Our View: Thumbs up, thumbs down
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Thumbs up to the Cloquet Police Department and all their area partners in law enforcement. Solving three robberies in less than a week and taking a total of 11 people into custody is, indeed, impressive police work. Cloquet Deputy Police Chief Terry Hill said the investigations and arrests were a collaborative effort and named off a number of area agencies, including the Carlton County Sheriff’s Department, the Minnesota State Patrol, St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department, Floodwood Police Department, Fond du Lac Police Department and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
“We couldn’t have solved these high profile cases without the collaborative efforts of our partners in law enforcement,” a proud Hill said Wednesday, reflecting on the busy week. “We are grateful. It just goes to show how well all of the agencies work together.”
Hill said the public deserves kudos as well.
“The response we got from the public was incredible,” HIll said, noting that the tips provided by the public helped tremendously with the Fig Tree robbery as well as the Lemon Tree case.
Thumbs up to the forward-thinking folks who are considering a merger between the neighboring cities of Thomson and Carlton. Regardless of what they decide, it’s a discussion worth having — and research worth doing — in times of shrinking state and federal funding and increased collaboration locally and globally. Thomson has already begun contracting with the city of Carlton for water, fire protection, ambulance service and some of its maintenance work. No doubt a merger would provide even more cost savings. Residents were meeting as the Pine Journal went to press. We hope that they asked insightful questions and gave the agency overseeing the process lots of homework to do.
While we’re on the subject of mergers, perhaps Cloquet and Scanlon should have a similar discussion?
Thumbs down to tiny volleyball shorts for girls and lengthy basketball shorts for boys. We find it strange that schools want to ban yoga pants and any shorts above the mid-thigh, yet they send their athletes onto the court wearing something the same length as bikini bottoms. It’s not sandpit volleyball, after all. At an age when self image is already a significant issue for girls, why add to the pressure?
Can’t we find a middle ground somewhere? Everything in moderation — including shorts.
Thumbs down to news that Carlton County Commissioners were “surprised” at their Aug.13 meeting by the news that the county’s maximum tax levy increase was 1.68 percent as a result of action taken by the state legislature in May. It’s not like legislators kept the tax bill a secret, although the levy limit was certainly not something that counties and cities had lobbied for. A quick Google search reveals that the “Update” newsletter* put out by the Association of Minnesota Counties noted in its May 21 issue that the one-year levy limit was contained in the tax bill that had passed the Senate and House.
The item was third on a list of “Key County Impacts,” and was followed by a fairly comprehensive explanation of what the law said and how counties and cities had to figure their maximum levy. Had County Commissioners and staff known the impact of the levy limit sooner, they might have made better choices, including the decision not to adopt a wheelage tax and various union negotiations.
It seems that everyone dropped the ball, from county employees to the elected men who are charged with guiding the county.
*newsletter link below