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Letters to the Editor: April 14, 2012

Proposed zoning change could affect Stevens County lake property

Stevens County residents who live by any of the more than eighty classified lakes in the county should be concerned by significant changes that are to come before the Stevens County Planning Commission on Monday, April 16 at their 7:00 p.m. meeting at the courthouse. A major proposal is to permit commercial use of shoreland on any class of lake. In the present ordinance such commercial use is not allowed. The change is to be accomplished by introducing a further zoning class namely, S-3 Water-Oriented Commercial District.

Such a change would mean that private resorts, marinas, campgrounds and wildfowl hunting camps may be developed around any lake. These changes would impact particularly the residents of Barrett Lake and Perkins Lake, each of which have many private homes along the shoreline. But there could also be as yet unanticipated residential and environmental impact on smaller lakes such a North Pomme de Terre, Long and Hattie Lakes.

The public notice announcing the proposed changes appeared in this paper on Saturday, April 7. It gave no details of the changes and no information on any possible effects.

There needs to be much public discussion on this issue and opportunity and time for full public awareness and input. Since the changes have potential impact on so many, the Planning Commission should give full and timely publicity to the nature of the proposed changes before considering the issue.

I hope they will do so.

Michael O'Reilly

Make every week the "Week of the Young Child"

"Why isn't there a Kids' Day?"

As youngsters, many of us no doubt asked that question of our parents on Mother's Day or Father's Day. The answer invariably was, "Because every day is Kids' Day."

We wish it were true. No, we're not suggesting that children be showered with presents and get breakfast in bed every day. Instead, we're imagining whole communities ensuring that our children--especially our youngest ones--receive the best care and education EVERY SINGLE DAY in order to grow strong physically, mentally, socially and emotionally. Those first five years are the most crucial. On that foundation a child's success in school and in life is built.

This week Stevens County is celebrating National Week of the Young Child. It's a week set aside to recognize how important the young children in our lives are. The strength of our families', communities' and nation's future rests on their fragile shoulders. They deserve the very best we can offer.

Nancy Jost, Early Childhood Coordinator, West Central Initiative

"What a Week I've Had!"

"What a week I've had!" is a phrase we've all had opportunity to use. Demands of work, family responsibilities, peer pressure, anxiety from relationships and the uncertain world around us have made this statement and the acronym T.G.I.F. well-worn.

I would invite you to focus, rather, on the week Jesus had. On Palm Sunday, he was welcomed into Jerusalem by people who thought him a hero. As he rode into town, he knew that tone would change, and it did. Hate-filled people had him betrayed and arrested that Thursday evening; he who knew no sin would be run through a sham of a trial, ridiculed, abused, beaten, and hung on a cross to die a shameful death. By Friday evening, his lifeless body had been taken down and placed in a borrowed tomb.

What a week he had! And why? Because God loved fallen mankind and sent Jesus to serve as our ransom. We cannot understand such love, but we can see it clearly through Christ's work: "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us." (1 John 3:16)

Jesus took on flesh and "tented" among us, so that he could earn holiness for us by his perfect obedience to his Father's will; he became our brother so he could bear the burden of the sins of the world on that cross. His love was such that he went to that cross for you and me; for all mankind.

Easter Sunday has become a special day for the Christian world, for it was then that Jesus was raised to life, attesting that his payment for sin was sufficient. Now, everyone who believes in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior has what he earned- forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.

In view of the cross, we, as believers, can say, "What a week I've had! I've been blessed with another week of living under God's loving care, and looking forward to eternal glory with him in heaven; because of the week Jesus had."

Rev. Donald Main, Morris, Minn.