On Oct. 3, the Willmar City Council decided to make it more difficult for many of Willmar's citizens to vote in all future elections, and no one seemed to care. The council, without holding public hearings or otherwise seeking citizen opinion, voted to cut the number of polling places in Willmar from 12 to four. Most will no longer be able to vote at their neighborhood polling places. In Ward 1, on Willmar's north side, Ridgewater College and Lakeview Apartments (the "highrise") will no longer be polling places.
Charlie Company of Company C of the 1st Battalion 151st Field Artillery from west central Minnesota is returning home Sunday. Soldiers from Morris, Madison, Ortonville, Montevideo and Appleton are returning after completing a year-long deployment in Iraq. While in Iraq, they performed security forces missions in Baghdad. This military unit, as all returning units do, deserves an enthusiastic welcome home. Charlie Company is returning without three members: Jesse Lhotka of Appleton, Dave Day of St.
Avidigm Capital Group took a positive step in deciding to go back to the drawing board on its Spicer condominium proposal. The Lake Elmo-based company declined Wednesday to appeal the Spicer Planning and Zoning Commission's rejection of a height variance for the proposed 13-story condominium. The company wants to develop a condominium where a grain elevator is located, just west of state Highway 23 on Second Avenue. The current elevator is 134 feet in height. Avidigm originally sought a height variance to build up to 190 feet.
A lure in the shape of a dollar sign has been dropped, selectively, into the Spicer City Council.
On Nov. 10, my husband was on Highway 71 South and was hit by a car traveling on 26th Avenue Northeast. She crossed two lanes on Highway 71, ran a yield sign and hit our van broadside and pushed it into the ditch. Both vehicles were totaled. The other driver was ticketed for failure to yield.
If, as Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill once said, all politics is local, I direct your attention from President Bush's speech on Iraq Wednesday to the District of Columbia and its police department. Back in 1989 and 1990, the city of Washington was under orders from Congress to quickly hire 1,800 police officers or lose a substantial amount of federal aid. The city did what it was told -- and crime on the police force went way up. Within four years, the police academy classes of 1989 and 1990 comprised about one-third of the police force.
BOSTON -- Somewhere along the way, the dividing line over gay issues picked up and moved. It's no longer between red and blue states, or left and right wings, but between nature and nurture. Or to be more precise, between those who believe that homosexuality is a choice and those who believe that homosexuality is innate. Remember the moment in the 2004 debate when CBS' Bob Schieffer asked Bush and Kerry whether they thought homosexuality was a choice?
If politicians were responsible for the money that they wasted, maybe they wouldn't be so wasteful. Another fine example was the Beechcraft plane that the state of Minnesota bought. Were Beechcraft and Cirrus the only two companies that make small planes? Is Beechcraft a Minnesota-based company? According to Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau, also the Minnesota Transportation Commissioner, we (the taxpayers) should chalk it up to a misunderstanding. Maybe we should pay her half her wages and half her benefits and she can chalk it up to bad politics.
President Bush has rediscovered illegal immigration as a political issue. After previously focusing on "welcoming" all who come to America by whatever means, the president spent most of his recent speech in Tucson, Ariz., sounding like Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, who has been the most vocal proponent of sealing U.S. borders to illegal aliens. Ninety percent of the speech was about the president's new "get tough" policy. The rest focused on his "guest worker" program, which is amnesty by whatever name he calls it.
SAN DIEGO -- Democrats, especially those with presidential ambitions, think they're being so clever. They have devised a line of argument they believe will help them benefit politically from President Bush's troubles in Iraq. But it turns out they aren't so clever after all. What they've come up with stands a good chance of backfiring and doing Democratic candidates more harm than good. Even though Iraq seems to be a huge liability for the president and the Republicans, it's possible that the war will eventually hurt the Democrats as much as anyone. That's a shame.