Tour de Kota
THUMBS UP: Well done, city of Marshall and all those who worked behind-the-scenes to organize the events and hospitality surrounding the Tour de Kota bike tour that made a swing through Marshall on Tuesday and Wednesday. More than 300 cyclists from Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota made Marshall home for a night, as this year marked the first time the tour has left South Dakota.
Balaton food co-op?
THUMBS UP: It's good to see the city of Balaton make an effort to keep its only grocery store open. The store closed earlier this year, and about 60 Balaton residents showed up for a public meeting Wednesday night to discuss the possibility of creating a food co-op. That meeting included representatives from Menno, S.D., who spoke about how their city took over the grocery store there. The co-op may or may not happen in Balaton, but at least the city is formulating ideas to retain a grocery store in the small town.
Legal spending in the U.S.
THUMBS DOWN: Barry Bonds, Lance Armstrong, Roger Clemens. All have been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs to get the most out of their bodies in their respective sports. There are more, and there are sure to be more in the future, but at some time we have to question the very need of prosecuting them at the expense of the taxpayers. Clemens required a five-year investigation and prosecutors couldn't get a guilty verdict. This country spends millions trying to convict high-profile people like Bill Clinton and John Edwards, and for what? To make them pay? And what about the legal bills for the sex scandal investigation involving Minnesota's GOP majority leader and her aide? There's another $80,000-plus in taxpayer money out the window, and not a single lawsuit has even been field yet. Sickening. Prosecuting athletes is even more a tremendous waste of resources, and even if The Rocket would've been found guilty and served some time, so what? How would our society be better served? Was the millions of dollars spent on his prosecution really taxpayer money well spent? Sure, the integrity of the game of baseball is an important thing, but a lot of that integrity was lost during the steroids era and will never come back, regardless of whether or not these athletes get locked up, which most never do anyway. If Major League Baseball or the National Football League want to prosecute these jocks, let them do it on their own dime, not ours. And Congress, you have enough to deal with without meddling into the troubling affairs of athletes.
Feeling for Duluth
THUMBS DOWN: The city of Marshall is no stranger to floods and many here surely sympathize with the citizens of Duluth, who have just begun picking up the drenched, mud-soaked pieces left behind from this week's flooding. City officials say it could take months to get a firm grasp on the extent of damage to the city and its infrastructure, and our thoughts and prayers are with the citizens of Duluth as they struggle to move on.