The letter written in the Open Forum from the April 9, 2002, Brainerd Daily Dispatch sounded like a pitch for Norm Coleman and the Republican Party.
If jobs are all we want, there are jobs in the Brainerd lakes area. Retail jobs are abundant. If we are talking about jobs that are truly good for the entire area with fair wages and benefits that compensate workers for their hard work and dedication and give those people a fair wage, we are talking about hard fought union jobs. At a time like this the employees of Potlatch are glad they have a union to help them receive the benefits they deserve. Without workers compensation, what would they do? The politicians in Minnesota who really seem to care about labor were present at the meetings that were held at Potlatch. The AFL-CIO has helped to ensure good jobs in our state. High quality work, which helps our whole area grow and prosper. The union helps us afford to buy goods and services which help all businesses. Their philosophy is, when the tide comes in, every ship rises. If we are to place blame on something, I think NAFTA (Northern American Free Trade Agreement) is the main culprit. Sadly, both the Democrats and Republicans have played a part in NAFTA becoming a reality.
People from Minnesota want to stay in Minnesota because there are good jobs here. You seldom find economies like we have in the Brainerd lakes area. In North and South Dakota there isn't the growth that there is here. Is there a reason for this? I say, "yes!" We have available in the Brainerd lakes area good, honest workers and a large work force which is ready and willing to do the job.
I.B.E.W. Local No. 31
Our country was originally established as a democratic society. When the plans for Highway 371 expansion were publicly produced, boundaries were set for expansion widths from center of the new highway. The public made their thoughts and feelings known, obviously to no extent of change. Absolutely no changes were made in our area. Now the frontage road is going to be less than 50 feet from others' and our front doors. Safety is the main concern here? The fact that all our grandchildren will not be able to play outside for an instant without our concern makes us question, "Are we really a democratic society?" We have retired to this area because of its attraction to us. Now with the highway and frontage road going to be at our doorstep, it will be less attractive to us and to others if and when it comes time to sell, plus it will affect the value.
We ask that you seriously consider narrowing the highway for an extended area on the northwest side of Crow Wing Lake -- less than 1/4 mile and to eliminate the frontage road (S4) in this area and use turn lanes instead. It would be more practical mentally and economically, since funds have been cut for MnDOT -- we understand funding was obtained several years ago for this, but it could be used more efficiently in other areas, since the necessity for this frontage road is not needed. We were also originally told that the frontage road would dead-end north at Bohns, now we find out it will be a through access, which means more traffic (including semi-trucks) and much less safety and privacy for residents.
It goes back to the power MnDOT has, "We can do it and by God we are going to without regard for the people." Compensation for our property is not even an issue. Safety and conservation are our primary concerns. Again we plead with you to reconsider changes.
Marvin and Carol Bohn
Ronald and Lois Tow
May 15 council meeting
Concerned people in Brainerd and surrounding areas, please awake! March 25 in The Brainerd Daily Dispatch, did you notice the colorful Last Supper portrait of the Nazarene Church on the front page? Did you notice next to it, "Adult novelty stores topic of meeting" at city hall? I know you will have opinions about this. Action has been postponed by Planning and Zoning until May 15, 7 p.m. at city hall, kitty-corner to the Brainerd Post Office and next to the old Senior Center. Come and express yourself and stand up to this vital issue which will affect the direction of our community as sure as a tuning fork sets another to vibrating at the same rate. We affect one another! For 35 years, I have been thankful for our community offering opportunities to our children and adults with goals of building character, integrity, self-esteem and worthwhile giving encouragement and promoting volunteering. We head in a sure direction with our prayers and action like a ship heading toward a destination. Why not make this next meeting at city hall a top priority and help to assure that our community will move forward instead of taking a giant step backward? Now is the time to let your opinion be heard on May 15, 7 p.m., city hall in Brainerd!
An involved citizen
Barb J. Morgan
I recently returned from vacation and was catching up on the news. I read the article about Buster's being torn down and the history of it. I was quite disappointed not to see anything about Chuck and Gert Zerfas owning and operating Harold's Club for so many years. Most of the people around here remember that era of Harold's Club. What a wonderful place it was.
Some top name people like Paul Neuman and Vice President Hubert Humphrey went there when Chuck and Gert owned it. And remember the great Peddler's Party that they put on free for everyone -- every year. The place was so packed that you could hardly get in. The Zerfas's are the ones who really made the Harold's Club that our generation remembers.
I know many people miss the old Harold's Club. We need one of those today. Thanks, Chuck and Gert, for what you did for the community.
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