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Letters to the Editor - April 25, 2010

Scouting is rewarding for us and environment I am a Boy Scout from Troop 28 in Duluth. I am working on my communications merit badge. I would like to tell you about one of the many service activities we do as a group. A few times a year we organi...

Scouting is rewarding for us and environment

I am a Boy Scout from Troop 28 in Duluth. I am working on my communications merit badge.

I would like to tell you about one of the many service activities we do as a group.

A few times a year we organize and participate in roadside garbage clean-ups. We have worked to clean up a few roads in the Duluth Heights area, and along Highway 61.

We always wear our uniforms so people will know who we are. We wear gloves and hiking boots and walk along the roads picking up trash, broken glass, old tires and whatever else we find.

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Sometimes we find packages of fishing hooks, coins or other reusable things like tools. We load up a lot of garbage bags and collect them all to take to the dump when we are finished.

This is a rewarding activity because we feel good about helping to clean up our environment, but we would like to remind people to please throw away their garbage properly -- and use garbage cans! This would be good for the looks of the environment, the health of the environment and the animals that live there too.

As you drive along the highways and city streets and see any groups of people picking up garbage, please slow down and drive carefully. Thank you!

Jacob Kohlbry
Duluth

Join the Boy Scouts

I am a Boy Scout from Troop 28 in Duluth. I am working on my communications merit badge and would like to share with you what scouting is all about, and encourage other boys to join their local troops.

Boy Scouts meet with their troop once a week during the school year and have many scheduled weekend or weeklong extra activities throughout the whole year. During our meetings, we learn about and practice the important qualities of scouting. These include being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.

We learn important life skills such as first aid, knot tying, camping, physical fitness, cooking and many more.

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There are more than 100 merit badge learning opportunities. There are chances to learn new skills and try out activities we might not otherwise be able to do. For example, learning about archery, boating, fishing, wood work, theater, other parts of the world, scuba diving, mechanics, law, conservation and many more. The list goes on.

We learn in fun and safe environments, and we can carry these skills throughout our lives. I would like to encourage boys up to age 18 to find out more about scouting in their areas by calling their local scout office and join up. It is fun!

Sam Kohlbry
Duluth

No Hyde in health care bill, no good

Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann was correct in her view that Congressman Jim Oberstar sold out his pro-life views when he voted "yes" for health care reform (ObamaCare).

The ObamaCare bill, now law, contained no Hyde Amendment. Hyde has been in effect since 1976 and forbids federal funds being spent for abortions (except in the case of rape, incest or danger to the mother's life).

Our court system has allowed federal funds to pay for abortions when federal health legislation has been passed without the Hyde Amendment -- thus the concern of pro-life Democrats and Republicans with the passage of ObamaCare sans the Hyde Amendment.

Congressman Joseph Cao of Louisiana wrote a letter to President Obama with the following legitimate ObamaCare concerns:

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1. Federal health care vouchers could be used to pay for abortions;

2. Community health centers are funded to the tune of $12 billion in the new law. Planned Parenthood could (and I think they will) use some of those dollars to perform abortions at those CHCs.

One item Rep. Cao did not mention is his letter to the president is this: ObamaCare provides money for "prevention" services.

Here, too, [I think] your federal taxes could be used to provide abortion under the preventative services section of the new health care law.

Polls have consistently and repeatedly shown that Americans do not favor federal tax dollars being spent for abortions. Rep. Oberstar is not representing us.

For whatever reason, he did not stay true to his long-held pro-life views.

We need a congressman in Washington who lives in the district he purports to represent, who reflects the views of those he represents and who does not sell out his principles.

There is hope for change in the Eighth Congressional District come November.

Gregg Schweiger
Duluth

The president's 'full plate'

As the world turns, so does President Barack Obama.

Two inherited wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a recession in progress, global warming, earthquakes in Haiti and China, mudslides in California, floods in the Midwest and New England, a "tea party" gone wild, a devastating air crash in Poland, a volcano eruption in Iceland and 40,000 Americans stranded overseas, an 18-month battle over health care reform and now big-time financial reform is on the table.

President Obama's plate is full. However, thanks to courage and fortitude, this man has been able to cover all bases and fight the elements at the same time, regardless of the jealousy, stubborn arrogance and greed of the opposition.

They know they don't have anybody in their ranks who could hold a candle to President Obama; his intelligence and ability enable him to carry out his mission -- despite the most negative opposition shamelessly hoping he will fail.

I ask you, where else in the world can you slander and degrade the commanding officer and not be penalized?

Those who think they can do a better job should step up to the plate in 2012.

Obama will face other large problems looming on the horizon: the drug cartels, immigration law and, the most important thing of all, taking care of our troops and their families when they finally come home.

Sadly, not much progress is happening in Congress these days. I guess they're too busy thinking about mid-term elections.

Just think where this country would be right now if he had lost the

election. It's scary.

Bob WattsThree Lakes, Canyon

Through rain, sleet and snow

This letter is written in response to a letter in the April 18 Budgeteer and out of respect for letter carriers everywhere:

My daughter nearly never knew about her friend's birthday party. In fact, her friend nearly didn't have a party. Only one person successfully received the e-mail invitation. Any number of times I have frustratingly had an undeliverable e-mail returned to me. Our monthly online bill is now part of our budget, and even when it goes up, we'll probably sigh but keep paying it. It's not a perfect system, but it's still nice to have.

Nearly 20 years ago, I married a mailman. (Yes, I know it's "letter carrier," but I like "mailman.") I married him for his faith, honesty and integrity. I've also learned a little about the Postal Service along the way. Like many jobs, the mailman's days are unpredictable.

He might work eight hours, or he might punch out at 10 p.m. (my husband's all-time latest). It's not that he's walking fast one day and slowly the next. Like many jobs, the work load varies from day to day. Like any job, co-workers get sick.

Like most jobs, co-workers go on vacation, get injured or have family emergencies. What happens at the Post Office on those days (which is every day)? Fellow carriers add that mail to their regular routes. If they have to case extra at the station, they get to the street later. If they carry extra on the street, they have to deliver it sometime, either before, after or somewhere in the middle of their own route. Logically, then, somebody's mail will not be delivered at the regular time. It's still nice to have.

Have you ever tripped over a fence (with your arms loaded) because the snow was so high you couldn't see the fence? My husband has. Do you walk through feet-deep snow, occasionally slip on the ice and walk for hours outside when the wind chill is so cold they're closing schools? Maybe you do. My husband does. And, oh yes, he's been bitten by dogs "that never bite." Probably, on all those kinds of days, his pace is slowed down a bit. But it's still nice to get the mail.

I've been on the receiving end of postal errors. I've also been on the receiving end of errors ranging from medical (at my doctor's office, when our baby's very life was at stake) to McDonald's (I didn't want mustard on my burger!) and everything in between.

I'm not writing to excuse the errors that occur with the Postal Service.

But, realistically, errors are a part of life -- a part of any job. What I do know is that my husband is a man whose honesty carries over into his work. He's made mistakes. He's admitted to them. And he will give you his best every single day.

Hats off to letter carriers everywhere.

Robin Muench
Hermantown

The Budgeteer News welcomes letters to the editor. All letters must include the author's name (no initials), address and a daytime phone number for confirmation purposes. Letters should be no more than 300 words. Letters may be edited for length, clarity and accuracy. Publication is at the discretion of the editor, and as space permits we will print them. No more than one letter per writer will be published in any month.

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