St. Cloud Times from Saint Cloud, Minnesota on May 9, 2004 · Page 19
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St. Cloud Times from Saint Cloud, Minnesota · Page 19

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Sunday, May 9, 2004
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Sunday, May 9, 2004 Opinion St Cloud Times 9B Take time to honor mother on her special day By Lynda Evans St Cloud See if you recognize any of these famous "momisms": Cut your hair! You look like a hippie. No, you did not wash your hands. Never mind how I know. Just do it again and with soap this time. How do you know you don't like it if you haven't tried it? Did you flush? I'm going to give you until I count to three ... Get that thing out of your mouth (or nose)! Electrical sockets are not toys ... Property tax disparities hurt state By John Ellenbccker St Cloud mayor ST. PAUL - Suburban legislators have carped for years that their communities were sending too much of their tax money to rural Minnesota. Their complaints were based on the mistaken belief that suburbs actually produced tax revenue. Few things in life are that simple. While it is true that many of Minnesota's taxpayers live in suburbia, it is also true that many of those suburban taxpayers earn their f-rg- wealth in other com-j, munities. J Moreover, Minnesota 1,1 would not be m 'vtiri-TI I as prosperous John . as it is today Ellenbecker without the St. Cloud mayor resources produced in outstate Minnesota. We must remember that taxes are not paid by suburban governments; they are paid by individuals who work and live in Minnesota. As taxpayers, we have a right to expect that our taxes are fairly applied. A family of four earning $60,000 a year in the Twin Cities should be taxed at about the same rate as a four-person family in rural Minnesota with an annual income of $60,000. A property taxpayer in outstate Minnesota should be taxed at a rate comparable to the suburban tax rate for equivalent property. That standard of fairness, however, is missing from parts of Minnesota's tax system. While suburban legislators complain about the sums of money spent on helping rural taxpayers, they ignore the property tax rate disparity that exists between their cities and communities in outstate Minnesota. After the Legislature spent almost $1 billion reducing taxes on high-valued homes, businesses and apartments in 2001, the average property tax rate in the affluent Twin Cities suburbs was 17.7 percentage points lower than the average rate in greater Minnesota cities. In spite of that gap, the Legislature last year chose to trim $150 million from the Local Government Aid program, a property tax relief program for cities with low property wealth or high needs. Contrary to By The Rev. Dirck A. Curry St Cloud Believing in myths is simply a form of denial to comfort the spirit of the general population of a society so that people do not need to see or to hear the actual truth. Yet the truth exists and many in a society talk themselves out of believing in the true issues of the society they live in by holding onto such myths and also onto the tangible things that exist in their lives. Myths free people from their guilt of doing nothing for others who are in need Be good and don't do anything to embarrass me. Don't you roll your eyes at me! Close the door! Were you born in a barn? Chances are, you are all too familiar with most of these statements. None of us was ideal children, despite our idealistic recollections of our childhood. Most of us were challenges to our mothers on more than one occasion, and so it is important to take time out to remember Your Turn The choice made by legislators many of them from outstate Minnesota last year shifted a disproportionate financial burden onto Minneapolis, St. Paul, lower-wealth suburbs and cities in outstate Minnesota. Those cities responded by reducing services, increasing local property taxes or both. Today, the economic gulf separating suburban and rural property tax rates is 18.5 percentage points. Clearly, Minnesota is a state divided at least in terms of property tax rates. Legislators such as Reps. Dan Dorman, R-Albert Lea, and Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth, tried to strike a better balance between the have and have-not communities in Minnesota this year, but Gov. Tim Pawlen-ty and House leaders have shown no interest in correcting the imbalance in property tax rates. Both Dorman and Mar-quart introduced legislation that addressed the property tax inequities by shifting some of last year's budget cuts onto wealthy communities, whose taxpayers received considerable property tax relief in the 2001 Tax Bill. Neither bill received a hearing in the House. Fortunately, the Senate has been more receptive. A bipartisan group of state senators led by Senate Tax Chairman Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis, has approved a tax bill that restores $60 million of the $150 million that was cut from the LGA program last year. While the high-valued suburbs remain largely unscathed by the budget cuts, the Senate bill recognizes that too much of the burden of i solving last year's $4.5 billion budget deficit was placed on taxpayers in Minneapolis, St. Paul, lower-wealth suburbs and out-state Minnesota cities. Unlike the House, the Senate understands that empty rhetoric and uneven public policy that unfairly shelters some at the expense of others does not produce a unified Minnesota. Ellenbecker serves as vice president of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities. He wrote this piece on its behalf. myth, many hard-working people lack health insurance Your Turn while holding onto what they have and want for themselves. One myth in our society is that the uninsured