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Feature Article - November 30, 2006

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December 2006

Letters

Re: “More meetings at PineLake”

Your report of a deal regarding the AAFNA’s usage of the boat launch on PineLake is troubling. The residents and cottagers of PineLake were the first stakeholders to raise issue about the proposed development at a public meeting August 12, 2006 a meeting attended by Mayor Maguire - in Ompah. At that meeting, which was reported by your newspaper, many valid concerns were aired. These included safety concerns over the proposal to have pedestrians cross Ardoch Road to access the site, environmental concerns due to lack of planning and space for proper septic systems, lack of planning for fire suppression and rescue, and lack of commitment to follow building code processes and set back rules. It was also emphasized at that meeting that AAFNA seemed more interested in making press headlines than with consulting with us as stakeholders at PineLake. To make matters even worse, AAFNA’s current occupation of the boat launch at PineLake has already required environmental remediation. It is not off to a good start.

It now appears that a deal has been struck without consultation with the individuals who will take office on December 14, 2006. In the recent municipal election, Ward 2 (which includes PineLake) elected 2 new councilors, Messrs Cole and Watkins. Any deal struck on November 23, 2006 could not have included a vote at council including our newly elected representatives. Needless to say, neither the Mayor, nor MNR, nor AAFNA, saw fit to advise anyone from PineLake that a deal was even in the works. AAFNA was invited to speak to the Pine Lake Owners Association Executive on Thanksgiving weekend at Ompah to address the concerns we have raised with them. They did not even reply to the invitation. We can only conclude that AAFNA has no interest in meeting the people of PineLake. The proposed deal answers none of the rational, obvious concerns raised about the development. To make matters worse, Mayor Maguire was questioned at successive council meetings in the lead up to the election and then stated, again reported in the Frontenac News, that there will be no development at PineLake without a building permit. That was then. This is now.

Lastly, AAFNA will not publicly denounce any intention to take the rest of the undeveloped shore of PineLake. This shoreline is over several thousand feet of pristine forest, and is currently titled to the Crown. When will AAFNA publicly denounce any intention to take the rest of PineLake in similar fashion?

I ask Mayor Maguire, the Ministry of Natural Resources, and AAFNA, when will the people of PineLake get a say in your deal?

David Rose PineLake Association

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An open letter to Deborah Defoe, Chief Librarian and CEO of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library.

As a long-time supporter and user of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library, I was dismayed to read of the petty dealings regarding Ruth Pearce's "Happy retirement". Is it not the dominant idea of the library system to provide good quality information to the public? With the actual changes being made that remove the requirement of mandatory retirement of employees, I would think that you, Ms. Defoe, would capitalize on the opportunity to keep someone of Mrs. Pearce's training in your service.

If it is not your intention to appear inflexible and irrational, you might wish to justify your actions more fully to the reading public of the SharbotLake area. - Edith Cairns

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Re: Ruth Pearce

I enjoyed Jeff Green's articleconcerning Ruth Pearce and the actions of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library.

It is disappointing that the union representing Ruth seems willing to accept the argument that it is up to the employee to know she is expected to retire at sixty-five. Was the employer not expected to know when employees reached the age of mandatory retirement? It is interesting to note that had Ruth not inadvertentlybrought it to their attention, they might not yet have realizedtheir oversight.

It makes one wonder whether this over-reaction on the part of the chief librarian might not be an effort to punish Ruth for making library management appear negligent in the performance of their job.

I think it is absurd and insulting to try and rectify the library's oversight in view of thefact that mandatory retirement will no longer be applicable as of December 12th and the fact that Ruth has, since, been invited to re-apply for her job.

Barb Driscoll

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Open letter to Mr. Scott Reid, MP

December 7, 2006

If you were interested in your constituent's opinion, why did you send out your mini referendum flyers on same sex marriage too late for us to respond in time for the vote in the legislature? I received mine in the mail this afternoon and the vote was to take place today in parliament.

