In response to the letter in the Public Forum on Feb. 26, the slowing down of business in the downtown area was started many years ago when parking meters were installed. People didn't like the hassle of looking for a coin and watching a clock. And also, when Litchfield Avenue was blocked off at both ends, I grant you, that was a good thing. It got highway and heavy traffic and trucks out of downtown. I think that should have been done differently at that time, which I understand is in the making now.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty's top education initiative -- requiring 70 percent of schools' budgets be targeted in the classroom -- passed its first test Thursday. The classroom budget limit bill survived a Republican-friendly House committee Thursday by a narrow 15-14 vote. In fact, the committee did not recommend the bill at all; generally a committee approval includes a recommendation. Rep. Bud Heidgerken, R-Freeport, recognized a weakness of this proposal when he voted against it Thursday.
Constitutional amendments are costly, time-consuming, and very serious business. If we really need to protect the institution of marriage with an amendment, it is very important to cover all possibilities with this effort and treat marriage with the sacredness it deserves. Has anyone thought deeply enough to decide what the amendment should say about transsexuals that want to get married?
I found the front-page article calling for more pay for our legislators interesting. Does that mean that the ones we have now don't pass muster? Maybe we could do better? Carl T. Lundell Granite Falls
In answer to Joe Gimse's frontal attack against Sen. Dean Johnson for his stalling on a referendum, I would like to rise to the senator's defense. What he probably meant by our communities becoming "downtown Baghdads" is that if and when the majority have passed their repressive measures against gays, they in turn, in order to restore their own God-given rights to liberty and justice for all, may resort to -- I shudder to speak the word -- terrorism! After all, it's an old American tradition.
I would like to commend Kandiyohi County Sheriff Dan Hartog and his total department for starting Project Lifesaver. Anyone who has a loved one or friend with Alzheimer's disease or autism should check this program out. The biggest worry is the people with Alzheimer's or autism could walk off and get lost. When this happens, it's total panic time. The person gets a transmitter the size of a wristwatch, which can be strapped to the wrist or leg area.
Taxpayers, please pay your fair share of income tax; we are living in the best country in the world. Jean Peterson Willmar
WASHINGTON -- Rob Reiner, director and producer whose success defines the term "box office" is on a dual crusade: to change the direction of politics, and to improve the performance of kids in schools. He hopes, someday, to be the Democrats' answer to Ronald Reagan. He is, like Reagan, the opposite of a political dilettante. He's thinking of the long term -- he's decided not to run for anything this year. He wants to end conservative ideology's long run that the Gipper inaugurated.
Hope for a bipartisan approach in this year's legislative session may be fleeting considering recent political moves by some politicians and political activists. We hope that single-issue agendas, such as a proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage, will not hamstring the Legislature from dealing with the critical issues of the state. Some political ploys on the gay marriage issue, which have been rampant in recent days, have been disappointing. House Speaker Steve Sviggum visited Willmar last month talking of the need for a return to bipartisanship in the Legislature, only to return to W
Recently the United States House of Representatives voted 216-214 to pass the federal budget reconciliation bill that cuts nearly $40 billion from mostly student loans and human services. The Republican leadership argued this bill was necessary to slow the growth in entitlement spending and thus control the ever-expanding federal deficit. It seems both mean-spirited and shortsighted to make cuts in programs for the weak and vulnerable in our society. This will include drastic cuts to the already tight budgets supporting our foster care system and other vital human services.