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March 3, 2004     Sentinel Tribune
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March 3, 2004

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SENTINEL TRIBUNE View Wednesday, March 3, 2004 Page4 il :i BETWEEN By Tom Merchant Sentinel Tribune THE LINES Bus drivers... I just have to weigh in on the possible Minneapolis bus driver strike. Number one, have these people ever thought about count- ing their blessings. Come on now, I believe 73 percent of them make over 50,000 per year plus benefits that most of us regular people can only dream about. Like nearly the best health coverage plans money can buy. One of the big sticking points for the drivers is they will have to pay $12.00 per prescrip- tion instead of 7 dollars. Plus they keep the benefit for the rest of their lives. Perhaps there is more to the issue than these items, but I'll bet most teachers, police officers, and fire fighters would like to get that much. Now I don't know what it takes to become a city bus driver, but I'll bet it doesn't take as much as it takes to get a teaching certificate, or a peace officers license. I sup- pose there is some danger involved, but probably not much more than the average Joe driving in the twin cities area every day. I think maybe they should all see Mel Gibson's "The Passion of The Christ." After writing this I had better watch myself when walking on the streets of Minneapolis. I guess I shouldn't speak to badly of them after all they offered to delay the strike until after Tuesday so people can get to the Caucuses. Which brings me to my next sub- ject. Caucuses ??? I can not say I think the cau- cus method is not the best method of assigning delegates. I think I have been to only two of them in my life. And as long as they hold them on Tuesday nights it will probably be a while before I go to another one. From the sound of things I am not in the minority by not attending. I say lets vote on it. I think the way we do it now is simply moron- ic. After all when only twenty to thirty thousand people decide the political fate of the state which has a population of over five million people, something is drastically wrong with this system. Again, I say what is wrong with having a primary election like most of the rest of the states do. I would even go further to say lets have a national primary. Wouldn't it make more sense to let these guys cam- paign for a respectable time, maybe two weeks or so. Then vote _ on it. Then we wouldn't have guys like air headed Ralph Nader throw- ing their hat in the ring half way through. Just think what might happen if each state voted in the national election on different dates, would that be stupid or what? Have a great week7 LETTER TO THE EDITOR Nursing Home Surcharge (TAX) Increase I recently read the letter con- cerning the nursing home sur- charge increase and the reply from Rep. Harder who voted for this outrageous "tax increase". After reading Rep. Harder's reply it is obvious that she and probably all other Republicans really don't have a problem rais- ing taxes. They just don't like to call them taxes, instead they call them surcharges, filing fees, etc. This became apparent when I noticed that Rep. Harder men- tioned "Senate Democrats" and later Democrats as being among those who agreed to this increase. As I read those refer- ences, I wondered if she would have given them credit if the sur- charge had been reduced. My guess is that then she would have claimed all of the credit for herself and her Republican col- leagues. However, after she got caught raising "taxes" and had to respond to her constituents, she was unable to defend her own vote and so decided to spread the blame to others, especially Democrats. Also, she pointed out that MN and ND are the only states that require nursing homes to charge the same rate for private-pay and government-pay residents. Well maybe she should have sug- gested changing the law to elim- inate this requirement and thus she would not have had to vote to raise the surcharge (tax). Rep. Harder and her Republican colleagues recently gave Governor Pawlenty a standing ovation when he claimed during his State of the State address that they had bal- anced the state's budget without raising taxes. This Republican claim is a ridiculous lie and is obvious to anyone who looks at everything they pay whether it is called a tax, a fee, a surcharge, or whatever. It doesn't matter to me which pocket they take it from or what they call it, a tax is a tax, period. And in the last year, my taxes have gone up. She finished by stating that she will continue her "commit- ment to keeping our nursing homes safe, clean and open." I think that's great however I'd like to point out to Rep. Harder that to do so requires money (often taxes), just like many other things. I am tired of being insulted by politicians whose simple minded campaign is "I won't raise your taxes." I'm able to decide what issues I think are important and when I do, I real- ize that I need to be willing to pay for them. It is time for voters to more carefully watch what their elect- ed officials do and to hold them accountable at the next election. I am not impressed nor fooled by politicians who say one thing and then do another, especially when they raise taxes and then try to hide from it by calling it something else. The people of District 22B, especially those in nursing homes deserve better and this November, I hope those who can vote elect someone new to represent them in the Minnesota House of Representatives. .... George Wahl Lakeville, MN 'The Passion of The Christ' After seeing the movie The Passion of The Christ' over the weekend, I had to write to encourage everyone to go see this movie. It is one of the most I 00,I'T TO IB lal AI BAH... "Stories from the Bait Cave" Have You Ever