Short Takes for March 29

Store opening in Tracy

THUMBS UP: A shuttered gas station, closed for some six years, is getting a new lease on life in Tracy. The former Food-n-Fuel along U.S. Highway 14 is Tracy will be reopened, potentially next month, as a convenience store. Anytime someone is willing to step up and open a business that serves everyone in a community, that person should be applauded. In this case, that person is Sonny Vue, who according to the Tracy Headlight Herald, purchased the property last month.

Congrats, Tigers!

THUMBS UP: One more shout out to the Marshall boys’ basketball team, which brought home a Class AAA third-place trophy from the state tournament. On this, the 50th anniversary of the school’s only boys basketball championship, it indeed would have been fitting for the Tigers to win it all, but we speak for the community when we say we are proud of this team and their coaches nonetheless.

The governor and pulltabs

THUMBS DOWN: We’re not impressed with Gov. Mark Dayton’s claim he had no idea that estimates on electronic pulltab revenues came from gambling vendors or him blaming the Gambling Control Board for not disclosing the source. And we’re even more discouraged e-gambling revenues continue to lag at an alarming pace. We don’t need to hear our governor try to save face, although naming a politician who wouldn’t do the same thing would be nearly impossible. This is an extremely troubling situation, given that low pulltab revenues could end up hurting taxpayers since the state’s General Fund could be on the hook to cover the e-gambling shortfall. Republicans in St. Paul shared their concerns about relying on gambling as a revenue stream to help pay for the state’s share of a new Vikings stadium, and you can almost hear them now saying, “We told you so.”

60s are nice, but gradual thaw is better

THUMBS UP: You might be sick of waiting for those 50- and 60-degree days to arrive, but there’s a blessing in disguise at work here. Since temperatures are just now climbing into the upper 30s and low 40s, we’re experience a slow thaw, and the chance for any major flooding along our area rivers is quietly diminishing with each passing below-normal day. This weather pattern is good news for anyone who lives alongside a river, as well as for all the homeowners who don’t. Maybe this spring we won’t have to lean on those sump-pumps so much.

More bad news for health and human services

THUMBS DOWN: We know tough decisions are made every year at the state Capitol, but we think the Democrats’ plan to slash funding to health and human services programs. These cuts affect nursing homes, hospitals, and those who rely on subsidized health insurance and welfare. Aren’t we supposed to be looking out for the poor, the disabled, the elderly? Two years ago, $1.2 billion was cut from health and human services programs. and more major cuts this year would be devastating.