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Our View: Thumbs up to history; thumbs down to theft

Susan B. Anthony and signs of the times

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Fresh flowers adorn Susan B. Anthony's grave marker on Aug. 18. (Ken Henry / Post Bulletin)

On Aug. 18, 2020, 100 years after the 19th Amendment was ratified, President Trump pardoned Susan B. Anthony, one of the suffrage movement's leading organizers and agitators.

Anthony was arrested in 1872 and charged with illegally voting because she was a woman. She refused to pay her fine. It was the only vote she would ever cast in an election. Last Tuesday, shortly after Trump issued his pardon, the Susan B. Anthony Museum and House rejected it, saying it would go against the principled woman's wishes.

"Objection! Mr. President, Susan B. Anthony must decline your offer of a pardon today!” the museum tweeted.

Though the museum didn't appreciate President Trump's pardon, it did bring attention to Anthony, the women's rights movement and the 19th Amendment.

Thumbs up, because even a little bit of history is a good thing.

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LOCAL SPEED LIMITS

In 1984, American singer Sammy Hagar and his band, The Circle, climbed the hard rock charts with the defiant "I Can't Drive 55."

Now, some Rochester City Council members are having trouble with 20.

On Aug. 17, City Engineer Dilllon Dombrovski proposed that the speed limit on Rochester's residential streets be lowered from 30 to 20 miles per hour.

The recommendation forced some council members to hit the brakes. They had expected Dombrovski to pitch a 25 mph limit.

Dombrovski said the 20 mph limit was the result of an evaluation of safety on the streets . Statistics show that a 20 mph limit reduces the likelihood of death or severe injury for pedestrians struck by cars. It's tough to argue against safer roads, but to many, 20 mph seems like a crawl. The council discussed the issue for an hour before opting for a public hearing and review of the plan. Thumbs up for safer streets. Thumbs down for a speed limit set too low.

CAMPAIGN SIGNS

Campaign season has begun, and so have thefts of campaign signs.

Olmsted County Commissioner Jim Bier reported last week that campaign signs placed in Byron, Northwest Rochester and rural areas were missing, according to Olmsted County Sheriff’s Capt. Scott Behrns.

Theft of campaign signs is against the law. Like any other personal property, taking a sign without permission is a theft pursuant to Minn. Stat. sec. 609.52.

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It is not, however, a federal offense, as some have been led to believe.

Theft of any kind is bad form. Thumbs down to those who commit it.

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