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Your letters - April 24 edition

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Minnesota pro-business compared to Republican Wisconsin

A recent letter to the Pioneer Journal accuses Minnesota Democrats of creating "a hostile state." This opinion is contrary to data cited in many neutral studies, and also by my experience watching the building boom in the Twin Cities. (The author of the letter, by the way, cites only one study from a conservative Kansas foundation. He also says Minnesota businesses have moved out-state, but does not name them, or show how they stack up against jobs created in Minnesota.)

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Let's compare Democratic Minnesota¹s growth with Wisconsin, where a Republican governor and legislative body have gutted that state. Had the Democrats not taken the reins in Minnesota, we would have followed a similar path. Minnesota has an unemployment rate of 4.7; Wisconsin is 6.1. As reported in the N.Y. Times, an U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis study shows that Minnesota is tied with California for 5th as the nation's fastest growing economy, while Wisconsin is 34th in job growth (U.S. Bureau of Labor).

Forbes Magazine (a national, pro-business source) calls Minnesota the 8th best state for doing business, and Wisconsin 41st. The Twin Cities are rated the 7th performing metropolitan economy by American City Business Journals.

Yes, the Democrats raised taxes. (They had to clean up the debt left by the Republicans, a party that cannot even manage their own budget and nearly went bankrupt, recently.) Guess what? The tax hike worked, the economy picked up. Now, the citizens will get a rebate, and the state will stash some money away, so we don¹t get caught in bind when the next downturn comes, as we did under Pawlenty.

If you want to live in a state that has great technical schools, colleges and universities, and creates technological opportunity and business growth, pick Minnesota under Democratic leadership. We get what we pay for.

Kip Peltoniemi,

Minneapolis, Minn.

Miracle Mansion should be saved

We are writing in regards to the article in the Wadena Pioneer Journal regarding the Miracle Mansion. Along with our group, "Red Hat Hattitudes," of Alexandria and many such groups visiting Wadena are outraged that Merickels or even the city of Wadena will let this wonderful place close. Where else in Wadena except Wadena's Historical Society can the history of Wadena be found? Some of us grew up in Wadena.

Miracle Mansion should be supported by the Merickels and Wadena itself - she did so much to keep the mansion alive.

The Red Hat Hattitudes

Alexandria, Minn.

Flowers should be kept in cemetery

Concerning our cemetery, the flowers we put in the cement planters and the planters on the stones and on top of the stones are taken away and the cemetery looks so bare. It doesn't show any respect for our deceased loved ones and I think it should be changed. It's not fair to the families in St. Ann's. Flowers aren't cheap.

Luann McLane

Clarissa, Minn.

Making a difference in schools

Minnesota is doing the right thing by providing some mental health services in schools, but we can and must do better. An estimated 5 million children in the United States face mental health challenges, yet about two-thirds of these children do not presently receive needed services due to the high costs and limited availability of services in many communities.

Since mental health issues often appear for the first time in adolescence, with half of all cases of mental health disorders beginning by age 14, school-based mental health services is the most favorable setting for youth development strategies, social and emotional learning and behavioral modeling. Schools are in an ideal position to identify emerging warning signs of mental illness and allow for more active supervision and behavioral management of students, even in non-classroom settings. The school environment is also more conducive to effective team planning and problem solving through school-wide staff training and there¹s no doubt that schools provide easier access to services for students and their families. Positive benefits of these programs include improved grades, greater educational stability, enhanced emotional and behavioral health, decreased suicide attempts and a reduction in future long-term health care costs.

Importantly, the Minnesota School-Linked Mental Health Grant Program provides financial assistance to community mental health providers allowing them to provide services in the schools. Moving forward, it is vital that school boards and administrators be aware of these services and the financial assistance provided through the grant and that our legislators continue to emphasize funding for this important program.

Mental health is too important an issue to be ignored. It is essential that we invest in our children through implementation and support of these critical school-based programs. Speak with your local school administrators or community mental health service providers to inquire how the youth in your community can benefit from school-linked mental health services.

Sharon Bonnett and Chris Moylan

Worthington, Minn.

Miracle Mansion worth saving

I read the interesting article in the Senior Perspective about the Miracle Mansion. I was impressed by Carol's faith, plans and dedication to restore it for the unity of the community and glory of the Lord. I decided I'd like to take friends along to visit the Miracle Mansion. However, I learned the doors were closed due to need of money. Communication in the Alexandria Echo Press revealed there are people in Alexandria that would like to have the Miracle Mansion continue to serve the communities.

Let's let the city council and Carol know we citizens care. We can give donations. Let's rally in unity to be a part of the miracle to save the Miracle Mansion. Visit www.themiraclemansion.org or email Carol at miraclemansion@arvig.net.

Joann Thun

Parkers Prairie, Minn.

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