I've been a bartender in the area for 19 years, and I just wanted to address the Open Forum letter on bartenders needing more education. Probably most of the bars in this area send their employees to some kind of training every year or every other year. (Where I work, we are required to attend these classes. ) It is not an easy job, none of us like to see our customers become obviously intoxicated in our place of business. But in this day and age where we, as Americans, don't need to take responsibility for any of our actions whether it be to using stress for an excuse to commit a crime, to not knowing when you've had enough alcohol to drink. But, obviously, in this day and age, that is not your problem, it's ours. We all do the best that we can, but, sometimes a customer does become obviously intoxicated and that's when we as bartenders need to be kind when we tell them they've had enough to drink, offer them something non-alcoholic to drink, some kind of snack and find them a ride home. That's what we do where I work.
Lani M. Hatrick
To the confused Republican voter
In response to the letter on Nov. 10 in which the writer defended his vote simply because he knew where the president stood on issues and claimed he didn't know where Kerry stood. He obviously spent too much time paying attention to Bush's ads portraying Kerry as a flip-flopper. Kerry was campaigning on many important issues, if you had paid attention to his ads, the news, or most importantly the debates, you should have picked up on this. Shame on you for not being well informed before voting.
Bush claimed he had conviction and principle, which is one of the few things I agree with him on. Unfortunately, the things he seemed most certain about, he ended up being wrong. The only time it is good to have a leader who is that certain about his actions is when he is right. I'd prefer a leader who can see when things aren't going well, admit to a mistake and change course, instead of blindly leading the country down the wrong path.
As for speaking for my daughter, I was actually speaking for all young people, including my generation, who will end up paying the debt accumulated by this and past administrations. If you have children, they'll be paying the bill too. It is time the generations in power start paying the bills and quit passing them on to future generations. It is really popular to offer tax cuts during a campaign, but if the government has to borrow to pay for it, you are essentially stealing from future generations. If I can not speak for her interest on this issue who will? President Bush, the Republicans, and the rich enjoying the enormous tax breaks certainly don't care.
A look at deficit spending
This is a response to the letter of November 8, 2004, in which the writer bashed Republicans and the people who voted Republican.
As far as deficit spending is concerned, the writer lacks understanding, just as my dad did after World War II. My dad felt that all that deficit spending for the war wasn't right and that the billions spent on the Marshall Plan to rebuild Japan and Germany was just nuts and then adding the costs for the G.I Bill was just another give-away. He questioned how the country could ever get out from under that deficit. The deficit now, compared to that following World War II, is just a drop in the bucket, so don't be concerned about your 2- year-old daughter.
In our country, 20 percent of the people are considered rich and pay 80 percent of the taxes. Sixty percent are classified as the middle class, and pay almost 20 percent of the taxes. Then there are the 20 percent who are considered poor. These pay a very small percentage of income taxes. How much do the Liberals think the rich people should pay? Remember that the so-called rich are subsidizing the rest of us.
When my dad saw the light, he became a Republican. Hopefully you too will see the light. If you want to see how the country is going, read Cal Thomas' column on page 7A in the Brainerd Dispatch dated Nov.10, 2004
Richard A Mann
Setting the record straight
I would like to address and set the record straight on a recent rumor that has come to my attention on more than one occasion. The new Wal-Mart Superstore did not receive any tax-increment financing or any other subsidies from the city of Baxter. In fact, Wal-Mart is paying for the complete cost of a new signal light at the intersection of Glory Road and Elder Drive, the entire cost to widen Glory Road for additional turn lanes, and the entire cost to relocate a portion of a bike and pedestrian trail, including two bridges over wetlands, for public safety purposes. Wal-Mart also paid the entire cost of the EAW and storm water engineering studies.
In the last decade, the city of Baxter has not granted tax-increment financing to any retail establishments. If anyone has any questions, please contact me at city hall.
Jeremy S. Vacinek
City of Baxter
It's all just a game
Though we were irritated by misinformation, too many of us down-played its lasting effect. What we have didn't fully account for, was the force that is rampant among us, that has made a deadly serious game out of mind control, and their trump card is misinformation. Most of us do not want to enter into the game of mind control, but because we are each a part of our democracy, we lose, as laws are being made, based on misinformation.
