Dozens of us were helping a friend sandbag his house in Moorhead earlier this week.We were exhausted after days of hard, dirty physical work and still had lots of work to do that day, and little energy left. When who should arrive but a busload of Brainerd students, in town to help out for the day. It was such a blessing and such an encouragement to get that help. You all are such wonderful kids! Thanks to all of you, thanks to the teachers who came with them, and thanks to the school for allowing them to come and help. So far my friend's sandbag dike around his home is holding, and we have you to thank for playing a part in getting that finished in time.Thank you so much!
West Fargo, N.D.
Hearts filled with friendship
Along a good share of Minnesota's western border runs the Red River of the North. A slow meandering river, that flows through an area so flat the elevation from its banks to the surrounding countryside can sometimes be measured in inches. This is a river that never really cut itself a deep channel and for all practical purposes, flows the wrong way and frequently floods. But because of its fertile soil and valuable real estate it has become a very important part of three states and home to many.
This is not meant to be a geography lesson and by the time you read this, the river will have gone back where it belongs and there will be peace in the valley again. The flood will have become just a long litany of floods that will come again someday. But out of all of this turmoil and strife there will emerge something that will not be soon forgotten, and that is the thousands of people who will have worked side-by-side trying to save someone else's property.
We often come to the aid of our friends and family, but this is one of the times that we came together as strangers for a common cause. It shows what we are really made of here in this part of the country. The call went out from this valley for help and all over the state buses were filled, and schools and churches, and factory's went empty. Weary backs and arms, filled and carried the sand bags to push the river back where it belonged. But something else was filled, and not with sand. Hearts were filled with friendship and caring for our fellow man. With all of the bad we see sometimes it's incidents like this that restore our faith.
Are commissioners listening?
Is the Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners listening to the residents of the county? Note that in the past few months the board has allowed three parcels of lake shore to have the zoning changed from rural residential to shoreland residential, thus allowing for a less controlled development on the lake. One can argue that these decisions are contrary to the Crow Wing County Comprehensive Plan and the county ordinances, all of which resulted from many hours of hard work by county residents. To top that, the board overturned the recommendation of their own planning commission.
Why is this important? First, we all have an obligation to protect the beautiful, natural surroundings that called us to live here. In addition, I believe that the general economy, hence the tourist industry, jobs, etc. depends a great deal on the overall desirability of the lake country. Also, don't forget that a decline in the value of lake shore reduces the county tax base and would likely result in a general increase in tax rate for everyone to compensate for this.
As residents, we need to remind our board members to follow the Comprehensive Plan, the ordinances and give appropriate consideration to the planning commission. We all need to avoid being blindsided by short-term goals at the expense of our children and grandchildrens' future in the Brainerd lakes area!
Crack down on tax dodgers
As I was listening to public radio I heard this speaker say listen to the news then read the Bible. I was meditating a little the other day it came to me that there really wasn't much change in the world in 4,000 years. The classes and how they act and treat each other is about the same. As I continued to mull things over in my mind there really isn't much difference between the Wall Street bankers and executives, and the major corporation executives then the leaders of the Mafia. The ethics morals and general behavior seems nearly the same. The bottom line and power are what counts and any thing which interferes is only a distraction, as long as I get mine I don't give a darn about who pays.
Total socialism isn't the answer but trying to make regulations to control that bunch is futile with a democratic government. The way to contain it is to go back to a graduated income tax similar to the one we had when Eisenhower was president. We could add a zero to each level of the tax brackets due to inflation and still keep our alternative minimum tax as we have plenty of people that are using legal tax dodges to get around paying taxes that we need to collect from.
Another thing I would like to see is for all those who move their money off shore and hide it that we be aggressive about collecting it and when it is done illegally confiscate all of it. If they like their money so much and we can't get it back transfer their citizenship to the country that has their money and let them move, but make it hard for them to get a visa to get back.
JESSE NIX is an associate chair with the Crow Wing County DFL.
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