As a conservative voter, I dislike any easing of immigration restrictions whether it comes from Hillary Clinton or John McCain. Either version could hold down wages and benefits for U.S. workers.
As a Vietnam vet, I have to make a significant exception. In southeast Asia, during the Vietnam War, the Hmong fought the communists just as we did. Often they put their lives on the line to provide sanctuary and supplies for U.S. Special Forces to such an extent that they would be persecuted if forced to return to communist Laos.
Strict, anti-terrorism U.S. laws (that's good) have prevented many of these folks from getting U.S. asylum or green cards (that's bad). The first week in September, Senators Coleman (Minn.) and Kyl (Ariz.) introduced an amendment passed by the U.S. Senate that would ease requirements for U.S. allies to obtain asylum and green cards ("Pioneer Press, " Sept. 5). As we know, the Hmong represent a large population in Minnesota - especially in St. Paul, Norm Coleman's previous bailiwick. I am confident the President will recognize the contributions of this ally by signing the bill into law.
Brainerd officials are considerate
We would like to take the opportunity to publicly thank city of Brainerd officials, city council members, and commission and committee members for the work they do in running our city of Brainerd.
In the past, and recent past, we have had different issues go before the city concerning our personal and commercial properties. In the overall scheme of things our needs and concerns have probably been minor. Still, we are given attention and consideration. Many officials and members take the time to call and/or come by. We have been greatly impressed and appreciative of this and the help we've been given.
On Sept. 4, we had the opportunity to again sit in on a city council meeting. As in previous meetings we have renewed respect for the job the officials and members do. We are always impressed at the time they put in to all the matters that come before them. We may not always agree or understand everything, but admire the work that is done and how the process works. Listening to the other issues, besides our own, is very interesting and we usually learn something. The interaction between the members can be very interesting too. We would encourage residents of Brainerd to sit in on meetings. It's worth the time.
Mike and Mary Hamad
Fighting for reason, responsibility
Our fight for reason and responsibility with District 181 school board administration's constant faulty policies is also a battle with our Brainerd Dispatch news policies. School half-truths, and threats are published without hesitation, but those of us that are against this constant mismanagement of poor people's and hard-working middle class monies have every work scrutinized for positive truth. I am referring to each story I write, especially about how much a District 12A representative talked about how he had helped with bills favoring schools in this year's session. Also an MPR story with Tom Dooher, teacher's union president, that stated all Minnesota schools will share in $800 million more dollars the next two years and also received the same amount the past two years, this is over and above the $6,500 approximate figure student per capita they receive. I called District 12B Rep. Al Doty to verify the $800 million and was told also, that $329.4 million will go to special education, and starting next year extra funding starts for all day kindergarten. Brainerd district schools have the 28th largest student population of 7,076 and there are 323 schools in Minnesota so we probably can assume our share will be possibly $10 million or more extra for the next two years. Do you, John Q. Public know what's going on?
School funding policies are almost impossible to understand, but you certainly know when you're going for a ride.
Many elderly couples both worked and saved to buy a home in this area. New school boards, county commissioners, and city council members with no cares about spending your tax dollars or how you live - reminds me of a great documentary called "From Freedom to Fascism." Think about it!
Please come to our meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 25, Brainerd Library, 6 p.m.
Keep Comprehensive Plan alive
The county comprehensive plan began as a high priority issue in 1988. 1993 saw the completion of the draft Comprehensive Plan for Crow Wing County. A blueprint for planning for our future needs for the next 20 years, the success of the project was the direct result of hundreds of hours of involvement by concerned citizen volunteers. It became lost as an issue from 1995-1998 when Paul Thiede was on the board. He was elected again in 2007, defeating two-term incumbent Ed Larsen, representing District 2.
Bonnie Finnerty, county planner for the Planning and Zoning Department, made every effort to help guide land-use decisions and promote the Comprehensive Plan for Crow Wing County. Her efforts to guide the five members of the County Board at the February 28 and May 16 meetings failed because of Paul Thiede's refusal to compromise and insistence of his zero-based budget that does not account for the cost of living and results in a lack of proper funding for county services and infrastructure. Bonnie Finnerty resigned August 16. Will the five members of the county board allow the Comprehensive Plan to die once again?
We are told the county board meetings are being taped and anyone can come to the courthouse and hear the tapes. To learn what the county has accomplished in its first nine months, go to the courthouse and hear the tapes. We need informed citizens to help guide the future of our country.
Dr. Bob Uppgaard
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