Some quotes from the Dispatch's Jan. 11 issue's coverage of the Crow Wing County Board meeting: Commissioner Paul Thiede: "The county board is there to serve [the] people" and then: "I didn't run for this job to satisfy everybody."
Does Mr. Thiede listen only to the "loud and squeaky wheels" that run in the same tracks as his own? Now that the county board has been elected, it is suggested that those elected act in the best interest of this area's land, waters and people. Please remember that our Founding Fathers created a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people."
Martha and Geoff Davidge
Crow Wing County
Dispatch criticism of DFL surprising
On Jan. 12, I was pleasantly surprised to see the Dispatch editorial board criticize the DFL-controlled Senate for granting an outrageous increase in per diem and housing payment. It is extremely unusual to see any criticism of left wing policy in the mainstream media, especially an affiliate of the Associated Press.
Late last October, you published my letter which closed with the statement, "The last thing we need at the Capitol is more DFL." Now, so soon in the new session, they have already proven it to be true. The last thing we need at the Capitol is more DFL.
Bring state soldiers home on time
I am writing to encourage everyone to contact our senators and representatives regarding the recent extension of our Minnesota soldiers currently serving in Iraq. These are men and women who have been away from their families for nearly a year-and-a-half now. They have honorably served our country and deserve to be sent home in March as planned. These soldiers are everyday people like you and me who have chosen to go beyond what the average citizen does in support of our country and actually serve in the National Guard. They have families who support them 100 percent but have anticipated this homecoming since the day they received news of their activation for deployment. To say it is unfair to expect them to serve another four months beyond the 18 they were originally activated for is a major understatement. Please contact our legislators and ask them to do everything in their power to bring our Minnesota soldiers home on time.
Health facilities should take the lead
I am a registered nurse. Throughout my 32-year career I have cared for and observed far to many people, both young and old, smokers and non-smokers who have suffered and died from the adverse affects of the toxic byproducts of tobacco use by humans. I have asthma and have had my asthma activated just being around a group/person of smokers, after they have been out to the smoke shelters furnished by a health care facility. Second-hand smoke remains on clothing and hair. As a person walks down a hall or sits in their office, or cares for patients, the toxins produced by burning tobacco drift to those who come in contact with the smoker. The patient in the bed does not have the option to remove themselves from the care giver. Who is ever going to heed the warnings concerning the hazards of smoking if the health care providers do not lead the way! A health care facility needs to be a leader in health care, I would like to see health care facilities take a stand to prevent illness, starting with itself.
My second comment is - have the business owners and commissioners researched and assessed the potential for growth in the area should Crow Wing County Board and citizens decide to be leaders in the efforts to reduce smoking. I for one, my family for two, and other people I have spoken with in the Brainerd lakes area have stated that they would patronize area businesses more often, if the smoke clouding the establishment, would be gone.
Linda A. Smith, R.N.
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