Wondered? Why do the telephones at the Psychic Hotline have ringers? What everyone else in the doc- tor's waiting room with you is there for? Why nursing homes don't show old movies, play old radio shows, offer old magazines (they could be obtained from any dental office) and have photos of old movie stars and athletes on their walls? Why can't all of life's problems hit us when we are eighteen years old and know everything? Why the post office doesn't put regular folks on its stamps? How some toys are able to turn themselves on without being touched by anyone? If shopping carts had four good wheels when they were new. ,7 If blinking only takes a fraction of a second, how are we so easily able to capture it in a photograph? Why do good haircuts grow out faster than bad ones? Why don't people who don't want dog hair on their clothing just stay off the furniture? Why Grandpa didn't put his den- tures in a glass of root beer overnight so that they would taste better in the morning? Why don't coffee and soft drink companies sponsor our highway rest areas? After all, they are the beverages that cause us to need "resting." The "Starbucks Rest Area" has a nice ring to it. Why do people who are unable to dial a number correctly insist on making phone calls in the middle of the night? Why patients are called patients instead of impatients? How can there be self-help groups? How come wrong numbers are never busy? How do you get off a non-stop flight? Why isn't phonetic spelled the way it sounds? If we are not supposed to jump on a bed, why does it have springs? Why do they manufacture cars that are able to greatly exceed the legal speed limit? Why should a Dodge ever end up in a body shop? Is it just a coincidence that the nose is in the scenter of the face? If the bloopers that are shown at the end of movies are really funny, why don't we laugh at the mis- takes made by baseball umpires, basketball referees and football officials? Why are we supposed to be eating like our ancestors for our health when our ancestors died at such an early age? Why no one makes a paint that will last for the life of a room? Why is it that the longer you wait in line, the greater the chance becomes that it will be the wrong line? If the guy who measures the bungee cord paid attention in school? If there are such things as real- istic budgets, temporary taxes or brief meetings? Why every good joke reminds someone of ten bad jokes? Why is it that if sheep and cows are so stupid, they look so thoughtful? Why someone hasn't invented an alarm clock that instead of ringing or buzzing, makes the sound of a cat about to bring up a hairball? Nobody could sleep through that. If the top student of the graduat- ing class of the exotic dancing school gives the commencement undress? Are vegetarians beefsteak tomatoes? What the people on are laughing at? Why hasn't any car er named one of its "Vroom, Vroom"? Why the nut is alwayS t size that you don't have for? Why do nickels and have smooth edges and quarters have Why do most smell? If WaI-Mart is lowering every day, how giving away things Why are the SOL "settling SO Why is the dollar the number? Why do so many their cigarettes out their automobiles? still against the law most vehicles equil trays? Why toothpaste falls brush so easily, but chisel to get it off the What kind of vine from? Is Starbuck's coffee real! that good? How much more gas pump once the kicks in on the nozzle on pump? If you eat the steak count as a Can snowmen other than carrots? Who eats all of th --AI Batt 2004 71622 325 St. Hartland, MN 56042 powerful experiences of my life. Yes, it is violent. But it is not mindless, as are so many of the violent things we witness every day when we pick up the news- paper, or turn on the news. Christ's death WAS violent! Maybe we have to see the agony of Christ to really appreciate and understand what HE did for US to really comprehend it all. I can almost guarantee you will not be same person coming out of the movie that you were when you went in. If you see only one movie this year, make this the one. It is really worth any extra effort it may take to go see it. Fm glad I went! You will be too! Joan Spielman Westbrook, MN E00DE PNP FoR O0000IT"[E To RE.EI00cr r00oRr00 ausJI Sentine/Tribune (ISSN 8750-3905) Thomas Merchant Roxy Soil Wayne Rue Junette Merchant Nancy Goring Joan Spielman Carolyn Van Loh Ted Herder Managing Editor Ad Layout & Office Manager Advertising Sales Westbrook Office & Production Production Production assignment reporter Walnut Grove news correspondent Published every Wednesday at Westbr0ok, Minnesota 56183 Periodicals Postage Paid at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 SUBSCRIPTION PRICE FOR THE SENTINEL TRIBUNE WILL BE: In the following counties: Cottonwood, Redwood, Lyon, Murray and Nobles $25.00 Per Year - $17.00 6 Months (includes Peach). Elsewhere in Minnesota $29.00 per year. Out of the State $34.00 per year. Canada and foreign countries inquire at the Sentinel Tribune Office "Snowbirds" may put their paper on hold at no extra charge while they are gone, or pay $6.00 extra to have it mailed out of state. Missed copies cannot be furnished because the cost of mail- ing single copies is almost $1 50. Any request for a back copy must include $2.00. Newstand price is 75 cents per copy. Copyright 2003 Sentinel Tribune a Lyon Sioux Press Newspaper Mail Change of Address Notice to: P. O. Box 98, Westbrook, MN 56183 CALL WESTBROOK OFFICE 50%274-6136 FAX 507-274-6137 TOLL-FREE 1-800-410-1859 E-mail OR DROP NEWS ITEMS AT THE OLESON'S MERCANTILE Monday thru Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. DEADLINES Local news School news Articles and other news All Peach Ads 9:00 Sentinel Ads, & Classified Ads WESTBROOK SENTINEL TRIBUNE OFFICE I Monday, Tuesday 8:00 a.m-' Wednesday 8:00 a.m-" Thursday, Friday 8:00 a.m-'