Artstone turning 100
THUMBS UP: American Artstone is celebrating its 100th anniversary this week, with a open house at the plant on Wednesday from 1 to 6 p.m., complete with a presentation on the company's history and tour of their facility at 2025 N. Broadway.
Originating in Fairfax in 1914, Artstone soon moved to New Ulm and has been putting architectural ideas into poured stone ever since. The work of the company's talented and dedicated artisans can been seen throughout New Ulm, and the Upper Midwest. Artstone's cast stone has been used to build houses, and in schools, churches, sports stadiums, and monuments. If an architect or designer can imagine it, Artstone will create it.
We hope lots of people will accept Artstone's invitation on Wednesday and wish them a happy birthday.
Dealing with water
THUMBS UP: The monsoon-like rains we have been receiving this past week have placed an unusual burden on local utilities and street workers. They have been responding very well to issues like mudslides, road washouts and moving excess water.
Flash floods can be unpredictable and can cause serious damage. Thanks to city crews for being prepared to handle these unusual circumstances.
Hard on farmers
THUMBS DOWN: The heavy rains have also had a harsh impact on area farmers, whose corn fields, just beginning to grow after a late start this year, are being drowned out. We were sent an aerial photo of farm fields taken north of New Ulm this week, and the picture shows a mosaic of water and mud where crops should be.
For many farmers, this is a disaster. It may be possible to replant fields in soybeans, if the ground dries out in time. Otherwise, it will mean collecting on crop insurance, instead of bringing in a harvest.
Working for the river
THUMBS UP: The first Minnesota River Congress was held in New Ulm this week, in an effort to fill the gap left by the disbanding of the Minnesota River Board in April. The citizen-run congress would be a basin-wide group devoted to improving the quality of the Minnesota River.
It is a massive undertaking for a citizen group, but a job in need of doing. We have seen improvements in water quality over the past few years, thanks to efforts to plant more green strips along the banks and identify sources of runoff and pollution. This work needs to continue if the river is to continue its improvement.
We wish the Minnesota River Congress much success with its effort.