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Letters to the Editor

Looking for stolen signs

On my morning walk on Saturday, I was disappointed to see that all of the lawn signs along East 7th Street supporting the DFL-endorsed candidates for office were stolen. Coincidentally, none of the yard signs supporting Torrey Westrom were removed. While I do not believe that this was any kind of nefarious conspiracy (it was probably just a few kids with nothing better to do), it is a discomforting reality of the political season.

Regardless as to whom we may be supporting on Election Day, we must recognize that not a one of us can praise the virtues of our Republic as long as any of us are unable to show our support for whomever we want, however we want. This is a First Amendment issue that transcends party affiliation, and because of that, I would like to remind those considering stealing signs that in Minnesota there is a civil fine of $344.44 for lawn sign vandalism. Is it really worth it?

Because I am so passionate about this issue, if you have discovered that a sign in your yard has been stolen (whether you are a Republican or Democrat), I will personally try to find a replacement for you. Please give email me at or give me a call at 320-226-3494.

Joshua Preston


What you learn

is important

President Obama and others this past week have called for more school days.

That is well-and-good, but more important: how well the school day is utilized.

I think of the West Central School of Agriculture, "The Ag School.' We had just six months of classes, but we went to class from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. with no study hall breaks and just breaks for noon lunch and convocation three times a week. We were in class all day, and at night we had study hour during which we had to be in our rooms studying. (Well, at least we were supposed to be studying, and most of us were.)

As a result, the graduates went on as leaders in their communities, state, and even the nation.

In short: it's not how many days students spend in school, it's what they do when they are there.

Ted Storck


Take fire prevention


Last year in Minnesota, 35 people lost their lives in fires. Most of the fires were residential, and all of them were preventable. Worse, 42 percent of the victims died in homes without working smoke alarms, despite Minnesota's law requiring alarms on every level of the home and in every sleeping area. With proper warning, those people might have lived.

Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 3-9, is a perfect time to reflect on your fire safety knowledge and habits, install smoke alarms or test the ones you have, and check with your loved ones to be sure they're protecting themselves, as well. Visit the National Fire Protection Association at to learn how and why smoke alarms work. And check the Minnesota State Fire Marshal Web site at to find a fire department open house in your area.

Your State Fire Marshal Division is committed to your safety. We ask that you make a similar commitment during Fire Prevention Week, and learn to protect yourself from residential fire.

Jerry Rosendahl

Minnesota State Fire Marshal

Minnesota Department

of Public Safety

St. Paul

Good job 4-Hers

I was so pleased to read all about all of the 4-Her's going to State Fair. I realize cattle is important in your community, as it was as my children grew up on a dairy farm. I also realize that a lot of the financing for your terrific fair comes from agricultural related businesses. Some 4-H members just can not have animals, others just are not interested in them and some know that agriculture is not going to be how they make there living as adults, so are doing terrific jobs in other projects and really need to be recognized also. So I thank you for recognizing them along with the many cattle exhibits.

Sylvia Klimek