I remember "back in the old days" when any formal/informal Minnesota ranking of national educational comparative data would place us first in "everything," including state spending for educating our kids. Today I read in the Star Tribune article "Minnesota students lag in writing," that although we rank "near the top of the nation when it comes to reading and math," we lag to 14th in narrative persuasive and information writing.
My accountability question for Gov. Pawlenty, our state legislators and Minnesota education commissioner Yecke is that under your present leadership, how do these "near the top" in two categories and 14th in the other ranking compare to where you have now put us nationally in dollars spent per student? If voters truly get what they pay for, I believe that the above classroom teacher's accountability, even including the lag to 14th in writing, far exceeds that of our elected officials!
Bemidji's true colors
Bemidji's recent July 4 parade, like most in small cities, had the usual tooting band, smiling politicians and brightly decorated floats.
But Bemidji's parade had something not permitted in Brainerd: 30 or so protesters against U.S. policy in Iraq. The Bemidji dissenters carried a large U.S. flag along with signs reminding us that this country was founded on free speech and individual rights. Without fuss, the group was given a permit like everybody else, and was treated with respect (if an occasional catcall and thumbs down) all along the parade route.
I was a member of those marchers. I could not have been prouder of my community. It was particularly moving to see people, many of whom I knew to be veterans, stand up and doff their hats for a float they knew was carried in dissent.
Now, that is patriotic. If tolerance is the essence of democracy, it was on full display in Bemidji.
Vote no to park set-asides.
If passed, this will increase land costs/home housing cost for all of us.
Isn't it ironic that Russia is now allowing some private land ownership and our country is considering taking 10 percent of an individual's property or you may be able to pay protection money per lot in order to subdivide your land? Taking a person's property by simply passing an ordinance is absolutely wrong and is non-American, and it's wrong for the country.
If a commissioner votes in favor of this fund-raising fiasco, he should be voted out of office. This is not a fair or equitable way for the country to raise revenue.
If this ordinance is passed, the increased cost of $500 to $5,000 per lot will be passed on to the public in higher land costs, hence higher home ownership costs.
The country has voiced concern about increased growth and the need for affordable housing, well that starts with affordable lots so vote no to a park set-aside ordinance.
People, please come to the public hearing on Tuesday, July 22 at 9:35 a.m. and let the commissioners know this is wrong for our country. Shame on the county board to have a public hearing in the a.m. when the builders, developers, realtors and property owners will be at work and will not b able to attend and let you know this is wrong.
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