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Pioneer Editorial: Cheers and Jeers

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opinion Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Postal ruling good news for Bemidj

For the time being, Bemidji's mail processing center has survived the first phase of cuts by the United States Postal Service.

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A list of soon-to-be-closed sorting facilities was released, and noticeably absent was the Bemidji operation.

It's good news for the Bemidji area, since overnight delivery of local mail almost certainly would go away without the center.

The first round of cuts, impacting 140 sorting centers across the nation, is expected to be complete next February. Another 89 could be cut by February 2014.

Interestingly, the second-round cuts don't identify specific sorting centers, and it's fewer than the Postal Service announced last fall.

Expect intense lobbying efforts for round No. 2 as communities fight to keep mail service intact.

Overnight mail delivery is paramount in a growing, diverse community. Bemidji is a hub for business, education and health care.

The effort to keep the city's mail center open should remain a priority for all stakeholders.

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Building up youth

A couple national awards show a local program is making a difference in the lives of at-risk students.

The local YouthBuild program, part of Bi-County Community Action Programs, accepts 23 students each year from Beltrami and Cass counties.

Recently, the program was awarded for students' completion rate and certification rate in 2011.

The program serves students ages 16-24 who have left the traditional school system and have a criminal record, have faced chronic homelessness, grew up in foster care or have some other type of extenuating circumstance.

The work, both by staff and students, demonstrates commitment to a better future.

The rhetoric begins

It seems Minnesota lawmakers are unsatisfied with the recently completed legislative session.

They should be.

Lawmakers, in summing up the 2012 session, have called it a "do-nothing session."

The appropriate question, it seems, is why?

The two-year session ended after 119 days, tying it as the second longest. It lasted one day short of the number of days allowed by the state Constitution.

After 2011's state shutdown, voters should have expected a new spirit of compromise and civility. Instead, partisan politics appears to be the name of the game, and with the November elections looming in less than six months, the campaign rhetoric has already begun.

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