Is Rochester welcoming?
That depends on whom you ask.
The city conducted a survey last fall asking people if they thought the city was welcoming or not. But the survey results shouldn't be taken as a purely objective determination. The results depend on the perspectives of the people being surveyed.
For example, low-income respondents found the city a lot less welcoming than did others in higher income brackets.
Diversity Council Executive Director Dee Sabol said the survey, conducted by Polco's National Research Center, represents a snapshot of the community and should be viewed as just a part of the city's cumulative data regarding race and inclusion. That information includes perspectives from community conversations recently conducted by the Diversity Council. The Destination Medical Center EDA is also expected to receive a grant to fund efforts at addressing diversity-related economic opportunities, housing and engagement.
Thumbs up to the city for collecting information on Rochester's inclusivity, but let's not leave that data to die a slow death as a spreadsheet. Information must translate into action.
Shannon O'Hara's spirit lives on
It's remarkable that a 13-year-old girl with a love for hockey should leave such a lasting legacy.
Shannon O'Hara was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor on April 15, 2011, but she didn't leave the game she loved. She played as long as her body allowed and worked to keep up the spirits of her friends and family.
After she died on Jan. 6, 2012, the parents of the other girls on Shannon's team collected nearly $5,000 to establish a fund in Shannon's name. Ten years later, that fund continues to grow. The Shannon O'Hara Foundation awards at least two scholarships per year to high school hockey seniors who played in the Rochester Youth Hockey Association and who plan to go to college. Thumbs up to the foundation for keeping Shannon's indelible spirit alive.
Breaking glass ceilings
March is Women's History Month, which offers a chance to recognize the accomplishments of women around the globe, including Southeast Minnesota.
The following are some area women who have made "firsts" locally, and we ask you to share the names of women you know who have shattered glass ceilings.
Kim Norton, first female mayor of Rochester.
Nancy Selby, first female city council president.
Sandra Means, first Black female council member.
Chris Blade, first female publisher at Post Bulletin.
Kathleen Harrington, first female president of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce.
Send us your suggestions for female firsts. Email: email@example.com with a subject line of Women's History.