Topics run the gamut this week.

Another hugely successful Night 2 Unite
Everyone knows Central Park is going to be packed Tuesday evening for National Night 2 Unite, which, in Crookston, in the words of Police Chief Tim Motherway, has over the years become the “premier event for families” in the community. Those words became the headline of a recent story that detailed the Aug. 6 event in the park, but it was Motherway’s next words that are no less important: Kids just aren’t running around all over the place in the park, they’re walking through the park with their families and learning what their community and law enforcement personnel are all about. Which is what the night is supposed to be all about, anyway, making kids and families comfortable with law enforcement, public officials and the people in their community as a whole. So stop on down. Maybe you’ll learn something new, and win a bike.

Keep demolishing
One by one, the homes along Ash Street, near the American Legion, that the city has acquired are being demolished. One went down a couple weeks ago, and another was demolished in pretty rapid fashion last Friday. Two more houses remain and, once all the debris is removed and the basement holes are filled in, it will be time to construct a levee. No, not a huge, certified levee that meets the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers standards, simply a levee that’s necessary to protect a small, yet important area of town and in the process eliminate the need to consider sandbagging there every time the Red Lake River starts a significant rise. It’s likely those last two houses will come down this week, another, albeit kind of small milestone on the local flood control front.

Can it be recycled? If it can, then recycle it
In a world of diminishing resources, some replaceable and some not, it is vital that we reuse the items we can, reduce the amount of waste we create and recycle what we already have into new items. Many things that we receive, whether it be plastic or paper bags at the grocery store, plastic water bottles, soda cans and even glass bottles can be and should be recycled. Chances are if they don’t get recycled, they could harm the environment and make our world an unsafe, unfit place to live for not only us, but the future generation as well. The next time you go to throw something away, consider whether or not it could be recycled or reused. You may just reduce environmental pollution and help make the world a better, cleaner place. - Torrie Wagner, Times intern

PED-day: Drop the hammer
Today, Monday, Aug. 5, has been dubbed PED-Day. Major League Baseball will hand down suspensions to about 12 players named in the Biogenesis scandal. It's expected most of the penalties will be 50, but Alex Rodriguez's suspension may be through the 2014 season. A-Rod is 38, and missing a full season put the rest of his steroid-laced career in jeopardy. However, A-Rod and his lawyers have vowed to appeal any suspension. There is talk of a possible lifetime suspension for A-Rod, but the legal ramifications for MLB would drag the case out for a long time. At some point, though, Commissioner Bud Selig needs to resolve the performance-enhancing drug era of baseball. They need to put it behind them and make the game the focus again. They need to make an example of someone and deter others from using. A measly 50-game suspension is hardly a deterrent when a player can use PEDs to get a big-time contract like A-Rod did. It's time for Selig and MLB to drop the hammer on PED-Day.

Let’s get serious about protecting consumers from identity theft
Identity Theft has most likely happened to someone we know, maybe even ourselves. Sometimes it is just stealing a credit card number and other times it is taking over their whole life. With online shopping and bill paying becoming more of a normal everyday thing, the internet has become a free for all. Companies need to start taking their customer's protection seriously. There needs to be an option for password protecting a credit card when used online. It is too easy for people to rattle off their card numbers while on the phone whether they're at home or in a store. Even some automated systems require a person to say or enter their account number before they can connect them with a real person. Anyone nearby can simply write this information down and use it for their own personal gain. This is becoming very dangerous and should be taken seriously. People should have the peace of mind knowing they can personally protect their own money and accounts.