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Star Herald doles out thumbs for fuel prices, tree trimming, dog sledding and more

Star Herald Editorial

Thumps up — to Casey’s new bright red awning and sign. It’s a bright, shiny improvement to our South Highway 75 “gateway” into Luverne.
Thumps down — to rising gas prices. They’re taking a huge bite out of family budgets at a time wages finally nudged upward but are being gobbled up furiously by across-the-board inflation. And along those lines …
Thumbs down — to small-minded people eager to politicize rising fuel costs. Oil prices are always subject to multiple influencers, but post-covid pent-up demand combined with the global effects of Russian sanctions are combining to raise havoc at the pumps. These factors are beyond the control of a single person in U.S. leadership.
Thumbs up — to Luverne Middle School English teacher Deb Hoogendoorn and her innovative lesson plan involving sled dog racer and Minnesota native Brent Sass. Sass zoomed with local students talking about sled dogs and competing in Iditarod. Students tracked his progress in this year’s race and last week watched him cross the finish line in Nome, Alaska, in first place. “We watched him win LIVE this morning in my room,” Hoogendoorn said. “It was soooo exciting!”
Thumbs down — to those who take their dogs on walks around town without using a leash. Not all adults and kids feel comfortable around dogs, especially those they don’t know, and an unwelcome “visit” from an unleashed dog can ruin an otherwise enjoyable walk.
Thumbs up — to the Luverne City Council for pursuing a solution to the day care shortage. Residents and businesses have sought solutions for years, but a push from city leadership is bringing the possibility of a group day care to our community. Their negotiated purchase of the former Total Card Inc. building on Blue Mound Avenue also brings a purpose to a very large and empty building.
Thumbs down — to the rail authorities who authorized “trimming trees” in the railroad right of way. The current mode of operation is to hack at branches with a shredder, leaving the rail-facing sides of the trees mutilated. If we want to kill the trees, then we should remove them altogether. Leaving them in this state not only looks terrible, but it will prompt suckers as the trees attempt to heal themselves.
Thumbs up — to city of Luverne public works policies that focus on tending to trees year-round to keep them trimmed and healthy — and removed when necessary, to keep our boulevards safe and attractive.
Thumbs down — to distracted drivers all over town. They don’t stop for stop signs, which means they likely won’t see other drivers or pedestrians. Stay alert!
Thumbs up — to the Golla family whose Farm Store legacy lives on through the thoughtful sale of the feed mill and lawn service to local individuals who will carry on those two services that area residents have come to rely on.
Thumbs down — (and hopefully jail time) for those who keep stealing merchandize from Bomgaars and ACE Hardware. Due to the businesses not being able to stay fully staffed, out-of-town “customers” are taking advantage of those helping legitimate customers and walking out with merchandise.
Thumbs up — to Andrew Blank and the Beaver Creek City Council members for sprucing up their community welcome signs. Thumbs up also to the talented designers at Quality Printing for creating the signs and to local businesses who ponied up donations to cover production costs.

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