On a call-in show on a local radio station recently, Sen. Paul Koering seemed to imply that riding ATVs in unfrozen, privately-owned wetlands is a private property rights issue, and that decisions regarding recreational use and impacts to wetlands should be made at the level of land owners,
the best stewards. Sen. Koering, we can't parse out water among landowners. The water is pretty much all connected, and crosses boundary
lines freely, both above and below ground. Further, not all landowners are good stewards. Running ATVs through wetlands is not good stewardship, ever, frankly.
Every vote counts
The irony is so thick you could cut it, that the Green Party-Environmentalists who spent 2.5 million votes on Ralph Nader surely helped elect the anti-environmentalist in George Bush!
Maybe more people will stop wasting their vote and realize the reality of our political process which is a two party system and proof your vote surely does count! In that context, voters also need to stop voting for a face, a person, and realize that the party is pulling the strings.
So pick a side, Democrat or Republican, but remember you're voting a party line not a personality.
Good luck America, we surely need it. It might be easy to remember Democrats are pro sex, anti money, Republicans are all money, anti-sex and after your jobs!
No special favors
I believe the cards are stacked against Mr. Rodriguez. He should, at the very least, come out and say what he did with Dru Sjodin. It doesn't look like that's going to happen anytime soon unless someone starts by really putting the pressure on him.
If he will not cooperate then maybe they should start making him talk by cutting off a couple of fingers at a time and if that doesn't work, cut off the hand.
I have heard they do this to certain criminals in parts of Africa.If we did that here I bet we'd have less repeat offenders. Eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
My heart goes out to the Sjodin family and every other family who is unable to put a closure in their child's disappearance. I can only imagine what they are going through at this time.
Let's stop showing any sympathy for these criminals and keep them locked up for good. Just because they were model prisoners does not always mean that they changed on the inside.
As far as my feelings go, these criminals should be given no special favors. Keep the pressure on them till they talk.
Long live small and independent.
Death to superstores everywhere!
A word of advice
If you want to double your supply of firewood, cut all the logs in half.
Priests and celibacy
As a practicing Catholic in the pew, I have some common sense concerns regarding the move to overturn celibacy for priests of the Latin rite.
We Catholics are not known for our fair contributions to the church. What will be the motivation to ask an increase for wives/family?
The request from 25 percent of the adjoining diocesan priests sound as though they have "time on their hands," (unhealthy).
Because the demands on the majority of priests are great: Wives would be relegated to second place.
Prayerfully, I had hoped the experimentation of the 60s and 70s had ceased.
Granted, the ranks for the priests are diminishing. Let us pray, daily, for those who honor and find peace of mind with the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
For the present time; parishes may have to close; so that active priests will not be scattered and their health will be taken into consideration by compassionate and courageous parishioners.
The recent tragedy in Grand Forks is a huge eye opener in regards to our legal justice system. It is not necessarily the laws that are passed, but how they are interpreted by the court system and implemented by the administration in power. Why did this man fall through the cracks is a good question. In this case the system failed.
Now we are faced with a situation that could add to this kind of failure. That is, the governor's decision to close down the mental health institutions in rural Minnesota, and move those people into a community, whether they're ready or not. As chair of the Health and Human Service Committee for 26 years, I can tell you many are not. There are those who simply need longer term care that is offered in a system like the Brainerd Regional Treatment Center. So, let's take a lesson, not only from this currently tragedy, bur from those that preceded this as well.
The governor should not balance the budget on the backs of the sick and vulnerable citizens of our state. The experts that work with the mental health issues at the five rural regional treatment centers should be allowed to continue their work.
Urge the governor and the Department of Human Services to rethink their policy of closing these treatment centers.
In the 2003 election Minnesotan's around the state elected legislators who promised to eliminate the Profile of Learning. True to their word, the 2003 Legislature ended this harmful experiment. Further, they devised a system to create new standards and directed Education Commissioner Cheri Yecke to carry out the plan. Following the Legislature's mandate, committees made up of Minnesota teachers, parents, and business people, successfully wrote, and the Legislature adopted, new math and language standards this past spring.
Starting in late June, the process began again this time to create science and social studies standards. Committees, again composed of teachers, parents, and business people from throughout Minnesota, gathered numerous times. They spent hours pouring over every issue, working to ensure that Minnesota's students would have excellent standards which met legislative requirements. Liberals and conservatives worked together, setting aside political differences, to create a factual document for the benefit of our children. Differing perspectives were solicited and implemented.
As the writing stage of the process ends, and the document now moves to the legislature, I would like to thank the members who served on the committee for their tireless efforts. While working to define patriotism to the next generation, they exemplified it for all.
The standards system established by the Minnesota legislature has worked before, and I am confident that it will work again. We can trust the teachers, parents, and business people of Minnesota to do what is best for Minnesota's kids. They gave of their time and efforts, with no financial reward. Members deserve our thanks.
Regarding the televising of city committee meetings, there are two desirable notions, which happen to be at odds here. The first is the important wish to have public meetings seem, as well as be, open to the public. This is the Age of Information, we have the equipment already, let's use it. As council member Koep pointed out, it would be educational. In fact, this was my initial vote a couple of months ago.
On the other hand is the desire to make city processes accessible, rather than intimidating, to those who need to use them. How many people would avoid applying for a variance or a business subsidy if they knew they'd be on TV through 1) a Planning and Zoning or EDA meeting, 2) a Safety and Public Works or Personnel and Finance meeting, and finally 3) the city council meeting? How many people would avoid voicing their opposition to a proposed project? No one can say, but I'm sure many people would be uncomfortable with it. I, myself, have to forget about the TV cameras during council meetings, and I'm still a bit startled when someone says, "Saw you on TV last night."
Council president Dehen was right last Monday night when he reminded us that the people who appear before us are generally not professional public speakers. Nor are the commission members, who serve the city as volunteers. So in the end, I changed my mind and voted to keep the cameras off until 7:30 Monday nights.
Anne Nelson Fisher
Brainerd City Council member
The next search
Saddam Hussein has been captured. That leaves another evil tyrant still at large. Having brought misery to thousands of hardworking Americans, he remains free while the public demands his prosecution and conviction. When, oh when, is President Bush going to find Ken Lay?
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