Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down

Utilities in good hands

THUMBS UP: Gary Gleisner will be retiring as the Director of Utilities for the City of New Ulm at the end of the month. On Thursday the Public Utilities Commission named his successor, Pat Wrase, who has been the Planning and Development Engineer for the Utilities Department.

The PUC is placing the utilities in good hands. Since joining the utilities department in 2004 Wrase has demonstrated great competence and understanding not only as an engineer but in the administrative area as well.

We are certain he will do well in his new position.

Robertson’s rights

THUMBS DOWN: We’ve never watched “Duck Dynasty,” so we can’t say we really understand the appeal of the A&E show, but millions of viewers across the country have made this reality show about a family of backwoods duck call tycoons one of their favorites.

Part of the appeal seems to be that the Robertson family is so different from the urban, politically correct society the rest of America seems to have become. They are down-to-earth, plain-spoken and unshaven, and rich enough to do whatever they want.

So we don’t really understand why A&E found it necessary to suspend Phil Robertson, patriarch of the family, from the show becauses of statements he made about homosexuality being a sin in an interview with GQ. We also don’t understand why a male fashion magazine like GQ was doing interviewing Robertson in the first place.

Robertson has a right to his beliefs, and to express those beliefs. A&E also has a right to employ whoever it wants to employ. But for A&E to rake in millions with a show about a family that’s really different, then suspend someone for that difference, makes no sense.

We suspect money will trump moral indignation sooner than later in this situation.

Nicollet interchange

THUMBS UP: Residents of Nicollet made it very clear this week what their wishes are in regard to Highway 14. Nicollet residents want a full interchange, routing Highway 14 around their community, not a reduced conflict intersection or any other lower cost version.

Looking strictly at the bottom line, a reduced conflict intersection makes more fiscal sense, but the bottom line isn’t always the best way to look at something.

When it comes to reducing dangerous traffic and the chances for collisions, the full interchange is the best alternative.

If you want to support the Nicollet interchange, there is an online petition at You can log on and make your opinion known.

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