Et Cetera …

Survey results valuable

Fairmont Area Schools recently received the results of the Minnesota School Survey, which examines student attitudes, including locally. While there are areas of concern – such as bullying – there were also positive results.

The vast majority of students feel they have positive communication with parents, particularly their mothers. Some students have tried marijuana, but far fewer than one might imagine. And most students are buckling up on the road, even though too many are reading and sending text messages.

We hope the survey opens some eyes and provides direction to parents and educators on where to focus their attention.

You can help survivors

The brutal typhoon that slammed into the Philippine islands on Nov. 8 created a lasting impact. The storm and its horrible aftermath have been in the news all this week.

Thousands of structures were destroyed, hundreds of thousands of people displaced, tens of thousands injured and, tragically, thousands lost their lives. It is a humanitarian tragedy that reaches people’s hearts all over the world, including here in the Fairmont area.

Fortunately, we can do something about it. Everyone can contribute to organizations like the International Red Cross. But locals also can visit Leonora Chadderon at her downtown Fairmont salon. She has family members affected by the typhoon, and is trying to help them by donating her earnings. She is also accepting donations.

Criticism comes too soon

We understand that taxpayers get upset sometimes when they hear about the pay of local government officials. But getting good, competent leaders does require paying them well.

The Associated Press recently conducted an analysis of city and county pay to top employees and found their pay has shot up since the state repealed a law that had limited government employee pay to less than that of the governor, who is paid $120,000.

The AP found that 145 city and county employees make more than that.

We tend to agree that the sudden jump is tied to the previously unnatural way in which salaries were capped. We think critics may be jumping ahead to finding a problem that doesn’t yet exist. Future analyses should shed some light on the matter.