The Brainerd Post Office is vital to the Brainerd Lakes area. It provides a very important community service for our citizens. One hundred workers are employed. Eight hundred mail boxes are in the building that have daily use by our citizens. The parcel post dollar sales have declined by 15 percent due to parking problems.
Laurel Street will be under construction this spring. Postal officials have been trying to get city hall's attention since last summer in regards to the parking problem at the post office.
Dec. 20, 2004, postal officials met with the city of Brainerd's Safety and Public Works Committee, suggesting the city allow 12 diagonal parking spaces on the west side of South Fifth Street. The council approved a motion directing city staff to meet with the postal officials and report back to the council.
The postal officials state that on Feb. 1, a call was made to city hall in regards to this meeting. A meeting had not been scheduled to meet with postal officials.
I recommended that city staff meet with the postal officials by March 11 and report back to the council on March 21. My recommendation did not receive council support. Instead a motion was passed to have the Safety and Public Works Committee again discuss this issue on March 21.
The city now has diagonal parking spaces on South Fifth, north of Laurel Street. Unfortunately, the newspaper failed to report my recommendation in the council meeting story on March 8.
In my opinion, this parking issue is not being handled in the best interest of our citizens or the post office. The parking issue for the post office is now in the hands of you, the citizens.
Protecting soldiers from uranium
My grandson is a member of the Minnesota National Guard out of Monticello, Minnesota, and is returning from a one-year tour of duty in a violent combat zone in Baghdad, fortunately, physically unscathed. However, he and others of his unit are being screened for radiation over-exposure.
I know that the U.S. military used "spent" uranium in projectiles for tanks, artillery, and aircraft in the first Gulf War and currently in Iraq. My background in chemistry and physics gives me more than a cursory knowledge of this material. The logic (if there is any) is that uranium has a density nearly three times that of steel, therefore these projectiles will pack nearly 300 percent greater destructive force than conventional projectiles. In effect, each becomes a mini "dirty bomb" as it partially vaporizes and releases substantial amounts of uranium dust upon impact. Anyone in the vicinity, coalition troops, insurgents or civilians, will breathe this dust and begin to accumulate radioactive particles in their bodies.
These Reserve troops have medical coverage for a period equal to their active duty service. Since radiation exposure can produce long-term effects, will our government continue to "support our troops?" Would Pentagon weapons theorists be willing to subject themselves and their families to this "harmless byproduct," as it has been referred to by their apologists? Also, our troops were told that the Iraqis were responsible for this use of spent uranium. Meanwhile, we debate in this country how to safely contain and store this material which will continue to release radiation for thousands of years.
Carbon copy our senators and representatives: I believe it incumbent on you to do everything in your power to stop this incredibly stupid course of action by our Department of Defense. Please keep me informed.
Patrick D. Lanin
Would-be robbers could be ushers
Deb Celley's recent column about the attempted robbery of a local business seems to come from a place divorced from any kind of reality.
The Rev. Deb Celley, (of the United Church of the Guilt-Stricken Liberal), portrays the two would-be robbers as the equivalent of lunch counter protesters or fugitive slaves being chased by their angry master with a club.
I'm quite sure that a racist and uncaring community forced these two individuals into their alleged criminal act. Perhaps they were on their way to midnight baseball for some early batting practice? That would explain the baseball bat.
They might make good ushers at Deborah Celley's church during the passing of the collection plate.
Criminals are criminals, no matter what their skin color. When the storeowner prevents a crime from happening, believe it or not, he is the good guy.
Just because you do not agree with Sen. Koering's political philosophy does not give you the right to insinuate that he is racist or take the side of criminals.
Deb Celley should be ashamed to call herself "reverend."
Brainerd's struggle with racism
Thank you, Reverend Celley, for your wise and thoughtful council regarding the explicit and implicit racism that exists in the Brainerd lakes area. Your column is absolutely right on target. The fact that there is at least one person who can elucidate and understand the problems, and who has the courage to clearly state them for the public to view, gives one hope that there may be others like you; thereby, providing hope for the future of the Brainerd area as it struggles to overcome its racism and smug provincialism.
Teachers: Cornerstones of success
"Tear em down." They (Could be anyone) earn more, have more, do more than we do, and we're unwilling to raise our standards (too much work), so instead of moving up, why don't we bring them (the teachers) down to the level we are all comfortable with. We should teach our children to make like choices. If the family next door has a better job, fire them. If they have a better house, trash it. A newer car, wreck it. If they work hard, stop them. Wow, what a premise to build a life on. The whole community could think this way. What a wonderful community we could build. A community like that would attract all sorts of businesses, be a vibrant and wonderful community. Of course that would mean growth, oops, we can't have that.
I'm not sure where this mentality came from, it seems to be nationwide. Instead of building systems up, people want to tear systems down. When did it become popular to find gratification in attacking others simply because they had more?
Our whole system is set up to build families and communities. We were not interested in building families, businesses or communities without ambitions. We don't want our children to have what we had. We want them to have a better life and brighter future, just as our parents did for us.
