Pausing to Remember: Eric Dakota Ruegsegger & Eric Lund

The first section on the St. Paul Pioneer Press I read every day are the obituaries. It has been my habit for a decade. That is when I realize dI could get the jump on the arrival of bad news that may require me to rearrange my schedule in the upcoming days. Most of the times, there's no bad news that impacts me. No passing of a friend's parent or a friend or a person who shared an encounter with my life. That's a good thing...

Then there are times when I read the obit that leaves a mark on my memory. Sometimes, it's a famous person who the newspaper has included; sometimes it's an paid obit someone has had the paper print. A vast majority of the paid submissions are pretty much the age, date born, date died, people proceeding and survived by variety of obits. Occasionally, someone will actually pay the extra money to tell something about their loved one who passed away.

The family of Eric Dakota Ruegsegger submitted such an obit a couple weeks ago. Eric died three days short of has 10th birthday. In Eric's decade on Earth, he was a busy boy. All I know about Eric is what I read in the obit. From what I read, I can tell head will be remember always by a family that will forever miss him. What follows is what his family thought of their dear son:

Eric Dakota Ruegsegger, age 9, of Mahtomedi, MN, passed away on September 10, 2005 at home surrounded by his family after a courageous battle with cancer (Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma). Eric was born September 13, 1995 in Columbia, MO. Eric was a 5th grade student at OH Anderson Elementary School and earlier attended Wildwood Elementary School, Mahtomedi, MN. He loved soccer, reading, boating, camping, animals, television, Legos, and attending MN Wild hockey games. He was a Zookeeper for a Day at the San Diego Zoo for his Make-A-Wish trip. Eric was a member of Cub Scout pack 89 and achieved the rank of Webelos II. A highlight of his scouting was participation in the Pinewood Derby with his Dad and receiving numerous race awards. Also known as "Galron," Eric loved games, especially computer gaming. He was also a great chess player, though was known to cheat at Stratego if given the opportunity.

Eric will be remembered by his parents, Katherine (Goffeney) Ruegsegger, formerly of St. Joseph, MO, Michael Ruegsegger, formerly of South Wayne, WI; and sister, Katelyn Ruegsegger of Mahtomedi, MN. He is also survived by grandparents, Jean and Richard Ruegsegger of South Wayne, WI, Pat and Pete Wilson of St. Joseph, MO, Joe Goffeney and Suzy Bowyer of Las Vegas, NV, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, relatives and friends.


I can't speak for anybody else, but Eric's resume sure looks like mine for the first decade of my life. Maybe I've taken too much for granted...

I included a picture of the cover of a book titled "Eric" by Doris Lund. The book was written by Eric's mother, Doris, and published in 1974. Eric Lund died of cancer around the age of 20. If you haven't read the book, I suggested you do. It will show you the meaning of courage and it may make you take things a little less for granted.

My two cents worth on the subject of obituaries -- skimp on the funeral and go big on the paid obit. Tell us more about those people you loved, have lost and will forever miss. We need to know.

Pausing to Remember: Molly Yard

“I grew up with that whole devaluation of myself because I was female. It’s outrageous, and it stays with you all your life.”

Molly Yard

Yard passed away on September 23 at the age of 93. She led the National Organization of Women during the fight over Robert Bork’s nomination to the US Supreme Court. She was elected president of NOW in 1987 and stepped down in 1991. Yard made NOW more visible and worked against Bork, whom the Senate rejected as President Ronald Reagan’s high court nomination after a bitter political battle in 1987. She said he might provide a fifth vote to override the high court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion.

The daughter of Methodist missionaries, Yard was born in Shanghai, china, and said later that her father’s Chinese friends gave him a brass wash basin to express their sorrow that she wasn’t a boy. When Yard joined NOW’s national staff in 1978, the organization was campaigning for the Equal Rights Amendment. She raised more than $1 million for that drive in less than six months while lobbying in Washington.

Yard was adriving force in the National Organization of Women (NOW) and Feminist Majority Foundation. Yahoo has additional information obituary information on Yard.


Hey Colorado! How's that TABOR working out for you?

Mike Keefe, cartoonist at the Denver Post, pictured the impacts of TABOR on the schools in Colorado.

