Letters to the editor for June 28, 2013

State budget spending up

To the Editor:

Your May 31 editorial about the latest $38.8 billion budget signed by Governor Dayton incorrectly states that this budget increases spending by 8.8 percent.

The previous budget spent approximately $34.1 billion. The new budget increases spending by 13.8 percent.

This is almost identical to the 13.7 percent increase in spending imposed by the last budget signed by the governor.

Tom Anderson
Coon Rapids

Concerns over Sandhill Crane

To the Editor:

There are few things Minnesotans are as passionate about as our natural environment.

That’s why we get so excited in the days leading up to the spring fishing opener and fall hunting seasons.

It’s why state voters have resoundingly supported ballot initiatives to fund the protection and management of our great outdoors.

And it’s why a number of Anoka County residents recently have taken time to let city, county and state officials know of their concerns about proposed management activities at the Sandhill Crane Natural Area in East Bethel.

As one of the original partners in the Sandhill Crane Natural Area, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources understands the ecological values of this unique area, and we are committed to maintaining those values.

We also are committed to fulfilling our legal requirement to pursue opportunities for generating revenue from lands set aside when Minnesota became a state to help fund public education.

These Trust Fund lands, as they’re known, contribute millions of dollars to schools every year.

While not a huge amount, the estimated $20,000 to $30,000 that could be generated by logging about 50 acres of the nearly 600-acre Sandhill Crane Natural Area cannot be dismissed as inconsequential at a time when schools across the state are scrambling for the funds needed to prepare today’s children for the challenges of an increasingly competitive global marketplace.

Forest resource management includes logging, which occurs every year across thousands of acres of state forest land that continues to provide ecological and recreational values.

And the DNR, as a state agency, certainly can’t ignore state law and the will of the legislature, which has emphatically directed the DNR to enhance revenues from Trust Fund lands.

Nevertheless, the DNR is committed to being a good neighbor, too, and when citizens speak passionately about natural resources, we listen.

Because of the concerns expressed by local residents and officials, we are delaying any decisions on logging in the Sandhill Crane Natural Area until later this summer.

This delay will provide time to explore other options for compensating the Trust Fund.
It is our hope that we may be able to find a way to fulfill our fiduciary responsibility to Minnesota schools, while accommodating the interests of those who would like to see the woods remain as they are.

Keith Parker
Minnesota DNR
Central Region Director

Keep truck drivers safe

To the Editor:

Dear Coon Rapids City Council, are you aware of the picture circulating all over Facebook of a note left on a semi-truck driver’s window from one of your great residents.

I would like to address this issue as the person taped the note to the window with packing tape which in many place is considered vandalism, saying that neither the driver nor the rig is allowed to park in the city shopping centers and that they had called the police.

This small incident has caused an uproar in the trucking community, and it is a community, and it has also brought you all some very unwanted publicity.

I challenge you to read your ordinances on semi-trucks then read the regulations they must follow.

Ask your community if they value their stores and their economy and all the things they are able to purchase such as food, clothing and building supplies.

If they do, ask them how will they acquire these things if the trucking community feels that they are one not welcome and two not safe, and then decide to stop delivering your goods.

It is my advice that your city as a whole reevaluates how they view the truckers who sacrifice seeing their families everyday to ensure the safe arrival of the goods that allow you all a comfortable home and time with your family.

Just a side note. This letter will be posted to every site I can find that promotes your city and its treatment of truck drivers that I can find.

I am not alone in this pursuit and many others will follow so consider this food for thought. These men and women supply your economy; the least you can do as city is let them rest so they can be safe.

A tired driver that must deliver and move on to suit this ordinance is a dangerous one. Keep your drivers safe and treat them with the respect they deserve.

Teresa Kitchener
Truck driver’s wife

Cancer survey

To the Editor:

American Cancer Society ground-breaking survey, my reason to participate:

In March 2011 my dad started to get really sick, he complained of his stomach hurting a lot. He went to the doctor in April to get checked out.

His doctor, whom he had been seeing for as long and I can recall, thought he just had a stomach bug but would be fine.

My dad didn’t get any better so he went back to the doctor several more times for different tests.

My dad had had ulcerative colitis since he was about 40 years old and because of that he went in for frequent colonoscopies. They did a colonoscopy initially to check for cancer but it was missed since it was on the outside of his colon.

During an MRI they finally found the cause for all his pain and on May 13, 2011 he was diagnosed with colon cancer that had metastasized to his liver and kidneys.

My dad had his first chemo treatment on June 10 and felt worse on June 11 so my mom took him to the hospital and got him checked in and he died on June 15.

This is such a sad story for me because my dad lived a pretty healthy life, he worked out five-plus days a week and got his regular physicals and colonoscopies.

It seems to me he was doing everything right but still ended up with cancer.

Jennifer Rogosheske

Concern over kindergarten

To the Editor:

The ECM Editorial Board endorses “all-day-every-day kindergarten in Minnesota” and even pre-K for children three-four years of age. They quote several economists how such a program [of state sponsored education] impacts the “return on investment.”

However, is that what is best for the very young child? Certainly education is extremely important in the ability of a child to be able to grow up and make his way in this world.
The most important quality, however, is developing good character. This responsibility is the parents, not the state educational system. Children need time with their mother and father so proper character can be instilled.

Early childhood education as Minnesota has approved and this Editorial Board promotes reverses this Godly-ordained role.

History shows this can be dangerous. Hitler once said, “Let me control the textbooks and I will control the state. The state will take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing. Your child belongs to us already.”

He also said, “Give me the youth, and Germany will rule the world.”

Parents need to think through what is really important before they give their children over to early state education.

James Steinle

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