Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 8:50 pm Friday, July 21, 2023

To the progress made on the new Albert Lea water tower.

We’re in the home stretch for the new downtown water tower, and we’re excited to see all the elements come together.

The new white and blue on the tower is mostly complete, and crews on Friday could be seen painting the new city logo on one side of the tower.

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No matter how you feel about the water tower design itself, I think everyone can agree that the paint on the new tower looks bright and crisp.

We look forward to when the project is officially completed and the tower is put to use.

To the “TESTIFY: Americana from Slavery to Today” exhibit.

Thank you to the Albert Lea Public Library and the Freeborn County Historical Museum for bringing the “TESTIFY: Americana from Slavery to Today” exhibit to

Albert Lea and opening the discussion about racism in America.

The exhibit features 18 posters, each highlighting a different artifact/piece in the collection belonging to former Minnesota Viking and Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page and his wife, Diane, and their family.

The lobby of the museum also incorporates some local elements tied to the subject, including a Ku Klux Klan robe from Freeborn County. While these things may be difficult to view initially, we hope it will help open people’s eyes not only to how far society has come but also on how far it still has to go to move from the systemic racism that still exists.

We encourage people to check out the exhibit, which runs through Aug. 25 at the museum.

To a rise in the number of Minnesota children hospitalized due to fentanyl exposure.

The Minnesota Poison Control System this week reported it is seeing a dangerous increase in the number of children in the state hospitalized due to fentanyl exposure.

Since January of 2022, the organization has been contacted about 66 children under 3 requiring medical care due to exposure to opioids, including fentanyl, according to a Minnesota Public Radio News article this week. And that number is believed to be underreported.

The article stated of the 66 cases, 31 suffered moderate or major effects, including sleepiness to respiratory failure.

While it is likely these children are not intentionally exposed to fentanyl, it is critical that all adults remember how quickly a small child can ingest these chemicals if they are left out on easy-to-reach places.

It is also important to remember with how small children are, the impacts of opioids on them would be even greater than they would be on an adult.

Please protect these precious children from harm.

To the Quilts of Valor initiative.

Thank you to all of the people who have played a role in starting the Quilts of Valor initiative in Albert Lea and who over the last year have recognized a dozen or two veterans for their service.

The quilts are presented to veterans for their sacrifice to the country.

The nationwide initiative started in 2003 after the son of quilter Catherine Roberts was deployed in Iraq. Since then, over 343,000 quilts have been awarded.

On Friday, four more veterans who served in the Korean War were presented quilts.

Thank you to those who are dedicating the time to make these quilts and for those who are leading the efforts to highlight each veteran and present the blankets to them.

It is a token of appreciation for the sacrifice that each gave, and we are glad to see it happening.