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Et Cetera ...

November 24, 2012
Gary Andersen, Lee Smith , Fairmont Sentinel

Blue Earth moves ahead

Government involvement in economic development is not ideal. ... Government involvement in many things is not ideal. But given the state of things, cities are not going to forego economic development efforts. If they do, some other city is going to make them pay.

So we believe Blue Earth is doing the right thing in considering a new industrial park along Interstate 90. The City Council this week approved seeking a $1.1 million federal grant to help with the project, which would cost close to $4 million.

The return the city seeks is new industry, with the accompanying tax revenue and local jobs such businesses bring.

The 'Top20' community

It's pretty amazing to consider the fact that Fairmont has become the national epicenter of a program to get students and their parents to think "better" and thereby improve their lives. Fairmont is in the process of becoming the first "Top20 Community" in the United States. This involves creating positive thinking and strategies for use in and out of school. At its center, the program is about emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is proving to be more important than, say, IQ in success and happiness. Among other things, students are trained to find relevance in classes, deal with conflict, fight procrastination and deal with negativity.

The program teaches supportive roles for parents and others.

Kudos to those involved in bringing Top20 to Fairmont and for continuing to expand its reach.

School lunch tinkering

We suppose that students at Fairmont Area should eat more fruits and vegetables, along with their peers across the country. But supposing and seeing it happen are two very different things. Trying to force the food down their throats by changing federal nutritional guidelines is bound to prove problematic, as is the case in Fairmont.

Students are getting more fruits and vegetables on their plates. They are not consuming them. That means food is being wasted as lunch prices rise.

We're sure the food service personnel will do what they can to tweak the system so that it is more effective in getting kids to eat better. But many students are simply never going to "comply."

Fundamentally, we have a problem with heavy-handed federal oversight that sees a problem and tries to impose a solution. That is a recipe for failure in school lunches and many other problems the feds try to "solve."



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