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Open Forum: Separation of church and state

Now that the political editorials have subsided, the religious editorials are coming out of the woodwork like bed bugs. For the second time in a year the same writer has asked the question where in the Constitution are the words “separation of church and state?” And in the process again dragged Judge Black over the coals as if for causing it all. Well you are right, those words aren’t there so hopefully that question won’t have to be asked again.

But thankfully and purposefully our founding fathers worded the First Amendment to infer the separation, thereby leaving it for future interpretation as needed. The same writer also chose to bash someone else’s lifestyle, perceiving their own is above reproach.

I would suggest if the pious want to exercise their literary skills they take advantage of the recent bird and fish kill. Certainly some kind of apocalyptic fairytale can be concocted to compliment the book of Revelations.

Don Hansen

Pine River

Is this Brainerd or Nome?

I’m driving down the icy street

Through squalls of rain and stinging sleet,

Wipers humming, front and back,

Headlights piercing through the black.

Corner’s coming — take it slow,

Pray no one’s coming down the hill.

Apply the brakes with greatest care.

It matters not. The road’s a glare

of ice. We slide right through and halt

Six feet too far. Hooray for salt!

Errand completed, head for home.

Is this Brainerd, or is it Nome?

Slow down for curves, be always wary.

Was this trip really necessary?

Doris W. Anderson


Wisdom prevails

Subject: U.S. says too much fluoride in the water.

1)  We learned from the Sunday Jan. 9 Brainerd Dispatch the federal government plans to lower recommended levels for fluoride. Reason:

• “Getting too much of it causes spots on some kids teeth.” 

• “ It mostly results in tiny white flecks or streaks on teeth.”  

• “ Fluorosis  has generally been seen as the downside of fluoride.”  

2) Also learned: The main source of fluoride exists in soft drinks and juices. Other sources: toothpaste, mouthwashes, gels and supplements. Supplements —  (ie: tablets and bottled water) prescribed by a  pediatrician or dentist. 

3) In 1970  Jack Graham, Brainerd’s anti-fluoridation attorney, led the movement with claims that it caused cancer — and mottling of enamel. The anti-fluoride movement has dominated the Brainerd media for  41 years. In 1995, Jack Graham moved to Quebec.

Minneapolis began fluoridating of its water supply in 1953. For 20 years (from 1953-1973) I closely tracked each family’s history to determine, if and when their 3-year olds received city water or private well water. The dramatic improvement in 3-year olds receiving 1.2  parts per million (1.2 ppm) fluoride convinced me that municipal water fluoridation improved the dental health of the community.

It defies logic that the federal government has a legitimate case to lower the levels of fluoride that have existed for 58 years. The 1.2 ppm concentration of fluoride in city water is already so minute. It makes no sense!

The Thursday, Jan. 20 Brainerd Dispatch article by Matt Erickson reported on the Tuesday’s Brainerd City Council meeting. The same old scare tactics bubbled up again. However — wisdom prevailed.

Dr. Robert O. Uppgaard

Pequot Lakes 

Becca Clemens
After graduating high school in 2004, I attended Central Lakes College in Staples, MN for 2 years where I got a diploma in Communication Art and Design. I then transfered up to Bemidji State University in, you guessed it, Bemidji, MN. In the spring of 2009, I graduated from BSU. Then in the fall of 2009 I got a job at Echo Publishing, a sister company to the Brainerd Dispatch.