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Our view: Thumbs up, thumbs down

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The Rochester Park Board approved a bid from Rochester Sand and Gravel to resurface the track at Soldier's Field. (Ken Klotzbach/kklotzbach@postbulletin.com)
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Thumbs up to Soldiers Field track plan

Initial plans to pave the running track at Soldiers Field with asphalt met with resistance from local runners. Rather than push ahead anyway, Rochester city officials wisely held off on their plans and waited for the Save the Track citizens group to offer an alternative.

As a result, the track will be paved with a more comfortable running surface, and in turn, the Save the Track group will help fund upkeep of the track.

That qualifies as a win-win for everyone involved. Credit goes to city officials who took into consideration input from the community. It preserves a valuable resource in the hart of the city.

Now, the hope is we'll see more people make use of the track when all work is completed next summer.

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Thumbs down to winter driving

It's getting closer, whether we like it or not. This week's dusting of snow is a reminder that with November comes the need to refresh ourselves on safe winter driving practices.

First and foremost, of course, is to reduce your speed on icy and snowy roads. Along with that, increase the distance between your vehicle and the one you're following. Accelerate and decelerate gradually. Make sure your windshield wipers are in good working order, and that your windshield washer reservoir is full.

All of this is second-nature to most Minnesotans, but it doesn't hurt to be reminded that winter driving is as much an art as it is a science.

By the way, don't forget to familiarize yourself with Rochester's new even-odd street parking plan for winter.

Thumbs up to Minnesota's ACT scores

Minnesota students have maintained their best-in-nation average score on the ACT college entrance exam -- at least among those states where the majority of graduating seniors take the test.

Minnesota's graduating seniors achieved an average score of 21.4, a slight improvement from last year's average score of 21.3, according to results released this week. By comparison, the national average is 20.7.

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In most states, a majority of students take the SAT college entrance test. In the Upper Midwest, though, the ACT is more popular. Wisconsin's average score was 20.3 and North Dakota's was 19.9

While improvement should always be a goal, Minnesota's schools are obviously doing a good job of preparing graduates for college success.

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