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home : opinion : editorial February 5, 2016

7/1/2014 4:28:00 PM
Cheers and Jeers
As the July edition of Cheers and Jeers goes to press, area residents are getting ready for what promises to be a beautiful July 4 holiday week.
Down through the years, the Fourth of July has traditionally been a time for family and friends to gather for picnics, games, relaxation, celebration and, of course, fireworks.
Each year, we read about tragedies involving fireworks accidents. Too often, these accidents involve children who do not understand the risks and proper handling of things like firecrackers and bottle rockets.
As this edition of Cheers and Jeers arrives, we urge everyone to use extra caution this Fourth of July. Have a safe week.
Cheers go out to the Toro Company which recently announced donations of $113,000 to area non-profit organizations as part of its 100th birthday celebration.
That's actually just a fraction of what Toro paid out in donations. Worldwide, the total amount exceeds $1 million.
For anyone who has been paying attention over the years, this should come as no surprise. For years, Toro has been one of the region's very best corporate citizens.
The company seems to support virtually every non-profit activity under the sun - from schools to Riverfest to ballparks. Company officials say they do it because it is the right thing to do, and because Toro wants to show support for the communities where employees live and work.
The recent donations will help critical groups like the Business, Arts and Recreation Center, Winfair Eagle Academy, City of Mt. Lake, Twin Valley Council Boy Scouts of America and the Windom Baseball Association, which, in turn will help the people of our communities.
Similarily, Toro planted 100 trees at the Windom Recreation Area a few weeks ago. Those trees will benefit the community for decades to come.
How can you spot a great company? It's one that uses a birthday celebration as a reason to give, rather than receive.
Jeers go out to the vandals who damaged some of the trees that were recently planted by Toro employees at the Windom Recreation Area as part of Toro's 100th birthday celebration.
City Parks Superintendent Bruce Caldwell said at least six new trees were damaged just a few days after the trees were planted. Caldwell's report left us both saddened and amazed.
How can people be so cruel and willfully destructive?
The trees are in place thanks to a string of selfless acts - from the donation by Toro, to the actual planting of the trees by Toro employees. Anyone who would actually destroy something like that deserves a penalty that goes well above and beyond a typical vandalism charge.
As we've suggested previously in this space, the time has come for our community to consider the installation of video cameras as a possible solution to our vandalism problem. The vandals of our region have been getting away with far too much, for far too long.
Cheers go out to the Windom Area High School girls golf team which placed fourth in the recent Minnesota State High School Tournament in Becker.
This is a team that performed solidly all year long and showed great depth throughout its line-up. The team was led by Kelsey Hanefeld who placed seventh in this year's state tournament. But it also benefitted from a strong team atmosphere and the experienced coaching of Dave Eyberg and Lindsey Cartwright.
State tournament trips do not come around that often for the Windom Eagles, so it is important that the students represent our community well. Fortunately, this team consists of an impressive group of students.
They certainly deserve the respect and applause from our entire community. Great job, girls!
Jeers go out to Americans who consistently show their dissatisfaction with Congress through single-digit approval ratings, yet regularly send the same people back to the ballot.
We are more than halfway through the 2014 primaries and, according to a recent AP story, 291 House and Senate members have won nominations to their seats.
The story noted that there were two victories by challengers and two veterans eked out victories.
"But those rare exciting races that draw national attention are misleading," Connie Cass reported. "Most of the House candidates, about 60 percent so far, didn't have a soul running against them. Only a few faced a challenger who posed a real threat. No senator has been defeated yet."
One of the problems with Congress is that some incumbent lawmakers become too cozy and comfortable in their positions. Maybe a few losses would lead to real progress.
Cheers go out to the Windom Riverfest committee for its untiring efforts through a rainy and frustrating weekend.
It's too bad that the big Saturday music and art event at Tegels Park was a washout. We were intrigued by the idea of keeping most of Saturday's activities at one site. In fact, we are confident that it would have been a tremendous success.
Meanwhile, folks were impressed with the "new" Riverfest, most notably the Sunday water ski show. It appears Riverfest is on track for a new wave of excitement and success for years to come.
A big "Thank You" goes out to our hard-working volunteers who make Riverfest possible.
- Rahn Larson

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