5-2-13 Waconia Patriot Letters to the Editor

Writer discusses music’s healing power, show choir

To the editor:

Music is the universal language. I’m not sure who said that, but John Denver said, “Music brings people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. No matter what language we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics or the expression of our love and faith; music proves we are all the same.”
My medium is words. At times they are insufficient alone. That’s where music takes over. I realized this a few weeks ago as I watched my daughter sing “Jealous of The Angels” at her 2-year-old cousin’s funeral. None of us there that day will know how she got through that song with her brave and beautiful voice but it gives me strength just thinking about it. Earlier that morning we were at the cemetery where both of her cousins are now buried, side by side. My sister has lost both of her children in less than three years, in sudden, tragic ways. There are no words.
I mean no disrespect to the pastor or the eulogy — but it was the piano, the pianist, the lyrics, the singer and the song — that spoke to me that day and gave me a glimmer of hope. Everyone around here, except me, seemed to know that song and that it was written by Jen Bostic from Waconia, “and she was in Show Choir, you know.”
This year’s Show Choir Spectacular had special meaning. Perhaps it’s because I knew my sister and brother-in-law enjoyed it.
Once again, I was overcome with astonishment. My kids got involved a few years ago, but I am just beginning to understand the magnitude of what it takes — to bring this all together. And because I would never be able to name everyone — the choir directors, band directors, choreographers, booster club members, chaperones, the volunteers who work on those costumes, the hair, the make-up, the lighting and the sound, the backstage crew crawling under the bleachers, the parents driving kids to voice lessons and band lessons, or the first teacher or artist who ever inspired these kids to practice, to get up there and play those instruments, to sing and dance and pour their hearts out on that stage for us — I would just like to say thank you. We are truly lucky to live in a community that supports the arts and understands its significance.
I’ve been listening to a lot of music lately, nothing too profound or fancy; my kids would say I’m still stuck in the 80s, but there’s nothing like a favorite song — or even better, the contagious energy of a show choir performance to give you a boost.
Dear kids, you gave us so much more than a performance! Thanks for touching our hearts, lifting our spirits.

Kristin Laurel

Scandia Lodge’s ‘Olle’s Last Bow’ was a delight

To the editor:

What an exceptional musical of “Olle’s Last Bow” the community was treated to Tuesday, April 23 at the American Legion Hall in Waconia presented by The Sons of Norway – Scandia Lodge of Waconia.
The presentation was fabulous. I grew up with Norwegians by the South Dakota border. It brought back great memories.
Thank you to Sandy Gilbert, director. The cast, Bruce Tollefson, Stephanie Smith, Doug Scholla, Marcia Willmsen, Ross Hansen, Galen Tongen and all who put together this great production. Thank you again for all your hard work to entertain us. Just loved it.

Donna Frantz

Writer says Bachmann serves her own interests

To the editor:

This is a counter-point to the letter lauding Michele Bachmann (“Bachmann stands up for citizens in the 6th District,” Waconia Patriot, April 25, 2013). As far as standing up for the 6th Disctrict, Michele will stand up for anyone if it serves to further her political goals as was manifest during her run for president.
Yes, her voting record is the opposite of the DFL party. That’s what it comes down to. If Democrats are for it, she’s against it. That’s all that matters. She is an extreme-right idealogue, driven too much by misguided religious and “patriotic” principles. She is ineffectual in office and if you look at bills she has sponsored they are either symbolic or serve the interests of the far-right.
She can’t open her mouth without saying something ridiculous and when confronted literally runs from the camera. The fact that she serves on the Intelligence Committee is absolutely laughable. Laughable but then tragic when you look at her stances.
I am solidly independent in my politics and will vote for the most qualified candidate regardless of party. My opinion is not biased and my opinion is that Michele Bachmann is an embarrassment to Minnesota. Anyone who will spend time looking at her Congressional record and examining what she has said will come to the same conclusion.

