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We have truly created a U.S. monster in our ability to kill

To The Daily Sun,

If a man wants to protect his property he builds a fence. Still, feeling insecure he builds another fence. He continues building fences until he has a hundred fences. By now, his neighbors begin to question his apparent paranoia. Over the years he builds ten-thousand fences. He attempts to justify his defensiveness with outlandish stories of enemies everywhere and threats to his safety and well being.

If this story refers to the United States Military, you know what it means. By devious means, we have been told of threats of armed groups throughout the Middle-East and elsewhere. We have been warned over and over again that we are in grave danger and must react with the full force of military might. We have bombed seven countries (with no declaration of war). And even today, we make assertions that our military presence is vital to our safety here at home. This is a blatant lie now, as it has been for the last 12 years.

We have the strongest military complex the world has ever known. We are invincible! In the last decade or so we have built and enormous amount of armaments far, far exceeding the present danger, even in the worst possible circumstances.

The United States of America has no real enemies — certainly not Iran, Russia or elsewhere. Manufactured stories of danger from hostile countries is used to justify further arms buildup and legal uses of bombing attacks. Going back to several agonizing years we gave up the precious lives of 4,500 service men and women in a war that they now say was a "Mistake!" We spent over four and a half trillion dollars due to repeated lies of the Bush Administration. This money and continued requests for additional funds must be paid back, plus interest, by my grandchildren and their heirs.

We spent billions of dollars on security we don't need. Homeland Security could be cut in half. Not one person in this country has been killed by terrorists from Middle Eastern countries in the last 13 years. We also need to stop all additional planes and atomic submarine requests because (1) we can't afford them, (2) we have over-build naval ships and subs, we have no use for! How much more money will we borrow for military equipment we don't need.

The threat to our personal safety lies in the fact that we have a military posed to be the dominate factor in all we do, in every part of the world. This is a very dangerous precedent in that wars all over the world can and will continue to come. We have truly created a monster in our ability to kill anyone who confronts us and stands in our way of controlling the fat of numerous weakened countries. We don't need these weapons — but as long as we have them, many, many people will die!

Leon R. Albushies



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We can't put a price tag on things & forget the human factor

To The Daily Sun,

Because my motion to sell the property at 21 Elm St. to Lakeport Landing was defeated, 3-2 on Tuesday night, I would like to share my statement with the public.

First, do no harm. We all know that is the Doctor's Creed, but isn't that what we should all adhere to.

As a city councilor, that is what I believe we should keep in mind at all times when we are buying, selling, making budgets, redoing ordinances, zoning laws, etc. After all, as councilors we are not dealing with inanimate objects, we are dealing with people, people who are the city, whether they are just stay-at-home folks, blue collar workers, professionals, taxpayers of every ilk.

Sometimes we forget that and put a price tag on something and cut out the human factor or the fair thing. Our job is not always fiduciary because we are dealing with human beings and human problems. We are dealing with people's lives and their businesses. We are dealing with our neighbors.

While the city is financially sound, we all know that the quality of life and the employment situation are far from desirable. We are fighting to revitalize downtown, a fight that has gone on for years, and we are trying to bring manufacturing jobs to the area to create better jobs. We all know too many working in service jobs, part-time jobs and people who must work two jobs to survive. We also know that 60 percent of the children in school qualify for free or partially funded meals because they live at a poverty level. That tells you how many homesteads are struggling.

My point: when the city is considering selling property or making exceptions in building or zoning laws, we must look at the human and fair thing as well as the dollar sign. What our actions will mean to that person or that business because of our actions has to be considered. It goes beyond a single action. How it affects someone else can snowball. People will wonder how they will be treated in a similar situation. It will discourage new business from coming in if they can't depend on fair treatment from the city.

That brings us to the Lakeport Landing situation on Elm Street. After 30 years of leasing and doing business at their location, they were made aware of a situation where the city would not continue leasing. This company has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars by erecting a huge showroom visible from the Union Avenue frontage, employing people, paying for the lease and also paying taxes on the building. They were notified last November and have been trying to resolve this situation ever since. Through delay after delay, we are now coming into June and under this new plan of going out to bid, more delay will bring us into at best July. The option is up at end of October. Not much time to save their business and relocate much of their business. They would like to resolve this and continue doing business in their present location.

After many meetings with lawyers for the city and lawyers for the Lakeport Landing owners, it has been agreed that it is possible and legal for the city to sell the property to them. This land has now been declared surplus property and the Lakeport Landing owners have made an offer for the property at the present assessed value of $331,400. A new assessment just made puts the value at $480,000.

It is not as if exceptions and deals haven't been done before. The city sold the old police station to Binnie Media for $l as it would be put back on city tax rolls and also had a stipulation they had to spend $400,000 on renovations.

We also gave them five parking spaces from the City Hall parking lot.

Lakeport Landing is willing to meet any stipulations by the city.

The city will be doing the fair thing, the right thing in making it possible for this company to stay in business as it has for 30 years. It will show the community that we can be human and are building confidence and good will in the business community. I would make a motion for the council to work out a sales agreement with Lakeport Landing.

Brenda Baer

City Councilor, Ward 4


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