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Pioneer Editorial: Cheers and Jeers

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Pioneer Editorial: Cheers and Jeers
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Let's commit to cleaning up

More than 40 Bemidji State University students spent Friday afternoon picking up trash in an effort to make the city look nice - and help the environment.

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We can all learn from their actions.

As Earth Week unfolds, we all play a part in taking care of our environment and developing good habits for a sustainable earth.

Look around - the amount of trash strewn along roadside ditches, dumped on public property or left behind for someone else to pick up is a disgrace.

It shows a lack of regard and respect for our pristine waters and forests.

Now is the time to make a long-term commitment to taking care and protecting the natural resources through recycling, reusing and practicing sound garbage disposal. Anything less is lazy and irresponsible.

Roadside ditches, trails and waterways are not an appropriate dumping ground for empty beer cans, cigarette packs and butts, fast food bags and wrappers, plastic bags and the myriad types of other trash found discarded in plain sight.

It seems a shame to live in a beautiful place - only to see it littered with trash.

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No mixed message

It shouldn't take a visit by the National Football League commissioner to get the attention of state lawmakers about the building a new Vikings stadium.

If you build it, the team will stay.

It's that simple.

And not building a facility will lead to the sale - and move - of Minnesota's most beloved team.

It doesn't take a political science major to figure out that the team will be hosting home games in another state if there's no new stadium. If that happens, the political fallout will be fierce.

Vikings supporters have been relatively quiet this legislative session. So, too, have been those who benefit - namely the service and hospitality industry - from having an NFL franchise in our state.

The Vikings stadium issue has been around for a decade, ignored or put on the back burner.

The NFL is not bluffing and clearly sent a message to legislators. Will lawmakers have the political will to solve the stadium conundrum in an election year?

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Work to end bullying

Students, parents, teachers and other stakeholders know bullying exists both in and out of the classroom. Sessions last week - part of Governor's Task Force Prevention of School Bullying - serve as a launching point for our community to find ways to eliminate it.

Now the discussions need to lead to specific actions to address the issue.

Bemidji Superintendent James Hess got it right when he explained the School District must provide leadership in ending bullying but it takes community-wide effort and involvement.

"I think we need to be a part of the search for a solution to bullying but I don't think we are the stopping place, we are the starting place," Hess said. "We need to look at the greater community to find solutions that are going to be the lasting solutions."

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