Letters

If you really want to make a difference to the community at large, you may want to look at the big picture regarding the issue of same-sex marriage. In the words of the teens I have spoken to about this topic,

"What's the big deal? Two people love each other and want to be together. So what's wrong with gay people getting married?" These are the voices of the future voters and politicians. Many of the citizens in the up and coming generation do not understand why we are making such a big deal out of this. They see it as a waste of time. If they only knew how much money it is costing the Canadian taxpayers to keep debating an issue that in time will not even be given a second thought.

My question to you, Mr. Reid, is “What is more important, fighting against people who care enough about each other to make a formal, public commitment or taking action on something such as climate change?”

Let us spend our limited time on this planet wisely and focus on the issues that truly need our urgent attention - Lynn Daniluk

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North Frontenac - It’s Ward 3’s turn

Ward 3 of North Frontenac Township encompasses all of the former townships of Palmerston, North and South Canonto. Ward 3 ratepayers are looking forward to the inauguration of the new council because there will be four new representatives and there is a promise for improved representation for the ward.

You might say that there are some petty ward jealousies going on in North Frontenac Township, but let’s look at the facts. Ward 1 has its new fire truck, new fire hall, an extension on the life of the Cloyne dump that was supposed to be closed and a promise of a waste transfer station, plus comparatively good resurfaced roads. Ward 2 has its new fire hall, new fire tanker truck, miles of recent road resurfacing, and its own $200,000 excavator to play with.

From a Ward 3 ratepayer’s perspective, there has been no positive representation on council for six years. This was evident at the pre-election meeting of candidates when the main debate was over which of the ward roads were the worst in the county. The dump has been closed for more than a year and the promised waste transfer station remains just a promise. Council insisted on Ompah firefighters having three written bids for wild fire equipment purchased with $7,000 of donated volunteer funds and yet our two council reps voted for more than $250,000 tax dollars on road equipment purchases that were not tendered and did not follow the procurement by-laws. Our ward reps have never had the courtesy to meet with the firefighters or EFR team, to see the conditions in the fire hall and to assure them that council cares and will advocate for more and safer space and working conditions.

Finally, after the election of course, word leaked out that council has been working on a plan to close the Ompah helipad and open one at Tomvale Airport some 35 minutes away from Ompah. At a meeting in November all township council members (both current and newly elected) met with 125 angry ratepayers and heard that this was the last straw for Ward 3. The two previous councilors from Ward 3 who have been discussing this issue did not attend, however. That’s what I mean by questionable representation.

Wards 1 and 2 may have needed all the goodies they have been getting, but now it’s Ward 3’s turn. Councilors Jim Beam and Bob Olmstead have already shown they are prepared to dig beyond the smoke and mirrors, get the real facts and do the work to see Ward 3 taxpayers finally get township services they have deserved and have been paying for for years.

- Leo L. Ladouceur

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Re: E-waste recovery

Leona Dombrowsky’s latest letter to the News regarding the Frontenac Electronic Waste Recovery Centre once again illustrates her continuing disconnect with the people whom she was elected to represent. When asked about funding, she talks about inadequate money from Ottawa, yet fails to mention what the provincial contribution to this worthwhile project is. On the Centre’s literature, one finds mention of CentralFrontenacTownship, SharbotLakeHigh School, and more than one federal agency, but no arm of the Government of Ontario the very level of government that sets standards in waste management and reduction.

Recently, the finishing touches were put on the resurfacing of Highway #38. Given that the cost of the project was the equivalent of over 100 percent of CentralFrontenacTownship’s annual budget, the approval of COMRIF funding was crucial. Yet, it took more than one attempt to secure funding for this vitally important work each involving consulting reports and submissions that cost thousands of dollars. Dombrowsky, as the provincial minister responsible for COMRIF could only say ‘better luck next time’ each time the people of Central Frontenac were rebuffed.

Indeed, Dombrowsky’s understanding of COMRIF was best summed up in this very paper on November 17, 2005 when she said to North Frontenac Mayor Ron Maguire “You would like to see social service costs for the smallest municipalities subsidized entirely by taxpayers from throughout the province but in that case, would you no longer need programs like COMRIF to help with infrastructure costs?”

