Editorial -- Cast a vote to preserve Mayowood

The big election is over, but another one is just starting and this time we’re encouraging you to vote early and often.

Rochester’s Historic Mayowood Mansion is one of three Minnesota historic sites selected in the Hampton Inn Save-A-Landmark contest. The winning site will receive assistance in the form of work done by Hampton-organized volunteers, as well as a financial grant of up to $40,000.

We are, of course, endorsing the selection of Mayowood. The estate was built nearly a century ago by Dr. Charles Mayo, and was donated to the Olmsted County Historical Society in 1965. The 38-room mansion and the surrounding historic gardens are in need of constant upkeep and repair. The assistance offered by Hampton would be more than welcome.

To get that help, though, Mayowood has to receive more votes in the online election than its Minnesota competitors. Voting continues through Nov. 30 at The winner will be announced Dec. 5.

Too painful to watch


Kudos to the Fox television broadcasting team that on Sunday chose not to replay a graphic injury to Vikings punt returner Charles Gordon. Gordon suffered multiple fractures and ligament damage in his leg and ankle during Minnesota’s dramatic win over Green Bay.

We don’t know if this was a spur-of-the-moment decision or evidence of a significant policy shift on the part of the NFL or its television networks, but we heartily approve. Yes, football is a violent game, and fans tune in to see bone-jarring hits, but in the past fans have often gasped in horror as they saw replays of knees being twisted, ankles bent the wrong way or head-to-head collisions in which a player falls unconscious to the turf.

Of course, the most infamous of such injuries was in 1985, when Redskins quarterback Joe Theisman suffered a gruesome compound fracture in his left leg, an injury so shocking that Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor immediately jumped up and began screaming for medical assistance — yet fans were subjected to the replay, over and over again.

We’d like to think that no one would really want to watch such a thing, but we know that’s not the case. Still, if sports broadcasters and producers choose to exercise discretion when something awful occurs on the playing field, they’ll be doing us all a favor.

Xcel changing its tune?

On Nov. 3, Xcel Energy filed a request with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to raise base electric rates. The average residential customer’s monthly bill would go up 7.6 percent.

Xcel says its costs are going up, and it needs the extra money to provide reliable service and to safely maintain its power lines, transformers and nuclear plants.

That might be true, but there’s one little problem. On Oct. 28, Xcel Chief Financial Officer Ben Fowke suggested during a conference call that Xcel might seek a rate increase, but the discussion focused not on maintenance or safety, but on declining earnings and the fact that cash-strapped customers were conserving energy.


We won’t suggest that Xcel is trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, but we do hope that the Public Utilities Commission at least considers the possibility that profit margins and stock prices are one reason Xcel wants a bit more money from its 1.2 million customers in Minnesota.

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