Kudos to the theater department of Central Lakes College on their current presentation of "Inherit the Wind", the story of the 1920s trial of the biology teacher in Tennessee who broke the law prohibiting mention of Charles Darwin and his work. It was very well done and, of course, very thought provoking!
After thinking that we knew all of Brainerd after many visits, it was an unexpected pleasure to discover this "gem" of a theater hiding in plain sight. How lucky to have timed our visit to coincide with such a fine production. Now that we know the schedule, we plan to take in some more plays at Central Lakes. It is definitely an asset to the community. Check it out!
North St. Paul
It just keeps getting better.
With winter fast approaching and reports of limited supplies of heating oil it should be surprising to learn that the oil companies are busy shipping heating oil overseas. But, with Big Oil in control of the White House and Congress it isn't surprising at all. The looting isn't over yet.
This is a win-win-win deal for Big Oil. They win by driving up prices by reducing supply. They win by using public outcry over those high prices to get the eager Republican-controlled Congress to roll back more environmental regulations and hand them our Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to boot. And, they win when the Republican controlled Congress restores more of the corporate welfare that was removed from the original Exxon/Cheney energy bill.
This unabashed looting looks like they realize that the 20 percent of Americans who voted for Bush and the 60 percent of eligible voters who elected Bush by not bothering to put down their remote long enough to do their civic duty and vote, are beginning to wake up.
Big Oil knows that the getting is good so now is the time to get because after the next election the party is over and this country will demand a real energy policy from real leaders. As the undeniable evidence of climate change mounts we can no longer tolerate this lack of leadership in the White House or Congress. Bush has shown no leadership for five years but Congress has failed for 30. They all must go because our future depends on it. We simply must develop clean alternative energy and the longer we delay the worse it will be for our economy and our environment.
Early childhood education is the key
Local business leaders have described a workforce which "couldn't show up for work, couldn't work well with others and couldn't think critically on the job". ("Better Prepared Workers Sought", Oct. 8) The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis has proposed a solution: community investment in early childhood education.
It is in the early years that people develop a work ethic, social skills, and creativity, as well as language skills. Longitudinal studies show that those who enter school unprepared to learn seldom catch up. Most alarming is that the State Department of Education has found that half of students entering kindergarten are not ready. When they enter the labor market, they will likely not be ready to work.
According to the Federal Reserve, the public will see a sixteen percent annual return on investment in early education. This comes from savings on special education, welfare, drug rehabilitation, and incarceration as well as from increased productivity and a wealthier tax base.The Fed continues to champion early education as the best public investment.
Many Minnesota businesses have recognized this issue as critical and are working together through Ready 4 K to campaign for school readiness. Across the state, many local Early Childhood Coalitions have formed, such as the one in the Pequot Lakes area, through generous support from the Initiative Foundation. Momentum for universal prekindergarten has begun to build with issue advocacy from groups such as the Children's Defense Fund and the Council of Chief State School Officers.
If we show innovation and leadership in early childhood education today, our workforce will show innovation and leadership in the future. Other markets are rapidly responding to the needs of early childhood, we must be ahead on this issue in order to give our children a competitive edge.
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