During her tenure as Environment Minister, the people of Sydenham were burdened with a water treatment system that is costing them upwards of $20,000 per home, while the people of Napanee had to mount their own grassroots lobbying of Queen’s Park to prevent an expansion of the Richmond Landfill.

A couple of weeks ago, I formally announced my decision to contest the Progressive Conservative nomination in Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington. Leona Dombrowsky may not be running here this October, but her legacy of neglect and indifference must be answered for.

No township, community organization, or farm group in this riding should be treated disrespectfully when the cause they represent is just, and the need they address is so painfully obvious.

- Brent Cameron

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Re: Direct Democracy?

Is Jeff Green serious? So early on in this post-Liberal dictatorship Canada, do any of us actually remember what democracy is? Maybe defining democracy should be the first order of business for our new conservative government. I will not attempt to define democracy myself but I believe the true definition (in practice) would include some measure of fairness and objectivity; therefore Mr. Green is obviously not up to the task either. Virtually all of the statements included in Mr. Green’s editorial are dishonest, misleading, irrational, illogical and defy reason, thus defining the left wing rhetoric we have come to expect from the Frontenac News. The most blatant example of this would be the suggestion that some level of linguistic trickery was used in phrasing the survey question. The most obvious denouncement of this fallacy is the absence of a third box on the survey answer sheet allowing for an undetermined or unsure vote. Those who filled out and returned the survey forms had predetermined opinions or beliefs and checked their boxes accordingly. They were well aware of the traditional definition of marriage and the current definition, as the two cannot be easily confused. Mr. Green, the pseudo altruist, then proceeds to speak for not only all Canadian constituents, but also all political parties by explaining “in actuality the real debate.” Mr. Green claims that proponents of same sex marriage do not wish to reject the traditional definition of marriage, instead simply wish to extend it. This statement is almost as absurd as the suggestion that some of Scott Reid’s constituents may have checked “yes” believing that a “no” could possibly induce a new definition excluding heterosexual marriage. By extending the definition of marriage to include same-sex unions, you must first unequivocally reject the traditional definition. Conversely, to extend the definition to include polygamy would in the same way presuppose the abolition of the traditional definition. Of course all of this feeble left-wing rhetoric with regard to this survey is simply a fiendish attempt to ignore the fact that same-sex marriage was frantically pushed through the House of Commons without a free (democratic) vote. Quite the opposite, in fact. Paul Martin (Liberal Dictator at the time) ordered his cabinet, regardless of their conscience or constituents’ beliefs, to vote in favour of same-sex marriage. I would also like to quickly address Mr. Green’s concern regarding the six issues Scott Reid presented to his constituents in his latest survey--Mr. Green’s suggestion that 12-15 options may have been more appropriate. My response to this would be two-fold: first; how many options were Canadians given by our previous liberal government? Second, with our brave young men and women currently overseas surviving unimaginable hardship and living in a constant state of extreme danger, I could not possibly conceive of nine issues our country is currently facing that any conscientious Canadian could find more important regardless of which side of the debate you may be on.

- Sincerely, your often irritated but always amused reader, Francis MacDonald

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Crack down on crime & scrap the gun registry:

My wife and I arrived home from the Liberal Leadership Convention in Montreal last week to an empty fridge and a full mailbox. I flipped through the Heritage to catch up on local events; the police report highlighted the theft of a "Collection of rifles stolen from home in Verona" (complete with their serial numbers).

I would describe myself as a "bred and in-bred, back-woods Frontenac guy". As such I can certainly appreciate having a shotgun (or two) around, 22 cal. (always handy), and 303s (November means hunting season). However, I really have to question the necessity of my neighbour owning a “NAGANT serial # K811106, Russian military firearm with bayonet".

To the best of my knowledge no one in my family ever used a weapon with a bayonet, unless issued by the Government of Canada. We all know what a weapon with a bayonet is used for, so why would my neighbour have one? Imminent invasion by the Germans, Japanese, N. Koreans? Correction - my neighbour doesn't have one anymore; it was stolen. It's "out there" somewhere.

