Letters to the Editor: July 1

Honoring World War II veterans On June 9, the state celebrated our World War II veterans by dedicating a new memorial on the State Capital grounds. There were thousands of Minnesotans in attendance to hear moving speeches, tell stories and share ...

Honoring World War II veterans

On June 9, the state celebrated our World War II veterans by dedicating a new memorial on the State Capital grounds. There were thousands of Minnesotans in attendance to hear moving speeches, tell stories and share our gratitude for their extraordinary service. As the grandson of two WWII veterans, I am extremely proud and grateful for this "greatest generation."

However, many of our WWII veterans from around the state were unable to attend the ceremony. As a part of the

ceremony, veterans were given the chance to purchase a

commemorative veteran medal for their service.


If you or a family member served in World War II and are interested in purchasing one of the medals, feel free to call Josten's at (800) 324-5996 or contact your County Veteran Service Officer by going to the Web site at www.mdva.state .

We should take every

opportunity to thank our veterans of all branches and service for their dedication, sacrifice and service.

Rep. Tony Sertich,

House Majority Leader


Ducks can't vote

Our wetlands are in real danger -- and with them, Minnesota's duck and waterfowl population. More than 80,000 acres of wetlands are destroyed in this country every year.


Here in Minnesota, we made legislative changes this year to improve wetlands protection. However, a lack of funding for wetland conservation efforts has resulted in a dire situation for Minnesota wetlands statewide, particularly in the western and southern portion of the state where 90 percent of original wetlands have alreadybeen lost.

As elected stewards of Minnesota's precious natural resources, we have a responsibility to protect wildlife habitat across the state for both

environmental and economic reasons. It is imperative that we take the opportunity to enact effective conservation policies to ensure the health and prosperity of our unique and valuable natural resources -- including our endangered Minnesota wetlands.

We in the Minnesota Legislature did just that this session. To address the need for reversing this damaging trend and restoring natural habitat for native Minnesota species, we asked for $15 million to match federal funds. Of this, $8 million in essential funding to restore our wetlands was included in the bonding bill this session.

Despite the Governor's previously stated commitment to provide funding for wetlands, and restore habitat for native wildlife, Pawlenty vetoed the bonding bill in its entirety -- including this essential funding for Minnesota wetlands.

As a result, our state will lose over $10 million of key federal matching funds for wetland protection from the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) -- a program that has restored over 2 million acres of wetlands nationwide.

Funding for the federal WRP program, that has already restored countless acres of wetlands in Minnesota, will now run out on Dec. 31 of this year. Lacking this necessary funding will seriously impair our state's ability to restore our wetlands, promote natural habitat for native wildlife, and protect our water quality throughout our state.

By vetoing this legislation, Gov. Pawlenty has single-handedly thrown away over $10 million in essential conservation funding from the federal government. This money will now likely go to another state with just as real needs: a state with a Governor who recognized the need to make a serious investment in wetland protection, and followed through on that commitment.


Gov. Pawlenty needs to be held accountable for this irresponsible action. Ducks may not have had a voice to raise or a vote to cast in this situation, but we did -- and so did our fellow legislators on a bipartisan basis. And we voted for a responsible plan to secure necessary funding for our wetlands. Now we have only the Governor to thank for the consequences. Please contact me with any questions.

Matt Swenson


MN House of Representatives 504 State Office Building

100 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd

St. Paul, MN 55155



Red plan coverage

I want to congratulate the Budgeteer on your coverage of the School District's approval of the Red Plan.

You were sensitive to the difficulty in the decisions, Ralph Doty gave an excellent perspective, and Keith Dixon has been a great match for our city. Now I hope plans will go well as we go ahead with our upgrades to our Duluth Public Schools.

Jean Merry


A silence broken

I am a citizen who wants to do something for the citizenry. This apparently makes me dangerous, or at least unusual.

My objective in writing "A Silence Broken" is to prevent child abuse.


This book will tell the stories of a few courageous parents -- and sadly there are only a few -- who reported the abuse of their own children, as inspiration to others in similar circumstances needing to take a very deep breath and do the same.

The dozen or so child protection services I have contacted around the country, requesting assistance in connecting me with the parents I would like to interview, have at best responded with a pat on the back and at worst by turning a completely deaf ear.

What irony. A concerned individual (who is respectful of confidentiality issues) with a passion, a talent and an objective putting him squarely on the same page as public service providers all struggling to meet demand, gets nowhere with them.

This being the case I hope you will publish this letter to your readers as outreach to any parent who would like to tell me his or her story about reporting the abuse of their children. I can be contacted through my Web site:

Thank you for your consideration.

Gordon Bunker

Santa Fe, N.M.


Don't believe them

On June 26, our U.S. Senators were to vote on amnesty for 12 to 20 million illegal aliens. Some pro-illegal alien senators have said Americans do not understand that the borders will be secured before amnesty is given.

Maybe they don't understand that, but what they do understand is, in the 1986 amnesty, the borders were to be secured, and they were not. Employers were to be prosecuted for hiring illegal aliens, and they were not.

In 2006, with great fanfare on television, President Busd signed into law a bill to build 700 miles of fence on the southern border. We now know that it will never be built.

President Bush now says give amnesty to these illegals and we will give $4,400,000,000 to secure our borders. He has had six-and-a-half years to secure our borders and has refused.

They ask us to believe them. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Don't believe them.

James Kvam

Pine City

MnDOT must realize not every Minnesotan has Internet access

I am extremely disappointed in the Minnesota Department of Transportation's recent decision to discontinue its 27-year tradition of participating in the Minnesota State Fair.

The "Great Minnesota Get Together" is an opportunity for people from all over the state to receive highway maps, along with up-to-date information on road conditions and construction projects.

Now this opportunity falls between the cracks, along with the safety and economic growth of our great state's infrastructure.

In its announcement, MnDOT cited changes in budget and technologies as reasons not to participate in the state fair.

Instead, MnDOT plans to expand its Web-based communications.

However, not every Minnesotan has access to the Internet.

Concentrating communication efforts on blogs and iPods doesn't serve the general public and limits access to the information that we all have the right to receive.

This is just another example of how budget shortfalls are causing this agency to fail our state.

Increased funding for transportation could prevent this type of service cut, yet the administration still refuses to make the investment needed to provide taxpayers with even the most basic services.

I'm disappointed in MnDOT's decision, and find appalling their apparent lack of concern for Minnesotans' rights to information regarding the state of our transportation system.

Steve Murphy

State Senator

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