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Drive safely this Fourth of July

New crash data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that summer celebrations easily could turn to tragedies. IIHS estimates July 4 is the deadliest day for all drivers but particularly for teens, who crash at three times the rate of more experienced drivers.

Parents, now is a good time to review safe driving practices. Research from the Allstate Foundation found 80 percent of teens report their parents having the greatest impact on their driving habits. Setting a positive example is key. Wearing a seat belt, following the speed limit and never using a cell phone while driving can help keep millions of drivers safe this holiday.

Parents, be the kind of driver you would like your teen to be. If everyone drives smart, we can enjoy the safest Independence Day ever.

Carol Bufton

Minnesota Teen

Safe Driving Coalition, St. Paul

A full-time mayor

With the retirement of Dan Vogt the city has an opportunity to update how management of the city is handled.

I have presented this idea before, that being giving the citizens of Brainerd a voice in who runs our city on a daily basis by means of an election. Currently we have a mayor’s position which is essentially a public relations position with the city administrator actually handling the city’s business.

Citizens, consider this: combine the positions of mayor and city administrator, thus eliminating one wage and one benefits package, actually SHRINK the size of government locally.

Eligibility to run can be handled the same way it is for sheriff, county attorney or judge in short specific requirements to be eligible to run for the office. Personally I would like to see someone with actual business experience and management skills. What we need is someone who can delegate authority and who will see to it that staff performs duties efficiently and with the best interests of the citizens, not what is best for city staff. Someone from the private sector where ability and performance matters.

Citizens of Brainerd, in two years the mayor’s seat is up for a vote. In two years we can change the Brainerd city charter to put the mayor in charge of running the city, as it should be. Great waterfalls start as but one drop of rain. Many can change the face of the earth (Grand Canyon). One voice can ring out, while many can bring down the walls of Jericho. If you like the idea, of a full-time mayor, then write to the council at 502 Laurel Street in Brainerd, be sure to have it copied to the charter commission. Together we can effect a change in our city management.

Steven Wolff


Where are we in America?

I believe it comes down to this, what worked for over 200 years or the new America of the last say 30 or 40 years...

In general terms and majority view point most people believed in personal responsibility for all their actions and behaviors, believed in hard work, believed they know best how to spend their income and they should keep as much of their income as possible, they believed in God’s laws, they believed in as small a government as possible and that family, local government, organizations, churches and entrepreneurs should help out the less fortunate/down on their luck people within their community.

The new America in general terms and majority view point believe in do whatever you want because we are all human, mistakes happen, so don’t worry, we have big government programs that can help you out if things go wrong. No one needs to be held accountable; because it just isn’t fair; people who work hard, have strong values are just lucky and should pay more for us that have not been as lucky. Big government can and will take care of you if we can just have more of your money and create more programs/sustain existing programs, everyone can be happier. In the end bigger government will create a more fair and equal America where no one needs to be envious of anyone else.

This fall will determine which America we want and remember it is mostly about power. Where do you want the power to reside?

Gregg Struss


Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889