The next piece of mail was my M.P. Scott Reid's "policy ranking exercise". Of course "Cracking down on crime" and "Scrapping the gun registry" are listed prominently. Given that Russian military weapon floating out there, I'm having a problem connecting the two policies. Perhaps Mr. Reid can explain it to me?

In the meanwhile, should you come across a great deal on any of the following: MAUSER Rifle serial # 626936; NAGANT Firearm with bayonet #K811106; MOSSEBERG 22 cal. Rifle, no serial #; POINTER Shot gun #Y48059; WINCHESTER WOODMASTER Rifle #125964; COOEY Single Shot rifles; EL FRAISIAN Shot gun #148; BAY STATE Shot gun; COOEY single shot 12 ga, #23043; LELAND Rifles #10B8105, #76L4053; ENFIELD Rifle #882, please contact the OPP.

If you want to eliminate the personal use of automatic, and semi-automatic weapons, vote Liberal.

- John McEwen ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Re: Direct Democracy

I am questioning your editorial on direct democracy, issued on December 7, 2006. Personally, I have no problem with Scott Reid’s survey on same-sex marriage.

I hope it was not your intention - failing to mention the comment part of the survey. You also stated you did not think this survey was necessary; granted, but others (myself included) were sure glad you are not thinking for all of us.

You also stated “50% of people who did not support the conservatives deserve a say as well”. I think you got that right! Anyone that wants a say can call the MP’s office; there’s even a toll free number. The conservative office staff is working for all of us Canadians, without prejudice; nor is our political affiliation a concern.

Now looking at my 2nd survey: I may choose box one, I may rank all six. I may even add a comment in the comment section, or I could even throw it away! As a Canadian, I should have that choice. What is important is that we have a say and that to me is direct democracy!

- Rita Staniforth

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Re: It's ward 3's turn

In response to the letter in the December 14 Frontenac News by Leo L. Ladouceur, I would like to dispute his view of the facts.

His representation of the facts is wrong and gives a false impression of events and council decisions. He criticizes the efforts of three ex-councillors from Ward 3 and ignores the many years of dedicated work performed by these individuals.

He continues by stating that Ward 1 has a new fire hall, which it does, but this structure existed and was in use, prior to amalgamation and was paid for entirely by the former Barrie Township Council, with the ratepayers’ approval. Ward 3 has a recent addition to its fire hall, constructed after amalgamation, which was paid for in part by the township. Ward 2 has a new fire hall, constructed post-amalgamation, paid for by township monies and contribution from the Fire Ladies.

Both Wards 2 and 3 have emergency vehicles paid for by the township. All were equipped using township monies and public donations. Two years in a row both wards received $10,000 donations from council over and above their respective budgets for equipment. These donations were not extended to Ward 1. The new fire truck that he states Ward 1 received was paid for in part by Addington-HighlandsTownship (50% of costs). Both townships also equally share the costs incurred in maintaining the Cloyne dumpsite and the site is operated jointly.

In regards to the helipad referred to in his letter, council has invested both time and money on this in recent years and I agree the helipad should be kept serviceable if at all possible.

In regards to road equipment, Ward 3 has received much more funding than Ward 1 over the past several years. The records speak for themselves and Ward 3 residents should be grateful that Ward 1 generates the tax dollars necessary to provide the extra revenue the township requires to meet budget expenses. Instead of trying to stir up dissention among the wards, individuals such as Mr. Ladouceur would be more beneficial to their neighbours by promoting unity throughout the township.

- Dick Hook, past councillor, Ward 1

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Re: Direct Democracy

I would like to commend Jeff Green for his editorial on Scott Reid’s survey. While I appreciate Scott’s desire to communicate with the voters, this type of slanted survey does nothing to foster such communication. For example, I was able to check off only one, support for seniors. But what does this support mean? Does it mean that seniors would receive free dental care, free hearing aids and glasses, and walkers or canes if they need them? I would support this. Assuming that Scott really wants to know what the voters are concerned about, let me share some of the things that I am distressed about.

