There will be many changes at our elementary schools next year and I can understand and live with most of them. However, I feel the need to publicly share my concern about offering all day/everyday kindergarten at four elementary schools (Lowell, Garfield, Riverside, Harrison) and only every other day kindergarten at two elementary schools (Baxter, Nisswa). The best way to illustrate the discrimination inherent in this proposal is as follows:
If you are a kindergartener who lives on Gilbert Lake in Brainerd, you will be given 170 school days to master the kindergarten curriculum.
If you are a kindergartener who lives on White Sand Lake in Baxter, you will be given 85 school days to master the kindergarten curriculum.
Not offering all day/everyday kindergarten at all schools was acceptable when school of choice existed (school of choice is being eliminated for the 2008-2009 school year) and all kindergarteners had access to everyday kindergarten if desired or needed. This proposal leaves absolutely no choice and only half the chance for Baxter and Nisswa kindergarteners to master their required skills.
Federal funding or not, it is simply not fair to determine the number of school days offered to students based exclusively on what street they happen to live on. We all live in the same school district and all of our students deserve equal access and opportunity. Let's put our heads together and come up with a plan that is fair to all kindergarteners in the district.
Don't make false promises
We all want lower oil prices, but making promises no politician can keep is a cruel joke on American voters.
While campaigning in New Hampshire the weekend before Christmas, Hillary Clinton boasted that "oil prices will drop if I'm elected" (Fox News ticker tape Dec. 24). Before the 2006 election, she said, "If you're tired of high oil prices, elect Democrats." Since that speech, oil prices are up 28 percent. Where I come from that means if she fools you twice, blame yourself! Isn't honesty a Christmas message Americans deserve instead?
Bush won't be around forever
For those who seem to have nothing better to do than write letters to the open forum in order to bash Bush, what are your plans for after the election?
Theresa M. Jarvela
Energy bill was worthless
Passing an energy bill that requires a 40 percent increase in fuel mileage while simultaneously increasing E85 ethanol fuel known to give 40 percent lower mileage does not promote the theory that there's intelligent life out there. Why didn't it require solar and hydrogen? This energy could save the planet.
Thankfully, the Brainerd referendum didn't pass so our children will be too stupid to notice global warming. While the rest of humanity will be realizing NASA leader Jim Hanson's prediction that Earth will be unrecognizable, our kids will be saying, "Heck, I think it's still pretty good." Not surprisingly, the bill was promoted and signed by our president who has yet to accomplish anything smarter than a fifth grader!
I guess the mentality of supreme brilliance still reigns over the land. That would be the brilliance that said Minnesota's six million buffalo and millions of elk would never run out. Just keep shooting. The brilliance that said the trees were unending until they cut over every last one in the state. Paul had a mighty ax, don't ya know? The brilliance of over-fishing Lake Superior into a dead sea complete with extinct fish.
Now days, we have row cropping of corn and we can proudly brag that over half of the world's richest top soil has already eroded into the MIssissippi. Thanks to the newly passed energy bill, Minnesota has begun drawing down the nation's richest fresh water aquifer. Some river flow has even been reduced, and others are scheduled to begin soon. Forget aquifer recharge for future generations. While it only takes one gallon of oil to make a gallon of ethanol, it takes a big healthy gulp of five gallons of water. Not to worry, that's only about one Gull Lake's worth per year.
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