Letters to the editor for May 24, 2013

Donations to food shelf

To the Editor:

This year Gould’s Diamonds and Jewelry has decided that instead of charging customers $9.99 for new watch batteries, we would give the batteries away for free and take a $10 donation for chosen charity instead.

Each quarter we will choose a new Anoka-based charity.

For the first quarter of the year, we decided we wanted to support the ACBC Foodshelf. After collecting donations for three months we proudly delivered a check for $2,920.

We received a letter from ACBC stating that our gift was received during the Alan Feinstein National Million Dollar Challenge (that we were unaware of) and qualifies for some matching dollars.

According to the Second Harvest Food Bank, every dollar becomes $8 at their store.

We were overjoyed to hear this news – not a dry eye in the house.

We thank the community for how much their $10 donation helped out our local community.

Thanks!

Katie Bennett

Director of operations,

Gould’s Diamonds and Jewelry, Anoka

 

‘Night to remember’

To the Editor:

A special thank you to Mike Race for nominating Sgt. John Rice VFW Post #6316 Color Guard, ladies’ and men’s auxiliaries and honoring us at the 16th annual Community Heroes Celebration and Awards Banquet April 23.

And what an honor it was! It will always be “A Night To Remember.”

Hollis Kim was master of ceremonies and welcomed us graciously.

Deputy District Director Jessica Faust extended greetings from Michele Bachmann, who was in session.

Commissioner Robyn West from District 3 was in attendance.

The keynote speaker was John Kriesel, combat veteran and Anoka County Veteran Services director.

John is an excellent speaker.

We thank him for his service and the many sacrifices he has made for our country.

Others honored were Patriot Ride, Blaine and Spring Lake Park Beyond the Yellow Ribbon and Tom Smith “Smitty.”

The Sgt. John Rice Color Guard, ladies’ and men’s auxiliaries continue to work with and for our veterans and hopefully are making a difference in their lives.

Thank you veterans.

Mary Lou Michels

Ladies Auxiliary president,

Sgt. John Rice VFW #6316 Blaine

 

Awareness of disabilities

To the Editor:

The struggle with current policy related to persons with disabilities who wish to work is the lack of understanding.

Historically Social Security was intended to supplement an individual’s income when they reach retirement age at a rate of 40-60 percent.

This would be made possible by a person saving and creating their own retirement, or by acquiring assets that would have the potential to be liquidated if needed.

The problem for individuals with disabilities is that they are not allowed to build those accounts and assets, or they will lose their funding and services they need to function.

Under current Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities (MA-EPD) individuals can qualify for the program by meeting the criteria for disability under Social Security, maintain an income of $65 a month and have an asset limit of $20,000.

The problem is that the issue of supporting individuals in obtaining and maintaining employment is not addressed. Persons with disabilities face many barriers to employment ranging from a lack of skills to negative social knowledge that prohibits them from working.

Simply allowing persons with disabilities to work is not enough. Knowledge is power. Knowledge of skills needed to work.

Knowledge of what different disabilities actually mean and how they impact the person is significant.

Employment gives a person a sense of purpose. The ability to be an active member of society makes someone feel good about them self.

Combined with the fact that the financial burden falls on the federal and state governments to provide the needed services for an individual it is incredibly important to support them in being contributing members of society.

Awareness for persons with disabilities, and the barriers they experience, will help make headway in advancing their quality of life.

Brittney Murray

Blaine

University of St. Thomas/St. Catherine University

 

Education and taxes

To the Editor:

This should be a great year for education. Obama, Dayton and the ECM Editorial Board have all made education their top priority for 2013.

Obama and Dayton want to raise taxes to provide more funding for early childhood education.

I recently heard about a study showing those gains from early childhood education disappear after two or three years.

I would hope the ECM Editorial Board could influence educators and politicians enough to cause just one person who cares about education to look into this report and confirm or deny the conclusions.

What mistakes were made in the states studied, and how will Minnesota do it better? Don’t we at least owe taxpayers that?

Conversely, why can’t every student in Minnesota choose to be taught by the best teachers in Minnesota.

Students are taking college courses by computer/ TV here in Little Falls. The infrastructure is here, the cost should be minimal.

I would hope that the ECM Editorial Board could make this one of their goals for 2013 (or explain why not). If the cost is minimal, why shouldn’t every student be provided the choice of the best teachers in Minnesota.

Don’t we owe at least that much to our students.

Thomas E. Paulson

Little Falls

 

Hunting of wolves

To the Editor:

On Jan. 27, 2012, the wolf population in Minnesota was transitioned from federal protection under the Endangered Species Act to state management by the DNR.

Since then, about 413 wolves were killed from shooting and trapping during the 2012-2013 wolf hunting season.

The wolf population in Minnesota has been stable since around 1998, so there is no good reason for the control of this issue to be taken over by a sport hunting and trapping season.

For this, I strongly believe that Minnesota’s legislative leaders should use their authority to take action on this paramount issue.

Recreation and the demand of wolf fur in the clothing industry have been factors in what drives wolf hunters to do what they do. I do not believe there is anything that can justify the cruel actions taken against these poor animals this previous hunting season.

Methods of hunting these animals have included foot and leg hold traps, in which the steel-jawed contraption snaps shut on the wolf’s foot, causing them to lose feeling. Most wolves bite their own leg off to escape.

Another option is the neck snare. This is intended to choke the animal, although due to the thick muscles wolves have in their necks to protect their trachea, it oftentimes leaves them to suffer a slow, painful death.

Baiting is also used, though, for some reason, it is illegal to use when hunting deer.

Despite all of that, what really hit me the hardest when learning about these barbaric practices, was the predator calls. These include impressions of prey, to lure the wolf in. They also include distress calls of wolf pups, which is perversely using the wolf’s compassion against its own self.

This needs to be put an end to. Therefore, I support the reinstatement of a five-year waiting period on wolf hunting.

I believe the public should educate themselves on this issue if they have not already and take a stand for what is right.

More information can be found at howlingforwolves.gov, which is where I was made aware of this issue.

Ecclesiastes 3:19: “For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.”

Kaitlyn Meindl

Coon Rapids

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