Kudos to the persistence of American Legion Softball Girls Training Funders.

The crusade for girls to have a comparable opportunity to play ball like boys do in American Legion Baseball has spanned at least four years. The evolution for girls to be recognized as athletes has taken a lot longer, but mums who have never had the opportunity to play ball are delighted that their daughters can now do it if they want to. .

Hats off to Mike Arvidson, who sits on the board of directors for American Legion Baseball in Minnesota, for bringing up the need for American Legion Softball year after year.

It was the year. Mankato had been the site of the first Legion baseball tournament in 1926. Last weekend, Mankato hosted the first-ever American Legion Fastpitch Softball Tournament.

It was a good time. And it was time.

More insured

Kudos to the news that the number of people without medical insurance has fallen to its lowest level on record.

The US Department of Health and Human Services said 8% of Americans were uninsured in the first quarter of the year. The rate was 15% ten years ago. The report shows that 5.2 million Americans got coverage in 2020.

Better access to insurance is due to more states expanding their Medicaid programs. States that had resisted rallied after the deployment of the federal public health emergency in response to COVID-19 prevented states from removing anyone from Medicaid.

And the US bailout package passed by Congress included more subsidies for ACA exchange hedging.

Higher rates of health insurance coverage are good for everyone and save money by preventing serious illness through earlier intervention. The country must continue to work to lower uninsured rates.

poetic praise

Kudos to a local poet — the state’s first Native Poet Laureate — who receives an extra boost of recognition and a monetary award as well.

Gwen Westerman, a professor of English and the humanities at Minnesota State University, is one of 22 recipients of the Academy of American Poets awards.

In addition to writing other notable works, she is the author of “Follow the Blackbirds” – a collection of poetry written in Dakota and English.

Westerman is of Dakota descent and grew up in Kansas, joining Minnesota State University’s English Department in 1992. She has since called that area home, involved in numerous artistic, literary, and educational endeavors. .

Westerman’s contributions are invaluable and we are fortunate that she has called the Mankato community home. His presence here has made the region richer.

The Griner of Injustice

Boost to the nine-year prison sentence handed down by a Russian court on Thursday against Brittney Griner, the American basketball star who was arrested at the border near the start of the Ukrainian invasion for smuggling cannabis vape cartridges in the country.

The detentions of Griner and Paul Whelan are the behavior of outlaw rogue states. Griner received the maximum sentence for “smuggling” less than one gram of cannabis oil. His arrest, imprisonment and “trial” are both retaliation for US support for Ukraine, an attempt to force the United States to release a Russian arms dealer nicknamed “the Death Dealer” and an attempt by Vladimir Putin to further inflame America’s culture wars. (Griner is black and lesbian.)

Griner’s torment — and Whelan’s as well — should be another warning to all Americans to avoid any form of economic involvement with Russia in the future. Putin’s brutal regime does not respect human rights and does not follow the rule of law. Donald Trump may admire such behavior – the former president recently described the two-time gold medalist as “drug-dense” – but we shouldn’t.