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Reader's View: Not all foundations fund such noble causes

I appreciated the Oct. 23 story about the Duluth Police Foundation giving grants to help fund local public-safety initiatives ("Foundation fills gaps for police").

The story was timely for two reasons.

First, it came at a time when our society and the press need to support our police instead of listening to those who continually portray police officers as "pigs" and who seemingly would rather have anarchy instead of democracy to promote their cause.

Second, not all foundations were created equally. For example, according to a spokesperson, the Duluth Police Foundation wants to have "complete control of where the money goes." Moreover, it's important that grants given to needy causes are "not at the whim of the police chief or the department."

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, in contrast, is funded partly by philanthropic corporate sponsors. Their money is overseen by a board of directors in cooperation with federal-government partners like the U.S. Forest Service.

Herein is a problem. For several years, I've written letters to the editor about a landowner whose property on the Dark River north of Chisholm was illegally excavated in 2005 by the U.S. Forest Service and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. A joint fish habitat project was partially funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The DNR and the Forest Service have kept the trespass and funding source secret for 11 years. I wonder if the Foundation and its donors are aware of the ignoble cause that their funding supports.

It appears, though, that, unlike the Dark River project partners, the Duluth Police Foundation has taken steps to prevent this from happening with the grant money they give.

David G. Holmbeck

Grand Rapids

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