Editor's column

You know this is generally an opinion column (although I sometimes share leftover news) and there are probably plenty of times when people don’t agree with my opinion. Today I have an opinion that I think everyone around here agrees with.

It is my opinion that the weather is lousy.

I always thought fall was my favorite season. I’ve heard lots of people say the same thing. Why do we like it? Maybe it’s the colorful leaves against the beautiful blue sky; or the perfect amount of coolness in the air.

This cold and rain is just not right.

My negative opinion about the weather really isn’t just superficially about the colors and sunshine I’d like to see. I have the utmost respect and concern for the conditions the farmers are facing as they try to harvest their crops. In farming, weather is always a part of the economic equation and the farm economy affects us all.

Sometimes, opinions are about things that can be fixed. With the weather, there isn’t anything we can do except hope for dryer days ahead.

I do have a positive opinion about the attention to safety that so many in our community share. One of those issues is safe pedestrian crosswalks. Chief Andres addressed that in his column and I have a short story about a gentleman who lives at Lake Villa who uses the crosswalk to the lake. He wants to cross safely and drivers should obey the law to allow that to happen.

Another issue about safe crosswalks came up at the city council meeting. I wasn’t aware of this previously, but MnDOT did not stripe a crosswalk on Main Street at the corner by the library. That street sees a lot of foot traffic coming from the school, and is also a route to Allison Park and the lake. A citizen, concerned about safety, brought this up during the engineer’s report. Public Works Director Bob Elston said he would speak with MnDOT about this concern.

Because it is Fire Prevention Week, we also see the concern our fire department has for our safety. They take time to speak to students about safety, give kindergarteners tours of the fire station and conduct fire drills at the schools.

One more thing from the city council meeting comes to my mind when thinking of safety. We have a great police department, with dedicated officers who work very hard to keep us all safe. We need to be concerned for their safety and work conditions also.

Chief Andres always comes to city council meetings, and often a couple other officers also attend. Tuesday night nearly the entire department was there. I wondered what was going on that they were so interested in. It became clear when Chief Andres told the council he would be requesting the addition of an Investigator position on the department. The response of the council members was very positive. They realize it will be a budget increase, but also want optimal working conditions for the police and optimal safety for the community.

Chief Andres was pleased with the council response and his officers were also smiling in appreciation.