According to The Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board's reports, election year 2002, the Minnesota Indian Political Action Committee (PAC), donated $721,000 to legislative political parties of their choice. By a "way-out yonder" figure that 'choice' consisted of Democratic-Farmer Labor candidates. (Many of whom failed to be elected!)
In view of these immense political contributions ($193,832 from Mille Lacs alone), all citizens must carefully peruse the antics of DFL legislators -- House and Senate -- attempting to table the "Racino" bill. Do not delay; write, phone or e-mail your elected congressmen and inform them to funnel this money into our budget crisis. Thank you.
Donald and Beverly Tate
Bush's class warfare
Some times when an idea is adopted that has some wonderful benefits for some and some real protections, it is agreed that in general a small payment is in order. This is the case with taxing corporate dividends. If people don't like this tax, they can become a partner in a business which isn't a corporation. Of course, this would expose them to the liabilities of the same type as the ordinary person in business experiences whose personal assets may be attached if the business runs into financial difficulty. I don't know very many people who would like to invest money if creditors could come after their homes if the business failed, which is why we have corporations. The no tax on corporate dividends is just another idea by our president to give the rich more money and widen the spread between the haves and the have-nots -- another round or salvo in his class warfare attack.
Turn off the TV
TV-Turnoff Week 2003 is April 21-27. This is a new program designed to help parents turn off the TV for one week. In an article released March 21, 2003, TV-Turnoff Network Executive Director Frank Vespe stated "Teachers and doctors know about the danger of excessive television for children ... negative health and education consequences." These include rising childhood obesity, educational underachievement and lack of family time. Parents retain and should exercise their ability to limit children's TV time. Look at the effect TV has in your life -- whether used as background noise, entertainer or babysitter. Turn off TV and turn on life, comments Vespe.
Why turn off the TV? Children in the U.S. spend more time watching TV (1023 hours) than in school (900 hours). U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher says, "We are raising the most overweight generation of youngsters in American history ... This week is about saving lives." Turning off the TV gives us a chance to read, create and do things with our family such as bike, walk, go to the park or practice ball.
TV-Turnoff Week is supported by over 70 national organizations including the American Medical Associa-tion, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Educa-tion Association and the President's Council on Physi-cal Fitness. The Web site, www.tv-turnoff.org is available for techniques and tips.
RN/Public Health nurse
Crow Wing County Health Department
Donations not sales
There was a recent article in the paper concerning the Brainerd American Legion Auxiliary gearing up when they will be "selling" poppies. The American Legion Auxiliary throughout the United States in the month of May in honor of our veterans who fought in war, "passing" out poppies to the public. I am sure there was a misunderstanding with The Brainerd Dispatch not understanding our Poppy Program. Veterans have made the poppies that will be given out this month. Auxiliary members accept donations for the poppies. You can donate a penny, a nickel, dime, a dollar, five dollars, whatever amount, it is up to you, the public. All of the donations the Auxiliary receives are used for veterans. We make quilts, bibs, lap robes, etc. for the less fortunate veterans who are in veteran homes. Yes, your donations go strictly towards our veterans who have served our country during the war -- whether WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, Gulf War, or the present war in Iraq. So when you see an American Legion Auxiliary member standing at a corner or in front of a store and they try to give a poppy, take one. This shows your support towards those who defended you. You make the decision of how much you want to donate for that poppy. The poppy is not for sale but we will accept donations.
Lynn Karsten, Nisswa
6th District American Legion Auxiliary
I recently asked a neighborhood fifth-grader "Have you ever heard the word nonproliferation?" He said "Ya." I asked "When was the last time you heard it." He thought and said "Oh, third grade." When did President George W. Bush and his hawks take office?
The following letters were written by Brainerd High School students:
There are numerous ways we can guarantee future generations the enjoyment of fishing.
I believe that if the DNR introduced statewide slot sizes for Minnesota that within a few years fishing would be a lot better and the fish would have better size to them.
I think that there ought to be a law against fishing guides who take many different groups of people out fishing day after day and catch limit upon limit of fish. Over time, this may sharply decrease fish populations.
I think the DNR should conduct live well checks more often, because there are many people who think the rules so not apply to them and that they can take as many fish as they want. I believe that this is the wrong kind of attitude to have. We need to think about the future generations.
