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Editor's note: The Sun Tribune will publish Letters to the Editor related to election races until Saturday, Oct. 23. The letters policy for the length of election letters is 300 words. Letters exceeding the limit may be edited.

Vote 'yes' on levy

Now that my own kids have moved on up and out from the Morris Area Schools, it might be a good time to say "thanks." I know this is a completely inadequate gesture, but I want to express how much I appreciate the teachers who consistently maintain high expectations for all the kids, and who continue to serve and invest in each new generation of youth. You guys know who you are, and believe me, I'm grateful for you.

I also know that the school district here is an imperfect organization. Like any large organization, it won't do exactly what you want it to do all of the time. Over the decade in which we've been in the system I've watched the resources for the teachers and the kids ratchet downward, slowly but relentlessly. The effects show up across the board, in reduced programs, increased class sizes, the collapse of professional development funding, etc.

So, times are tough all over. I'm pretty sure this is not the kids' fault, however, and I can't think why we would want to take it out on them. In a couple of weeks we've got a public vote to approve an operating levy for the district, and if we can get a "Yes" vote passed, that will take at least some of the sting out of the next round of State cuts. I've looked at this long enough to figure out that by any measure, even if we approve the levy, it will leave us a very low-tax district compared to others in the neighborhood.

We're talking about roughly a $32 property tax increase on the median home in Morris, if the levy passes. That's not nothing, of course, particularly for people on fixed incomes; but I'm willing to bet that it pales in comparison to the sacrifices our parents and grandparents made on behalf of our educations. Let's pay it forward on November 2nd. Please vote "Yes" for the kids.

Arne Kildegaard

Morris

Westrom will work for us

I am writing this letter because I am genuinely concerned about the federal government's attempt to take over our health care. If the Social Security system, Medicare and Medicaid are examples of how great the government is at handling our money, think what they could do with our personal health care.

Torrey Westrom will work for a Minnesota-based, common sense, private market approach to the health care issue because he knows how costly the federal proposal is going to be for the State of Minnesota. He opposes increasing government's power over private health care decisions. He also knows the federal takeover of health care will result in rationed care as it has in other countries. Because of his stance on this issue he has been endorsed by the Minnesotans for Personal Choice and Competition in Healthcare. Support Torrey Westrom on Nov. 2

Delvin Curfman

Morris

Domestic violence

must end

Three out of four Americans know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence, according to the Allstate Foundation National Poll on Domestic Violence. While it impacts many with far-reaching impact, few discuss the issue in day to day conversation.

With October designated as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Someplace Safe would like to take advantage of this opportunity to help educate and raise awareness in our communities by challenging us all to get involved. The responsibility to end violence lies with each of us, and the ways in which we choose to speak out can be limitless, but here are just a couple of ideas to get us started.

Learn to recognize and oppose harmful and inappropriate speech and behaviors and challenge yourself to stop them when they occur. Remember, the power of one. It only takes one person to make a difference in the life of someone else. Avoid being an uninformed or uninvolved bystander to violent behaviors - it is each of our responsibility to intervene if someone is in harm's way.

More than 32 million Americans are affected by domestic violence each year. While this number may be staggering, it serves as further incentive for us to come together against violence in our homes and within our communities so that we all can lead healthier, safer lives.

I encourage you to take a few minutes to learn more about what you can do to end violence by visiting Someplace Safe at www.someplacesafe.info or following us on Facebook. Please feel free to contact Someplace Safe locally at (320) 589-3208 or on the Web at stevens.co@someplacesafe.info for more information. Trained advocates are also available 24-hours a day at (800) 974-3359 if you or someone you know is in need of assistance.

Erin Koehntop

Someplace Safe

Stevens County Outreach

Morris

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