DL News Staff
We're in training as my son Josh, his bride Mariah, and I are once again riding the Habitat 500 to help raise funds to provide affordable housing for another family in our lakes area through Habitat for Humanity! In the past three years, through this ride, together we (along with son, Dan) have raised just about $18,000 to help three local families purchase this affordable housing. Why do I do this? I do this partly because my children are pretty much grown up now and I've got the time. Partly because this is something my kids and I can do together.
I have heard through the grapevine that there are some people out there complaining about the cost of the buyout for Superintendent Deron Stender. I challenge those people to take a look at the actual cost to them for this, in my opinion, "forward step" in the Frazee-Vergas school district. According to what we are being told, the superintendent's buyout cost the district about $377,000. That is less than 38 percent of one year's operating referendum revenue. Look at your property taxes. It should have the voter-approved levy taxes separate from your other property taxes.
Everyone is asking, "Where are the jobs?" We all know where the majority of jobs have gone over the past years. The answer -- to other countries, where the labor is cheaper. The question should be, "How do we get these jobs back?" Just ask big corporations such as Ally Bank, formerly GMAC. With the Internet, all these employees that answer our phone calls can be employed anywhere. For instance, I needed to find out why my bill wasn't sent in a timely manner. I got a real person, and guess where -- at Cacao in the Philippines.
We hear the cry of the Republican legislators that "We must choose to live within our means." I believe a more urgent need is to make sure that all law-abiding citizens have the means to provide for their basic needs. The irony is that the Republicans concerned about living within our means are seeking to reduce the availability of means for the poor. The Republican budget proposals call for cuts in a host of programs helping the poor. For example, the Local Government Aid Program (LGA) will be cut.
Meet the IPAB, a constitutional outrage and de facto death panel. The 2012 election, and the existence of a free healthcare market in this country, could well depend on a little-known agency called the IPAB. Remember that acronym. It stands for the Independent Advisory Board, a vastly powerful but too often overlooked component of the president's health-care-reform law. IPAB has not yet come into existence, but when Obamacare goes into full effect, it will be an unelected and unaccountable bureaucratic entity with nearly limitless power over federal Medicare spending.
Some scientists agree that inaccurate information repeated often enough will convince you it is true. They also agree that some of the information given about global warming is misleading. I believe that a good example of this repeated inaccurate information is global warming is caused by man-made carbon dioxide. This repeated statement ignores any facts that disprove it, even from the EPA. In 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency's report stated that methane gas is 20 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
When the Frazee School Board at a special meeting on June 1, decided to offer a buyout of the contract of Supt. Deron Stender, it sent out shock waves much like an earthquake or a volcano erupting. The rumbling is still being heard throughout the district, and I am sure it will be for some time. To some this came as a great shock, but to me it was like a breath of spring air. This was something that had been building for six years or more and was finally being brought to a head by board members who had the guts to make a difficult choice.
This morning I attended the Frazee-Vergas School Board meeting, my first since the new Board took office in January. The decision before the Board was a painful one -- whether to offer a buyout to the current superintendent at a cost far higher than the average school district resident can stomach. The decision to make the offer and the subsequent vote did not come easy for most school board members. How could it?
My husband and I attended Monday evening's presentation of Poetry & Jazz at the Detroit Lakes Library. The impressive talents of poet Mark Vinz, jazz pianist David Ferreira, and bassist Jeremy Cahill blew us away! Their selections went from fun and witty to deeply moving in this enormously satisfying combination of music and the written word. Beautifully presented, it made me grateful for these Minnesota artists and for Mary Haney, the DL Library and the LARL system that provide wonderful cultural events free to the public (larl.org). -- Melinda Cloose, Frazee
It is interesting to read the DFL explanation (May 29 Becker County Record) as to all the sad ramifications of the GOP proposals led by the new legislators to try to get the Minnesota budget under control. So many people from all political persuasions say that legislators get to the Capital and all do the same thing...they are all alike. Well, this new group is different. They were elected promising to get the budget under control and they are trying their best to get that done. That means to cut the spending. It is great fun to spend money and for years the Legislature has done just that.