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Our View: Thumbs up, thumbs down

Thumbs down to preconditions on consolidation discussions with Wrenshall by the Carlton school board. It’s not really a good faith negotiation if the precondition limits the options to one plan. Carlton officials stipulated that a joint school needs to be at South Terrace, where the city’s elementary school is currently located. The school board members say it makes no sense to have two buildings, referring to previous consolidation discussions that included starting a high school in Wrenshall and elementary school in Carlton in existing buildings. In the meantime, Carlton makes plans to sink money into its high school building, which means their own district will continue having two schools for the foreseeable future. The logic is inconsistent, and negotiations have a better chance of success if both boards come to the table with open minds.

Thumbs up to the volunteer response to vandalism at Good Hope Church in Cloquet. More than 100 volunteers came out to help clean up and empty out the church so extensive water damage could be repaired. While many were members of the popular church, others were leaders and members of other churches or just simply good-hearted community members. Kudos to Good Hope for advocating for forgiveness and recovery for the person who did the damage, too.

Thumbs up to the city and school district of Proctor and its local sports officials, who have opened their facilities for Cloquet’s displaced teams. The Cloquet high school football team will play its games at Proctor’s Egerdahl Field while the $4.5 million construction update to Cloquet’s Members Cooperative Credit Union Stadium stretches into October. Also, Proctor’s St. Luke’s Sports and Events Center will be the temporary ice arena for the Minnesota Wilderness, Cloquet’s junior hockey team that was displaced due to ice plant repairs at Northwoods Credit Union Arena that are also not expected to be completed until October. It’s great to see a neighboring community open its doors for Cloquet programs in need. We’d do well to remember the favors.

Thumbs down to Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Hermantown, for showing up in Cloquet to visit Upper Lakes Foods this month and not inviting media or publicizing the event until after the fact. Contrast that with Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., who was in Sawyer earlier this week to meet the media at an Indigenous farm to discuss farming matters. There is no doubt the three-time incumbent Stauber has his fans among voters, but it’s troubling that he doesn’t create opportunities to meet the press or public in open forums. His approach has been to control his messages at all costs, and it makes us wonder why he avoids media and public scrutiny.

Stauber’s campaign missive this week touts his accessibility: “It was great to see friendly faces and not only talk about what issues matter to them but hear about how their families and neighbors are doing. I love representing folks from the Great 8 and fighting for our way of life.”

Door is open in Carlton County, Rep. Stauber, where you also have “families and neighbors.”

Thumbs up to the Carlton County Fair, which each and every year shows us just why it is regarded as the best fair in the region, if not the state. Its handsome grounds and variety of entertainment options can’t be beat.