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Say no to Pictometry
On February 21st, Pictometry, an aerial photography company, pitched their product to the Chippewa Country commissioners.

This information is already free to anyone who wants it. If you have a computer, go to Mapquest or GoogleEarth and type in your home address. Now that you have done that, do you really think we need another means of looking down on us?

Pictometry has been able to give its sales pitch. Now I would like to offer the other side, which is — we don’t need it! The article has the statement, “If purchased, the cost of the Pictometry program would not come out of the county budget.”  

Folks, there is no free lunch.  We, the taxpayers, would be paying for it no matter which pocket the money came out of. Would there have to be another county employee who would read all this info? Would we be paying another wage and health care package? Would we need more computers for accessing the program?

Also it stated, “...without having to spend money on gas...”  What about the gas in the airplane that’s doing a spy in the sky program?

Should I go on?

If I had a vote, it would be No to Pictometry.
—Lois Anderson

Let’s find the center of the aisle
Government is only evil when it is made up of individuals who are more concerned with their own re-elections and the position of strength that their own party is in.

Both major political parties are at fault here. Thomas Jefferson once said, “Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.”

When our legislators believe they know what is best for the people and do not ask for our opinions or listen to us when we contact them, they have planted the roots of tyranny.

If we had people in St. Paul and Washington that were there for the good of our state and nation and not for their own particular political party or personal political aspirations, the people of the State of Minnesota and the United States of America wouldn’t be so cynical.

This cynicism is borne from way too many years of political gridlock and unproductive state and federal legislatures. It comes from elections that have neither produced new outcomes or progress. It is the result of incumbent politicians so entrenched in their office with war chests full of cash, that they can’t be dislodged in the next election by the idealistic shopkeeper who wants to go to St. Paul or Washington with a dream of making a difference.

I think rather than sit and point the finger at the other party, which is exactly what they are doing to each other these days, legislators need to quit being so complacent and instead be productive and invite some commonality between the parties. Or have we all become so divisive we can’t find the center of that aisle that divides us?
—Jim Ruether

Dam removal should have had public hearing
The Chippewa County Board of Commissioners say they have concern for the best interests of the county residents and then say they do not want to aid a private business.

It was noted that Granite Falls Energy will be the second largest taxpayer in the county and had an income of $12.3 million in 2011.

It should also be noted this profit went to the investors, many of whom live in the local area. Much of this money was spent in our local area, including Monte­video. The ethanol plant also increases the price of the corn paid to all the area farmers. This is not chicken feed to our local economy.
Chippewa County has a number of residents living along the Minnesota River Valley, a scenic overlook off Highway 212, and a city park that will be affected by the use and view of the river if the dam is removed.

The Yellow Medicine County board and the city of Granite Falls see the benefit of a dam repair or a rapids installation in order to maintain the water level and are willing to explore a solution.

A public hearing should have been held before the Chippewa board made the decision  to not get involved.
I am a river valley resident, GFE investor and farmer.

—Ardell Waller
Granite Falls