THUMBS UP: Congratulations to the Sertoma Club for selecting former mayor Carl "Red" Wyczawski for its Service to Mankind award.
It has been quite a while since Wyczawski left office, but it is certainly worthwhile to recognize the long service he provided to the city in his years as mayor, as well as his enthusiastic support for local sports teams, and for New Ulm in general.
THUMBS UP: Recreational trails seem to be a little like sports arenas. There's bound to be opposition and criticism while they are being planned and built, but once they are there, they prove to be real assets.
The Department of Natural Resources held an open house in New Ulm this past week to spread word about the proposed Minnesota River State Trail, which would extend from Ortonville, way on the western border of the state, and follow the Minnesota River to LeSueur.
There is a lot of planning, a lot of routing and a lot of work to be done before this project is completed. It would provide a great opportunity for New Ulm and other area towns along the river to attract travelers, bikers and hikers, and provide an excellent opportunity for local bikers and hikers.
Of course, there are concerns by landowners along the potential route about loss of land and easy access to their land for trespassers and vandals.
It is good to hold meetings like this to get the issues out in the open and make sure the project works for everyone.
Hope and horror in Cleveland
THUMSB UP: The story of the three women in Cleveland, kidnapped and held captive for more than a decade, is at once inspiring and horrifying. It is a happy ending to a terrible situation that one of the women, Amanda Berry, was able to escape her bonds and gain freedom for herself and her fellow prisoners. It inspires hope for others whose children have gone missing that they may someday return alive.
But the revelations of the sexual abuse and torture that their alleged captor, Ariel Castro, inflicted upon them are horrible. They endured ten years or more of captivity and isolation. Castro is accused of fathering a daughter with one of his victims, and causing another to suffer five miscarriages after repeatedly impregnating her.
It may take years of intensive therapy for the three women - Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus - before they can fully recover from this horror. We wish them all the best.