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Bulletin letters to the editor: School iPads, gas prices, police citizen academy, Schoen and Sieben tax vote

Recent letters to the editor:

Sieben, Schoen supported tax that cost district new jobs

In reference to the Bulletin article from Sept. 18 (“Warehouse tax postpones Cold Storage’s expansion”), it is important to note that both Sen. Katie Sieben, DFL-Cottage Grove, and Rep. Dan Schoen, DFL-St. Paul Park, supported this tax.

Their votes have cost jobs in Newport, as well as possible additional tax revenue that would have come from the Cold Storage expansion.

What will their explanation to the residents of Newport, and the rest of the district, be?  Cold Storage needs to pay its “fair share”? No matter the explanation, these votes have now negatively impacted Newport. I only hope it does not do more damage.

Chad Rediske, Cottage Grove

Rediske is chair of Senate District 54 GOP

Are iPads a good idea?

District 833 may be purchasing iPads for every student from preschool to 12th grade. Exactly how they plan on paying for the devices is a mystery. Students in the district might think this is a fantastic idea, but do we want our kids to receive a virtual education or a more hands-on approach?

I believe we need to ask some hard questions as to why iPads loaded with curriculum is a good idea. Forgetting a textbook at home might set a student back for a day in one subject but students who lose or forget their iPads at home will have lost a day or more of learning. If the Wi-Fi is out or not functioning properly, teachers will be without the curriculum. Other school districts who have tried iPads find that the insurance often doesn’t cover the cost of breakage or loss. Distracted students who use iPads to socialize or play games are also a major issue.

While iPads may provide a temporary excitement for students, they don’t promote critical thinking skills necessary to attend college. Money would be better spent to update our science classrooms with the best equipment possible so students can perform experiments, dissect injected fetal pigs and make physics practical.

There are other unanswered questions about the costs of the iPads, such as how many times will the insurance cover a lost or damaged iPad.

Please do your own homework.

Bev Moreland, Cottage Grove

Police citizen academy a ‘wonderful way’ to get better informed on officers’ work

Last week I graduated from the Cottage Grove Police Department’s Citizen Academy.  This program is a wonderful way to become better informed on what the police department does and gives perspective on what our officers do day in and day out.

The eight-week program included: a tour of the new police department facility; a K9 demo; a trip to Stillwater to the Washington County courthouse and to watch the 911 dispatchers in action and to tour the county jail; a gun demonstration in which we were allowed to shoot a police firearm; a fingerprinting demonstration; a tour of the fire department and its equipment; an individual ride-along with a police officer; and some of our group actually volunteered to be tazed (not me).

What I appreciated the most was the opportunity to get to know the people behind the uniform, as many of the police personnel were involved in presenting their area of expertise. Kudos to Sgt. Gwen Martin in organizing the academy.

I encourage you to participate in the academy next time it is offered. You will find that it is time well spent.

Kelly Eigenheer, Cottage Grove

Gasoline too expensive here

My husband and I have lived in Cottage Grove for almost 30 years and in that time we have tried to spend our money in the community to help it grow.

The last five years, however, there is one business that we have not supported and that is our gas stations. We have found that the surrounding cities are always cheaper — and by as much as 10 cents a gallon.

Why don’t Cottage Grove gas stations have comparable prices? I have talked to other people and they wonder this also. Are the owners that money hungry?

I would like to support our gas stations, but until they get their prices down to what makes “cents,” I will continue to go elsewhere. I know I’m just one person and you probably don’t care, but I just had to voice my opinion.

Jane Zimmerman, Cottage Grove

Owner of a van, car, motorcycle, boat, riding lawnmower and other gas-driven machines.