Teachers of the year
THUMBS UP: Congratulations to the three District 88 teachers honored this week as Teachers of the Year in New Ulm.
Michelle Hopp, Todd McKeeth and Lyle Erickson, each representing a different building in the district, were honored by the District for their outstanding service to students.
Good teachers have a great influence on the students they teach. Long after students forget the difference between sines and cosines, for example, or what exactly an infinitive is, let alone a split one, they will remember the teachers who inspired them and instilled in them the lessons for success.
It is good to remember each year the awesome responsibility we place on our teachers, and to be thankful for the good work they do.
Service to Mankind
THUMBS UP: John and Anne Makepeace are being recognized by the New Ulm Sertoma Club this year as the local Service to Mankind award winners. The couple has truly made an impact on New Ulm in many ways in the years they have been in New Ulm.
As owners of the Grand Hotel they are to be commended for preserving and remaking this historic landmark into a center for the arts and culture in New Ulm. They have set a great example for other building owners in downtown New Ulm. They have also served on many commissions groups dedicated to the arts and to the history of New Ulm.
Congratulations to John and Anne Makepeace.
Game, wildlife bill
THUMBS UP: It was touch and go, but it appears the bill to raise hunting and fishing license fees for the Department of Natural Resources's fish and wildlife fund will make it through the Legislature. The bill has been passed by both House and Senate and is in a conference committee.
There is a great need for this fee increase. Without it, the state's fish and wildlife fund will run dry in June 2013, which would force the state to cut back on its services and programs that outdoors enthusiasts rely on. The fee increases have the support of every outdoor sports group in the state.
A state soil?
THUMBS DOWN: With all the important business that needs to get done at the Legislature, we're surprised our lawmakers had time to designate a State Soil. Yes, a state soil.
Lester Soil, so called because it is found near Lester Prairie, is a rich, loamy soil that covers a 17-county expanse of the south-central portion of the state. Brown County is just to the west of the Lester Soil range. It is soil that developed under woody growth that has been removed, and it is good for growing corn and soybeans.
Someone decided we need a state soil, and they hired a lobbyist to push it, and here we are.
We don't know what makes this soil any better from other kinds of soil in the state, or why this soil represents the state any better than the soil up in the pine forests, or out on the western prairies. We don't know, either, why our legislators are wasting time on this.