State demographer Susan Brower visited Blue Earth this week to discuss the shifting nature of the population, as in Faribault County, which is shrinking and growing older. An aging population is "fundamental to who we are and where we are going in the future," she noted.
While that may sound like an unsettling change, it also represents an opportunity. An older population will require services, which can be provided by younger people who see the change coming and act. There is no reason our area cannot (continue to) put out the welcome mat for seniors.
Let's clean up our act
Fairmont is gearing up for another citywide cleanup. City crews will pick up a limited number of electronics and appliances, as well as other bulky items, such as furniture and construction debris.
We have noted in the past that we don't quite understand why people cannot be diligent and get rid of their own junk. The city seems to have taken the approach that the cost and effort are just too much for some people to handle. If that's the case, we hope everyone will take advantage of the program and dispose of old items. This will improve homes - inside and out - and make the city a better place to live.
Visit overseas, help out
We think one of the neater ideas we have seen in recent years involves "voluntourism," a topic about which the Sentinel offered an article this week. People who "voluntour" travel overseas to do good deeds while they get to meet other people and see how they live.
One area family has been spending time in Guatemala, helping build schools for kids who otherwise would not have the chance to learn.
We imagine everyone has dreams of visiting some foreign land, but voluntourism really seems to add a bonus to a trip. We hope people consider it.
Great tradition endures
Kudos to post-prom organizers in Fairmont who are keeping alive a tradition and a good, safe alternative for teens.
Post-prom will be held tonight, after prom, offering an alcohol- and drug-free place to gather. Interest in the event has grown over the years as students and adults have seen the benefits, namely a fun way to celebrate and to avoid marring the experience with car accidents, overdoses or other tragedies that were, at one time, almost considered the norm for prom nights around the country.