WASHINGTON -- Virginia Gov. Mark Warner's decision this week to grant clemency in a death penalty case will be seen in the coming years as a landmark in the nation's debate over capital punishment. In sparing the life of Robin M. Lovitt, a convicted murderer, Warner was responding not simply to facts that weighed heavily in favor of stopping the execution. He was also operating in a changed political climate. Even supporters of the death penalty now have doubts about how it is administered.
In response to Graden West, on Nov. 28, does Mr. West really think that our churches don't teach Christian values? They are first taught at home, which then continues in church and extends in the Christian school teaching the children they are made in the image of God. The Pledge of Allegiance says in part "One nation under God," in case you forgot. Florence Tebben Prinsburg
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.
Wal-Mart provides jobs and low prices to a lot of people in our communities. CBS Sunday Morning reported that Wal-Mart currently receives 15 cents of every consumer dollar. Wal-Mart is the largest corporation in the world. Wal-Mart seeks to dominate our own communities by building supercenters in Montevideo, Willmar and Litchfield. Wal-Mart Supercenters already exist in Hutchinson and Marshall. Are our communities going to welcome Wal-Mart's plan to take over more and more of our local businesses? It is the season of peace on earth, good will to all.
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?
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.
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.
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.
President Bush, speaking before a supportive audience at the U.S. Naval Academy, said Tuesday that the U.S. military presence in Iraq is about to change. Facing growing dissatisfaction on Iraq from within and outside of his political party, Bush all but admitted to mistakes in Iraq Wednesday in his latest defense nearly 2½ years after he declared victory. Bush acknowledged Wednesday that U.S. has suffered setbacks and less than desired results in training Iraqi forces.