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Published December 29 2008

Forum editorial: Neighbors helping out win roses

PRAIRIE ROSES: To all those neighborly people in our communities who carry their shovels or guide their snow throwers to their neighbors’ homes to help out. When then snow gets as deep as it has in December, it’s tough for some people to clear it. Elderly or infirm people might have services on call to do the work, but when a major storm buries the cities, the services can’t get to all in a timely way. Neighbors pitch in regularly and without being asked to do so. Moreover, they do it generously, not expecting to be paid or praised. It’s just the right thing to do.

LEAFY SPURGE: To those property owners who apparently don’t believe it’s their responsibility to clear snow from sidewalks. We’re not talking about people who can’t move snow (see above), but rather homeowners and businesspeople who seem to think it’s not their job. It is, and the laws in most cities make that clear. The problem is enforcement, or lack of enforcement. In a big snowfall, cities don’t have the personnel to police every plugged sidewalk. The violators often get away with neglecting their walks, which results in hazards to the walking public, joggers, mail carriers and assorted delivery people. A little more attention to enforcement might get the violators’ attention.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To the community leaders, led this year by Osgood Hornbacher’s manager Craig Lemieux, who are working hard to make this year’s goal for the United Way of Cass Clay. The campaign has been under way for months and as of last week was at about 85 percent of the $4.7 million goal. Lemieux is this year’s fundraising campaign chairman, a job that is both challenging and rewarding, as past chairmen and chairwomen know. The United Way’s campaign will fund dozens of worthwhile programs in the community. Donations come from individuals and big and small businesses. Every dollar is needed to accommodate needs and targeted programs. United Way’s reach is broad and deep. Its efforts make the community a better place in which to live and work.

LEAFY SPURGE: To anyone who is getting all a flutter over the possibility the Red River Valley will experience major flooding in the spring of 2009. Near-record snowfall in December coupled with above-average rainfall prior to freeze-up have some people concerned. It’s possible a combination of factors could – could – result in serious flooding. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Flood forecasts in December are preliminary at best. The water content of winter’s snowpack will change dramatically between now and spring thaw. Weather conditions during the melt will be among the major factors that determine the extent of flooding. Spring rainfall could change the picture. At this point, the chances of flooding reported last week are not locked in stone – or ice, as it were. Let’s look again in February, and then determine whether there is cause for alarm.


Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.