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Our View: Thumbs Up, holiday edition

December 23, 2018

In the spirit of the season, we’re going to forego Thumbs Down entries this week and offer only Thumbs Up.

Thumbs Up to city’s LEED designation

Rochester has become the first city in Minnesota to earn gold certification in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system.

At a time when the city is undergoing rapid changes and development, this LEED certification is a tribute citywide efforts by both public and private entities. It puts Rochester at the forefront of green efforts statewide. And, in the long run it should save money for taxpayers.

Thumbs Up to new ‘U’ president

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents has selected Joan Gabel as new president of the university.

Gabel, who becomes the first woman to hold the position, made a tour of the university’s five campuses last week, including UMR in Rochester. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, said David McMillian, president of the Board of Regents.

Job No. 1 for Gabel, who is currently provost at the University of South Carolina, will likely be a shopping trip for winterwear — preferably in maroon and gold.

Thumbs Up to local Christmas shows

Rochester audiences love holiday performances, apparently. Both Rochester Repertory Theatre (“Every Christmas Story Ever Told”) and the Rochester Civic Theatre (“Annie”) sold out entire runs of their holiday productions this year. In addition, the five-year-old Rochester Pops Orchestra drew its largest concert crowd ever for last weekend’s Christmas concert.

Add to that the audiences that attended more holiday concerts, pageants and other performances, and it confirms that in this community, the performing arts and Christmas go hand in hand.

Thumbs Up to the opening of Broadway

If everything went according to schedule, Rochester woke up today to an unimpeded northbound drive along Broadway downtown.

The main thoroughfare has been narrowed by construction of the new Hilton Hotel project for a year now, forcing commuters to sit in traffic jams in the heat of summer and the snow of winter. A southbound lane is still closed between Fourth Street and Sixth Street South for another construction project.

But northbound is clear sailing now. Maybe Santa will even want to give it a try on Monday night.

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