Kelly Amott

National Day of Prayer will be held on May 2

To the editor:

Today, May 2, is our 62nd annual National Day of Prayer. NDP was created by an Act of Congress to be the first Thursday of May. The theme for 2013 is Pray for America, emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to place their trust in our Almighty God, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities, and men. To further highlight the theme, Matthew 12:21 was chosen as the scripture for this theme: “In His name the nations will put their hope.”
At this crucial time for our nation, we can do nothing more important than pray. We have an unprecedented opportunity to see the Lord’s healing and renewing power made manifest, as we call on citizens to humbly come before His throne, repent, and receive God’s forgiveness of our sins, in Christ, our Savior.
Mrs. Shirley Dobson, chairwoman of NDP Task Force says, “The National Day of Prayer belongs to all Americans. It brings together citizens from all backgrounds. We have lost many of our freedoms in America because we have been asleep. I feel if we do not become involved and support National Day of Prayer, we could end up forfeiting this freedom, too.”
The 2013 Prayer was written by Pastor Greg Laurie, Honorary Chairman of the 2013 NDP. This is the prayer he wrote, to help lead our nation in prayer on this day:

“Father, we come to You to pray for our nation, the United States of America.
How You have blessed us through the years, Lord! We rightly sing, ‘America, America, God shed His grace on thee.’ Yet we see trouble in our culture today. We see the breakdown of the family, crippling addictions, and random acts of horrific violence.
Lord, we need Your help in America. In recent days, we have done our best to remove Your Word and Your Counsel from our courtrooms, classrooms and culture. It seems, as President Lincoln once said, that we have ‘forgotten God.’ But Lord, You have not forgotten us! You can bless and help and revive our country again.
Scripture tells us that ‘Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people’ (Proverbs 14:34).
Lord, in Your mercy, we ask that You would exalt our country again. We have had a number of great awakenings in America. We have experienced times of refreshing, and revivals that changed not only the spiritual but also the moral landscape. As the psalmist said, ‘Will You not revive us again, so that Your people may rejoice in You?’ (Psalm 85:6)
That is our prayer for America today, Lord. Send a mighty spiritual awakening that will turn the hearts of men and women, boys and girls back to you. You have told us if we will humble ourselves and pray, and seek Your face and turn from our wicked ways, that You will forgive our sins and heal our land. (2 Chronicles7:14)
Forgive us today, Lord, and heal this troubled land that we love so much.
We ask all of this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”

The National Day of Prayer will be observed in the Waconia city park at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 2 hosted by Trinity Lutheran School. Students from St. Joseph’s School will also take part. In case of inclement weather it will be held at Trinity Lutheran School.

Helen Bunge

Are more gun control laws really the answer?

To the editor:

The tragic events at the Boston Marathon and Sandy Hook underscore an important role of government: the safety and security of its citizens. Both events have and will continue to generate debate over what should be done.
Clearly the perpetrators of these and other heinous acts broke many federal, state and local laws. Rather than rushing out to create more laws, spending more money and growing government, maybe we would be better served to do nothing. Yes, I meant to say that. The question we should ask is, are we trying to address a problem or just pacify the voter? Must politics trump a sincere analytical approach?
Gun control is an issue that creates much debate. We should be engaged in a comprehensive review of current law and an analysis of what failed in order to determine solutions. Currently, expanding background checks is at issue. Politicians will have you believe that 90 percent of Americans support this expansion. However, the poll question they quote reads as if there were no checks currently being conducted.
Of course the number is high. I want background checks too!
Gun control advocates claim we need more laws. Those in opposition say there are enough and many go over-looked. An anaysis of the completed 2010 Criminal Justice Incident Study and DOJ records bear some startling statistics. In that year, some 48,000 attempts were made by felons and other non-qualified applicants to purchase a firearm. Yet the DOJ prosecuted just 44 cases. Are you sure we need more laws?
At this point with respect to the Boston bombings, it appears that many “red flags” were either ignored or minimized. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has been a lone voice about calling into question the FBI and military training manuals. In a review of old versus new material, Bachmann has discovered many references to terroris activities, key words and phrases noting Muslims, radical Islamic philosophies, jihadist methods have been stricken from the manuals. The current administration, acting upon letters received from domestic Muslim groups has agreed to edit training manuals.
Did this hypersensitivity to political correctness skew how domestic and foreign data was investigated? Do we have no faith in our intelligence agencies to conduct their affairs in an objective manner? Are we setting ourselves up for continued failure to ascertain and stop future terrorism?
We should resist the premise that allows politicians to wave freshly inked laws as the solution. While there always will be risks in a free and open society, our public safety deserves the highest priority.

Joe Polunc