Support the teachers; they build the cornerstones of our businesses and communities. Don't fall victim to the administration's venomous rhetoric or their supporters. These are the people who want you to stay at that lower level and recruit you to help keep your co-workers, friends and neighbors at your side. They do not subscribe to the American Dream.
Let's ban smoking not business
I would like to thank Rep. Paul Gazelka for his correct stance on the smoking issue and helping my 33 employees and me stay in business. No one in my business is being forced to breath second hand smoke! In fact all of my employees, including the non-smoking ones, enjoy working here and don't appreciate others trying to take away their jobs. Remember that everyone makes their point known in business by where and when they spend their hard-earned dollar. I believe that in the very near future it will make sense for all businesses to be non-smoking. Until then I have to do what the general consensus of my customers dictates. A ban on smoking would hurt business for me and any other business that has decided they need a smoking area. Unfortunately a very large percentage of my customers enjoy smoking while they are in my business. When that percentage decreases to a point where it makes more sense for me to ban it entirely, I will. Our industry is a leader in dealing with smoking issues and we definitely see the benefits of non-smoking section/times. Most larger and any new restaurants have their dining area already completely non-smoking. The future in business is eventually going to be non smoking. When it makes business sense we will be the first ones to ban smoking. Let's not steam roll individual rights and business rights just so we can appease people that have already made their statement by where they spend their dollar. The tide is going out on smoking, lets allow it to go at a pace that won't hurt anyone unnecessarily. We don't need to make brash decisions that will only hurt lots of area businesses and cost many people their jobs.
Paul Bunyan Bowl and Sports Bar and Grill
C-I: Tradition of excellent schools
Amidst the countless opinions on the Crosby-Ironton labor dispute, there is one thing about which nearly everyone agrees. Students get a top-notch education in C-I schools. That fact is evident in test scores at all grade levels, prestigious scholarships awarded C-I students and the success of alumni.
What some people seem to have forgotten, however, is the connection the teachers have to the success of the students.
Crosby-Ironton has a long tradition of excellent schools because it has a long tradition of excellent teachers. But for the future, we can't take that excellence for granted. Because of the ongoing labor dispute, excellent teachers may choose to leave. Others will come to replace them, but the good ones won't stay long. We need a teachers' contract that will keep Crosby-Ironton competitive with other school districts in Minnesota, and a contract that will keep the best people coming here and staying here to teach our children. Mary Gaviglio was right in an earlier letter: "People want the best doctors; they should want the best teachers."
Replacements who don't know our kids, our curriculum or our community are no substitute for the real thing--teachers who care about the students, have developed the curriculum and who are loyal to this community. The replacement workers are no bargain for the students of our district.
There are countless community members who see that our struggle to maintain the foundation of our long-promised benefits has merit and is beneficial to the district and the teachers. Help us reach an agreement. Tell the school board to get back to the bargaining table and get serious about negotiating a settlement that will keep excellence in the Crosby-Ironton schools.
Ethanol mandate would bring pain
Legislation being considered by the state of Minnesota would mandate that gasoline sold in the state contain 20 percent ethanol. Passage of this law would not benefit the environment and could cost consumers millions of dollars.
Blending of ethanol in gasoline increases hydrocarbon emissions, which contribute to the formation of ozone. It also reduces fuel economy, which is the opposite of what advocates of higher CAFE standards, subsidies for hybrids, and opponents of crude oil imports say they want.
The ethanol mandate would have no impact at all on global warming, since its impact on global and even U.S. carbon dioxide emissions would be virtually undetectable. This is the equivalent of crying tears into the ocean: It would be all pain and no gain.
And the pain would be considerable. The ethanol mandate will damage many engines not equipped to handle the additive. This includes cars and trucks as well as small engines in lawnmowers, motorcycles, snowblowers, and snowmobiles.
Joseph L. Bast
The Heartland Institute
Money is important to everyone
For weeks I've heard and read how people think the teachers care only bout the money and benefits. They really don't care about the kids. Is this community really sucked into this mentality? You would rather have scabs teach your kids than their own teachers? Are the scabs crossing because they love your kids or is it for the money? Do you think these scabs have your child's best interest at heart? I question that when it has been reported they are paying the scabs $300 a day to cross the line. It was also reported $150 a day was offered initially, but they couldn't get the scabs to cross for that price. Seems to me the "money" is pretty darn important to the scabs.
If we took the $300 a day and multiply it by the rumored 16 scabs that crossed on a recent day, and the amount every day before that, and now take the lost incomes of the "real" teachers since Feb. 9, it would be a healthy sum of money. It seems to me there should be enough money there to get the ball rolling on some sort of reasonable settlement and get our teachers back to work.
What about you parents? Was there a sense of relief felt when your first grader went back to school and now your second grader? No more having to come up with alternative care and dollars it takes for your little ones while you worked.
It goes without saying, we all love our kids, including the teachers. This is why it is such a "hot" topic on both sides. However, it is a hard, cold, reality that dollars and finances play a huge role in all of our lives, including the teachers. None of us should have to apologize for that.
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