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Our View: Kahler is wrong to withhold employee settlement

Our View editorial graphic
Our View

Guests who stay at the Kahler Hotel properties in Rochester are expected to settle up their charges promptly when they check out.

The hotel’s ownership doesn’t approach things that way with its employees, though. A National Labor Relations Board ruling on back pay owed to workers has been unpaid for six years .

More than 200 workers are still waiting for their money, including Scott Timm, an employee of 39 years, who described the hotel’s delaying tactics as a “heartless strategy,” and Kathy Prouty, a 45-year Kahler veteran, who said she’s owed about $75,000.

The Kahler name is prominently displayed on this city’s skyline. How unfortunate that the name should be associated with these Scrooge-like tactics that hurt loyal employees. Thumbs down.

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A hero, minus the drama

Rochester Police Officer Ben Schlag would have been recognized as a hero if he had rescued a family from a burning building.

Schlag did something even better than that – he prevented a fire from being a life-threatening tragedy in the first place.

Last month, Schlag was involved in a routine response to a call at a southeast Rochester apartment building when he heard the telltale “chirp” from a smoke alarm indicating the alarm or the batteries in the alarm had run out.

Schlag had the fire department brought in to replace the alarm – not knowing at the time that less than 12 hours later, a kitchen fire would trigger that very smoke alarm. The family escaped and the apartment suffered minimal damage. Schlag was recognized as a hero , and we commend his forethought and attention to detail. Thumbs up.

Something new to check out at the library

We recently praised the longtime director of the Rochester Public Library, Audrey Betcher , for her work to lead the transformation of the library during her 25-year tenure. In large part due to Audrey’s leadership, the library has broadened its service offerings to include more than just books and reference materials.

For example, Allison Carpenter, a social worker, now spends about 25 to 30 hours per week in the library’s “Wellness Corner” to help place people with necessary services. Sometimes, she even walks around the building and looks for ways to make connections with people.

With the number of homeless people who use the library as a place of refuge, we can imagine Carpenter’s days are pretty busy. It would be easy for library leaders to see those people as a nuisance; instead, they saw an opportunity to serve. We applaud that thinking. Thumbs up.

The end of a sentence

Too many female students in Minnesota suffer discomfort or embarrassment, or even miss school, because they can’t afford tampons or pads to get them through their monthly menstruation.

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A bill moving through the state Legislature would make menstual products free for students in grades 4-12 . It has the support of school nurses, community groups and students themselves. We think it’s an affordable, reasonable service to offer these products and remove a barrier to learning. Thumbs up.

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