Letters to the Editor - February 2006

Dear Editor:

Many thanks for Steve Serkland’s article, “Alex Kern Scores!” in your Dec. 10, 2005 issue.

The article highlights the importance of collaboration among family, educators and vocational rehabilitation counselors, and other support professionals to foster a deaf or hard-of-hearing student’s success. For this successful trend to continue for students like Alex, it is essential for everyone to contribute.

Families contribute to the early education and support of their disabled children. Educators contribute by teaching the necessary skills so people can communicate with each other and the world. Technological advances will continue to close the gap for disabled people both in and out of the workplace. As a society, we must bring ourselves to continue to embrace differences and see everyone for his or her contribution.

My hat is off to Alex’s family, his educators and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development for helping this very talented young designer to succeed. Each small success realized in different areas of a student’s life form the foundation and building blocks for creating the next one. I look forward to watching Alex’s career unfold with even more successes and accomplishments.

At the Rochester Institute of Technology, we’re not only proud of Alex, but we’re proud to work closely with so many wonderful professionals throughout the world to do our critical part in producing highly educated, skilled, and productive citizens.

Sincerely,
T. Alan Hurwitz
CEO, National Technical Institute for the Deaf – Vice President, Rochester Institute of Technology



Dear Editor:

I am writing on behalf of our campaign to secure a Light Rail line in northern Dakota County. Light Rail would benefit our area. In particular, it would be very beneficial for those who must rely on public transportation.

With the explosive growth of Dakota County, the need for public transportation is becoming a critical issue. As a solution to this problem, the advantages of Light Rail are:

• it relieves traffic congestion in a safe, convenient, reliable and affordable way;

• it makes the communities stronger and more livable;

• it is good for business;

• it is good for the environment.

If you’ve ridden the Hiawatha line, you know why it is a resounding success, with rider- ship far exceeding expectations. The line creates its own market, increasing pedestrian traffic, while leaving traffic flow undiminished. The Sierra Club supports Light Rail as a sound way to reduce traffic congestion and the air pollution that contributes to global warming.

The availability of Light Rail would be particularly important to many of the readers of Access Press. For them, it is the difference between getting around and being stuck at home.

Senator James Metzen (DFL) District 39 is introducing a bill in the next legislative session to authorize a study of Light Rail in northern Dakota County. We have been working to see the Light Rail comes to our area.

Your voice has impact on legislators. Please contact your state representative or senator and express your support for Light Rail. We can make—Light Rail happen.

Sincerely,
Pat O’Regan
Member, Northern Dakota County Sierra Communities