The article by Renee Richardson on the Northstar project is very timely and well done. Readers need to know that the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives has not supported the project. Representatives Dale Walz, Greg Blaine and Larry Howes should be urged to support Northstar.
P.S. I have been involved in the Northstar project since the beginning...as Sherburne County administrator...and now in a consulting mode after retirement.
The Catholic Church finds itself in a bind lately, both morally and legally as more and more people choose to go public after being sexually abused by members of the clergy. Some have claimed that the cause of the pedophilia of some clergy, is because of the Church's archaic practice of celibacy. While the unnaturalness of celibacy cannot be dismissed from a greater understanding of the problem, at the root of the matter is the absolutism of religious certitude.
The history of humans is the history of the abuse of power. Humans have, and forever will, exploit others for their own selfish purposes whether for wealth, power or sex; it is as inevitable as the rising of the sun. Behavioral prescriptions and proscriptions carved in stone, religious icons and threats of eternal damnation seemingly have little effect on those bent on exploiting others.
Priests have so much psychological power over the members of their congregations that has been derived from the absolutist nature of their religion that the abuse of that power is only a matter of not if, but how often, and from whom.
It has been alleged that the cases of sexual impropriety by members of the clergy that have come to the attention of the public are only the tip of the iceberg. If that is true, we can only speculate about how many priests (and other clergy) are having many sleepless nights fearfully wondering if, and when, those whom they have used and abused will point their finger at them, and cry out in their anguish, "How could you have done that to me? I trusted you!"
"Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Time to push forward
I've been coming to this area since I was a boy and finally got to enjoy it full time when I retired and moved here in 1995. We have such a beautiful area here and that's why it's so important that we take care of it. That's also the reason that I serve on the Garrison Kathio West Mille Lacs Lake Sanitary Board.
There are three lakes in the area that feed into Lake Mille Lacs. Over a period of time you can see changes in the lakes. With so many sewer systems failing, it all runs into the lake over time. There are more weeds on the lakes every year from the phosphorous that is created by the runoff into the lakes.
The longer we wait to fix the problem, the more it's going to cost us. That's why the Sanitary District is pushing forward. We plan to begin digging for the installation of the collection system later this year, beginning with the southern section. It is critical that construction begin this year so we retain our Army Corps of Engineers funding. At the same time, the county's approval last week of a building permit means the construction can now begin on the plant.
It will take up to three years before the entire Sanitary District collection system is completed. The amount that property owners will be charged for sewage treatment is still being determined. However, the District is pursuing grants and funding on a state level to keep the system affordable. In the end, we will have a system that is affordable and ensures every property owner has safe, reliable sewage treatment. And best of all, we'll have a system that helps guarantee the health of our beautiful lakes for generations to come.
Herb Scattarelli, Manager
Garrison Kathio West Mille Lacs Lake Sanitary District
Stop the war
On Saturday, thousands of Americans across the country gathered to protest the current administrations war on terrorism and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. I joined with local citizens in Baxter to do the same.
I would encourage all the motorists who responded positively (and there were many of you!) to our 'Honk for Peace' signs, or flashed us a peace sign or gave us the thumbs up, to contact your senators and representatives and encourage them to take action to cease the threat of war against Iraq, stop funding Israeli aggression against Palestine, work to strengthen the force of international law, and stop this war on terrorism. Terrorism is a political problem demanding a political solution. Its roots lie in poverty, humiliation, and military, political and economic domination. Declaring more war will not bring peace.
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