1. I try to buy Canadian-made goods for myself and to give away as gifts. This is like looking for a needle in a hay stack. So much of our industries have closed down and taken their jobs to low-paying countries where human rights abuses are paramount. Could the Canadian government offer interest-free loans to workers whose plants may be closing so that they may buy the plant themselves and keep it running?

2. I am concerned that NATO is dictated to by the United States administration. Our soldiers are in Afghanistan because the US government dragged us into it through lies and manipulation to support the oil companies having a pipe line from the Caspian Sea through the country and who want a government friendly to their desires. The CIA created the Taliban and paid and armed Osama Bin Laden to fight the Soviets. Our troops are told that they are fighting to protect the women from the atrocities of the Taliban. Yet they are in alliance with a group who will do the same to women once they are in power. What does it mean when our troops attack a Taliban stronghold? Who are the hundreds of people killed in a raid by our forces? Are they ordinary citizens of Afghanistan? Who are we liberating? Let us support our troops by restoring them to the role of protecting people rather than forcing them to murder women, children, and young boys who have no other source of employment. I grieve for the widows of our soldiers and for the soldiers themselves for whom the scars of this war will remain for the rest of their lives.

3. I am concerned about the control of the media by big corporations and the US administration, people who stand to gain big bucks in the sale of armaments and related items in Iraq and other war zones. Let’s report the lies around 9/11. There was an independent truth commission held in Toronto. Have the results of this been able to counter all the lies so faithfully reported by radio, TV, and national newspapers? Why was building #7 demolished and not reported on much since? Why are 7 of the supposed hijackers still alive? What happened to flight #77 which could not have struck the pentagon since the hole is the size of a missile? There are enough questions about the whole situation to make one suspect that the CIA and US administration planned the whole thing as an excuse to drag the country into a war with Iraq to gain billions for the weapons manufacturers. What all is our government being dragged into over the threat of terrorism when the real terrorists may be the people in the White House?

- Sylvia Powers

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Pine Lake

On December 16 there was an article in the Whig Standard "Native Centre on Track" concerning the building of an office for a 700 member band and a museum at the PineLake boat launch. Randy Cota said that they will do this regardless of MNR requesting that there beenvironmental studies on the project beforehand. Natives have always declared their love and respect for the land (and have often protested clear cutting and other environmentally damaging actions).

This group maintains that they own this Crown property. If you own something, that makes you responsible for it. This seems like irresponsible behaviour to me.

- Barbara Kenney

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To: Irritated but always amused reader Francis MacDonald

You have failed miserably in your attempt to present a valid rebuttal to Jeff Green’s editorial “Direct Democracy” (December 7).

Your tangled web of words presents the reader with ambiguous statements which lack sense, coherence and clarity. (Talk about madly off in all directions!)

Clarity is the issue that Mr. Green was bringing to our attention concerning Scott Reid’s style of communicating with his constituents. Your assertion that Mr. Green’s statements were “dishonest, misleading, illogical, irrational and defied reason” is totally ridiculous and definitely not substantiated by any of the arguments you tried to put forth in your letter.

I suggest you read Mr. Green’s editorial again with an open and unbiased mind.

- Pam Giroux

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RE: Festival of Trees

Upon reading Dale Ham’s wonderful article on the Festival of Trees, I noticed that “elf” Bill Bowick was not given credit for his hard work. Bill is totally responsible for all of the computer work for the Festival such as the design of the Appreciation Certificates, the schedules, the list of all contributors to the Festival and all of the preparation for the judging of the event as well as acting as our Master of Ceremonies. Thank you so much, Bill.

- Elinore Baily, Chair

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Re “Direct Democracy” ( Editorial - December 07)

In his fine editorial Mr. Green overlooks the paramount truth! Mr. Reid has been relegated to nothing more then a seat filler, an impotent elective statistic, a powerless presence, a number, a P.C. parliamentary vote, an afterthought-in-waiting, a dispenser of smoke and polisher of mirrors willing to be completely controlled by the PUDGY PARANOIC Steven Harper Bush T.T. (tyrant in training) and his Trolls from circle of silent secrecy and nasty surprises! Apparently Mr. Reid is satisfied being the mindless servant of a control freak.

