Goose on 7th St Bridge

As of Monday, the Seventh Street Northeast bridge is open to more than geese and construction vehicles. The bridge is open to all traffic. It was closed so it could be reinforced in anticipation of the heavy loads that will be carried over it when Silver Lake is dredged net year.  Joe Ahlquist /

Thumbs up to opening of Seventh Street bridge

The season of complaining about street and bridge closures in Rochester is not going to end anytime soon, but you can stop complaining about the closed Seventh Street bridge at Silver Lake Park.

The bridge opened Monday, after being closed since May for a repair project. The bridge needed to be strengthened so it will be able to handle the loads next year when the city starts hauling dredged material from Silver Lake down Seventh Street.

So from now until the snow falls, we have clear sailing over the Seventh Street bridge.

Thumbs down to drunk drivers

It goes without saying that driving under the influence of alcohol or chemicals is poor behavior. We all know that, yet many choose to do it anyway, endangering their lives and the innocent lives of others.

During the last week of August and the Labor Day holiday, for instance, 32 people in Olmsted County were arrested as part of a DWI enforcement campaign. 

That's 32 drivers too many, and we find it frightening to think about how many other drunk drivers were on the road and were not caught.

To avoid a lifetime of grief and guilt, there's one simple rule: Don't drink and drive.

Thumbs up to Sekapp Orchard award

A visit to the local orchard or pumpkin patch is a traditional family activity this time of year, and there are several good places to patronize in our area.

One of the most popular is Sekapp Orchard, just east of Rochester. The orchard is operated by the Kappauf family, which last month was recognized by the University of Minnesota as its Farm Family of the Year in Olmsted County.

It's a well-deserved honor for a family that has operated their business since the early 1960s. It's great to see hard work recognized and rewarded.

That kind of dedication to the land and a business is not unique among rural families in Olmsted County and southeastern Minnesota. We salute the Kappaufs as representative of so many other families in our area.

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