The Brainerd School Board and Nisswa City Council are leading the way when it comes to governmental cooperation.
If all goes well, the fruits of their labor will start to be evident when ground is broken, possibly this February, for a community library at the Nisswa Elementary School.
With the anticipated growth in the Nisswa area there is a crying need for a library to serve the residents of that area. A library, however, is an expensive entity and public officials figured that a public library at the school could benefit students and the general public. Plans call for an intergovernmental agreement between Nisswa and the school district on library operating funds and other issues.
While the governmental cooperation is noteworthy, the project might never have gotten off the ground without the generosity of the five children of Brownlee and Julia Cote, who donated $575,000 in honor of the memory of their parents. The Cotes were longtime residents of Nisswa and the Gull Lake area.
The benefits of all this good work will be the school children and the book-loving residents of the Nisswa area.
Government, industry missed
the boat in fatal tire failures
It's clear from the testimony offered on Capitol Hill last week by Firestone's chief executive and his counterpart at Ford Motor Co. that something is terribly wrong with the safeguards supposedly in place to protect Americans from faulty and in some cases dangerous tires.
Last month, Firestone recalled 6.5 million tires, used mainly on Ford Explorers, in response to a series of road deaths. Evidence indicates the companies had information about the problems but did not share it with the federal safety agencies. Ford recalled tires sold overseas last year while they continued to be sold in the U.S. No action was taken in the U.S. and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wasn't informed of the overseas recall.
NHTSA officials were not without blame. State Farm Insurance made repeated efforts to warn them of a problem as early as 1998.
Congress has not been on top of the situation either. It has largely ignored the NHTSA and its responsibilities. Only now is there talk of upgrading the 30-year-old tire safety standards that predate radial tires.
We hear candidates blasting big corporations quite frequently in political campaigns, sometimes justifiably and sometimes not. The Firestone tire saga is precisely the type of situation that engenders that distrust.
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