Human Rights Award
THUMBS UP: Congratulations to Sheldon Rieke, recipient of this year's Human Rights Award, presented annually by the New Ulm Human Rights Commission.
Rieke has worked for years with local youth, through Healthy Communities/Healthy Youth, and through the local SPOTS program (Students Performing On Tough Situations). In SPOTS, students examine social problems that face young people, from bullying to alcohol and drug use, and they develop plays and skits to help educate their fellow youth on the issues.
It is always nice to see people who work for others get the recognition they deserve, but don't always get.
THUMBS DOWN: So the long-dreaded "sequestered" cuts have arrived. The cuts are sort of a slow-motion disaster. The effects may not be felt for several weeks as the government phases them in, so there is still time for a budget cutting deal once the politicians get tired of blaming each other for the problem.
The fact that these cuts have been coming for months, and were put off back at the end of 2012 makes it all the more frustrating that no agreement could be reached.
In the meantime, the Republic will survive even this folly.
THUMBS UP: Congratulations to all the area wrestlers who are competing in the Minnesota State High School Wrestling Tournament this week. A state tourney trip is a great payoff for the months and years of hard work these athletes have put into their sport.
The International Olympic Committee may not recognize wrestling as a worthwhile sport anymore, but we do, and wish all the area wrestlers well as they compte.