This winter season, during inclement weather, I'd like to remind drivers to slow down and be a little more patient while driving.
In Brainerd we are very fortunate to have Andy Swift and his fine crew at the Brainerd Street Department clearing our streets and keeping them safe for all of us.
These men are working in the worst of conditions, and always do an exceptional job. Their jobs are much more important than many of us realize.
Thank you, Andy and crew, for a terrific effort!
Steve Shellum, District 181
I would like to address some recent comments in The Dispatch made by Brainerd school board members regarding statewide health insurance for educational employees. Over the past few years statewide health insurance has been looked at by many as having the potential to save local school districts significant dollars while still providing adequate health coverage for all of its employees. The dollar savings may be used by school districts to assist in funding shortfalls which school districts have and continue to face. The local district may have the opportunity to review, evaluate and amend the health coverage. Statewide health insurance also has the potential to remove health insurance from the negotiations process.
Last year many educational entities lobbied very hard to get a statewide health insurance study funded to determine its feasibility. The groups who worked hard for the passage of this bill included: administrators, support personnel, teachers, interested community members and school board members. Minnesota State Employees currently have statewide health insurance. Their premiums and coverage have been successfully managed because of the larger pool of insured. Many feel this also would be a win-win situation for all involved in education.
I hope the fact that our local school board members receive full health insurance coverage from the school district, as a benefit to them, does not play a factor in looking at what is good for many.
John Ward, Jr.
A pro-life mandate
I am taking this opportunity to thank all the voters who chose to support the candidates in this election who have vowed to try to protect the innocent unborn people from an untimely death by abortion! I surely thank the candidates, too.
I was pleased to read articles like the one in the Brainerd Dispatch on page 5A of Nov. 12. The caption of the article stated that in St. Paul, "Abortion politics to take center stage at legislature," and then went on (among other things) to quote Marice Rosenberg, vice-president of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life -- "We're happy to have a clear pro-life mandate. It's time to allow some of the legislation to move."
I am sure with the help of God and prayer better things can begin to happen. Thanks again to everyone involved.
"Out of the mouths of babes..." Jacob Iten, student at Franklin Junior High School wrote a guest column which was printed in Brainerd Dispatch Sunday, Nov. 24, 2002.
His concern was complete carelessness and nastiness of groups of hunters running roughshod over others. I urge you to follow his suggestion to abolish deer drives during archery season on public land.
He also thinks the state law regarding party hunting ought to be reconsidered. Iten's words are wise.
Project Censored has named 25 news stories as the best written, most under-reported articles of 2001 and 2002. They appear in "Censored 2003," compiled by Dr. Peter Phillips and Project Censored of California's Sonoma State University.
These articles contain compelling news which major U.S. media outlets had either ignored or chosen not to publish.
More than 200 persons, including students and faculty members, were involved in the evaluation of more than 900 news stories and the production of "Censored 2003."
A panel of 23 national judges ranked the top 25 stories. Another 24 articles were named to a "Runners-up 2002" list in the latest Project Censored publication.
One censored news story asserted that the United States purposely bombed Iraq's water system during the Gulf War. Thomas Nagy, the article's author, claimed the United States then insisted on United Nations sanctions which prevented Iraq from importing necessary repair equipment and chemicals to purify the water after the war.
The article further revealed that this U.S. action was a direct violation of the Geneva Convention!
According to Professor Nagy of George Washington University, the United Nations has estimated 500,000 Iraqi children have died because of the sanctions. The unsanitary water supply is believed to be a major causative factor.
"Censored 2003" also examined such diverse issues as Afghanistan, Colombia's graduates of the School of the Americas, the Congo, East Timor, NAFTA, the Federal Communications Commission, and under-covered news concerning 9/11.
Project Censored participants are to be commended for their valuable and untiring efforts on behalf of First Amendment rights and freedom of information in the United States.
The Project Censored Web site is www.projectcensored.org.
Elaine Jensen Chesley
If we laugh at "bad" behavior.
If we are entertained by violence.
If we idolize our "bad boy" (and girl) athletes and musicians.
If being "bad" is the attitude that makes us acceptable with our peers.
If our video games are violent (gratuitous).
If our movies are violent (gratuitous).
If we will not expose bad behavior for correction.
If we think that policemen and women are "persecuting us" vs. "protecting us."
If we think authority figures are "mean."]
If being bad (smoking, drinking, foul language) protects us from peer persecution.
If our best and brightest(?) college students think it's perfectly appropriate to "riot" and destroy property in "celebrating" a victory.
If parents don't insist that children "toe the line" and "finish a job."
If nothing, short of murder and rape, is "bad" anymore.
If bullies are "cool" and even "respected."
If "Good is bad and bad is good." Why are we so shocked and mortified when tragedies occur?!
If we can't predict and prevent.
If we can't ever be judgmental when someone, by their actions, is hurting society then we will be relegated to gnashing our teeth, weeping and wondering "why?"!!
P.S. One of my classes erupted with applause after I read this to them. What does that mean?
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.