I have nothing but praise for the younger generation who are active in the choir, band, orchestra, and other extracurricular activities in general at Brainerd High School. I am speaking specifically of the music students who have assisted the Order of Elks at the Crow Wing County Fair at the Elks Food Booth.
Most of these kids have never acted as waiters or waitresses, haven't taken complicated food orders, remembered what they ordered, collected money, made change, and they did it in a very orderly manner with a smile on their faces and with basically, no errors.
They may have learned some of these skills at home but I believe mostly learned these skills by doing extra work in music that is not required in usual school classes.
The Elks have asked for help from these students, who get to keep all the tips they receive to put in a pool to help pay for the trips they take at the end of the school year. They arrange the credit for each student according to the time they spend helping at the Elks Food Booth. The Elks also donate more money to their fund to help pay for the trips.
As an active member of Elks Lodge 615 here in Brainerd I want to thank these wonderful kids and their moms and dads for their help. Also, someone left a real neat fold-up type of eye glasses at the booth. They will be at the Elks Lodge every day except Sunday opening at 3 p.m.
Past Exalted Ruler
Treason charges won't work
The accusation of DFL treason ("the DFL has done everything in its power to aid and abet America's sworn enemies") by one Dispatch letter writer mirrors Sen McCain's desperate attacks on Sen. Obama following Obama's recent foreign trip. Neither attack will work.
The second letter of the same day made several absurd claims, including that the Bakken field has 400-500 billion barrels of recoverable oil.
Estimated recovery percent of the oil in the very active Bakken is about 2 percent. Each successful $5 million Bakken well produces about 150 barrels/day. One thousand successful wells in the Bakken will produce less than 1 percent of U.S. oil consumption and cost several billion dollars to drill. We will be lucky to get 500 million barrels over the life of the field which actually started several years ago. It's a nice program but the writer needs to divide by 1,000.
Of 59.09 billion DOE estimated "technically recoverable" oil barrels in the lower 48 Outer Continental Shelf, areas with 40.9 billion barrels are open for leasing.
Sen. Salazar can call the kerogen in the Green River Basin anything he wants, but it is not oil. The Shell project there is the latest in 35 years of efforts to do what nature did not do. That is, to cook the stuff into oil.
Good luck to Hyperion with its proposed new refinery. Expansion and upgrades to existing U.S. refineries have added two million barrels/day to capacity, the equivalent of several new refineries.
Even the new USGS report has pronounced the Arctic three-fourths natural gas. Nobody knows what is in ANWR. But there is no environmental risk from exploration and test wells to find out. Let's try it.
Rolf E. Westgard
Be happy with what you get
I feel compelled to write after the letter in Friday's Open Forum about the stimulus check. I am very offended that the writer felt he deserved a bigger check because of his age. I have an offer for him. I have a family of five. If he would like to trade my grocery bill and his for a month, I am ready and willing. He is very misguided if he thinks he pays as much in groceries and gas as a family does. It's common sense that families with children have more expenses in these areas. So, in fairness, I think he should be happy with the check he received. Where does the sense of entitlement come from? Try and be happy with what you get and not complain about everything.
Bush leaves a massive deficit
Citizens, voters, people, do you remember when President Bill Clinton left office we had a $200 billion plus surplus! Now our illustrious conservative Republican George W. Bush and associates are leaving office and handing we the people a whopping $480 billion-plus record federal deficit! And not a word from flip-flopper John McCain on how to repair the conservative federal deficit damages! Also we can thank our Minnesota Republican rubber stamps for doing their conservative duty in shafting the poor and middle class! Their motto is and always has been, "monkey see, monkey do, we'll reward the few!"
Sticking with old vehicles
As the cost of gas increases, so has the variety if new vehicle advertisements, touting the miles-per-gallon or miles-per-tank of gas a vehicle can travel. But how realistic or practical are the numbers? If you transport only one or two individuals some vehicles give reasonable transportation costs. But if you transport a family of four or more individuals and do any shopping, multiple trips may be needed, with no savings in transportation costs. Buying a new vehicle solely for the purpose of a few more mile-per-gallon, one must wonder if gas is cheaper than car payments.
Considering that my current vehicles are eight and 12 years old, I did a walk through the dealers show room, to look at replacement vehicles of the same model. They had lots of new features, like improved electronic communication, new safety (which is important) and other similar upgrades. But when is came to improving the miles-per-gallon, the ratings were the same as my eight- and 12-year-old vehicles.
Makes me think that in 12 years, the auto industry should have made vehicles more fuel efficient. Is the auto industry its own worst enemy? Guess I will change oil, rotate the tires and keep my old vehicles.
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