I am writing to congratulate the Crosby-Ironton School District for resolving the teacher's strike, and the students returning. It is very exciting to see the healing process begin.
However, I find it very important that something of this nature never happens again. A strike not only hurts the school district and teachers, but more importantly the students. Education of young people should be our number one priority. Rep. Paul Gazelka (12A) and Rep. Greg Blaine (12 B) also believe this. They both have signed legislation that would prohibit the negotiation of teacher contracts during the school year. The bill (HF 1273) would also prevent a school district from receiving its general education funding increase if it fails to agree to a contract before the school year starts. I applaud the efforts of these two representatives to make sure a teachers strike will never hurt the education of the students, and I hope you do the same.
Control sex offenders
It's clearly evident that releasing sex offenders back into the community has extremely bad consequences. These sex offenders need rehabilitation wile serving their time but are often released.
As a community, we can pay closer attention to our neighborhoods, keep a close watch on our children, lock our homes each night, and teach kids proper action when approaching strangers. But our criminal justice system needs to do their job in punishing, rehabilitating, and evaluating each sex offender before re-entering them into the community. Our criminal justice system needs to do what's right for us, not for the criminal because those people have lost their rights as a citizen. I think we need to keep track of where these re-entered criminals live, work, etc. in order to reduce the number of sex offending reoccurrence.
We, as innocent people, should not have to live in fear that we, our neighbors, loved ones, or acquaintances will be sexually offended, killed, or abducted. Just because these criminals have served prison time doesn't mean that they are "healed" nor does it mean they should be considered citizens. If we want to live in harmony and freedom with one another, we need to crack down on these sex offenders. If we don't you or someone else you know could be the next victim.
Change the law
Several days ago it was announced that Terri Schiavo had "passed away peacefully" and that she was with God now.
The problem with saying this is that Terri Schiavo didn't have to die. She could have been left in the care of her parents, like they had wanted. This case may have been different if she had been in a coma and was never going to wake up, but she wasn't. Her eyes were open and she could smile. Teri Schiavo was killed, that's what it was. She didn't die peacefully; dying of dehydration and starvation is a horrifying way to die.
The people of this country need to ask themselves one question: If you couldn't speak for yourself would you want someone to determine your fate because of something you may have said years earlier?
Party needs money
I would like to persuade my fellow Democratic followers to donate more money to their party for future elections. In past elections, Republicans have almost always raised more money for their campaigns than the Democrats.
Republican Party members seem to have more money and donate it more often. Lower class citizens consist of a bigger part of the population and if all of us gave a little to our Democratic candidates, they could have a better chance at winning. Campaigns cost a lot of money and it's not the fault of the candidates.Television ads cost a lot of money and TV stations are not willing to give away free airtime. All it takes is $10 or $20 from each of us. That's a couple packs of cigarettes or a couple of fast food meals.
Since someone has to pay for it, we should help them do the best job at campaigning that we can.
Twins deserve better
As we come upon the start of the baseball season, the issue of getting a new stadium for the Twins arises. The projected stadium, costing around $300 million, has been a tough hand for the last few seasons, but this year it is needed more than ever.
The Dome is aging and declining in fan popularity. Last season the Twins average attendance per game was only 23,490, less than half of the capacity! When the Twins go play on the road they play in new state of the art stadiums that are often filled to capacity. Players and fans can only wish that the Twins played in one of these nice facilities.
The projected loan from the state of $100 million could be easily paid off by the Twins over the 10 year period. The new stadium would give the Twins a respectable place to play and give them a new, excited fan base. This would lead to more sellouts and thus a higher profit margin.
Minnesota should finally give the Twins a break, and reward them for all of the wonderful seasons they have given us. The Dome has served its purpose and it is now time to move on to a new, more attractive home for the Twins to play in.
Big business at work
The news speaks of the 200-pound part falling off a Nothwest Airlines jet shortly after takeoff in Minneapolis. Maintenance on this type of plane is done in Singapore! (One of the most totalitarian, restrictive, punitive governments around; certainly not free, democratic, and shining, like Iraq or Afghanistan.)
Anyway, representatives of the aircraft maintenance groups in Minneapolis stated that this isn't surprising, given the lax training and few FAA inspectors in Singapore.
I recall a number of years ago one of the leaders of NWA, Mr. Al Checchi, begged citizens of Minnesota to provide about $700 million (about $140 per man, woman, and child in Minnesota) to help NWA. In return, they promised to provide 1,500 high tech, high paying jobs at Hibbing. Yes! We'll help the poor Iron Range.
Checchi had invested something like $20-40 million of his own money in NWA. After NWA got the $700 million, Mr. Checchi left. His stock was worth over $200 million, which he used to campaign for governor of California, while eyeing the presidency. Fortunately, he lost, as this was back in the days when Californians were a little more discriminating in choices for governor.
The 1,500 jobs? Only a few hundred low tech, low-paying jobs in Duluth. Tough luck, Hibbing (and Minnesota).
Those who blindly trust big business and government are the same people who would leave their billfolds lying on the counter in some store, fully expecting them to be there when they returned a few days later.
Gazelka vote praised
Thanks to Rep. Paul Gazelka for supporting HF 588, the Small Business Flexible Benefit Health Care Plan bill which passed on a 90-41 vote April 7 in the Minnesota House. The legislation would provide more affordable health care options for small employers by allowing them to purchase a product that does not include all of the state mandates. Large employers have long been able to tailor their benefit set to meet their employee needs. This bill gives small employers this same ability.
The broad, bipartisan passage of HF 588 underscores the priority to find ways to rein in skyrocketing health care costs. We look forward to the same commitment to controlling health care costs in the Senate.
Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
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