Letters to the Editor for Sept. 13, 2013

County not short-sighted

To the Editor:

On reading “County Vote Short-Sighted” in your paper submitted by Ed Burns, I, and many of us, hold an opposite view.

We, taxpayers of Anoka County, are relieved that this county has rejected the new Minnesota law which allows each county to double the fee that Minnesota citizens pay on a wheelage tax (your vehicle  registration fee).

This Anoka County Board also eliminated the existing wheelage tax fee entirely!

This Anoka County Board (for the past three years) continues to live within the confines of taxes collected.

As a result of five current county board members being fiscally responsible, Anoka County taxpayers pay less taxes each of these years.

These commissioners are spending less to maintain the county’s general welfare. (Well beyond the good roads and law enforcement which are basic and necessary to Anoka County citizens.)

These five commissioners have established efficiencies and cost savings which have put Anoka County on a sound financial foundation.

To Mr. Burns, I suggest that he take note of the increasing numbers of bankruptcies filed by certain American city and county governments. Detroit, Mich., is one of the latest(and largest) such bankruptcy filing.

City leaders in Blaine allow spending beyond money received. Minneapolis, St. Paul, Coon Rapids and the city of Anoka apparently need LGA money to exist.

Our state is controlled by elected persons who do not understand the current Minnesota and U.S. economic phenomenon, i.e. the dangers of a cheapening dollar, the unreformed therefore uncontrollable large banks, an aging population, a growing income disparity, the lowering hourly wage and our chronic unemployment (especially of people under the age of 30).

If our cities and counties continue to sucker for every new stadium, every new park (or every new park improvement?), for every new light-rail corridor and for every fast-talking con-artist, our highways will continue to be under-built and over-used, our pension funds will be even less able to meet retiree obligation… and Mr. Burns, maybe  only Anoka County and the state of Wisconsin will survive the coming fiscal debacle.

Jerome Petron
Blaine

Voting rights are gutted

To the Editor:

As the summer heat began to build in Washington D.C., the US Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated decision which gutted key components of the monumental Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965.

The decision in the case of Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder erased fundamental protections against racial discrimination in voting that have been effective for more than 40 years and opened the floodgates for a wave of attacks on voters.

Only strong action from Congress can fix the court’s mistake.

Before the ink was even dry on the decision, several states rushed to implement racially-discriminatory, anti-voter laws, including several states where the League of Women Voters had previously succeeded in blocking voter restrictions in the courts and state legislatures.

Sadly, this is only the beginning. Without a strong VRA, our ability to fight off anti-voter legislation and keep our elections free, fair and accessible is significantly weakened.

As we approach the 48th anniversary of this historic civil rights legislation, the VRA remains an essential protection against the thinly veiled discrimination that still threatens Americans’ right to vote.

Congress needs to move swiftly to overcome this decision and restore the effectiveness of the VRA.

The Shelby decision is a call to action for all who believe all Americans should have fair and equal access to the ballot.

Now is the time to contact your member of Congress and tell him or her to repair the VRA before any more damage is done.

Katherine Whelchel
Anoka/Blaine/Coon Rapids chapter, League of Women Voters

Keep book in library

To the Editor:

I am writing to express concern about efforts to remove “Eleanor & Park” from the A-H Rock the Book summer read program curriculum and all Anoka-Hennepin school libraries.

I understand that the book has been challenged because of objections to profanity and subject matter.

I strongly feel this book should be kept in the curriculum and libraries and the freedom to read should be upheld for all students in our community.

The views of those seeking removal of the book are not shared by all.

The challengers have no right to impose their views on others or to demand that the educational program reflect their personal preferences.

If parents do not want their children to read a particular book, then they are free to request an alternative assignment.

But they may not infringe on the rights of others to read the book or to tell other parents what their children may read in school.

In addition, removing the book will only teach children to remain silent instead of asking questions for fear of addressing “offensive” or “inappropriate” topics.

They will learn that the way to deal with difficult speech is to avoid it, and that fear and ignorance supersede the quest for knowledge.

Reading is the safest way for kids to learn about the world in which they are growing up and to help them anticipate real-life problems.

Michele Behnke-Nead
Coon Rapids

The news wants a war

To the Editor:

News and war date back all the way to the USS Maine and William Randolph Hearst. Hearst stated, “You furnish the war, I will furnish the pictures”… and yellow journalism began.

The news and certain politicians want to begin a war… boots on ground… send our men and women into hell once again like Bush did, never finding his supposed war bombs.

Just repeat history, Japan, Germany, Vietnam, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and more…. Why??? Because the news wants a war.
Which politician owns part of a news station like Hearst and McKinley did?

Laurie Olmon
Military wife
Nowthen

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