I agree it is a blow for the area to lose the jobs Potlatch offered. However! Maybe this is a wake-up call to those in our community who don't think out of the box, and want to keep the area small. I hope that maybe now, people will rethink allowing other industry to come into the area, and provide high paying jobs for all of us...not just the 600-plus that lost theirs!
Learn our language
I just finished watching the evening news from Minneapolis. The Minneapolis chief of police was apologizing for not having anyone on the police force who spoke Somali.
This followed the unfortunate shooting of a Somali man about a week ago. This man, supposedly mentally unbalanced who was wielding a machete and crow bar was shot and killed by Minneapolis police. I guess the Somali community blames the Minneapolis Police Department for the death -- in that no one on the scene spoke Somali.
If an "unbalanced" Swede from Richfield or an "unbalanced" German from Pillager was walking down Franklin Ave., wielding a machete and crow bar, he probably would have met the same fate. And there were probably no policemen who spoke Swedish or German either.
Must their policemen speak five languages before they can serve the community? I don't think so!
No one forced the Somalis or countless other millions of immigrants who have chosen to move to Minnesota or elsewhere in the United States to do so. They have come, and we have welcomed them, of their own free will.
In Minnesota we spend millions of dollars, and in the U.S. it's billions, annually in our public schools, teaching "foreign" students in their native language. In St. Paul we offer classes taught in Hmong. Less than an hour from Brainerd we teach classes in Spanish.
I'm sorry, but if you choose to live in our community, our state, and our country it is your duty to assimilate into our culture, our mores, morals and our language.
Regarding "Wellstone: Price no consideration in bid to find buyer for paper mill," Brainerd Dispatch, Tuesday, March 19, 2002:
After the Potlatch Corporation announced 616 job cuts at its Brainerd paper mill resulting from its buyout by a multinational corporation, U.S. Senate candidate Norm Coleman seemed to blame everyone and everything, except the main reason for the continued loss of good U.S. manufacturing jobs - the "free trade" policies that have encouraged excess capacity in industry after industry and that favor "cheap labor" solutions. Coleman is a strong supporter of these very free trade policies that are responsible for the loss of more than 32,000 American paper mill jobs over the last five years.
Coleman's spin on the layoffs attempts to pit workers against the environment, apparently to mask his support for these free trade policies. Coleman should explain to Minnesotans why he supports these policies that send American jobs to other countries, where environmental protection and worker rights are ignored.
Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition
Children deserve better
Steve Dickinson, Brainerd School Business Manager, in a recent Dispatch guest column said, "The Super One deal is good for our taxpayers."
This building is metal-clad (sidewalls and roof) and is similar to the buildings that farmers build for machine sheds and cow barns. You also see them as storage sheds in industrial parks. This type of construction is unsafe for children because it is vulnerable for damage and destruction from surprise windstorms and tornadoes. There is no place there for students to seek shelter from water and wind damages during school hours.
This abandoned Super One building is a poor environment for our young students. In addition to safety concerns, there is no grassy area for playgrounds.
It is particularly noteworthy that, all Brainerd masonry school buildings, due for destruction, are safer for students than this converted Super One building.
What is the total cost of this building, to the Brainerd school district, including the purchase price and interest and remodeling costs? Anyone?
The Super One building was acquired with a lease-purchase contract for 15 years. This type purchase does not seek "approval" by the taxpayers of the school district.
Without good foresight and proper planning, the school board sold the Edison School, which would have satisfied the needs of these special classes now being housed in the East Brainerd Mall and are to be moved to a remodeled Super One building.
In demolishing the structurally-sound Lincoln building, the district could have a similar future space crunch and would have to buy another warehouse and remodel it for whatever.
Our children deserve better than an abandoned warehouse to be used as classrooms!
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