Thanks to The Dispatch for covering Al Norman and the proposed Supercenter Wal-Mart would like to locate in Baxter. Mr. Norman will be speaking at a Community Forum at the Brainerd High School cafeteria on Wednesday, April 23 at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend. Mr. Norman is a nationally recognized expert on the negative impact of supercenters on communities like ours. He will talk about the loss of jobs and local business in other towns where Supercenters have opened.
The Baxter Mayor and City Council have a very important decision to make concerning whether they will grant the zoning exceptions that would allow a Supercenter to locate here. The mayor and all of the council members, along with their counterparts on the Brainerd City Council and Crow Wing County Board have been personally invited to this event. Their comments and questions, as well as those of citizens of all viewpoints are needed and encouraged. The Wal-Mart corporation is welcome to send a manager or representative from their store.
Our local leaders have busy schedules, especially in this time of local budget crisis. However, given the impact that a supercenter would have on our business climate and environment, I hope that they will find the time to attend and learn about this issue.
Chairperson, Coalition for Responsible Development
A bill reducing impediments to carrying concealed weapons will be voted on soon. (People can now carry concealed weapons, with a permit -- as permitted by the U.S. constitution.)
Some people feel they would be safer and more able to protect themselves if they had a gun in a crisis situation. But giving everyone guns doesn't make everyone safer. It just makes people more apt to use these very deadly weapons when they feel threatened. And yes, you can kill someone with a knife or other weapon, but not as quickly and efficiently. Do we really want to go back to frontier justice -- or gang warfare, like they have in inner cities?
In fact, a study in The New England Journal of Medicine (cited last Fall in the Brainerd Dispatch) concludes that just keeping a gun in the house triples your chances of getting murdered (even after eliminating risk factors such as drug involvement). Rather than keeping people safe from intruders, a gun increases the risk of being killed by a friend, a relative, or a lover. Just one example is the April 19,
2002 shooting of Angela Aho by Sen. Bob Lessard's son, Brett, who was being photographed with his gun -- not to mention the many instances of deliberate domestic violence.
Another reason for not supporting this bill is that it's a red herring. It keeps the Legislature tied up with a non-issue (since people can already get a gun permit legitimately) when they should be working on the budget.
Patricia W. Scott
Don't cut back
Government is responsible for all its citizens, the wealthy, the poor, the healthy, the ill, the good and the bad. It is society's wish that the poor are helped, the ill are treated and the bad are held accountable for their actions. There can be and never will be an excuse not to meet these needs. It may be easier to ignore them, as their needs are varied and complex. It is certainly cheaper to ignore them. But doing the right thing is not always easy.
In times of financial trouble, this is not the time to cut back on the vulnerable. Instead, we must raise the money to do the right
thing. This may mean cutting back on bureaucratic administration. Leaving what money there is to go to the programs. This may mean raising taxes for those who aren't facing hardship, to help those who
It is not right for us to expect battered women to risk their lives and those of their children because we don't want to do the right thing.
Battered women are victims of fear, economics and an indifferent legal system. Shelters offer trained professionals who can help them traverse the canyons of the justice system, offer a safe, secure place for them to temporarily reside while they take the necessary steps to reclaim their lives.
The battered women shelters must not have their funding cut. If anything, it should be raised, as the cuts made in previous years have deeply cut into the programs they can offer. Ours is a violent society, where the value of a woman and child is negligible. Is that what we want to perpetuate?
Ruth Ann Gottwaldt
A mourning dove is reported to weigh about 1 1/2 ounces when dressed for eating.
What person would proudly return home from hunting with the announcement that he or she had just shot a 1 1/2 ounce tame songbird for dinner?
Minnesota Senate File 698 and House File 529 or any other legislation permitting the shooting of mourning doves to become miniature "doveburgers" should be rejected!
Please contact Sen. Paul Koering at (651) 296-4875 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and Rep. Dale Walz at (800) 683-4205 or email@example.com at once.
Protect the gentle dove, a symbol of peace and love.
Elaine Jensen Chesley
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