Readers’ Views

Parks offers example

To the Editor:

Rosa Parks Day is an American holiday in honor of the civil rights leader Rosa Parks in five states: Ohio, Oregon, California, Missouri and Alabama. Minnesota could become the sixth state to honor Ms. Parks.

The Southern Poverty Law Center writes: ‘Sixty-three years ago, on Dec. 1, 1955, Parks was arrested and jailed for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. During a (recent) ceremony at Alabama State University, historian Rolundus Rice called it the “most faithful and fortuitous arrest of the 20th century.”

We all know what happened next: Dr. King led a year-long bus boycott that ignited the civil rights movement.

When Ms. Parks died in 2005, she became the first woman to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

The simple act of sitting still, to make a conscious decision against the inertia of accepted rules (to move to the back of the bus where black people were suppose to sit) demonstrated to the world the power of active non-violence, its strength and endurance. May that power and knowledge be a guide and strength to everyone, young and old. Gandhi, King and Parks demonstrated nonviolent action can prevail.

Peter Engstrom


We need cleaner water

To the Editor:

I recently read your editorial “Rules must make sense” and, as a landowner in southern Minnesota with over a mile of lakeshore, I have to disagree.

When my children were young, we would catch panfish such as pike and even walleye. Today it is a dead lake, too polluted by farm runoff to fish or swim in. Add to that the two wells on my property that were declared unsafe for humans or livestock, and it quickly becomes clear we need more protections for our land and water, not less as the writer argues.

To say that buffer zones, etc., are not needed is not backed up by evidence from the county I live in. I sometimes wonder what it would be like if we did not have the regulations we do now. Or if we did not have the efforts of local organizations, like Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever and Fox Lake Conservation Club, to take land that should not be farmed out of production.

Our farm has been in our family for over 112 years. We want to continue to have it provide income and also protect the water and wildlife found there. The farm is a blessing to my family, but won’t be much longer unless we all do our part to protect it.

The current environmental issue at the farm is trying to keep the honeybees alive with the hives we have at the farm.

Tom Gibbons


Line 3 needs upgrade

To the Editor:

A few political leaders and anti-energy development groups threatening lawsuits, appeals and mass protests are disappointed the state Public Utilities Commission reaffirmed its support of the Enbridge Energy Line 3 pipeline. They shouldn’t be.

The replacement line would reduce energy expenses for lower-income families who regularly spend a dangerously high percentage of their take-home pay on electricity and gasoline compared to those in other income brackets. The Minnesota Department of Commerce’s taxpayer-funded study warned that hardworking families would experience unnecessary cost increases if action on modernizing critical infrastructure like Line 3 stalled, yet they’ve criticized the project.

This group should be concerned about the welfare of families, not about a political agenda, especially since the department’s mission is to “advocate for consumers, ensure a strong, competitive and fair marketplace” and “strengthen the state’s economic future.” The PUC’s decision, after a years-long, exhaustive review process, does just that.

Line 3 has operated for more than 50 years. Now, like all infrastructure, it needs to be modernized to continue its service using the newest and most advanced technology and safety techniques, to improve reliability and safeguard the environment.

Communities will not only benefit from the energy the line provides but the additional environmental and safety funds created with families and businesses in mind.

Chris Ventura,

Minnesota state director,

Consumer Energy Alliance

Support appreciated

To the Editor:

We would like to thank everyone who attended the benefit in support of our daughter, Alaina Aksenov. We are grateful for all of the love, support and generosity you have shown to us in this difficult time. We thank each and every one of you from the bottom of our hearts.

A special thank you to Scotty Bigg’s BBQ from Winnebago for the wonderful meal, each of the volunteers who donated their time and everyone who donated items to the meal and silent auction.

Thank you, again.

Vladimir, Logan,

Alaina and Evan Aksenov