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Our view: Thumbs up to helping hands

January 21, 2019

As the federal government shutdown passed the three-week mark, several individuals, businesses and organizations stepped forward to offer help, primarily in the form of meals, to government workers who are going without paychecks.

These workers are caught in a political situation that is not of their own making. The general public seems to recognize that, and workers are being offered pizzas, specialty breads, non-perishable food items, discounts and a host of other services and items that will hopefully tide them through this rough period.

As a sidelight, federal workers, who too often have been bad-mouthed as “the government,” are finding that citizens do indeed appreciate what they do.

Thumbs down to delayed farm report

Because of the federal government shutdown, Minnesota farmers hoping to plan their 2019 crops are going to have to do so without the important World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. The annual report helps farmers make an educated guess on what crops will be in demand in the coming year.

At the same time, farmers are finding it difficult to know what kind of loans they can receive this year because the U.S. Department of Agriculture loan program is in limbo during the shutdown.

It’s another indication of how important the federal government is to so many aspects of our economy and personal livelihood — and another reason to find a way to end the shutdown as soon as possible.

Thumbs up to new VA clinic site

It now appears certain that a new Veterans Administration clinic will open later this year in Rochester. An Illinois-based company has purchased 16,250 square feet at the former Fleet Farm site at 3551 Commercial Drive SW. The space will be renovated and remodeled for use as a VA clinic.

The Rochester VA clinic has 4,500 veterans enrolled. The new site promises to be roomy, with plenty of parking and relatively easy access off a main highway.

This is at least the third site for the VA clinic in the past decade. It will be good for veterans to know they can look forward to a new, more stable location for their care.

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