living in southern Minnesota, and not just farmers. This is evident in one telling statistic: 40 million Americans receive supplemental nutrition assistance (once known as food stamps). The cost to the U.S. Treasury is $70 billion per year. ...

New laws? Government already routinely failing

High school students demanding that Congress enact laws to protect them against mass murder may want to reconsider. Instead of seeking new legislation, they may want to demand that existing safeguards be used, not ignored. Since Feb. 14, when Nikolas Cruz massacred 17 people in a Parkland, ...

State should be trying to free up businesses

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton recently unveiled a budget proposal that, among other things, would hike a statewide property tax paid by businesses. This is a mistake, to say the least. The tax was cut last session and signed into law by Dayton. He then wanted an immediate reworking of several ...

State Department reforms must go on

His days as U.S. secretary of state nearly at end, Rex Tillerson knows full well why President Donald Trump ousted him. The two men simply did not get along. And in some ways, Tillerson was just too diplomatic for the president’s taste. But in a way, Tillerson’s departure is a victory for ...

Veterans, Americans deserve solid answers

We Americans disagree on many things. Not on our military veterans, however. There is virtual unanimity in the feeling that while we can never fully repay the debt we owe them, we ought to do our best in the attempt. That has not happened for some time. Scandals involving the quality of ...

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Zierke thriving locally Fairmont has itself a winner in Zierke Manufacturing. The custom builder of fuel tanks and trailers to support generators is thriving in its new home in the former US Foods warehouse on Winnebago Avenue. Zierke relocated to Fairmont from Winnebago, receiving a ...

U.S. nationals parks meant to be accessible

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is right about one thing. Our national parks may be the last of the true bargains. They were never intended to be a money-making proposition, and should not be converted into one. Zinke has suggested fees charged to enter some parks should be increased ...

Students deserve praise, punishment for walkouts

Some students across the United States — including in Fairmont — walked out of classrooms on Wednesday as part of a nationwide protest of gun violence. Good for them. We can appreciate standing up for what you believe is right. Now those students should be punished. Free speech means ...

Dayton’s plan deserves strong consideration

Gov. Mark Dayton’s School Safety plan is not focused on guns, which is a pleasant difference in the post-Parkland national debate. The governor’s plan focuses on schools, and keeping guns out of them. The governor is proposing $21 million in new funding for to enhance security features ...

Don’t get your hopes up over leaders’ summit

The announcement last week that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has agreed to meet face-to-face with President Donald Trump to discuss the rogue regime’s development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles was hailed by many as wonderful news. Let’s not get our hopes up. Kim, like ...

Questions about VA oversight need answers

Veterans of military service ought to be asking an old cliche question about Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin: What did he know, and when did he know it? A new inspector general report makes official what many Americans knew, that “failed leadership” at the VA during ...

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Should county pay? Martin County is paying out $50,000 in wages each summer to help provide youth with internships at area businesses. Youth gain knowledge and skills while businesses get potential future employees. County leaders can say they are doing something to try to keep young people ...

County program wasn’t raising funds anyway

Some things sound great on paper. Unfortunately, in practice, they do not work out. Even in cases when they seem entirely just. Such is the case, it seems, with Martin County’s pay-for-stay program that sought to have prisoners help fund their own stays in jail. Why, after all, should ...

To fix system, do not repeat same mistakes

Some may believe it is unfair to offer certain criticisms of the Minnesota License and Registration System (MNLARS) boondoggle, which Republicans in the Minnesota House are trying to pin on Gov. Mark Dayton. After all, the decision to upgrade MNLARS was made back in 2008, during the Pawlenty ...

In some states, liberals fighting for the wealthy?

Contrary to what you have heard from the liberal tax-and-spend crowd, federal tax reform championed by President Donald Trump is not a big break for the rich. In fact, while tens of millions of Americans are beginning to see substantial tax cuts in their paychecks, many of the wealthy will pay ...