With your recent series of articles entitled, "People and Progress: A Balancing Act," you've done an excellent job of making people aware of the issues we will be forced to confront given a 64 percent jump in population over the next 30 years. Now that we know the issues, how do we respond as a community?
The simple answer Smart Growth, which will allow us to grow in ways that support economic development and jobs; create strong neighborhoods with a range of housing, commercial and transportation options; and achieve healthy communities that provide families with a clean environment.
The 10 principles of Smart Growth are as follows: 1) Strengthen and direct development to areas with already existing infrastructure; 2) Mix land uses (commercial, residential, educational, recreational) to create a variety of housing choices and pedestrian-friendly opportunities; 3) Make development decisions predictable, fair and cost-effective; 4) Provide a variety of transportation alternatives to the automobile; 5) Maintain a unique sense of place by respecting local cultural and natural environmental features; 6) Conserve open space and farmland, and preserve critical environmental areas; 7) Encourage stakeholder collaboration and community participation in the decision-making process; 8) Take advantage of compact building design, which encourages buildings to grow up rather than sprawl out; 9) Enhance access to equitable public and private resources for everyone; and 10) Promote the safety, livability and revitalization of existing urban and rural communities.
If we apply these principles, which are based on the common characteristics of other healthy, vibrant, successful communities across the U.S., the Brainerd Lakes area will be one more success story. Comprehensive planning is a good first step toward Smart Growth, so get involved in the process. Attend the meetings because the rules are made by those who show up.
Lakes Region Coordinator for 1000 Friends of Minnesota
Inspectors and spies
We currently have scores of inspectors and spies roaming freely throughout the nation of Iraq, examining absolutely anything and anywhere they choose to look, including looking into bedroom closets without prior notice of their snooping
And, despite this extraordinary freedom to turn over every rock in Iraq, our rulers in Washington, D.C. are pronouncing a determination to go ahead with their plans to commit violence against Iraq -- because of alleged shortcomings in the paperwork submitted by Iraq to the United Nations.
We have a government which shows us as much contempt for the United Nations, and for international rules of law, as any nation on the planet. This can be seen by honestly examining the record, including the U.S. record of defying votes against us in the UN, and, by noting our refusal to obey an order by the World Court to pay a judgment of $14 billion to Nicaragua. The U.S. was ordered to pay this amount in reparations, because of the U.S. campaign of terrorism against Nicaragua -- a campaign of murder and terror that killed three times as many civilians in Nicaragua as were killed in this country in the bombing of the World Trade Center.
Regime change, like charity, should begin at home.
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