I believe that if these problems are not addressed, that there will be sharp decreases in size and number of fish in Minnesota. If changes like this are made, the future generations will also be able to enjoy the sport of fishing.
Noise and baseball
With this year's baseball season freshly under way, a question that comes to mind is, what will fans have in store this year? The banning of noisemakers goes back to the high school basketball season last winter, finalized with this year's banning of buckets at hockey games. Whoever thought such minor case would cause such a controversy among students, parents and teachers? With this in mind, a conflict may arise over the historic use of cowbells at baseball games. Who goes to say what will be banned at this year's games? Will there be some new mysterious noisemaker invented that parents don't like? If so, it will most likely be banned but along with it why would cowbells still be allowed? Maybe the supportive case would be that obnoxious noisemakers distract players, but yelling, whistling and clapping could be just as distracting.
Standards are stupid
Ever since I was in 8th grade there has been graduation standards for the students to make. My personal opinion on all the graduation standards is that they are stupid and they don't really accomplish anything for the students.
I think the state of Minnesota should get rid of most of the grad standards. Every year or two years Minnesota adds another graduation standard for the students to make and if you do not do the standard you automatically fail the class, even if you had a passing grade in it like an A, B, C or D.
The solution that I have come up with, would be to still have some of the graduation standards but not a lot of them like we have today and for the years to come. Also if you don't do the graduation standards or fail the requirements, you would just get a lower grade in the class and not fail it. This would be easier for most of the students and I'm sure that most if not all the students would agree with me.
July 4 is coming
As we eagerly await the summer season, plans for the Fourth of July celebration are already being made. With the busy summer schedules, it becomes far too easy to take this special holiday for granted. Not only are we celebrating the day in which we were given freedom as a nation, but what a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family. The Community Action Committee of Brainerd deserves a tremendous round of applause for the huge amount of effort they put into planning the numerous events for that week. Growing up in this city, it has become somewhat of a custom for our family to attend the big parade and beautiful fireworks together. Not just my parents and sisters, but all 15 cousins and the grandparents, great-grandparents, along with aunts and uncles! Thanks to the Community Action Committee we have wonderful entertainment throughout the entire weekend. Not only do we have the parade and fireworks, the committee also brings in bands, an airplane air show, they provide for a kiddy parade earlier in the day, a Gospel night, food is sold everywhere you turn, and they plan for the ever-so-famous Arts in the Park. Each year, as this exciting time approaches, I am reminded of the great community involvement that has taken place while growing up, and I am thankful for every memory.
A student at Brainerd High School, according to the high school attendance policy, may miss 10 days of each class per semester. Is this policy made to keep kids in class? Rule or no rule, the kids who want to skip class will skip. In most cases, they are only hurting themselves, but what about the kids who don't go to class, yet continue to have straight A's? As long as students are there long enough to maintain good grades, I see no reason why they can only miss 10 days per semester.
War in Iraq has been at the top of the headlines for about a month and it seems the various news stations are in the thick of it. Housed in the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, the capitol of Iraq, they report breaking stories and the progression of American soldiers as well as the Iraqi regime. Newscasters have taken a hands-on approach to reporting the current joys and struggles of the war effort, and many, as well as myself, wonder if they have over-stepped their boundaries. Never before have they been as involved in the war and never as much has their presence been questioned. When newscasters, in an attempt to describe the war, become news themselves, or when their presence hinders the effectiveness or concentration of military forces, they become a deterrence and intrusive. Their existence on the battleground should no longer be welcomed and just as much banned.
In an effort to out-do the many other news stations competing for top rank, reporters have entered the battlefield and have made their presence know. They travel with various infantries and take part in all war affairs with the exception of executing artillery. In reporting their current circumstances newscasters, including the famed Geraldo, have often given away key information as their infantry's whereabouts and endangering our men. It shouldn't take too much disclosed information and many U.S. military men's lives to restrict reporters' involvement, although I am afraid it may come to just that. There should be definite boundaries established so as to prevent interference or not even allow they in the vicinity at all. It is worth the safety and success of our men to enforce restrictions so a to bring home as many of our heroes as possible to their friends and family.
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