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Et Cetera ...

September 29, 2012
Gary Andersen, Lee Smith , Fairmont Sentinel

'Green' energy fading?

Renewable energy was in the local news this week. The Buffalo Lake ethanol plant in Fairmont has been idled, given the high price of corn, a glut of ethanol and the ongoing drought.

Meanwhile, a wind farm is going up near Guckeen. Wind energy has become big business in southern Minnesota. However, it's not clear if Congress is going to renew tax credits for the wind industry, given the massive hole in the federal budget.

"Green" energy has been being pushed in recent years, but financial realities may intervene harshly.

City makes right choice

It was reported this week that the city of Ringsted is not interested in playing a lead role in preserving the local public school building, which has been vacated as part of the merger involving North Union schools. The city may be willing to play some role in the conversion of the site into a business center or some other use, but the city does not want the bulk of the responsibility.

This is understandable. There is a significant ongoing maintenance cost to keep the building up and functional. And if the site cannot be transformed into a new use, the city would have been left holding the bag.

If the school is going to become something new, a group outside of government is going to have to make the difference.

Police try to save lives

We appreciate the effort of local police, who have launched a campaign to reduce car-pedestrian accidents. It has been a bad year in Minnesota, with 23 pedestrian fatalities through Sept. 9. This pace makes for one of the worst years in Minnesota for pedestrian deaths.

In Fairmont, three of the last eight traffic fatalities have been pedestrians. When we stop and think about how "small town" Fairmont supposedly is, it's incredible to think that anyone lost his or her life simply through walking on the streets.

We hope everyone will be more careful. Pedestrians cannot assume cars see them. Drivers must slow down and be a friend to walkers.



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