Readers' views for Oct. 17

Give red plan the green light Since coming to Duluth in the summer of 2005, Duluth Schools Superintendent Keith Dixon has immersed himself in the community and the issues facing the school district to a degree unsurpassed by predecessors. He has ...

Give red plan the green light

Since coming to Duluth in the summer of 2005, Duluth Schools Superintendent Keith Dixon has immersed himself in the community and the issues facing the school district to a degree unsurpassed by predecessors. He has sought to understand the past and the future of the district's people, programs, facilities and challenges.

The long-range facilities "red" plan approved by the Duluth School Board this year, which is under review by the Minnesota Department of Education, represents the culmination of a thorough and open process that examined a broad range of alternatives. Throughout that process, citizen input was actively encouraged and carefully considered. The end result is a plan that benefits all district students and all Duluthians by positioning the district to deliver excellence.

While a strong majority of district voters support expeditious implementation of the red plan, a vocal minority are bent on derailing the process and the plan by any means available, including misinformation, innuendo and personal attacks on the motivations of red plan supporters. I believe Duluth voters are smarter than to fall prey to these tactics, and I urge support of the red plan.

Dixon has provided a positive example of strong and open-minded leadership. He and the red plan deserve the same level of strong support from the citizens of Duluth.


Greg Sandbulte


Grassroots effort needed to change copyright laws

The copyright lawsuit against Jammie Thomas amounted to nothing more than corporate bullying ("Jury: Woman must pay $222,000," Oct. 5). Let's face it, the record industry has money on its side and will win. Why else did every other defendant settle out of court? Regardless of the law, such suits are morally wrong.

People who don't download music may feel this issue won't affect them. But what happens when some large, wealthy force wants to stop them from enjoying life in some other way? Imagine an anti-hunting group with limitless resources suing hunters for hunting or an anti-church group suing people for wearing religious medallions in public. These groups will say they really don't want to win, only to provide a deterrent. Will defendants settle for a few thousand dollars and a promise to stop, or will they take a chance on losing a quarter-million dollars?

This case is different, some say. After all, unauthorized downloading of music is illegal. But is it? The problem was that the songs were available for sharing. If a book is left in a room with a copier, will the person who left the book be in violation of copyright laws by making the book available for copying?

The only way to stop this kind of corporate bullying is to change the law. First of all, the penalty should reflect the loss. Second, sharing music should not be illegal (however, profiting from downloaded music should be illegal). The only way to change the law is to write to members of Congress and to ask them to change the law. When enough people speak, the law will change.

David Pessenda Jr.



Stover should keep his seat

I've known incumbent City Council candidate Russ Stover for many years. We worked together at the Duluth Children's Museum. Stover was the museum's gallery manager and did great work for the organization. He was a positive influence on families and children, board members and youth. He participated in museum outreach programs in schools and the community. He advocated for accessibility on a city and county level. When it came to accessibility at the museum, Stover advocated accommodations even when the rest of the building was not open to change.

I wasn't surprised when Stover decided to run for City Council, and I wasn't surprised when he won. I've always been impressed with his knowledge of local and regional government issues. As a councilor, he researches before voting. He weighs issues, asks good questions and gathers feedback from constituents. His recent support for Ordinance 53, the Heritage Sports Center, his appearances at many community events and his prompt replies to citizens' concerns all are evidence of his community commitment.

Stover's support for West Duluth and Lincoln Park/West End has resulted in great improvements. He has made it clear: He represents the Fifth District.

I also know Stover responds to residents' needs throughout Duluth. He advocates for initiatives that serve working families, and he supports arts, culture, youth activities, recreation, and the protection of green spaces and Skyline Parkway.

Stover has been blamed with others on the council for the retiree health-care liability, the Great Lakes Aquarium burden and other baggage. But he served on the first council to act on retiree health care and Great Lakes Aquarium problems that were created by previous administrations.

Stover has had a positive influence on Duluth and would represent the Fifth District very well for another term.




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