Editor's column

As you know, I am very interested in news, public policy and politics. That means that I watch a lot of TV shows about public policy and politics. Friday nights are especially good, because that is when Almanac is on! (If, you’ve never watched it, you need to change your viewing habits. 7 p.m., Ch. 2 or Pioneer Public Television.)

Many, many years ago — 1991 to 1998 — I worked for the Chamber of Commerce. Richard Mathiowetz was on the Chamber board at least part of that time. Richard urged the Chamber board to endorse state spending for highway construction projects. I became interested in the work of the Minnesota Legislature because of Richard’s influence.

Around that time is when I discovered Almanac, which by the way, “is the longest-running primetime TV program in Minnesota history.” (Found that tidbit on their website.) Friday nights became so much more fun!

So, when Kaomi Goetz called and asked if I would agree to be interviewed about Del Monte closing, I greeted her like an old friend, and said, yes, of course! I am familiar with her work featuring greater Minnesota issues. I wasn’t surprised they’d decided to do a story about Sleepy Eye.

My on-camera interview was probably about 30 minutes long. Kaomi interviewed several more sources during her time in Sleepy Eye. The finished story will probably be around 10 minutes long (my guess), so you know what that means? I’ll probably end up mostly on the cutting room floor.

That’s okay — it was an interesting experience and I look forward to seeing the finished piece. Could be several weeks before it is on — I’ll be sure to alert you, so you don’t miss it.

I participated in another interesting experience on Tuesday night. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation awarded a grant to the Sleepy Eye area to be part of a “Welcoming Communities Project” with a focus on inclusion on race or immigrant status. Tuesday was the first meeting, held to start the assessment process. People from Sleepy Eye, Springfield, and New Ulm, gathered at the Event Center to assess inclusive practices in several settings, such as school, health care, business, religious institutions, government, law enforcement and non-profit organizations. I’ll write more about it in next week’s paper.

If this sounds like something you are interested in, there is an opportunity for you to give input at: z.umn.edu/welcoming.

You will find surveys on the above topics and are invited to complete as many as you like. It takes a village, you know?