Short Takes for March 15

Hoop frenzy

THUMBS UP: March Madness is in full swing in southwest Minnesota. It started with the Marshall boys hockey team’s first-ever trip to state and continued Thursday with the Minneota girls defeating Mountain Iron-Buhl in the Class A quarterfinals at state, and the Marshall and Dawson-Boyd boys basketball teams playing for their respective section titles Thursday night. Congratulations to all our state qualifiers.

No luck for the Irish this year

THUMBS DOWN: It’s a shame there will be no St. Patrick’s Day parade in downtown Marshall this year, and we urge organizers of the event to work to make it happen in 2014. It might not have been the biggest parade Marshall has ever seen, but it did become a tradition that many looked forward to. Putting a parade together takes time and some sacrifice, and we hope organizers are up to the task to bring the parade back. Meanwhile, if you’re feeling blue for the lack of green in town this weekend, one option is to head to Lucan for its annual parade. It’s at 2 p.m. Sunday.

No re-zoning

THUMBS UP: We side with the Marshall Planning Commission on its decision not to recommend re-zoning along West Main Street. A zoning request for the 600 and 700 blocks on West Main was brought to the commission. It would have changed 12 properties from a higher-density housing zone to a limited business zone. Granted, that block is considered “downtown,” but that doesn’t mean the city should feel compelled to classify that area as commercial. And we’re not thrilled about the idea of spot zoning, either.

Pope Francis

THUMBS UP: By all accounts, it appears a good, and popular, decision was made by the Catholic cardinals, who elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio on Wednesday to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. In many ways, the cardinals went out on a limb, choosing a non-European and Jesuit – a bold move for an institution deep in tradition known to make more conservative decisions. Much turmoil surrounds the Catholic church, and we hope and pray the election of this humble man goes a long way in getting the church headed the right direction.