Thumbs up Dog park shows how gov't people can work together The McPherson City Commission approved a special-use permit for the a proposed dog park in McPherson at its meeting Monday. The McPherson Dog Park Association has passed its first hurdles in making the park a reality. This project has progressed in the last year from a concept to a project with direction. The association and the city are showing us that regular residents can work with government to make positive change in the community. Students contribute to global study on climate change The children and teachers at Eisenhower Elementary School get a thumbs up this week for their work on climate change. The students are participating in the international Journey North program. They planted tulips at their school last week. The students will measure the tulips' growth and report to an international group of scientists who are researching climate change. In addition, the students are providing a service by maintaining the landscaping and flower beds at the school this spring. CVB secures grant to make All Schools Day documentary The McPherson Convention and Visitors Bureau has secured a $8,101 grant from the Kansas Humanities Council to produce a documentary on the Centennial of All Schools Day. All Schools Day is integral part of the McPherson identity. We look forward to seeing the film the CVB's crew will produce. Singers pack Opera House for Carol-Along The McPherson Opera House was filled with the sounds of Christmas carols Thursday for the 34th annual Carol-Along. Participants filled the seats to get a chance to sing with their neighbors and grab a little piece of the holiday spirit. The Carol-Along has a proud tradition in McPherson and is one of those events that makes McPherson unique. Governor leads by example on health, fitness Gov. Sam Brownback and members of his Cabinet are taking the lead in a weight-loss contest aimed at encouraging Kansans to fight obesity and adopt healthier eating habits. The Republican governor on Tuesday challenged other executive, legislative and judicial branch employees to field five-member teams that will compete to lose the largest percentage of body weight. The contest will run Jan. 15 through May 15. He formed a council earlier this year to address obesity in the state and develop strategies for curbing weight gain. We give the governor a thumbs up this week for leading by example. This contest may be a small step, but the governor has shown a commitment to reducing the rate of obesity in the state. Thumbs down Congress hangs Americans over fiscal cliff Congress and president Obama get a thumbs down this week for not coming to a compromise regarding the fiscal cliff. If Congress does not renew tax cuts by the end of the year, taxes will go up significantly for most middle class Americans. These tax cuts are important to maintaining gains the country has made since the onset of the recession. It is time to put parities and politics aside and get something done fore the American people. — Cristina Janney on behalf of The McPherson Sentinel Editorial Board