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April 29, 2004     Sentinel Tribune
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April 29, 2004

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olnt Wednesday, April 28, 2004 pe' BETWEEN By Tom Merchant Sentinel Tribune THE LINES Talk about your heroes This past week the war in Iraq claimed the life of a young man who can truly be called a patriot. Pat Tillman gave up a promising career as a professional football player and turned down a nine mil- lion dollar contract to serve his country. Little did he know at the time it would end up costing him his life. Knowing the potential dan- gers of serving in the Middle East he didn't hesitate to make the commitment to his family and country. Some might say he is no dif- ferent than the majority of the young men and women who choose to serve their country and to put their lives on the line. And in deed they too have made a huge sacrifice leaving their loved ones to go abroad to a somewhat uncertain future. I suppose it can be said that compared to some previous wars this one has seen a lot less casualties. But to the fami- lies of those who are killed or maimed the loss and deep hurt is hard to take. In spite of the reasons for being at war it seems the vast majodty of people still support our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The thing that bothers me the most is it is beginning to appear that the situation in Iraq is a no win affair. If we take on the Shiite and Sunni extremist we risk having e sympathizers join their cause and may never establish a free govern- ment. On the other hand, if we don't face up to the extremists and walk away we may never gain complete control. It is becoming very clear that the current administration either did not have a plan for setting up a democratic government, or things have really gone bad. And the thing that really irks me is one of the reasons we are in Iraq to begin with was to stop Saddam from over running the Middle East. It seems like the Saudis have a poor way of thanking us for sav- ing their sorry behinds. By cutting oil production to increase crude prices. If I were president, I would tell those Saudi capitalists if they don1 increase the crude produc- tion we'll pull out of Iraq and let them fight their own war. I know that is an oversimplification of the problem, but that's about the size -of it, and we have done it twice now. I hate to say this but I think this problem will have to be solved by the next administration whether it will be in November or four years later, this mess is likely to be around for some time. One thing is for sure, if democ- racy takes hold in Iraq, eventually the people will become fat and materialistic just like us. Have a great week! LETTER TO THE EDITOR Rural Education Concern It's no secret our school districts are hurting. School budgets are tight, classroom programs are tak- ing a hit, and with the governor's "No New Taxes" pledge still echo- ing through the halls of the Capitol, I expect no gubernatorial or House legislative leadership coming from St. Paul this year. Instead, our schools are handed divisive legislation passed in the House of Representatives that takes money from one school dis- trict to pay another and pits stu- dent against student. This is not a reasonable solution to rural educa- tion concerns. Education groups Who closely guard the interests of rural public schools are opposed to the bill as well. A recent statement from the MN Rural Education Association, Education Minnesota, MN Parent Teacher Association, MN School Boards Association, Schools for Equity in Education and five oth- ers, outlined those concerns and their opposition to the House action. I couldn't agree more. The House approach is not the answer to MN education funding problems. Not only does it go against the state constitution's mandate that we provide a "uni- form system of education," but it is also a tired "tactic that doesn't wash with most legislators, educa- tion officials, teachers and parents. It's time to put this debate to rest. Here's the truth of the mat- ter: because the state has no extra money to fund education, an amendment to a House budget bill takes $28 million that aids 42 per- cent of Minnesota's total student population and redistributes it to schools across the state. The $28 million in aid -- as it is currently distributed -- helps schools all i i around Minnesota, including some in our area like Comfre), Fulda, Mt. Lake, Brewster and Worthington. Using our students to score elec- tion-year political points is unfair and unreasonable. If the House wants to put more money into edu- cation, they should do so fairly, honorably and be up front about it. Taking from one district to pay another is not the solution to our education problems, and I will not support it. Sincerely, Jim Vickerman State Sen., Dist. 22 Phone deregulation an issue I have always heard the legisla- tive process can be ugly and messy. And that what comes out on the end of the process is not always what was intended from the start or what's in the best interest of voters in the state. It looks like the 2004 legislative session will not be an exception to that rule, especial- ly regarding telecommunications reform. We started the session with a piece of reform legislation that was a win-win for MN residents and small businesses. It would have changed the telecom system in a way that meant more competition for our local phone calling and overall lower costs. I now see the impact that power- ful, special interest groups can have on the legislative process. I see that the local phone companies in MN that want to keep their monopolies and keep out all com- petition are one of those powerful special interest groups at the capi- tol. Sentinel Tribune Thomas Merchant Roxy Soil Wayne Rue Junetla Merchant Nancy Goring Joan Spielman (ISSN 8750-3905) Managing Editor Ad Layout & Office Manager Advertising Sales Westbrook Office & Production Production Production Carolyn Van Lob " assignment reporter Ted Herder Walnut Grove news correspondent Published every Wednesday at Westbrook, 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 -IaEICRI o AI Ba00. . . "Stories from the Batt Cave" KIBBLES AND BITS My mother had two dogs for a while. She fed them a dog food product called,"Kibbles and Bits." One dog ate the Kibbles and the other canine ate the Bits. ROMEOS I am told that there is a group of men in Northfield known as the ROMEOs. It stands for "'Retired Old Men Eating Out.." BOX ELDERS Box elder trees attempt to fill any space available near our home. I like the trees. Not everyone is enchanted with them as much as I am. They continue to grow while looking as though they are dying. They don't grow very straight. They have an arthritic appearance. A neighbor struggles to rid his yard of the trees. He told me that the box elders are too crooked to hit with an axe. A CHICKEN DINNER A vet3, nice woman told me the story of the early days of her marriage. They married young, had little or no money and the babies arrived quickly and regularly. One year, her husband decided to throw caution to the wind and take his wife out to a fancy restaurant. The din- ing establishment was ritzier than any place they had ever visited before. They didn't eat out much. The menus came. They both tried to keep their eyes on the food offerings rather than the prices. The husband said that he had always wanted to eat lobster. He had heard that it was supposed to be good. He ordered lobster. The wife ordered fried chicken. The meals arrived. The husband didn't like the lobster at all. He traded it to his wife for the fried chicken. The fried chicken that his wife had ordered, not because she liked fried chicken, but because her husband loved fried chicken. THE OBITUARIES When I was a boy, I would visit my grandmother at her home in an extreme- ly small town in Iowa. It was so small that when someone cut onions, the whole town cried. Grandma would read the obituaries from the local newspapers out loud. Most of the subjects of the obits died of natural causes. When I said my bedtime prayers each night, I would ask that I would never catch any of the dreaded "natural caus- es ." HE COULD SMELL RAIN I once knew a. man who insisted that he not only could smell rain coming, but he could smell the arrival of snow as well. It was amazing how often his predic- tions were correct. This man broke his nose while play- ing basketball as a child. It is my belief that his broken nose never set properly and he ended up with a nose with a meteorological bent. SHOPPING My wife needed to do some shopping. My mission, if I chose to accept it, was to drive her to a place where shop- ping was done. Being a dutiful husband, I drove. I elected not to join her in the actual shopping, opting to remain in the cold The MN Local Phone Cartel flexed its muscle a couple weeks ago at the capitol and derailed that telecom reform bill. Not only did they kill all prospects of real reform, but they turned the bill to their advantage. The bill now gives them total deregulation of their retail pricing -- in other words, they get to keep their monopoly status and raise local phone rates without any oversight by regulators. For consumers, especially senior citizens and others on fixed income, that means you'll be spending more of your limited incomes on your phone service. For business owners, that means more of your bottom line will go to telecom munications. That's a great deal for the local phone monopolies. And a lousy deal for consumers. We urge you to let your legislators know you do not support deregulating the local phone monopoly in your communi- ty. Mark Poss Board Chair Citizens for Local Phone Choice Denrfis Egan Executive Director Citizens for Local Phone Choice Disappointed by Pawlenty proposal I was disappointed by the Pawlenty administration's propos- al to cut funding for state health care programs that so many people rely on for essential hospital care, including malay residents right here in Westbrook, MN. Thankfully, the House and Senate are offering strong leadership, with both bodies passing budgets that spare hospitals and low- income patients from more cuts. The administration's proposal would mean a losss of $28 million in hospital payments in the next 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 507-274.6136 FAX 507-274-6137 TOLL-FREE 1-800-410-1859 car sitting in the parking prefer to do things that are ing than shopping "'things like an odometer." 0 I watched all the traffic busy shopping center. As thought that by now the orld Jetson-like. Where are the I watched a fellow with a size of Idaho pull into tl quickly spotted a parking place entrance to the mall. He drove his apartment wheels quickly to the space. someone else had The space was small. obliterated the lines that parking place. The lines suggestion to I watched as SUV attempted to get into He backed up. He drove backed up. He drove ed for traffic. He backed at the space. He was how to squeeze into that tried and he tried. Finally, he i He found another parking was farther from the mall he had no problem getting watched him walk into A couple of minutes later, walk back to his SUV. a can of Pringle's He had spent more time close to the mall than he the mall. AI Batt 2004 71622 325 St. Hartland, MN 56042 fiscal year, when federal dollars are included. years the impact to state would be a loss of lion. This is money our local can ill-afford to lose. on these programs will get sick and need our hospitals will conii'nue to that care even as the less and less of the costS- tional reduction in state will only exacerbate the miums that are already many Minnesotans, as continues to shift to private insurance. Legislative leaders parties have seen the protecting hospitals from al cuts. I hope these views' when the fmal budget is reached. Sincereb: Daniel R eider Administrator E-mail OR DROP NEWS ITEMS AT THE OLESON'S MERCANTILE WALNUT Monday thru Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 P-#" Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. DEADLINES Local news Noor School news 2:00 p.n. Articles and other news 12:00 p.m. All Peach Ads 9:00 Sefltlnel Ads, & Classified Ads 4:00 p.m. WF.SI"BROOK SENTINEL TRIBUNE OFFICE Ilmtclay, y 8:00 a.m. 8:00 a.m." dday 8:00 a.m. x