Thumbs up to top science teacher

In our view, teachers don't get nearly the recognition they deserve. So we're happy to congratulate Laura Unterholzner, of Century High School, who has been named the Secondary Science Teacher of the Year by the Minnesota Science Teachers Association.

She is the fourth science teacher from the area to receive the award in recent years. Last year's recipient was Nora Gathje, who teaches in Chatfield. Two other Rochester teachers, Cheryle Moertel and Chuck Handlon, have also received the award.

Plus, Denine Vogeli, a St. Charles teacher, was named Minnesota Earth Science Teachers Association teacher of the year in 2018.

In other words, southeastern Minnesota schools are staffed by a first-rate cadre of science teachers. 

These awards are certainly deserved, but we're sure the teachers will tell you an even greater reward is working with young people and helping them achieve their full potential.

Thumbs down to closing of yogurt stand

Carroll's Cup, the frozen yogurt stand in the subway level of the Kahler Grand Hotel, will close at the end of November. It's the latest sign that small businesses are having a tough go of it in downtown Rochester.

Fingers can be pointed at any number of factors -- shortage of downtown parking, too many construction zones and street closings, higher rents and taxes -- most of them related in some way to the Destination Medical Center project.

We agree with owner Pat Carroll (whose popular popcorn store will remain open, thank goodness) that DMC will eventually be good for the community. In the meantime, though, local businesses are having a difficult time surviving the transition in downtown Rochester.

Thumbs up to full representation on Goodhue board

For 200 days in the past year, one-fifth of the population of Goodhue County had no representation on the board of county commissioners. That's because the four remaining board members were unable to agree on filling the vacancy, even temporarily, created last April by the death of Commissioner Ron Allen.

The voters finally had an opportunity to take matters into their own hands, and on Nov. 5 emphatically elected Linda Flanders to fill the remainder of Allen's term.

Now it's time for the Goodhue County Board to get beyond petty politics and do the work the voters expect them to do.

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