Weather Forecast


Letters: Ready to serve on school board; Lewis, Kind, please join climate caucus together

Lewis, Kind, please join climate caucus together

Like all of my neighbors reading about Harvey's devastating path through Texas, I have a strong desire to help our fellow Americans. There are so many good organizations mobilizing to help and we encourage everyone to step up and offer support if they are able to do so. We learned a lot from Hurricane Katrina, but not enough to protect the people of southeast Texas.

Disaster relief is important but does nothing to mitigate future events. Climate scientists predict that all of our coastal areas will experience more severe weather events more frequently than ever before. We need a bipartisan combination of approaches to protect these coastal communities. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it will save taxpayers billions of dollars in the long run.

One of the first steps is supporting policy to address climate change. I urge Congressman Jason Lewis, R-Minn., and Congressman Ron Kind, D-Wisconsin, to join the House Climate Solutions Caucus. This caucus with 52 current members is so bipartisan that it requires members to join as pairs — one Republican and one Democrat. The carbon tax and dividend proposal is a conservative market based solution that can motivate and accelerate meaningful decreases in emissions contributing to climate change.

Please join us in asking our representatives to support current disaster relief and to fund future mitigation efforts that take climate change and extreme weather events into account. As one Republican Louisiana congressman has said, "We're not going to get involved in that political argument, We're just going to concentrate on developing the best plan possible using the best science available." We can't afford not to act.

Peggy and Randy Decker

Cannon Falls


Jason Lewis is dangerous, not protesters

Recently, Congressman Jason Lewis responded to a small group of peaceful protesters who gathered outside his Woodbury residence by labelling them "dangerous." Lewis then defamed and threatened them on social media. For their part, the protesters wanted to ask Lewis to fight against cuts to Medicaid and health insurance, and to hold a public meeting for the people he

represents. The real danger was not the protesters; it's Lewis. He is treating our precious democracy like it's his own private monarchy.

Ever since Lewis was elected (narrowly), he's failed to be the representative we need in Washington. Lewis hasn't held a single public meeting with constituents. How can he represent our best interests if he doesn't even talk to us? Lewis also consistently votes against our values. He voted to strip health care from 28,500 people in Washington and Dakota counties. He

voted to loosen restrictions on banks that gamble with our savings and investments. He voted to let pollution clog our lakes and rivers. Lewis is voting against the very things that keep us healthy, wealthy and happy.

The people who were brave enough to stand up to Lewis through their peaceful protest were just local moms and dads, grandparents and young people who are rightly concerned about Lewis' undemocratic tendencies. It's time we all joined them. Lewis needs to hear from us through more phone calls, emails, letters, and yes, protests that his behavior is dangerous. If Lewis can't handle democracy, he should get out of office.

Rachel Garaghty

Cottage Grove


Ready to serve on school board

We have only lived in Minnesota for four years, I did not grow up in the public school system, and my only school-aged child is homeschooled. Why am I running for school board?

The importance that a school district plays in the strength of a community is frequently overlooked. Having a strong school district entices new families to enter the community, increases resale values of homes, and provides our children with a great education (something that has trickle effects of its own.) Whether you homeschool, send your children to private school, or are even retired, the strength of this school district will affect you.

I have dreamed of serving in government for my entire life. Literally. Growing up, I used to tell my parents that I was going to be the first woman president. As I got older, I realized that job was not meant for me. Instead, I had a passion for psychological research. I chose to major in psychology and followed that up with a master's degree in statistics. I lived and breathed research. Once I had a family my new hobby became studying child development and after we started homeschooling, that hobby turned into educational research. I think it is very important to say that I am not "anti-school," quite the opposite. I believe that a strong public education system is one of the cornerstones of a community and I believe that each and every child deserves access to the educational services that they need. I never planned to homeschool; it wasn't even on my radar. Life has a way of surprising us though. After my daughter's first year in school, it was clear that homeschooling was the best choice for us the same way that SEAS is the best choice for others. As a parent, it was my job to follow her lead and support her.

My husband joined the Navy in 2007 and as a military spouse, I engaged in my own quiet type of service. Often that service centered around compromising my own goals in order to support his service. Running for office is something that I temporarily gave up while we moved around the country, but the little girl who dreamed of being president is still there and she still wants to serve her community. When we were looking for jobs after the Navy, we found Hastings, fell in love with the city, and withdrew from all other job opportunities across the country. We had found the community that we were looking for. I love Hastings and now that my husband is no longer on active duty, it is my turn to serve.

Kelsey Waits