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Thumbs down to the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Reservation Business Committee’s practice of investigating complaints against its own committee members themselves, then voting on the results of those investigations in closed session. It doesn’t ever make sense — in any country — to consolidate so many powers of government in the hands of so few. While we don’t pretend to know whether any of the complaints dismissed by the RBC over the past several months were true, false or simply frivolous, the fact that the RBC served as investigator, judge and jury means we — and more importantly, the Fond du Lac Ojibwe Band members — can never be certain of the truth because the process was flawed.

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Thumbs up to USG Interiors Cloquet plant and the company’s remodeled front entrance. Although it wasn’t a dramatic change, the new entrance — and particularly the large USG letters emblazoned across the front — makes what used to seem like a collection of industrial-type buildings into a nice-looking, coherent whole. It dresses up the whole riverfront in that direction and for that, we are grateful. Well done, Cloquet USG!

Thumbs down to news that — more than 18 months after the huge flash flood that hit Carlton County in June 2012 — there are still dozens of cases unresolved, homeowners, families and businesses who are struggling to get back to life as usual after damage from the flood. However, we are hopeful that Carlton County Commissioners will do the right thing and allocate funding to help these final cases reach a satisfactory resolution.

Thumbs up to teams going to State. Destination ImagiNation teams, FPS (Future Problem Solvers) teams, speech teams, Knowledge Bowl teams, Science Fair teams and individuals, History teams, Geo Bee contestants … and basketball teams, of course. As a county, we can be proud that we have smart and creative students, talented athletes and great coaches for both academics and athletics. While the sports teams have a solid fan base that will travel to cheer them on, we hope the academic teams know that they also have the support of the community. We’re cheering for you … in a quiet, more dignified manner.

Thumbs down to the snowboarder who rode his snowboard down the 40-meter ski jump at Pine Valley and wrecked a pristine track that four or five club members spent hours perfecting this winter. Not only was your action thoughtless and inconsiderate, it could have derailed the most spectacular portion of the City Ski Meet jumping competition. It would be wise for snowboarders to remember that their snowboarding run exists at the pleasure of the city … and if they continue to show little or no consideration for the other entities that utilize Pine Valley in the winter, they may have to travel to Spirit Mountain to snowboard … and pay for the privilege.

Jana Peterson

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