Without entering the game of mind control, I believe that we can shift the parameters of that game to the point where we have a contest that we can feel comfortable with. Then we will be able, as a society and as a species to work for, a cooperative and reliable future.
The contest, that I visualize, and one that we could all enter with some gusto, is that of meaningful relevant data. Word use, has become very important, and those words, can be, standing alone or in phrases. If we personally question any use of words, whether in thought presentation or laws, we should make our concern known. A few, of the multitude of words that we should question are conservative, liberal, enlightened, right to life, and American voter.
To take only the last, for the American voter, I see for each issue, one person, one vote, secret, and verifiable. When we see a misuse of these words, and their responsible application, we have a duty, to seek a correction. The last two, presidential elections have shown a serious discrepancy in polling places of some key states.
Our nation was born, of people seeking proper representation, now is not the time to allow it to be taken away.
Dennis G. Gordon
Thoughts on 'heating hot water'
In a recent article on the benefits of new energy technology, an Associated Press staff writer glowingly praised the development of ways of harnessing solar power to "heat hot water." Now I heartily support new energy technology, and I extol the efforts of those who seek more widespread use of solar power, but as a sometime teacher of the English language, I must vigorously deplore the mangling of my mother tongue with expressions such as "heat hot water." Much as I delight in the use of hot water on a fairly regular basis, I have absolutely no interest whatever in the heating of hot water nor of any device produced to accomplish that purpose, no matter how technologically innovative it may be.
Apparently there must be a significant supply of devices constructed for the purpose of what I consider a frightful waste of energy, i.e. the heating of water already defined and clearly recognized as hot. I frequently see evidence of this reality in the classified section of the publication in the form of ads offering "hot water heaters" for sale. The question that comes to mind is, who has any interest in heating water already recognized as hot? Perhaps the same people who joyfully respond to advertisements for free gifts. Pray tell, how many people find any joy in paying for the gifts they receive?
Just some idle thoughts in the backwash of an extremely lengthy and not always uplifting election season.
Change needed in electoral process
As I was driving the other day I heard an interesting report on a precinct in Ohio that only had 600 voters and cast 4,000 votes for President Bush. Now this one precinct didn't have enough votes to change the election but it highlights the need to have national standards for voting. Maybe it will take longer and cost more but we need to have a paper trail. Perhaps we need to have a federal election law and a longer window for voting.
Perhaps a month with another couple of weeks to count the ballots and no campaigning the last week before the elections. With so many people not believing that their votes will be counted accurately, we need change, and as long as we are having change we could go to one man, one vote. There are a lot of Americans who cannot vote for President. When was the last time that you heard of an elector for Guam, the Virgin Islands or any other territory where the population is considered American? I had forgotten about the amendment that allowed the citizens of our nation's capital to vote when I wrote this, so when I was having a discussion with someone who used to agree that the Electoral College should be scrapped informed me that the District of Colombia receives three electoral votes. I looked it up. She was correct, they passed an amendment since I took high school civics. If we had a one or two week moratorium on campaigning before the election the media could do a reality check on the claims of all groups that campaigned, the ones on each side that slung mud, lies and innuendo. If they were exposed and their claims of independence looked at. The campaigns might be cleaned up and they could be forced into a more positive mode rather than responding negative to negative, even if it does get to be fun.
To my fellow citizens of Baxter
I want to say "thank you" to all of you who supported me with votes, contributions of time and money, and encouragement during my recent campaign for mayor of Baxter. I am grateful for your confidence and enjoyed the interaction.
Now it's time to move on. Your elected officials will be devoting a great deal of personal unpaid time to work on issues confronting Baxter. If they are to lead in the directions you wish, they will need your input. You expressed several concerns to me during the campaign including leaf burning, filling wetlands, inadequate storm water management, the future of the golf course, and preservation of the Highway 371 corridor south of 210.
It appears that the next major issue facing Baxter will be the future of the golf course. We will soon know what proposals are forthcoming. If you have ideas or concerns, they should be conveyed to the Mayor and Baxter City Council by phone, letter, or by appearing at the proper planning or Council meetings. Involved citizens help shape the future of our community.
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