A local issue has arisen recently that I'm sure many people have viewed passively, and understandably so. Very few may realize the far reaching economic impact this will have on our community.
Four technical programs have been placed on suspension at Central Lakes College. Viable programs which equip young people with high demand trade skills in two years or less.
They are: Automotive Repair, Auto Body Repair, Graphic Arts and Computerized Printing.
Each of these courses meet the needs of industries within our community. There are currently over 500 people employed in the auto parts and service business within a 30-mile radius of Brainerd. Most of these people earn well above the median wage of Crow Wing County.
I myself moved here 20 years ago with one express purpose: to learn automotive repair. Because of a technical program, I have been paying local taxes and contributing to our local economy for over 20 years. Cutting a program which puts people to work at good income levels, should not be treated lightly.
As a member of the Lakes Area Automotive Industry Council, I have some questions which remain unanswered by the CLC Administration.
Why are moderately priced courses being cut to the benefit of courses with fewer students, that cost more?
Why are only technical courses being cut, with no apparent cuts in Academic, Arts or Sports budgets?
Why are courses being cut where enrollment is up, not down?
How does this serve the needs of the community?
Sending potential taxpayers to St. Cloud is not a good way for a taxpayer based business to operate, so how could this help your budget?
The community deserves to know.
John M. Mattson
If you believe that...
I see in the papers and on the TV that the blood supply for American society is in danger.
Yet, the government, at various levels seems to promote same sex marriages and this seems to endanger the blood supply.
The government seems to support abortion, thus linking unsafe sex to the blood supply and a shortage of laborers for industry and commerce.
What I want to know is: Is the government for or against us?
If you believe that the government always supports your best interests, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn and cheap.
Otis W. Lael
Vouchers will divide us
I find it extremely ironic that President Bush had high school marching bands and concert bands play at his inauguration, for they will be the first to be cut when he begins to siphon money from public school coffers to support his voucher/school choice program.
Remember "Mr. Holland's Opus?" That scenario was played out in Aitkin and Crosby when vouchers weren't even a factor. God help public education as President Bush encourages people to leave with a voucher and/or tax credit.
President Bush thinks we need competition! What we actually need is for all students to be educated "under one roof" so we can provide the extra services (band, choir, special ed., business, home ec., sports, shop, art, etc.) that every one of our children deserve!
My prayer would be that President Bush would dismiss the voucher talk so as not to divide us any more than we are already!
I refuse to give up on us.
Bruce G. Femling
The far right
I wish to thank the author of the recent letter to the Open Forum, "Clinton spin."
If that author could see the truth of my remarks, though he called them spin, perhaps he also recognizes the first results of George W.'s international politics, the cutting of oil exports by OPEC.
He did not however, wish to recognize the real facts of the legal actions that were taken in Florida. If he did, he would note that the first and the last of those actions were taken by the Republicans in their Putsch. And not counting donated time the Republican legal force spent over $5 million to the Democrats' just over $2 million in the assault, that a totally divided partisan U.S. Supreme Court put over the top.
Should he take off those political blinders, and anti-Clinton tinted glasses the author may be shocked by the realities of the assault of the far right, and he may not really feel part of it.
Dennis G. Gordon
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