Et Cetera …

Seems like right move

Mayo Clinic plans to invest $3.5 billion across Minnesota over 20 years, adding as many as 45,000 jobs in the process. In return, it wants some tax breaks totaling $500 million. The breaks would be similar to the tax-increment financing that cities sometimes offer so that local industries will expand and add jobs.

It’s difficult for us to see a problem with Mayo’s request. Granting it would be far more beneficial to the state than other things lawmakers have approved, such as publicly financed stadiums for pro sports teams.

Seeking more safety

A state report released this week details “adverse health events” at hospitals across the state. In simple terms, the report is about human error within the health care profession.

Humans are fallible, so there will always be errors in their endeavors. The question becomes whether the public can expect accountability. At hospitals with many errors, are plans formulated and implemented to do better? Is the industry as a whole getting better or worse?

We believe most in the profession are competent and caring, but can be hampered by poor systems. We appreciate the work of those trying to make health care safer.

Tackling child deaths

In a similar vein to hospital safety, new regulations are being proposed in Minnesota to prevent children’s deaths at home day cares. Among the recommendations:?Posting providers’ records online for parents to inspect, tough penalties for those who violate state safety standards and additional training for providers.

The proposed rules come in the wake of a newspaper report detailing more children dying at home day cares since 2007.

The association representing day care providers doesn’t object to the new rules. We assume parents will like them as well.

A frustrating problem

We were discouraged – again – this week to read about the Fairmont City Council raising water and wastewater rates, while the city is being told it cannot use its new water plant to provide service to the ethanol plant here in town.

An incredulous councilman said it best: “I thought the idea of building the new plant was to increase the water we could process.”

But the DNR says Fairmont’s lake levels are not sufficient, given the drought and the ethanol plant’s needs.

The city is working on its options, but that seems pretty hollow to people right now.