I read with concern the efforts by the city of Brainerd and Baxter to establish a sales tax for public improvements.
Since when has it become fact that you can tax non-residents for local benefits. When the proposed tax would be used for upgrading your wastewater treatment plant, water tower and satellite fire station, this would equal taxation without representation.
I am surprised that all the local businesses are not opposed to this form of taxation. I, for one, will discontinue shopping in any city that thinks they need my tax dollars other than our business for the local community improvements.
I believe it's time for the city councils and administrators of both cities need to understand, if you need local improvements, they must be paid for by the local residents, either by user fees or by local real estate taxes. You cannot expect your neighbors to subsidize your city improvements.
Maybe it would be fair game to hold a referendum in our community for a tax to be paid by the residents of Brainerd and Baxter for our city.
Where will violent patients go?
Regarding the closing of the Brainerd Regional Human Services Center, what I understand is that the state wants to get out of the health care business and hand it down to the counties. Walker and Fergus Falls also have had larger state facilities shut down and newer regional hospitals are going to be opened in Wadena and Bemidji among others. What bothers me about this is the fact that when the Baxter City Council agreed to this facility, they agreed to it under the condition that only the "less dangerous" types of patients be allowed in. So, how are we going to verify this? Under patient-confidentiality statutes in Minnesota, we can't just look at their records and evaluate a patient's history and illness. And what standards would be used to determine if a patient was dangerous?
Now, with these state hospitals shutting down, the patients have nowhere to go except the new smaller regional hospitals. For example: If there were a certain patient who has had a history of violence and has no other facility to house him/her, the Baxter center could be called upon to accept that patient. Could the Baxter facility refuse that patient since he or she would obviously not be in compliance with Baxter's pre-condition for building the smaller hospital inside of its city limits? The entire idea of a state hospital was to house the people that were too hard to handle in other facilities, including other mental health care facilities such as the Grace Unit at St. Joseph's Hospital. That begs the question: If no small regional hospital wants this type of patient in their community, where does the state plan to house them?
A letter for Wally Thompson
This letter is for my brother, Wally Thompson, at Christmas time. It's a time when most people are busy getting ready for the holidays. I'm searching for my brother who has been missing since Nov. 1. I can't even begin to tell you how much of an impact your absence has made on my heart and life. You're a man whose heart is bigger than life itself, who always puts others before yourself and who has the gentlest soul I know. Wally, you've had some very rough times in your life and despite all of it you still have an amazing compassion for others that goes far beyond anything I've ever known. Instead of a life with conflict you'd rather be the "good-time Charlie" and make people smile. You deserve to be happy and so much more.
The month of November felt as long as a lifetime without you here and as I search for you everyday I'm reminded of a song by Van Morrison called, "These are the Days." Some of the lyrics: "These are the days of the endless summer, these are the days, the time is now, there is no past, there's only future. There's only here, There's only now." I listen to the words and my heart breaks. I hope everyday that you are safe and know in your heart that I love and miss you far beyond anything I could ever say. I believe in you Wally and I believe that you'll come home because you have a whole family who needs you. Just remember that these are the days now that we must savor and we must enjoy as we can. "These are the days that will last forever. You've got to hold them in your heart."
I love you. God Bless.
Merry Christmas, Wally.
Mary Jo Delaney (your sister)
Family and friends
U.S. must help the less fortunate
It seems like many of the supporters of Bush's war have made the erroneous assumption that the only tool we have to fight terrorism is our military. I'll confess that before I found out that Bush and Cheney lied to us about the urgency of dealing with Saddam I bought into the idea of military intervention.
I would like to ask Bush how we can possibly win a war when our efforts to capture or kill an insurgent just recruits another or possibly two. It's like the old joke about making money on a losing operation by increasing volume.
Yes we have to capture or kill terrorist leaders. No amount of hugs and kisses will make them stop as long as they have more recruits to die for their vision.
I think the only way to solve this problem is to get ahead of it and the only way to get ahead of it is to show the world that Americans aren't tough guy wannabes like Bush and Cheney. If we can find the hundreds of billions that Bush is squandering in Iraq then why can't we find the money to help the less fortunate in the world.
Ignoring the billions in future costs for Bush's war we have already spent enough money to vaccinate every single child in the world for 74 years!
We could have single-handedly funded global anti-hunger efforts for nine years.
We could have done those things even if Congress says we can't. We could have supported foreign aid programs of health care, education, birth control, clean water, waste treatment and a host of other humanitarian efforts.
Would that have made it harder for Bin Laden to recruit terrorists? Would the world be better?
Worldwide candle lighting is Sunday
Light a candle for all children who have died this Sunday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting is held every year on the second Sunday in December at 7 p.m. local time for one hour in each time zone around the globe - a 24-hour remembrance of all children who have died.
The ninth annual Worldwide Candle Lighting is an opportunity for bereaved families everywhere to remember and celebrate the lives of children who have gone too soon. In loving memory of all children who are no longer with us, The Compassionate Friends extends an invitation for you, your family, and friends to join tens of thousands of people around the globe for the ninth annual Worldwide Candle Lighting.
We do this...that their light may always shine!
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