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Letters to the Editor kr

Minnesota needs Line 3

The recent article “Beltrami County unemployment rate highest since 2011” describes how the unemployment rate has skyrocketed since the COVID-19 shutdown in Beltrami County and other northern counties. Unemployment is up more than 10% since the start of “quarantine.” Many have speculated that even when the economy does fully open, that the unemployment rate won’t recover to what it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

There is one way that we could move the unemployment rate in a better direction in these counties. We need to approve the Line 3 Replacement Project and make sure construction starts this year.

Line 3 will replace a pipeline that is over 50 years old that supplies 75% of the petroleum used in Minnesota refineries. This project has been in the review process for more than five years and has seemingly passed every test and requirement the state has put in front of it.

To build it, the project will require thousands of union workers starting work as soon as this November who will be staying all throughout these counties in northern Minnesota. They will live and eat in the area for months as this project moves along. 

This project will bring over $2 billion of private money into Minnesota. It will provide for all types of businesses across our northern counties, and families all over the state. This pipeline replacement will also ensure that we have the safest, most reliable source of petroleum our state could have at absolutely zero cost to the public (except for the cost of the bureaucracy that has slowed down the process of approving the project).  

It is long past time that this project gets underway. Not only is it the right thing for our state economically, especially in a time of great despair, but it has also been proven the right thing for the environment.

Minnesota needs petroleum, Minnesota needs jobs, and Minnesota deserves the right not to be lied to by politicians who are most interested in winning another election. Tell your public officials that we need to start construction on the Line 3 Replacement. It will boost the economy of not only Northern Minnesota, but the rest of Minnesota as well.  

Doug Rockstead, Bemidji

Pediatric Nurses Week

Pediatric Nurses Week is Oct. 5-9. Within the stuttering community, parents’ fear that a child is beginning to stutter is well known—and very real.

When a concerned parent first notices any speech irregularities, they usually visit their pediatrician’s office for advice. This is often the initial conversation about stuttering in a clinical setting—and pediatric nurses have the first chance to offer support and provide expert information.

For more than 70 years, the Stuttering Foundation has provided current, trusted information about stuttering for the pediatric medical community to share in the clinical setting. We join the many voices in honoring pediatric nurses this week for all they do for our community.

Jane Fraser, The Stuttering Foundation, Memphis, Tennessee

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During the election season, letter writers will be held to the following guidelines:

• No letters regarding campaign issues will be published in the edition immediately prior to Election Day. If letters are submitted for the second to the last edition that require response or rebuttal, a narrow and specific response to the new allegation or accusation will be allowed in the edition immediately prior to Election Day.

All other Aitkin Independent Age letter to the editor policies remain in effect. Those include:

• Letters should be limited to no more than 450 words.

• All letters must be signed, and verifiable with a phone number.

• Individuals should be limited to one letter per month, except in case of rebuttals. Letters might prompt rebuttals. Exchanges will be limited to two letters from each individual on a particular subject.

• In general, letters will be accepted from local readers only.

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• In general, thank-you letters will not be accepted.

• Letters will be edited for AP style and inappropriate content, which includes language and unsubstantiated claims.

• Any compliments or complaints directed to private organizations and businesses are not regular subjects for letters.

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It was a cold early morning. The clouds had moved into Wisconsin and the benefit was ours. The stars were out and were sparkled like bits of diamond dust by a big buttery moon. A harvest moon, it was. And the past peak leaves rustled against the dry grass in the yards of McGregor.

I was a paperboy making my doorstep deliveries of the Duluth News Tribune along with my great friend Ric Mapes. We would scrub our shuffling shoes along the street and plow the leaves into furrowed rows, as pretend tractor-boys. The smell of the fallen color was definitively that of fall.An image that would remain as that of a good life lived in a small town.

Many years have gone by since those early mornings and no force will bring them back. New iconic midwestern American memories are being erased by political forces that will erode the culture, destroy the simplicity of life and bring down a once great nation. They can try, but they will never cancel the memories I've already lived. Politics can go whistle up a road, as far as I care. Life is more than any election.

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