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Open Forum: Thanks to our politicians

Just a reminder that everyone should send thank-you notes to their representatives, for raising property taxes, which of course lowered property values. I remember when property taxes were very high and property values were very low. I know that the legislators will say we didn’t raise property taxes, however they lowered the LGA which was given to the Local Governments to lower property taxes. They also put more services back on the local government or lowered the portion that the state pays for shared responsibilities. So you speculators or investors, if you prefer you lost value and you pay more taxes.

You might want to thank your congressman for the higher price of gasoline. I realize that he isn’t entirely to blame but gasoline like gold has the same value however the dollar is sliding down and one big reason is the threat that the debt ceiling won’t be raised. The sellers of oil, whether they be Arabs, Norwegians, Brazilians, Canadians, Mexicans or who ever, want the same value that they got when the dollar was highly valued.

You may also, want to express your opinion on his views on changing Medicare so that the poor and lower middle class will be priced out of it. A voucher to pay 45 percent of the cost of private health care plans won’t help most. They will just throw it away and buy food and pay for shelter as long as they can, if they get sick and charity isn’t available they will die. But then we all have to go some time, rationing by how much you have in the bank is what most poor undeveloped countries do.

Jesse Nix


Back to the dark ages

I strongly disagree with the writer of the April 27 Open Forum: Let the voters decide. I personally find it astonishing and deplorable that Rep. Gazelka is choosing to focus his newly elected energy on, of all things, a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. Currently in Minnesota we have many other issues that need attending to! I would love to see Mr. Gazelka energized around promoting jobs in our community, creating futures for our children by properly funding our schools, or working to provide services for the elderly and vulnerable. He is polarizing our community instead of promoting the positive progress we so badly need right now. He is also turning a human rights issue into a popularity contest. It is pretty apparent what would occur if the overwhelmingly heterosexual populous voted on this issue. A trip back in history reminds us that most human rights issues were not popular during that particular historical time. Imagine for a moment where we would be if the White majority had voted on equal rights for the Black minority in the early 1960s. Or think where we would be if, in 1920, men across the United States voted on allowing women the right to vote. And a quick trip back to our junior high years would remind us that the popular thing to do is not always the right thing to do. So Mr. Gazelka, please use your new found leadership to lead us all into a brighter future instead of using your might to send us reeling back to the dark ages. 

Kaylo Brooks


Stevenson’s common sense

The column of Taylor Stevenson of April 29th demonstrated uncommon common sense from a young man more mature than his years. 

Politicians often pander and even win elections with wedge issues. But we will not build stronger communities or a better state by wedge issues that divide rather than unite. And a majority who feels they have the right to stomp on the rights of the minority is sad indeed not just for the minorities, but for all of us.

Winston Borden


WINSTON BORDEN served three terms in the state senate representing the Brainerd area in the 1970s. He was active in Stevenson’s Senate District 12 campaign in 2010.

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.