Et Cetera …

Sad to see Penneys go

Our society is changing, which is always the case, but the changes do disrupt the lives of people and communities. This is evidenced in the closing of JCPenney in Fairmont. Major department stores that have been staples of our economy for decades are fading a bit. Competition from online retailers is a factor.

JCPenney was an important anchor at the mall in Fairmont, and its loss will be felt. Whether it was locals or visitors shopping here, every store adds to the overall attraction of Fairmont. We are saddened to see the store go.

Remember veterans

Plans for the Martin County Veterans Memorial are proceeding, with hopes to complete the first half of the two-phase shrine this year. Organizers of the $500,000 memorial are getting out information about the project, and seeking donations. We encourage county residents to consider making a contribution.

Donations are 100 percent tax-deductible and can be made payable to Region Nine Area Inc. with a memo designation to “Martin County Veterans Memorial,” and mailed to MCVW, P.O. Box 623, Fairmont MN 56031.

More liberty for all

A bill moving through the Minnesota House would let consumers choose what conditions their health insurance would cover. The idea is to cut insurance costs by giving people freedom to drop options they do not want but often are forced to carry by state or federal mandates.

If all you want is coverage in case of serious injury or illness, why are you forced to pay for all the bells and whistles you can live without?

It’s time for government to pass more legislation like this, empowering individuals to exercise their right to liberty.

Daudt should back off

Last November, Minnesota voters put a citizens council in charge of setting the pay of state lawmakers. This new council met and decided to increase lawmaker pay from $31,000 to $45,000.

There had been no salary hikes for lawmakers since 1999, and part of the idea is to make the job attractive enough to people to make it worth their while to run.

Now, Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt wants to challenge the pay raise, likely to avoid a political backlash from voters. The challenge will mean a court battle and associated costs. Daudt should leave well enough alone. Voters OK’d the council, which OK’d the raises.