October 26, 2007

decisions, decisions...

It's hard for me to figure out just exactly where candidates stand on various issues and I figured it might be the same for other students so I decided to ask them what they would like to ask the candidates . I got so many that I had to narrow the options down to four main questions so I wouldn't swamp the candidates. Both candidates were sent the same four questions, just for the record.
First question was why the 6-4 legislation (student housing thing lowering the number of students that can be in a house from six to four) was created in the first place and whether it would come up in the future. Bell said he thought the 6-4 was created in an attempt to "minimize the apparent problem the neighborhoods have in dealing with the increase of student housing through rental units." Obvious, but ok.
Ness said that he wants to create "a dynamic, 'Dinkytown-like' neighborhood for students and young professionals, rather than spreading students out in rental properties across the city with sub-par landlords." For those of you that don't know, Dinkytown is the moniker for a particular college district in south Minneapolis that's basically like a mini town with student housing and amenities within walking distance. Google it if you want to know more.
Second question was how the mayoral candidates could make taxi's more accessible to students. Bell said He'd like to get together with students and talk about what they want as far as access to transportation . Ness said that he voted against the deregulation of taxi cab rates in the City Council because he didn't want customers being taken advantage of if a driver changed their rate from day to night and that Taxi drivers must give one week's notice before they can change their rates.
Next, I asked whether the candidates knew about Honeywell having dumped toxic waste into Lake Superior and what they could do to stop it. Bell said that he knew a lot about the dumping and that it's one of the reasons he's running for Mayor. He said that current officials aren't doing anything about it and that they don't see the larger picture. He said 1400 barrels were dropped into Lake Superior in the 1960's and their toxicity potential isn't known. He also mentioned that some of the barrels are only 1 mile from Duluth's water intake. Ness didn't know anything about it but said that Superior is a valuable resource that will bring consequences if mistreated. He also said he feels very strongly about the environment and wouldn't tolerate pollution.
Lastly, I asked what the candidates thought of students in general , what they thought of students being in Duluth now and what they would do to keep them here when they graduate. Bell said he loves the energy students have and their drive to control their destiny. He said he liked meeting the friends of the two kids he's had that have gone to college and that he went to UMD himself and graduated in 1972. Ness also is a UMD alumnus and said students give a strong support for the community of Duluth. He said students are vital to the community and it's progress.

It's something to chew on, hopefully this can help students decide on a candidate.

October 23, 2007

my mind... my poor mind

My mind's been quite busy lately thinking about many things. I've been physically busy too, trying to keep up with homework and other engagements. A big thing that's been on my mind lately is my faith. The one big thing i want to share is the experience I had with God this past Sunday. Now, i see God as a lover, someone who desires my attention, my affection and who's given his all to get that. Somehow, i've been having problems being satisfied with God in that respect. On Sunday, there was a guest speaker at the church I go to which is an Assembly of God church here in town. He spoke about surrendering to God and i was stumped by this. I thought, " how do i surrender?" "how do i know i've done that completely in my heart?" I mulled this over and mulled it over searching myself for obstacles keeping me from surrendering to God. I realized many things. I realised that i was scared to surrender because i knew God's not a comfortable God. He doesn't make it all better when you start following him, that's why there's so many verses in the New Testament about going through trials and hard times. I worried that i'd lose my faith, at first through the intensity of the trials i might be put through, then i worried i'd become spiritually stagnant, thinking i was in touch with God, thinking i was alright when really, i'd be in spiritual danger. I remembered though that God won't ever put me through something i can't handle and that i couldn't possibly stop believing in God, i'm just not capable of that any more. I was still stuck though until I thought, "i don't like people hiding things from me, why would i hide things from God? Why would i keep secrets from someone who would know the secrets i'd try to keep anyway?" Now here's the really cool part. I was walking down a main street when i hit upon this and i wanted to pray right away. There was a deck-like place across the street with some bushes and benches so i decided to sit there. When i walked up the steps and turned to the left to sit on a bench, right in front of me on a bench was a white rose, complete with plastic water vial. How cool is that?!! Two things taken care of in one shot. Not only did God give me a physical sign of his love in the rose, it also took away any reservations I had about trusting God, surrendering to Him.

October 20, 2007

blogs to check out

So, I discovered this blog because of a journalism class I'm in (don't worry, this isn't just going to be for class, it'll have interesting stuff too). Our first assignment is to find two blogs, one about college life and one from Iraq. I found one from a guy at Harvard. http://ohharvard.blogspot.com/ . It's not recent but it's still fairly current. It's interesting for the insight into one of the most prestigious schools in the US, not to mention the world. Ben mainly writes about teachers, the administration and students. Ben's opinion of the administration and professors is similar to what many people think of the current government system- it's slow and people don't do anything. He takes the stance of the students who actually care about school and want to do well when he talks about students basically. As far as efficiency goes, blogs are what you want to make them to be, there's no going wrong with them i think.
The one for Iraq that i found was a blog from a dentist, named Zeyed currently in the US studying for a degree in New York but he lived in Iraq from his teen years on. This one is interesting for it's perspective on the war just to see anyone's perspective since people have varying opinions, even in Iraq. It was also intersting to see Zeyed's perspective on Americans. It seems he was glad we came but thought we were ineffectual, didn't get much done that needed to be done. I think it's very effective, he writes what he thinks which is how the blog should be written. He's experienced some close calls wth shooting and stuff and his direct, descriptive writing is good for that.
Here's the link http://healingiraq.blogspot.com/2003_10_01_healingiraq_archive.html
hope you enjoy them, Claire

October 17, 2007

First post, yay!

Hey ya'll, just found out i can blog on here and it's my senior year at UMD. How crazy is that?! Anyways, I'm horrid with keeping up on blogs but i can try to keep this one updated. I'm busy as all heck this semester with journalism classes, so I'll do what i can this semester and hopefully I'll post more next semester when i'm not "going 100 miles an hour with my hair on fire" as the pastor at my church (Hillside Community church) said in a sermon once. I'm a religion buff so I'll more than likely write about that but i'm very open to anything anyone would like to hear so hit me up with messages.
Much Love, Claire