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Et Cetera ...

December 10, 2011
Gary Andersen, Lee Smith

Consider tutoring kids

We note that "Saturday School" at Fairmont Elementary is an all-volunteer endeavor meant to help fifth- and sixth-graders grasp concepts being taught in the classroom. Students are referred by teachers or parents and invited to participate. Dozens of kids may show up. The young students bring classroom assignments with them and get help as needed.

Saturday School is looking to meet more often and needs more volunteers. Anyone interested in helping should call (507) 238-4487.

Pay attention to race

Given America's economic woes and massive budget problems in Washington, the election of 2012 will be important in shaping the short- and long-term future of the country. We hope voters take it seriously.

So far, two candidates - Mike Parry and Al Quist - have emerged on the Republican side to challenge Congressman Tim Walz, a Democrat, in southern Minnesota. We hope citizens keep an eye on the developing Republican race while also noting what Walz does in Washington. Every candidate deserves added scrutiny in these times.

Post office suffering

The U.S. Postal Service has reached a critical moment. Electronic communication has changed the way people stay in touch and pay their bills. Also, the Postal Service's health and labor costs are out of control.

All of this is about to change postal service, reducing delivery times while the price of a stamp continues to rise. And this is likely to push more people toward the Internet for their communication needs.

In other words, the post office is in real trouble. Congress is unlikely to offer help, given the budget deficit. We hope citizens understand the coming change.

Cougars are out there

Watch out for cougars! For a long time, such as warning would have seemed like a bit of hysteria, as rumors circulated in southern Minnesota about cougar sightings. But the state Department of Natural Resources says the cougars are real and it too has dropped its skepticism.

According to the DNR, southwestern Minnesota has some cougars running around. One was shot near Round Lake in Jackson County.

If you spot a cougar, stay away from it. Alert police or the DNR to its presence. Rightly or wrongly, it is illegal to shoot a cougar since it is a protected species.



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