are the unemployed homeless and the poor. Many believe in the myth that if these people would only get help available for them through social aid services and would work an honest-day's work, everyone would be provided for like the rest of the general population. These myths need to be Your Turn them, to take time to celebrate, to make time to recognize, to break from our schedules to remember and to honor our mothers today. In the United States, Anna M. Jarvis (1864-1948) is credited with bringing in the celebration of Mother's Day. She was greatly attached to her mom, Mrs. Reese Jarvis, and in 1907, two years after her mother's death, Anna Jarvis and her friends began a letter-writing campaign to gain the support of Times photo by Jason Wachter, jwachterstcloudtimes.com Searchers from the Trident Foundation and the Stearns 2003 to search Stump Lake for Josh Guimond. Guimond maybe Body is still missing, and other reasons for disappearance are running thin By Colt Blunt Collegeville Joshua Guimond would have been graduating today had it not been for his disappearance. Joshua Guimond disappeared from the campus of St John's University in Collegeville. He was last seen about midnight Nov. 9, 2002. He did not have his glasses or car keys. His car was in the same spot he left it The clothes he was wearing were not warm enough for the approaching snow. His credit cards were not used and there were no unaccounted for withdrawals. With the recent discovery of the body of Dm Sjodin, let us not forget that foul play may be a possibility with the case of Josh, as well. A group of concerned classmates and friends of Josh has been entertaining this possibility since day one. Feasible alternatives are currently running thin. The prevalent explanation on campus is Josh "got turned around" after a night of drinking and lost his way, likely ending up in one of the campus' lakes. Many entities still hold on to this explanation. In the weeks after Josh's disappearance, exhaustive searches were conducted by local and national teams. Dog searches were con- shattered so that more may see and hear the truth. Actually, eight out of 10 people who are uninsured are in working families. As of September 2003, almost 44 million people in the United States are uninsured. These people may be a relative, a co-worker, a neighbor or a person who comes to another's aid on the street when someone has a flat tire or simple crisis in their life. They look like, act like and have dreams like all others in our society. Yet, those who have cannot understand why others do not influential ministers, businessmen and congressmen in declaring a national Mother's Day holiday. She felt children often neglected to appreciate their mother enough while the mother was still alive. She hoped Mother's Day would increase respect for parents and strengthen family bonds. As a result of her efforts, the first Mother's Day was observed May 10, 1908. Carnations, Mrs. Jarvis's favorite flowers, were supplied. Later, red carnations became the symbol of a living mother, while the white one for mothers Look beyond St. Johns ' ' . . : ' . t, ' tedw Joshua r-: - J Times photo by Kimm Anderson, kandersonstcloudtimes.com Reminders that Joshua Guimond is still missing are not hard to find on the St. John's University campus. Your Turn ducted the Sunday after the disappearance, followed by searches by the Stearns County Sheriff's Department, National Guard, Mounted Police, and local students and community members. Search helicopters also made frequent passes using infrared imaging. As time has passed and no signs of Josh have surfaced, explanations have become laughable at best. There have even been theories that the lack of a body could be because of turtles! Apparently, some people believe that a body may not exist because it may have been consumed by the turtles that live in the lakes at St John's. A frequently overlooked fact is that the Trident Foundation, the nation's leading authority on water search and rescue, cleared all major bodies of water on have what most people possess, such as health care. Why? Because people do not become present to each other, especially those who are without. Most people are too busy to take time to seek out those without and ask those without why they are uninsured. Most people are too busy to take the time to listen to other's stories and assist in guiding them. It is difficult to empty oneself and to be present to another, but it can be done. By becoming more learned about the issue and reading more about this topic in pa- Domestic violence If you or someone you know is experiencing violence In their relationship or would like information, call Anna Marie's at 253-6900 day or night or visit www.annamaries.org. The National Domestic Violence hot line is (800) 799-SAFE. who have passed away. So let's celebrate Mother's Day by setting aside time to honor all mothers and the contributions they make to the family and their children. On this day, we will lakes for Josh Guimond County Sheriff's Department victim of V' ''V .""