Et Cetera …

Addressing hunger

Sometimes, we think we live in strange times. There is a national and area labor shortage. Jobs are plentiful. Yet we hear there are ongoing hunger problems in the Fairmont area. The food shelves are busy, and a new endeavor aims to bring a soup kitchen here.

The Shepherd’s In is to be credited for caring. We’re sure the soup kitchen will be appreciated.

But there is a larger disconnect happening that must be addressed, if by recognizing it if nothing else. Are people not seeking work? Do they lack skills? Are there solutions?

Making a great investment

The Schmeeckle Foundation continues to demonstrate its benevolence in amazing ways. The group recently donated $50,000 to Fairmont Area Schools for the purchase of band and orchestra equipment. The school provided a 2-for-1 match.

All of the funds will help students whose families face financial difficulty participate in band and orchestra. This is great news.

Research has shown that studying music enhances children’s mental skills and helps them learn other subjects. And learning to play an instrument is an accomplishment that builds self-worth.

Things sound pretty iffy

We have to admit we are a little concerned with the Blue Earth City Council’s decision to agree to transfer the “Three Sisters” buildings downtown to the nonprofit Rural Renaissance Project.

The council previously established a benchmark for the group that has not been met. The group was supposed to raise $1 million but has not done so. It is already scaling back its approach to revitalizing the buildings.

The group says it believes fundraising will now accelerate. What if it doesn’t? What’s the backup plan?

New project emerges

The Martin County Courthouse dome needs substantial work, according to a report presented to county commissioners this week. The cost is estimated at $1.9 million.

The courthouse is not only a functioning office structure, it is a historic building. The copper dome, clocks and murals all require restoration.

The county is talking about needing grant dollars to complete the work. Perhaps the state of Minnesota can step up and return some of our tax dollars to us to assist with this project. Local taxpayers cannot afford the seemingly unending demands on their pocketbooks.