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Letters to the Editor

Budget needs attention

Has anyone noticed how there's still $1.2 billion missing from the Republican's Minnesota budget proposal? It's less than 20 days until the Legislative session is supposed to end, and oddly enough, I didn't take note of one news story about the budget over the last several days. There was plenty of legislative coverage, but not related to the budget deficit.

Between all the talk about voter IDs, illegal immigrants, marriage equality, and secessionist "tentherism" (that's the 10th Amendment), you'd think that a great state like Minnesota was rolling in the bucks because Republican leaders in both legislative bodies don't seem to want to talk about the fact that they don't have a budget solution.

I admired a proposal put forward by Golden Valley DFL Rep. Ryan Winkler last week, asking that the Legislature finalize a budget before it considers any constitutional ballot questions on the House floor. Sadly, the measure failed 64-65.

Was that the mandate the people of Minnesota put forward last November? I remember hearing a lot of talk about job creation, and fiscal responsibility. Has anyone noticed that we're no longer talking about those important issues? We're being distracted from a flawed and unbalanced state budget by constitutional amendments. If you don't have a job, an education or access to healthcare in 2012, you can at least be thankful for the right to vote on offensive, discriminatory, and unnecessary constitutional amendments.

Call Rep. Torrey Westrom at (651) 296-4929 and Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen at (651) 297-8063 and tell them to get back to what's important: our communities, our schools and our people in rural Minnesota.

Bennett Smith


Wear Poppy with pride

When you are asked to donate for a Buddy Poppy during the upcoming campaign in this community, do it with a big smile on your face.

Remember that it is the most grateful investment of your money you can ever make!

Members of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Charles Leuthard Post 5039 will be distributing Buddy Poppies in the area from May 9-14. VFW by-laws require that the proceeds from our distribution of Buddy Poppies must be used to benefit disabled and needy veterans and the widows and orphans of deceased veterans.

Our local Auxiliary has donated this past year to veterans homes and hospitals in Fergus Falls, St. Cloud and the outpatient clinic at Montevideo, the VA home and Prodigal House in Minneapolis, and the VA Medical Center in Fargo, N.D. Funds from Buddy Poppies have purchased sewing needs for our sewers, who last year sewed bed throws, tote bags, laundry bags and neck pillows for our local veterans and spouses at West Wind Village, the St. Cloud Medical Center, and the Minneapolis Veterans Home. Quilts were also sent to military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Funds were also used for birthday parties and Veterans Day at West Wind Village, the Veterans Van Fund, Operation Uplink, the Armed Forces Center at the airport and others. The VFW National Home at Eaton Rapids, Mich., receives money from sales of Buddy Poppy. The National Home is for military families in need of living quarters and financial help.

Every step in the production and sale of the Buddy Poppy serves a useful purpose. The poppies are assembled by needy and disabled veterans at VA hospitals who are paid for their work. The income to the state and national organizations help provide needed services to disabled veterans, their widows and orphans. The income to the Auxiliary is used entirely for aid to needy veterans and families. Wearing a Poppy on Memorial Day symbolizes the nation's grief for its departed heroes.

You have been a very generous community in the past and we do appreciate it very much. When our Buddy Poppy Sisters visit you, we hope you will continue with that good support. With more veterans entering the hospitals and homes, the needs are becoming greater each year. Especially with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, more military are in the hospitals with wounds and other problems.

Be proud of your poppy! It is a symbol of the memory of those who have given their lives for their country and a symbol of concern and compassion for those who are disabled.

Honor the dead by helping the living.

Bertha Sperr

Buddy Poppy Chairman

Helen Kill


Ladies Auxiliary

to VFW Post 5039