Et Cetera …

Bell-ringers step up

For a while, it looked like the Salvation Army in Fairmont was going to get a lump of coal for Christmas. The group gets most of its funding through Christmas bell-ringing, but volunteers did not step forward when the campaign began.

The Salvation Army then put out a call to the community, asking for help. That prompted volunteers to step forward at the last minute, and the charity raised 92 percent of its $75,000 goal.

We thank those who jumped in to help. We encourage everyone to keep the Salvation Army in mind year-round.

Success seems likely

A group organizing at Martin County West Schools has given itself a new moniker:?Operation Watchful Eye. Its goal is to raise funds for security cameras for all the district’s buildings. Then it hopes to move on to help the schools fund a list of capital projects.

We believe this public-private partnership will be successful because it contains a key ingredient: real interest on the part of citizens. They want to see a boost in school safety, and they see the district’s need for other improvements as real.

Names should be public

A lottery such as Powerball is a publicly operated, publicly funded venture. It benefits the states in which the game is played.

When people win prizes in Powerball or other lotteries, their names become public in some states but not others. We believe that for the integrity of the game, states should release the names of winners. This helps ensure that citizens know the games are not rigged in favor of insiders. It also serves to benefit the lottery, in terms of free promotion. Such promotion means taxpayers spend less on advertising for these games, and that prizes are larger.

This could hurt many

Minnesota lawmakers are considering raising the state’s minimum wage, which currently stands at $6.15 per hour. That’s well below the federal minimum wage that many workers receive, so any change by Minnesota may be simply symbolic.

However, at least one proposal would establish a minimum wage close to $9.50 per hour. While that may sound good to job-seekers, they should be aware of the effect of such a wage level. Namely, it will eliminate many entry-level jobs. Those with few skills – teens and others – need the ability to get practical experience in the world of work. Raising the minimum wage too high prices them out.