-i::; &g if campus. The Maple Lake Messenger on May 21, 2003, quoted Scott Romme, the executive director of the Trident Foundation, as saying, "There is never a guarantee that human remains could have been hidden or dumped in a body of water and are now hidden from the sidescan sonar technology. However, based on the reports from the field, I would recommend that the search for Josh head in another direction. ... Efforts (by the Stearns County Sheriff's Department) coupled with our technologies and efforts should provide a very high degree of reassurance to the family and the community that Josh is most probably somewhere else." It should be noted that the Trident Foundation has never cleared a lake and later had a body discovered. This is evidence that cannot be ignored. Bodies don't disappear unless pers, online or magazine reports or by getting involved with political issues surrounding this topic, one can build a comfortable attitude that is nonjudgmental but open to meeting people who are uninsured and to listening to them. By listening one may help another in their healing process. By being compassionate, one may be a guide for the uninsured individual. There are many in our society without and even more who are underinsured. Possibly by listening, communicating with others, and recognize and thank our mothers for all the loving support, kind assistance and gentle guidance they provide. Let us not forget families separated by illness, distance, war or death and reach out to them today. Please also give a moment's thought to the mothers and their children who will spend Mother's Day in the many battered women's shelters nationwide. Lynda Evans is a three-year employee of the Central Minnesota Task Force on Battered Women. use sonar equipment in May foul play someone makes them. Last month, the body of Jared Dion, a University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse student, was found in the turbulent waters of the Mississippi River within a week of his disappearance. Yet nothing has been found in the small, placid lakes of St. John's in a year and a half. Law enforcement is pursuing other possibilities, and it is important that we do so as well. It is difficult to accept the idea that a healthy young man may have been taken from us. Society has a much easier time buying the abduction of a female. However, in the past two decades, we have seen the disappearance of two healthy young males within a five-mile radius: Jacob Wetterling and Josh Guimond. As much as no one likes to hear it, it is a distinct possibility that Josh's disappearance is a result of foul play. This means that we must entertain the possibility that someone within or close to our community has taken one of our friends from us. If anyone has any details, no matter how minute they may seem, they are encouraged to contact law enforcement immediately. Colt Blunt, 22, is a senior psychology major at St John's University. Contributing to this piece were Megan Bjerke, Katie Benson, Katri-na Samlaska, Kate Dan toft and Sara Enright contemplating what has been discussed, people can make grass-roots changes. Starting with simple faith-filled acts of kindness, active legislature changes may occur making significant changes for the whole society. Hopefully then all might have what all deserve, affordable health care for afl. The Rev. Dirck A. Curry works at St Cloud VA Medical Center and is a volunteer physician for St Cloud Hospital through Project HEAL at the Place of Hope giving free medical care for the homeless. , TalkthATi Parking ramp won't solve SCSlTs issues This week's question: Should St. Cloud State build a parking ramp? I oppose this idea that deals only with the immediate situation and does not plan for city's and school's future. A single ramp on already sparse land will not solve the parking issues because it is not a sustainable approach. The city and university must realize cars are not the future! Rather, this growing community should capitalize on the Free Ride MTC program and go even further to entrust efficient, safe student travel into and around the city, as well as those of us who are permanent residents. Marney Curfman St Cloud Minnesota voice Red Wing Republican Eagle Uphold freedom of the press Freedom of the press is your freedom. Many citizens, including journalists, take this constitutional right for granted. World Press Freedom Day, which was Monday, serves to remind us all that a press free to criticize government, investigate leaders and champion human rights is critical to a democratic society. Too many people around the globe are denied and violently at times the right to express themselves freely in speech and in writing. That's not a concern here, you say? In fact, well-meaning local government leaders inadvertently step on people's freedoms, including free speech, more often than you'd think. For example, Pierce County essentially prohibits employees from publicly criticizing operations and supervisors both the ones who oversee departments and those elected to the county board. Anyone who violates the personnel rule that restricts who can talk about what faces possible discipline. In the courthouse, workers call it "the gag order." Federal law protects whistle-blowers, but Pierce County currently can't say the same. ... Citizens' "right to know" allows the press to shine a spotlight on problems. Freedom of information encourages public debate and is one of the underpinnings of democracy. Freedom of the press is your freedom and it begins right here. Your Turn guidelines Your Turns should: Focus on timely local, national or international issues of concern the community. State your opinion and use facts and well-reasoned arguments. Address points and counterpoints made by the opposition. Be typewritten and about 600 words. Include a paragraph at the end explaining who you are and any expertise you have on the issue. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Articles submitted to the Times may be published or distributed in print, electronic or other forms. Your Turns may be edited for length, clarity and accuracy. In some cases, the opposition may be asked to provide more complete coverage on an issue. Your Turns usually are published in weekend editions. Mail Your Turns to the St Cloud Times Your Turn, P.O. Box 768, St. Cloud. MN 56302. Your Turns also can be sent by fax to (320) 255-8775 or by e-mail to our Web site at www.sctimes.com.

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