Once again, science has shown us that lifestyle intervention is the safest and most effective weapon against disease. On Aug. 8, The National Institutes of Health released a study concluding that a low-fat diet combined with modest exercise is more effective than the leading anti-diabetes drug Glucophage, at helping people lower their risk of developing diabetes.
On the same day, Bayer AG withdrew Baycol, its highly profitable cholesterol-lowering drug, from the world market. The company reported that some patients have died while taking it, because the drug caused an unusual condition in which muscle tissue broke down.
The prestigious NIH panel estimated in May, that 65 million Americans should reduce their dietary cholesterol intake by cutting back on consumption of animal fat and meat. More than 60 million Americans suffer from heart disease and nearly 500,000 die each year.
Collectively, diseases associated with consumption of animal fat and meat account for 1.37 million U.S. deaths annually, or nearly 60 percent of the total.
The studies in the past two decades documenting the health benefits of replacing meat and animal fat in the diet with grains, vegetables, and fruits have revealed to us the secret of a long, healthy life. Our supermarkets provide us with a rich variety of raw and processed plantbased foods, including soy-based meat analogs. All we need now is the resolve to remove animal-derived products from our shopping lists.
Reforming the tax structure
The property tax reform legislation passed by the Legislature in the 2001 session is not just a "big win" for business, as it has been characterized in many reports. It is a big win for all Minnesota taxpayers.
Every taxpayer in Minnesota was provided significant, immediate relief which will show up in your tax bills next May. In North Central Minnesota, 2002 property taxes will be 26.9 percent lower for the averaged value home, 31.7 percent lower for apartment property and 17.7 percent less for a $1 million business property, than they otherwise would have been under current law. Voters should be aware, however, that the approval of local government or local school referenda this fall will impact the amount of relief you receive.
More important than the immediate relief, however, is the structural reform of the system. Your property tax is now a local property tax. The state mandated education portion of your tax bill has been assumed by the state. What you pay reflects the local services you receive. Any increase, or decrease in that amount is directly attributable to spending levels by local governments.
This bill does not benefit business at the expense of homeowners or education. Minnesota businesses still pay nearly 25 percent of all property taxes collected in Minnesota even though business only has 15 percent of all the value. This legislation is reform because it builds a greater connection between tax collection and tax spending, and in the end, will benefit every property taxpayer through greater accountability and slower property tax growth.
David Olson, president
Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
Training is necessary
A study of military history will reveal that every military disaster we have ever experienced was the result of one or more of the following factors: poor leadership, poor intelligence, poor or inadequate equipment or inadequate training of personnel all the way from buck private to five star general.
The men and women of the National Guard are sacrificing time away from their families to train in sometimes miserable conditions to become as proficient as possible. They will sacrifice much more if they are asked to go overseas to preserve our way of life on Sylvan Lake, or south of Sylvan Lake where I happen to live and experience the sounds of training.
We certainly owe it to these men and women to eliminate every chance of an unnecessary casualty that we can.
I sleep better knowing they are there.
Something should be done
Thank you Marcella Masters for your short and to-the-point letter to the editor of July 30.
The Evergreen Cemetery is being targeted too many times by vandals who create hundreds of hours of labor by cemetery groundskeepers to repair and replace desecrated monuments.
Her letter states it very plainly that more help is needed. But, where does the money come from to pay additional help when the present help is so grossly underpaid?
To explain again to those who aren't aware: The governing body of the cemetery the Evergreen Cemetery Board which is composed of lot owners in Evergreen Cemetery and Memorial Gardens. They are dedicated to keeping our cemeteries as beautiful as they can be.
The board members are all unpaid volunteers who are called on by the president of the board to make decisions regarding various aspects of operating their cemetery and from time to time to meet and discuss problems that may arise.
To get back to finances, the board is restricted to using only the income from investments for operating capital. The investments at the present rate-of-return is barely enough to pay existing expenses to say nothing of paying additional help or make capital improvements or replacing aged 1970 or 1980 trucks.
A fund drive is needed to add to the investment base so we can operate the cemeteries as they should be. Several interested citizens have offered to help to do that, but we need more civic-minded volunteers to help them.
Anyone who owns a lot in either cemetery is qualified to act on this committee to perpetuate the longstanding history of one of the best maintained cemeteries in the state of Minn.
So as Marcella Masters said in her letter "if we care, -- something should be done."
Now I'm putting the shovel in your hand --Dig in and offer to help. Call me at 829-1214. I'm only a board member, but I'll try and help you "get something done."
Member of the Board at Evergreen Cemetery.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.