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Nothing is more important than guaranteeing the safety of our children, and this past week has not instilled a feeling that all is well in the world for our children. Schools are supposed to be safe havens for our kids, yet violence erupted in three schools in three distinctly separate areas of our nation, resulting in the loss of life.
The largest challenge facing government at all levels in the next 20 years will be providing for a quickly aging population whose care could severely strain the na-tion's budget, let alone the economy itself. It's also something we've heard predicted for years, but it took on new urgency Wednesday when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke put out a clarion call that the approaching retirement of large numbers of baby boomers demands immediate attention. "Reform of our unsustainable entitlement programs" should be a priority, Bernanke told gathering in Washington, D.C., about the need to ref
Congress wasted no time Saturday clearing out of town, leaving behind a lot of unfinished business, such as approving many of the government's budgets for the fiscal year that started Saturday. But Congress did at least a couple of things of import to northern Minnesota. One is the extension of the deadline to implement the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative -- the convoluted State Department plan which essentially would require U.S. citizens to purchase and use passports to cross the Canadian border. It was supposed to have started this Jan.
Minnesota has led the nation in voter turnout, based in part on its welcoming attitude for voters at the polls. Minnesota doesn't require party registration to vote, so a citizen entering the voting booth can be assured that no one will know which party he or she tends to support, based on voting records.
It's an election year, and sometimes politi-cians can be more attuned now to hot-but-ton issues than in non-election times. Such is the case in recent days when Ainsworth Lumber Co. shut down one of two produc-tion lines at its Bemidji plant and announ-ced Friday it was laying off 300 workers at its plants in Cook and Grand Rapids. Attorney General Mike Hatch, the DFLer seeking the governor's office, responded Saturday at a party gathering in Nebish with a call for a wood products industry summit to try and figure out what happened and what role the state can play. He hoped GOP Gov.
Attention focused on Friday to the high cost of prescription drugs, especially to senior citizens, as opponents to the Medicare Part D prescription drug program celebrated what they called "Doughnut Hole Day." It was the day that supposedly about 7 million seniors fell into a doughnut hole in their Part D coverage where drug costs for the year reached $2,250, and seniors are on their own for the next $3,000 in out-of-pocket costs before Part D coverage resumes. Many say that part of the problem stems from Congress prohibiting the federal government from negotiating lower drug prices with phar
After the devastation of World War II, we placed a lot of hope for future global peace on a fledgling effort designed to give a voice to all the world's peoples, a world forum where the smallest nation would have has much say as the largest superpower. We also hoped it would be a place to prevent future conflicts, or as a group to end them when they arose. Now, some 60 years later, we fear the United Nations has become nothing more than a Tower of Babel, offering a soapbox to any banana republic despot to kick and scream for their share of the sandbox.
Congress late last year approved measures to tighten up welfare funding and supposedly make wise use of our tax dollars.
President Bush, speaking before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, made an appeal to Muslims to assure them that the United States is not waging war with Islam but rather with extremists who embrace terror against peoples who seek democracy. It's a noble cause, as the president cited the first sentence of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, written nearly 60 years ago, that the "equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom and justice and peace in the world." But even as we pledge our allegiances with "the moderates and refo
In a far-reaching agreement that many said could never be done, the city of Bemidji and Northern and Bemidji townships framed an orderly annexation agreement in three phases over the next 15 years, charting a path for extending city services to those pending areas in the townships covered by the agreement. Key to that effort, however, is breaking away from the jurisdictional squabbles that plagued development for years and instead thinking of our immediate region as the Greater Bemidji Area.