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Our View: Thumbs up for cable competition

September 30, 2018

The perennial favorite complaint of local residents? Anything related to “the cable company.”

Well, competition might be on the horizon. An Indiana-based cable company, MetroNet, has filed an application with the city for a franchise to provide service in Rochester. And it’s a serious application: MetroNet had to put up a $20,000 fee to cover potential city costs related to approving the application.

We have no idea at this point if MetroNet will get approval. Nor do we know if the company would provide what it promises in terms of service. We do know this: Competition for cable and internet service in Rochester is long overdue. Kudos to those voices among city officials who have been campaigning for exactly this kind of option.

Thumbs down on Wetterling recriminations

The Jacob Wetterling case has tormented the entire state of Minnesota since the 11-year-old boy was kidnapped and killed in 1989. The case was finally solved when 55-year-old Danny Heinrich confessed in 2016 and led officials to Jacob’s hidden remains.

Now comes the examination of what went wrong in an investigation that had Heinrich in its sights early on. In retrospect it appears investigators overlooked obvious clues and missed an opportunity to solve the case early. The FBI and the Stearns County sheriff have had a public dispute over who didn’t do what at the right time.

We’d prefer that the recriminations cease, that all investigators learn what they can from this case, and that the Wetterling family finally be granted some peace.

Thumbs up for Chatfield City Hall

Sometimes government surprises those who claim it is slow-moving and unresponsive to citizens. That’s what happened, at least, with the curious case of the City of Chatfield and Maynard, the miniature pot-bellied pig.

Maynard’s owners are looking to buy a home in Chatfield, but the city’s animal ordinance listed pigs as prohibited livestock within city limits. Then Maynard’s owner, Beth Courtney, did her research, suggested a change to the ordinance to allow an exception for pigs like him, and, lo and behold, the city council quickly passed it.

Maynard, as a result, will soon be a happy resident of Chatfield.

Thumbs down on MNLARS

If the fee you were charged to renew your Minnesota license tabs last year seems too high, maybe you’ve got a right to complain. After all, the state Legislative Auditor’s investigation turned up numerous cases in which drivers were overcharged. On the other hand, a significant number were under-charged. On second thought, maybe you shouldn’t complain.

Better yet, the state should get its Minnesota Licensing and Registration System fixed once and for all, and we can all stop the guesswork. The excuses are wearing thin. And vehicle owners, who are, now that we think of it, helping to fund this system with their fees, deserve a licensing process that not only functions, but does so accurately and fairly.

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