A writer recently stated she did not have the facts about the referendum. The information is not hidden; check the district Web site (www.isd181.org), attend one of the many meetings that are being held throughout the community, read the Q and A forum with Mr. Walseth on the Dispatch site, watch the local Channels 8 and 15 for the recent Rosenmeier Forum on Charter Communications and CTC, or call the school district administration offices and ask for information.
The financial difficulty the district is facing is not a new and sudden issue, nor are we the only school district in the state facing it. As teachers, we have known about the impending cuts for years. The administration has always been open with us about financial issues. We were told which programs and positions would be cut without proper funding by the legislature, and those cuts occurred. We've seen teachers and wonderful programs cut, among them John Ward's service learning class, and world languages in the elementary and middle school. Music, physical education and art programs have been pared back, and other programs are running with a skeleton crew. These looming cuts are real, and will affect the lives of our kids. Our kids, who are real people, not pawns, will be most affected by the decision of our community members. Vote yes on the referendum and let our legislators know that under-funding schools hurts us all.
Brainerd schools have made cuts
We read and hear about all of the cuts that will be made in ISD 181 should the school levy fail. People may not realize how the past budget tightening has already affected students in this district. Do people know that the current kindergarten students are now in classes of up to 29 students? Of the 20 total kindergarten classes in this district, 60 percent have 27 or more students (as reported by the district office). Anyone who knows anything about education knows that small class size is one of the most important factors in creating a good learning environment. This is especially true for the early grades. We don't need to wait to see the effects of lack of money, we already do. The $5 million in cuts made in the past four years are apparent. Vote yes on Nov. 6.
Railroaders and asbestos
Railroaders and asbestos have been together since the beginning of railroading. Railroaders have not only handled this deadly material but have eaten and breathed it. It was also taken home to our families as it was imbedded in our clothing without realizing it.
The ill effects from asbestos will not show up for a number of years after exposure. Railroaders do not realize they have Asbestosis or cancer caused by asbestos for a number of years after retirement. Today, there is little or no cure for asbestos-related illnesses, but a step in the right direction is knowledge. Knowledge of how asbestos affects our bodies and the symptoms of asbestos related conditions. Signs and Symptoms could be: chest pain, shortness of breath, decreased exercise tolerance, and cough(sometimes)
The only expense you have is a drive to the doctor or hospital for a free screening. The NARVRE (National Association of Retired and Veteran Railway Employees. Inc.) organization is made up of working and retired railroaders, spouses, widows and widower's. We work to protect our Railroad Retirement Board pensions. Please make NARVRE important to you.
For further information, please call our asbestos program coordinator at toll free at 1-800-793-4816.
Kudos to Sheriff Dahl
After reading the headlines of the Dispatch on Tuesday I fell compelled to write and emphasize to the community that Sheriff Todd Dahl has shown himself to be a man of integrity and we should be proud of the office he holds and the man that the people elected to hold that office. My family is a strong supporter of law enforcement and the men and women who put themselves at risk everyday to protect us and uphold our laws, but it was with dismay that we learned of the unfortunate incident, following the bank robbery in Garrison, that led to the death of Jennifer Stiernagle's beloved pet.
Mistakes happen, particularly in the heat of the moment in which law enforcement personnel found themselves following the bank robbery, but when errors are made by those in the public trust, we need to have the moral fiber to say we are sorry and learn from our experiences. Sheriff Dahl did just this and our admiration for you and the job that you do has been magnified. Again, thank you Sheriff Dahl. You are the type of public servant that I want my grandchildren to see and want to emulate.
Shame on the sheriff's department
If the Crow Wing County deputy was so afraid of the dog, could he have used a Taser or pepper spray? Did his first thought have to be to kill him? If the department insists on keeping this loose cannon on its payroll, I suggest he be assigned a desk job. This trigger finger shouldn't be "defending" the public. And shame on the department for not thinking disciplinary action is necessary.
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