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Sen. Lisa Murkowski has proposed a law requiring congressional approval of any new national monuments considered by the president.

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William “Billy” Calvin Belt, 58, died July 15, 2014, in Riggins, Idaho.
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5/30/2014
Healthy food

First Lady Michelle Obama undoubtedly is sincere in her concern over students' nutrition.

She has been passionate and vocal on the subject; it has prompted her to lobby for preserving school meal nutrition rules that were established in 2010 and are being threatened by Republicans seeking to loosen them.

Some schools have complained that the rules are too tough. Some House Republicans approved a version of an agriculture spending bill adding language allowing schools to be released from the rules if they lose money over a six-month period.

The Republicans are responding to school requests.

The rules have been phased in over the past two years. They address fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits on foods provided to students.

The rules have been undertaken successfully in many schools, while other schools complain about the cost. In particular, schools complain about the cost of reducing sodium and adding whole grains. They also point out that some students throw away the fruits and vegetables.

That's where the adults need to step in. The schools should prepare food. The students should take only what they will eat. If they don't want to eat what's offered, then they can provide their own. But, they shouldn't be taking food and then throwing it away. Nor should adults be serving them food that over the long term won't help their health — food with high sodium content, for example.

The cost might be higher for student food, but it will reduce health-related expenses later in life. Students who eat healthy and grow into adults also will feel better and be more fit and able to accomplish much and contribute to their families and their communities.

The rules can be massaged, but the intent of improving youth health should remain the primary focus.