The Russian attack on Georgia is something much bigger; it may expose intentions for a much larger goal, such as reestablishing the former Russian empire. I see this as a means to teach former satellite countries of the Soviet block that is pro-western rapprochement days are over. What better way than to invade a former republic and taunt the west for failing to come to its aid? Russia immediately began threatening its other neighbors that they would pay for criticizing Russia's imperialistic policy. Georgia, with its strategically important oil pipeline has grown close to the U.S. even sending troops to Iraq. Putin is furious at growing U.S. and NATO ties with Western Europe. The symbolism of the invasions coming at the start of the Beijing Olympics is unmistakable. This is Russia's wake-up call to all of us.
Letter needs clarification
A letter writer from Merrifield is wondering if "anyone has asked the Republicans" if they want "to buy some marijuana" while attending the "wild-eyed" Republican convention in Saint Paul. From that question, a remarkably convoluted thought process leads the letter writer to state that "After allit's often the Republicans who are reportedly gay - several of them lately."
What is the writer trying to tell us here? Is he anti-gay? Does he feel there is something wrong with gay people? Does he think there are more gay people in one party than the other? I think some clarification is in order.
This same letter writer complained in one of the other leading newspapers that he had received an anonymous and rather critical letter from someone claiming to be a Christian. The Merrifield letter writer seemed a little upset about the whole thing.
I have no way of knowing if the "wild-eyed" Republicans will be looking to score a joint or two or exactly what their position on gay people is but I do know that, if he so chooses, the Merrifield gentleman can forward future anonymous letters to me for inclusion in my collection of such letters on the north wall of my garage.
Stephen A. Busch
Volunteers make fair a success
This letter is to remind you that in the Tuesday, Aug. 12, edition of the Brainerd Dispatch there are two full pages of your children and the animals they had on display and in competition for prizes at the fair. You the parents, grandparents, friends or whoever helped them, deserved a lot of credit too. When a whole community commits to having an event like the Crow Wing County Fair available each year, it has to be a special place to live. An event like our fair could not happen if it were not for the countless volunteers. It would be a good guess that many of "Your Stars" could go to your computers and download some of the nearly 400 pictures of the fair from the Dispatch Web site. Is there a way of putting the prize-winning photo albums of the fair that Joyce Domrase has been producing each year on that Web site, too?
One special group, the fair board, deserves special attention. The Crow Wing County Fair Association elects the board to officially manage the business of the fair. Board members are volunteers and are paid only expenses. Anyone can join the Fair Association, please call 829-6546.
The fair board hires a general manager to tend to the day-to-day business of the fair. Dale Domrase is the current general manager and deserves special attention because of the nature of the job and his excellent performance as evidenced by progress in all the aspects of the fair. Dale has been indicating that he may not be back managing the fair next year - which is a concern to all of us.
Doty helped with zoo funding
I'd like to commend Rep. Al Doty for his efforts to secure funding for the Pine Grove Zoo.
As chair of the House Conference Committee of the bill that included the zoo funding legislation, I can assure you the Pine Grove Zoo would not have received this funding if not for Al Doty. When the companion legislation in the Senate stalled, it was Doty who came to every possible meeting, and took the lead to insist that our Conference Committee include the funding for the zoo into our larger Environmental and Natural Resources bill.
Doty presented legislation in several House committees and in one memorable hearing said, "The Pine Grove Zoo isn't a fox in the box, roadside attraction, it's a major zoo." He got the attention of his colleagues in the House, built the support needed to pass the bill, and refused to give up when the legislation stalled in the Senate.
Rep. Al Doty's persistence and hard work on behalf of his constituents was the key factor in securing the resources the Pine Grove Zoo deserves. The citizens of Little Falls, and the state of Minnesota are lucky to have a strong advocate like Doty at the State Legislature.
State Rep. Rick Hansen
DFL-South St. Paul
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