Eventually, he may be thrown a bone, perhaps even with some meat on it. In the meantime, his directive is to ensure that his constituents only consider as relevant the propaganda scripted directly to the puppets of the caucus from the OMP for dispersion: any other point of view is to be ignored. These recent “surveys” are certainly not crafted by Mr. Scott as past plebiscites are imagined to have been.

Harper Bush, you say? Yes, Harper Bush! For anyone interested enough, an analysis of the moronic path taken by G.W.Bush and that being charted by Steven Harper are frighteningly similar. Look into it, should you be in doubt, wishing to exercise your mind or have any concern for your future.

Included in the manifesto delivered under Mr. Reid’s name were such topics as workings for seniors, defending Canadians from terrorism, tax relief, and cracking down on criminals, among others.

The Minister of Finance, either because of a horrific panic attack or because he is totally insane, wiped out of 30 BILLION dollars invested in Income Trusts, a completely legal and above board investment vehicle in two days (60 BILLION dollars is the expected final total), mostly retirement savings, the nest eggs of the aging, the components of pension plans, RRSPs, RRIFs, LIRAs and the hopes for more than the scrapes gotten from a doubtfully secure government pension system. Can this action rationally be titled “WORKING FOR SENIORS”?

Is the breaking of an election promise contained on page 32 of the Blue Book under the heading “Security for Seniors” acceptable?

The extolled age tax credit will amount to a whole $152.50 this year and in 2007, a $2.50 increase of this amount is in the works--takes your breath away! The “income splitting” proviso is equally meaningless since its application is selectively applied only to a small percentage of the population; CPP has always allowed income splitting.

All the mumbo jumbo aside, the supposed “Tax Relief” is fiction! The average family, whatever that might be, will “save” $1.26 per day in taxes at the optimum level. The billions stolen from Income Trust holders will pay for these wonders, while leaving a nice surplus for the frauds in Ottawa to squander off the books.

Anyone who believes that Canadians dying in Afghanistan in a US-inspired conflict, from which they all but have withdrawn, will protect “the safety of our citizens” is severely thought-impaired. NATO, who has no real idea why they are there, and its Canadian member, have found their Vietnam. The Afghans have never lost a war and no foreigner has ever won an Afghan war. The last person standing in Afghanistan will be an Afghan belonging to whatever faction happens to be in vogue. What arrogance we possess to believe that we have the right or the knowledge to decide what type of government these people or any peoples are to live under! We are assisting in building the US Empire of “Divine Right”, not helping the Afghans. You don’t help people by killing them and imposing your values upon the survivors.

We already have more laws than are needed in addressing crime. What has to be found is the will to enforce what is already on the books. This all recycled b……t. And, with present budding dictatorship empowered, I for one am not sure that additional enforcement would not manifest itself as the Beaver Gestapo.

We think it is about time that Mr Reid acknowledges that his only loyalty and duty is to the constituents of his riding, not the egg salad that is the Conservative Party. We further believe that he should act accordingly instead of being another panting Harper puppy waiting for career crumbs to fall and fulfill his dreams.

- Paul M. Wicher & Georgina M. Bailey-Wicher, Tichborne

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Re: Direct Democracy

Jeff is right when he says that Scott did not need to ask the "same-sex marriage" question at all.I believe that this is a feel-good exercise for the people. Not only does it give people an opportunity to voice an opinion, it reminds us that we do have an avenue of communication that is seldom used.

Jeff's comment on the second survey stating that there was "no option for other items on the survey" is not quite accurate. On both surveys there was a space for comments. If I had other priorities I would have listed them. So for the 50% of the people who did not support the Conservative party, list your top six policy items in the comment section.If there is not enough room there, mail to Scott does not require postage, so voice your opinion on as many pages as required and send them to him. Jeff's suggestion to list 12 to 15 policy matters is a bit on the light side, why not list 30 or 40 or at least a couple of pages worth. Where would the list end? You are right, Jeff, surveying constituents is a good idea. As far as the comment on letting the constituents have a say on all the issues at hand, the opportunity was there: a comments section on both surveys.

- Gerry Dunham

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