Vote 'yes,' support
On Feb. 12, we have an opportunity to support our schools by voting in favor of the $39 million Orono School District facilities referendum.
I served as a member of the task force that recommended to our school board that this work be done. I was asked by our superintendent to serve on this task force, as were the other members, due to my background in construction and real estate as well as being citizens of the district and parents of kids in the schools.
We had an opportunity to tour all of the Orono school buildings and see the building systems that provide electrical, heating and other services for our schools. They were well done and have been well maintained since they were first installed 40 to 50 plus years ago. Unfortunately, they are worn out and out-of-date for today's learning environment.
Our task force reviewed the physical needs of each of our school buildings line by line and the resulting recommendations represent the real needs of our schools.
This investment will serve our schools for the next 40 to 50 years as well as providing $200,000 to $300,000 per year in energy savings which can help support teaching in the classroom.
While we considered tearing the buildings down and starting over, it was our judgment that renovation would be less disruptive to the students and a reasonable investment given the sound structure of our existing facilities, the stable space needs and the costs of new construction.
By passing this referendum we can provide up-to-date infrastructure that will make our classrooms healthier, safer, more energy-efficient and better learning environments for our kids. Investing in the future of our schools today is a wise investment in our kids.
Please join me in support of the referendum on Feb. 12.
BRUCE ENGELSMA, CEO
KRAUS-ANDERSON COMPANIES INC.
Keillor lawsuit reeks of hypocracy
Unexpectedly, Garrison Keillor has made me laugh out loud.
His lawsuit against what sounds like a cooperative neighbor is laughable and reeks of hypocrisy.
Mr. MPR, ultra-liberal, cites the "obstruction of air and decline of market value" to his $1.2 million, 5,200-square-foot mansion because a neighbor wants to expand a 2,100-square-foot house.
The Prairie Home Companion is anything but. Rather, he is the paragon of the term "limousine liberal."
Show some respect to the American flag
I've noticed a startling trend in my school, Eden Prairie High, in recent days.
Every Wednesday, we have a homeroom period, and during this time students are invited to stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance. Lately, it seems that many students neither say the pledge nor bother to stand and be quiet.
I am not saying that everyone should be forced to say the pledge, but I do believe they should at least put their conversations on hold. With all the people who died to create this wonderful country, and with all the men and women who are still dying today to preserve the freedom we have, the least we can do is to show some respect to the emblem they're fighting for.
We, as a country, may not have always made the best decisions but you cannot deny that America was created with the best intentions and still boasts the greatest document ever written: the Constitution.
Where's the party that supports life?
I would like to thank the Star Tribune for publishing a piece recently that highlighted the lack of a political party that supports life in all stages.
Voters should not be forced to choose between a party that supports the death penalty and a party that defends abortion rights. Simply voting for the lesser of two evils should not be tacitly accepted by people who support the basic human right to life.
Will the candidate who supports this basic right for all people please stand up?