Our blog neighbors a www.ontheborderline.net have been telling us how good that TABOR (Taxpayers'Bill Of Rights) has been working out for the good citizens of Colorado. After being referred by a friend to check out what the Denver daily newspapers have to say about it, it doesn't look like everybody in Colorado agrees with the OTBL'ers. I'm going to use this post to dump TABOR-related points of interest. If you have any addition info or links, feel free to add them in the comments.

Bridges are falling apart. Schools are overcrowded. Republicans working withDemocrats to solve the problems caused by TABOR are being trashed by their fellow Republicans. Social programs are under attack. Higher education is getting squashed. Etc., etc., etc...


Quote of Note: Sandra Feldman

Concerning George W. Bush's presidency: ``an administration that sees no value in public institutions, that doesn't get the connections between public schools and democracy ... that seems to suggest children will pull themselves up by their bootstraps, like cowboys.''

Sandra Feldman, who served as United Federation of Teachers union president for 11 years, died Sept. 18 after a long battle with cancer. She was 65. Feldman was UFT president from 1986 to 1997. In 1997 Feldman was elected president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the UFT’s parent affiliate. She retired as president of the AFT in 2004 for health reasons.

UFT President Randi Weingarten said: “Since February 2004, when Sandy found out she had a relapse, she fought mightily — as mightily as she always fought to help make a difference in all of our lives, and in the lives of thousands of people we represent and the hundreds of thousands of children and others we serve. Those who knew her well know how hard she worked and how much she sacrificed so others would have social justice and economic opportunity. She was a giant and will be hugely missed.”

A complete obituary of the popular UFT leader is on the AFT Web site .


TABOR: Some Intesting Facts Concerning Wisconsinites

We hear a lot of noise about TABOR - Taypayers Bill of Rights. It is a phrase that won't be going away. It's a popular discussion point OnTheBorderLine. In the interest in finding out what it stands for and what are the ramifications of it, I've been doing Google searching. Two sources of information with a variety of opinions on TABOR are the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News. Using the search engines of these to daily, Denver newspapers will provide you with imformation on TABOR and groups for and against it. This fall, Colorado voters will be voting on Referendum's C and D to fix the problems caused by the previous passage of TABOR.

The Denver Post recently ran a two-part series called the Truth About TABOR. Here are links to the articles: Part 1 and Part 2 Each of the article links have links to groups pro and con to TABOR and/or Ref C & D. It's pretty obvious that the pro-TABOR/anti-Ref C & D groups are much better organized and better funded. The following letter in yesterday's Denver Post sheds some light on why:

"The Truth About TABOR"

I've found it useful to compare supporters and opponents to various issues when making my own decisions. I understand that members of both major political parties support the passage of Referendums C and D, which will begin to undo the damage caused by the so-called Taxpayer's Bill of Rights. TABOR severely curtailed the ability of state government to respond to Colorado's changing needs. That's why support for education, transportation and other social services that serve all the people of Colorado have been slashed. TABOR was passed with the help of a massive infusion of funds from out-of-state conservative anti-tax organizations.

They're back. Opposition to C and D has been concentrated - and paid for - by the same conservative lobbying groups that have attempted to influence elections throughout the country. What is the "Club for Growth," and why is it spending so much money in Colorado when its backers don't live here?

Why don't more Coloradans understand that the "Independence Institute" is another corporate-sponsored propaganda mill whose only purpose is to spread conservative dogma?

I would urge all Coloradans to go online and look for the funding behind such lobbying fronts as the Club for Growth, the Claremont Institute, the Independence Institute, and many other conservative "think tanks."

When so many wealthy corporations and ultra-rich conservatives are against a movement to take control of our own government spending, you can be sure that it's a movement that will restore control of our government to we, the people.
Scott Mock, Boulder

One Power Point presentation concerning the city of Manitowoc has so good info on the impact of TABOR. It also has good data concerning overall Wisconsin statistics.

TABOR Power Point Link.

If you have any additional information or links concerning TABOR, please post them in the comments below. I will also a sample of letters concerning TABOR and Ref C and D from the Sunday, Sept. 19 Denver Post.