Where have you been Sara Jane, "we'd like to know a little bit about you for our files"? The phrase from "Mrs. Robinson" the song by Simon and Garfunkel echoes in today's reality when it perhaps makes more sense than when it was heard in the 1967 film, "The Graduate." Sara Jane is home and local parole will get to know her and she them. She has served her term in prison and was released on parole. She is back at home in Minnesota and the authorities agree that she can be in Minnesota, except our Governor Pawlenty and the Los Angeles Police Protective League. They want her to stay in California to serve her parole. They have made quite a fuss about it. Fellow Republican California Governor Schwarzenegger did not see what the fuss was all about.
The point from the "Mrs. Robinson" song was that she was not so important, the question was - what happened to Joe DeMaggio? The song says we have "turned our lonely eyes to you." In other words, Sara Jane is not one of our big national or even state questions in these bumptious times. She should return to her quiet life with her family. She should serve out her parole and she should complete it. She is highly unlikely to run away from her parole because St. Paul is where she wants to be.
We should not take the bait from the Police Protective League and our Governor that Sara Jane Olson's parole is not enough punishment. More separation from her family is needed to further punish her in addition to the parole. And for those who think the conviction was not enough and that she should be punished more, well that just has to be a matter of opinion and debate.
And now back to unemployment, the budget deficit, and how you are going to get a piece of the stimulus package.
Laura Waterman Wittstock is president and CEO of Wittstock & Associates. The firm provides consultation in new projects, creative, development, assessment/evaluation, and governance. Read more about Laura Waterman Wittstock
We take looking up at the skies for granted. The stars and moon will always be there. Only the headlines of a transit of Venus or the infamous blue moon calls our attention to the reality that the firmament is not fixed and we are a tiny population in a galaxy far away. Most people agree that we should educate ourselves all of our lives. There is no room for closed thinking, especially not for the coming generations. It will comfort many Minnesotans to know that the MN Planetarium Society just passed an important 100,000 mark. That many school children have now had lessons about the cosmos, given by Planetarium teacher Sally Brummel. We have a few small planetariums like the ones in Duluth, Hibbing, or New Ulm, but only one serves the entire state: the Minnesota Planetarium and Space Discovery Center. For many reasons, support from the City of Minneapolis and then Hennepin County has lagged. Now, a new partnership with the Bell Museum at the University of Minnesota gives some hope that a new planetarium will be available to the people of the state. Minnesotans should show their support by picking up the phone, sending an email, or writing a letter to the members of the Legacy Division in the House or the Environment and Natural Resources Committee in the Senate.
The shootings that resulted in injury and death in Arizona compel every one of us to take stock - not just to what happened there but to what is happening in our own lives. In a strange way, the violent deaths of others causes many of the living to appreciate life all the more. We can link ourselves easily to the young child mercilessly gunned down but also to the adults, particularly those who died while saving others. This is the heroism of which we hope we all are capable when the time comes.
Where does "pro life" figure in the debate of more insurance which will lower infant death rates compared to what we have now? Infant death rates are one thing, the uncounted numbers are in non-medical fetus loss due to poverty.
Maine's bombastic Republican governor has built a reputation on his unfiltered comments, but his obscene tirade unleashed on a liberal lawmaker prompted Democratic lawmakers Friday to warn that the governor was coming unhinged and to call for a political intervention.