Editor's column

Did you read about the new electronic equipment the fire department has to set off fireworks? How cool is that? And, much safer for them too. Two times during my long life of being married to the fireman in charge of the fireworks show, I watched the show from their vantage point.

The first time was over at Sportsmen’s Park, where I kind of huddled in the doorway of the rescue truck because I was afraid a burning bit would fall on me. The other time was after they moved their staging area to the south side of the lake. I wasn’t as close to the burning bits part of the action, so I was more comfortable watching the guys work.

Let me tell you, they really work. It is a lot of running back and forth, wearing their gear on a hot summer night, and they certainly don’t get to see the show themselves.

This new electronic equipment allows them to pre-set the entire show—which, by the way, is still a big job—and then push buttons to set it off. With a few firefighters on hand for safety reasons, the rest can actually watch the show. Except for whoever is pushing the buttons—he’ll be concentrating too hard on his job to look up.

As they add the remaining equipment, and learn more about programming the show, the addition of music is sure to follow.

You’ve maybe already made a donation for fireworks, but if not, or if you still feel generous and appreciative of Sleepy Eye’s great fireworks show, the city office is still collecting donations and would also accept donations for the electronic equipment.

At Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, Larry Braun asked about the sections of downtown curbs and sidewalks that have been skipped over. Everyone agreed it looks kind of crummy and I think the issue will come up in talks with MnDOT. In addition, the slope of the new sidewalk sections along the curbs was talked about. Has anyone been wondering what that might be like with ice on it?

I’ve been under the impression during the planning for this project, that the downtown sidewalks on the north side of the highway were being replaced and redesigned to eliminate what was deemed too much slope. Now we have even more slope on the south side. I wonder what the rationale is for that?

On a more positive note, I am relieved to know there is a future for print journalism. When a 10-year-old stops in and is fascinated with newspapers and how they come to be, I know everything will all right. Thanks for the boost, J.J.!