Our View: Thumbs up for Grizzlies home opener

September 23, 2018

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new junior hockey team in town.

The Rochester Grizzlies, who replace the Ice Hawks this season, opened their home season this weekend. The ownership group, which also owns the successful Austin Bruins franchise, has embarked on an aggressive marketing and sponsorship campaign, and promises to be active off the ice in the community.

Rochester hasn’t always supported sports teams in the past, but the well-established Honkers baseball team, the relatively new Med City FC soccer club and now the Grizzlies have realized the importance of community involvement in building interest and putting fans in the seats.

Don’t know about you, but we intend to get to the Rec Center this season to see the new Grizzlies in action.

Thumbs down on political commercials

It’s not even October yet, and most of us are already tired of the television political commercials.

What’s especially maddening is how many of these commercials are negative. They tell us nothing about the good qualities of the candidate they support — only about the supposedly awful qualities of the candidate they oppose.

There are ways to avoid these offensive intrusions, and most people probably have their favorite tricks. Our advice? Watch non-commercial television (PBS), pick up a library book and read your local newspaper.

Thumbs up for A.J.’s Command Center

It sounds trite, but volunteers can make a big difference in their communities.

Witness the recent dedication of a new clubhouse for Stewartville youngster A.J. Fischer. The 10-year-old suffers from a rare disease that prevents his skin from properly anchoring to his body. As a result, he has been unable to engage in a lot of normal childhood activities.

Up stepped local volunteers, coordinated by Minneapolis-based Wishes & More, to construct what was unveiled last weekend as A.J.’s Command Center. Now A.J. has a place to spread out his Legos and and play.

“You’re only as rich as the people you call family,” said Lanny Tibbetts, one of volunteer project coordinators. Stewartville, it turns out, is a family with a big heart.

Thumbs down on surprise tax bill

Sometimes rules and regulations, no matter their value, get in the way of doing good work.

We’re talking specifically about the efforts by Bear Creek Christian Church to convert the former Crossroads College site in southwest Rochester to much-needed affordable housing.

The church took title to the site last June, but was immediately hit with a $118,415 property tax bill from the year during which Crossroads did not operate as a religious, tax-exempt college. The church was able to pay half the tax bill, but faces a difficult choice: finish paying the bill, raise proposed rents, or defer some renovation projects at the site.

It seems to us that, in a community desperately in need of housing options, there has to be a way for public and private officials to put their heads together and solve this issue for the betterment of all.

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