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Letters to the Editor for Oct. 7

ELCA to be applauded for recent strides

I am disappointed that the only area churches responding to the reporter's request for comment on the recent church-wide ELCA vote regarding gay clergy were those basically against it, even though the vote passed by two-thirds majority.

I am a member of All Saints ELCA in Cottage Grove, where the sign outside the door reads, "All Are Welcome, Really....." It means what it says, all are welcome in worship, fellowship, and ministry.

I could not be a part of a church where I felt this to be otherwise.

To Amber Schuster, from King of Kings Church, and others, there is a church in the area that is truly welcoming in every sense of the word. For me, as it is for her, this is also a very specific and important issue.

Sure, some may leave the ELCA as a result of the vote, but for other disenchanted GLBT persons, family members, friends, and supporters, we are finally beginning to feel like we have a real and exciting place at the church's table. It's been a long time coming.

Kathy Schille


Re-elect Brunnette to 833 school board

Tracy Brunnette is an excellent school board member and should be re-elected to the South Washington school board.

With 10 years of experience on the board, she has shown she has the skills to continue to make So. Wash. a shining example of a well-run school district.

She has been a strong proponent of community involvement with school board decisions through the use of community advisory groups and gathering parent input. With her accounting degree from the U of M, she has the additional skills to accurately evaluate budgets and scrutinize expenses.

Tracy and I serve on the Northeast Metro 916 board together and I have witnessed her inclusive leadership style along with sharp analytical skills for the past four years.

Please re-elect Tracy Brunnette to the school board.

John Belisle

Mathomedi School Board member

Re-elect Adou to 833 school board

Since meeting Marsha 23 years ago in a Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) group, I have been impressed with her involvement with our school district. Marsha continues to be a hard-working, dedicated South Washington County School Board member the past four years.

Prior to being elected to her seat on the school board, Marsha spent 19 years as an active volunteer on many school district committees.

Those years of service and experience with district issues have contributed to the decisions she has made thus far.

Marsha's ability to have "vision" has been her standard practice when deciding on some critical issues during her tenure such as the East Ridge High School site.

I have also been impressed that she took on a traditional way of doing the same old thing when she introduced the start time change, which was based upon solid research.

For once, someone who could make a difference in children's lives, looked at what was best for children, but not necessarily convenient for the district. Let's keep this hard working, analytical person on the board as long as possible.

Mary Owen


Bachmann confused on immigration, health care

Michele Bachmann is confused ("Read between the lines," Sept. 30).

She rails against the high cost of health care for illegal immigrants; to solve the problem, she advocates -- forbidding undocumented immigrants from buying private health insurance on the open market with their own money, adding to the number of people who are a drain on the economy because they lack health insurance.

Does Bachmann even understand that the undocumented immigrants who are costing state governments so much for their health care are the ones without health insurance?

Currently, illegal immigrants who can afford it are able to purchase private health insurance policies, just as they are able to shop at supermarkets and stores like Walmart and Target.

The proposed health insurance exchange will be a health insurance supermarket, where people can choose from a variety of plans, just as they can choose from a variety of flights at websites like Travelocity and Orbitz.

The reason for the exchange is that the government wants to regulate insurers to make sure that health plans clearly explain what they offer, can't refuse people for pre-existing conditions, and must offer basic levels of service.

Buying insurance from the exchange will not automatically qualify anyone for government subsidies -- those subsidies will be available only for United States citizens who meet the low income requirements.

In fact, the legislation specifically states that undocumented aliens will not be eligible for credits to help them buy health insurance, in Section 246 on page 143.

Aside from being impractical, how are you going to prevent people from buying a product on the open market? Bachmann's suggestion is counterproductive; her plan will cost the taxpayers more.

What will Bachmann suggest next -- barring illegal immigrants from shopping at Target?

Joyce Denn