Letters to the Editor for March 17

Grateful to Coon Rapids firefighters

To the Editor:

Thank you to the Coon Rapids Fire Department for your quick response when we had a fire in our house recently.

Every firefighter was a complete professional and was concerned that all of us were safe. We were kept informed every few minutes about exactly what was going on with our house.

A house fire is a nightmare experience but we are grateful to live in Coon Rapids where we have complete confidence in our firefighters.

Tom and Cathy Angus
Coon Rapids

Town hall attendance shows change

To the Editor:

I would like to commend Tim Hennagir and ABC Newspapers for the well written summary of Congressman Emmer’s town hall meeting in Sartell on February 22. I was there. I would also like to thank Congressman Emmer for holding town hall meetings. He is one of the few Minnesota members of Congress who do so, and he holds more than any others. I have attended other Emmer town halls in the past, including one in Andover on June 30. I was with two other members of the Minnesota Peace Project (www.minnesotapeaceproject.org); we sat down in the front row. We were the only three people there until about half way through the meeting when another gentleman arrived. Congressman Emmer brought a chair and sat in front of us. We believe that may have been the only town hall in history that dealt totally with foreign policy!

The contrast between these two town halls is indicative of the change in our political climate, but also a lesson in missed opportunities.

Dolores Voorhees
Oak Grove property owner

Highway 65 safety must be top priority

To the Editor:

To address the gridlock on Highway 65, I’m sponsoring legislation that would order the Minnesota Department of Transportation to study traffic flow and safety improvements from County Highway 10 to Bunker Lake Blvd, including the 109th Avenue intersection.

Not only can this stretch of highway be a nightmare for commuters but it’s also dangerous. This is one of the busiest roads in town and safety here has to be our top priority.

The bill requires MnDOT to evaluate options and costs for congestion improvements along the stretch of Highway 65 and report its findings to the Legislature. While the cost of the study has yet to be determined, any amount left over from that appropriation would be used for design and property acquisition for the reconstruction project that would result from the MnDOT report.

The focus of the legislation is to decrease congestion and make long overdue improvements to a very popular road, particularly at the intersection of 109th Avenue. It was recently passed by the Minnesota House Transportation and Regional Governance Policy Committee.

State lawmakers can now begin setting a budget course for Minnesota after learning our state has a $1.65 billion budget surplus, up nearly $250 million from the previous forecast.

Larger growth in Minnesota’s tax revenues is the main reason for the surplus growth. State income tax projections are up by $274 million over November and corporate tax projections are up $69 million.
With this news, it’s time to craft a significant tax relief proposal that benefits the middle class. These are the people who created the $1.65 billion surplus in the first place, and while we’ll work to construct a responsible state budget that respects taxpayers and invests in key priorities, we must also work to return that surplus to over-taxed Minnesotans.

Rep. Nolan West

No harm when a child is affirmed

To the Editor:

In an attempt to clarify the point of my letter dated Jan. 20 and to respond to Carol Manske. Nobody is “promoting” transgenderism, it’s not something you can impose on someone. You cannot make a child transgender any more than you can make them a boy or a girl.

This is about affirming the child, and there is nothing dangerous about that. There is no harm that comes to a child when they are validated and affirmed, in fact we know that LGBTQ children who are validated and affirmed have a greater chance at life than if they are not.

I understand for many this is hard for them to grasp. I suspect they have no personal experience so its easy to just listen and go with the crowd often led by those who also have no personal connection and who may be motivated by political aspiration or personal/financial gain.

Carol talks about the damage to children when parents or teachers affirm the “uncertainty in their minds” but there is no uncertainty, they know exactly who they are, it’s the rest of the world who doesn’t. Think about your own children, when did they know their gender? Mine were all right around two and half.

As for the anorexia analogy I found it confusing because in anorexia the person has an irrational perception of self, they are sick but through treatment can recover though the success rates are disappointing. Their recovery has nothing to do with the perceptions or opinions of others, it has to do with their own perceptions and progress.

As I mentioned before, the greatest risks to Trans people is violence at the hands of people who don’t understand them and have been led to believe they are dangerous. Twenty-six Trans people were murdered in 2016. I am curious can Carol or Barb Anderson offer any evidence of the “damage” they claim comes as a result of adults affirming a child? What harm does it cause to make a child feel safe and accepted? And is that not the role of teachers and parents?

Melissa Thompson
Coon Rapids