Letters to the Editor: Aug. 29

STEM program in local school district is becoming a key teaching tool

To the editor:

It was great to read about the support received by the local STEM program in last week’s paper.
To get the kids interested and intrigued at the 8th grade level in areas such as science, technology, engineering and math is so great.
Anything you read about the status of the economy or the unemployed workers with the wrong set of credentials points to programs such as this as being one of the answers.
To get them to understand there is a whole field of challenges and opportunities within this very large spectrum is critical for the future of at least some of the individuals.
The key is to get them to see the science around them and ask questions about what they see each day.  We can learn at any age.
Recently I was crossing the street where I live at dusk and looked eastward to see this giant large orange/red full moon lying exactly on the pavement like a large ball.
It had a tree in front of it for perspective.  I watched for a few minutes because at that point it appeared to be moving rapidly.  Much to my shock, it did not rise perpendicular but rather at about a 45-degree angle thru the tree.
If this had been the 16th Century, I would have run to make notes in my notebook.  Astronomers today would totally understand what I had just learned.  Both the earth and the moon were on the move.
My nephew was in the STEM class last year and spoke highly of the content as well as the instructor.  This program can trigger an interest in some of the technical schools for a two-year degree.
Many companies operate within a 50-mile radius of Monticello and have openings for these individuals at good starting wages. Some also offer a pathway to obtaining a bachelor degree while working. Kudos to the school system for moving forward on this program.

Bob Esse
Silver Creek

State trooper asks public to watch for emergency vehicles on the roadway

To the editor:

Law enforcement, emergency responders, tow truck drivers and maintenance crews working on the shoulder of the roadway have got your back. Do you have theirs?
Minnesota’s Ted Foss Move Over Law was named in honor of Minnesota State Patrol Cpl. Ted Foss who was killed when hit by a semi-truck while on a traffic stop on the shoulder of I-90 in Winona on Aug. 31, 2000.
According to Minnesota State Statute 169.18 Subd. 11 and 12, when approaching and before passing an authorized emergency vehicle with its emergency lights activated that is parked or stopped on or next to a street or highway having two lanes in the same direction, you shall safely move your vehicle to the lane farthest away from the emergency vehicle, if it is possible to do so.
If the roadway has more than two lanes in the same direction, you shall leave one full lane vacant between your vehicle and any lane in which the emergency vehicle is completely or partially stopped.
This includes law enforcement, fire, ambulance, tow trucks and road maintenance and construction vehicles.
If you are unable to safely move a lane away, you must reduce your speed. If you fail to take these actions you could receive a citation with a fine of more than $100.
Ignoring this law endangers those who are risking their lives every day to provide critical and lifesaving services to all of us. Move over for flashing lights and keep everyone safer!

Trooper Kari Zenzen
Minnesota State Patrol

Editor’s Note: Zenzen is a current board member of the Safe Communities of Wright County.