The letter writer of the recent Open Forum criticizing Rep. John Ward for his work to support veterans’ programs in the Brainerd area was 100 percent wrong. First of all, I was the one, along with many others, that could see some of the state buildings being put to good use, for veterans, and other health care uses. But it was decided after conferring with the Veterans Administration that a new facility located at the Brainerd hospital site would be the best way to go. After many hours of volunteer work by a whole lot of local citizens, a plan was put together to present to the federal and state government. Rep. John Ward, in support of this community effort, introduced the legislation without the help of the local senator. In fact Mr. Gazelka has stood in the way from the beginning. These are not mildew-infested, mold-infested buildings, but could be put to good use.
I would bet the Backus citizen has never stepped foot on the Brainerd hospital grounds. It’s a terrible government waste. Keep in mind that a veterans’ facility will be added in Minnesota at some time. Five other cities, including Bemidji and Willmar, are in the hunt. We don’t need people like the Backus writer standing in the way.
Thank you Rep. Ward for working hard for the local veterans and for a project that will create good jobs in an area with the highest unemployment in the state.
DON SAMUELSON served as a DFL legislator for many years in both the Minnesota House and Senate.
My grievance, asking that “family” insurance be returned to me until I’m 65 as promised in 2005, was denied at the school board level on Dec. 28, 2011.
The board said, in its denial, that my MEA union knew of the agreement within the C-I strike settlement, was part of that settlement and should have grieved my case shortly after finding out which two retirees would be more greatly affected by this “final” agreement.
I then asked for a neutral arbitrator to decide my case and was denied that opportunity by the C-I School Board and my MEA union.
I was told the sixth of February, by my union, that two retirees were indeed sacrificed for the greater cause of settling the strike.
The union said that they not pay for the “family” premiums, as per their attorney’s advice.
Shouldn’t the two teachers, who essentially sacrificed “family” insurance for singer coverage, receive a nice “thank you” letter from the school and the union for their part in settling the C-I teachers’ strike?
In today’s political climate I would fully expect a 50 percent “yes” vote and a 50 percent “no” vote.
Moral of this story: Be grateful that you still retain any fringe benefits. Your sons and daughters may have none. I am grateful for that and I do feel sorry for our children.
State Sen. Paul Gazelka said he would be proud to author a disguised constitutional amendment to “Right to Work for less union-busting bills.” I have found words spoken on the subject by two Republicans, two Democratic presidents, one civil rights leader and one journalist.
“If any man tells you he loves America, yet hates labor, he is a liar. If any man tells you he trusts America, yet fears labor, he is a fool.” “All that harms labor is treason to America.” -Abraham Lincoln.
“Only a handful of reactionaries harbor the ugly thought of breaking unions and depriving working men and women of their rights. I have no use for those — regardless of their political party.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower.
“The labor movement is people. Our unions have brought millions of men and women together. Their goals are goals for all America — and their enemies are the enemies for progress. The two cannot be separated.” - John F. Kennedy.
“You will find some people saying that they are for the so-called (Right To Work) law, but they also believe in unions. This is absurd — it’s like saying you are for motherhood but against children.” - Harry S. Truman.
“In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, as (Right To Work). It provides no “rights” and no “works.” Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining... We demand this fraud be stopped.” - Martin Luther King Jr.
“American unions set the standards across the board in salaries, benefits and working conditions. If you are making a decent salary in a non-union company, you owe that to the unions. One thing that corporations do not do is give out money out of the goodness of their hearts.” - Molly Ivins.
John and Marlys Orr