Et Cetera …

This doesn’t make sense

High-voltage transmission lines and their electromagnetic fields have been a source of controversy for years, with those living near the lines concerned about their health or the well-being of animals, such as livestock. But the data is incomplete, making it unclear if there is any real threat.

Nevertheless, we can understand the concerns of some in Sherburn worried about ITC Midwest’s proposed 345-kV line route past the north end of town. It would be just 80 feet from a church. Meanwhile, the line would not be allowed to cross a nearby wildlife area. Really?

‘Hour’ is great program

Kudos to Fairmont Junior-Senior High School and instructor Mandy Fletcher for recently taking part in the “Hour of Code,” a worldwide event meant to get more students involved in computer science.

All of us know that computers are deeply ingrained in our lives, yet no schools in the United States have graduation requirements involving computer programming. That is not the approach some other nations take.

Not every student is going to become a computer programmer. But every student should be exposed to the possibility and to programming knowledge.

The church’s black eye

Minnesota Catholic dioceses have been releasing the names of priests who have faced credible accusations of abuse dating back half a century or more. The list includes priests in southern Minnesota.

While some priests have died, others have not. We hope those still alive are investigated and charged, if appropriate.

As for the church itself, we know it has faced lawsuits for its alleged role in covering up abuse. That is the proper legal course, although church officials should not be immune from prosecution if they violated the law through their (in)actions.

Is training really worth it?

We appreciate the discussion at this week’s Martin County Commission meeting regarding online emergency training for county personnel. At least one commissioner sees the training as redundant and therefore a waste of time. He may be right.

On the other hand, the training may help clarify the role every county employee is to take during an emergency. The sheriff’s department touts that clarity and knowledge.

The county’s personnel committee intends to sort out the matter. We hope it asks some tough questions about the value and cost of the proposed training. It had better be worth it.