Short takes for Feb. 15

School payment plans

SIDEWAYS THUMBS: We find it a bit odd that education groups from Minnesota are telling lawmakers that the state’s IOUs to schools from past funding shifts shouldn’t be a priority this session. These groups, which lobby for school districts, teachers and administrators, argue that lawmakers should focus only on bumping up the state’s overall contribution to schools. That’s all fine and well, but we call them IOUs for a reason. Wouldn’t it make more sense to take care of that outstanding bill before trying to get the state to contribute more to schools? We want the schools to get the money they have coming from previous years and feel the state should repay that debt before looking too far into the future.

Businesses step up to give

THUMBS UP: Hats off to State Bank and Taunton and North Star Insurance of Cottonwood for stepping up with major financial donations to Avera’s new cancer institute. The Avera Marshall Foundation aims to raise $5.45 million for the cancer center and thanks to these two local businesses, it’s off to a good start, and sets an example for other businesses in Lyon County and surrounding areas to follow.

Giving, part II

THUMBS UP: On another philanthropic note, Women’s Rural Advocacy Programs recently received a $10,000 donation from the U.S. Bancorp Foundation and $1,000 from the Southwest Initiative Foundation. It’s good too see outside organizations and businesses step up in times of need, and this is certainly a time of need for WRAP, which has fallen victim to severe budget cuts from the state.

Bad move, kid

THUMBS DOWN: Surely by now you have seen the video of a now-former Farmington hockey goalie – apparently upset with his coaches over his playing time – slide the puck into his team’s own net to tie his team’s game against Chaska on Tuesday. Then, he took his defiance a step further when he took off his glove and gave his coaches on the bench the finger. The kid’s name won’t appear in this space, because we choose not to give him anymore recognition than he’s already received for his deplorable act. Be upset with your playing time, fine, but don’t act on it publicly. Kids make mistakes, and hopefully, over time, this one will realize what he did was wrong on many different levels. This is no way to get your 15 minutes.