"People looked for excuses to vote 'no.'" These were the words Deb Hallbeck, Pequot Lakes School Board member, was quoted saying recently when the referendum for the Pequot Lakes School failed for the second time.
I would like Hallbeck to consider the possibility that the voters of District 186 had valid reasons for voting 'no.' Reasons including a failing economy, too high taxes, and a school board that seemingly has run amuck with spending could be some of them.
Board member Wallace was quoted saying that "it's time people got real and voted this thing in." Wallace, were you saying that the people who voted 'no' were not being 'real' people? If you were, I would say to you that the voting population of District 186 is a very real body of people who have told you 'no.' After this referendum failed the first time, your school board appeared to cut over 4 million dollars off of a $27.88 million bill before it came for the second vote. However, the only reason you were able to do that was because you split the vote into two referendums: a new school ($23.48 million) and major renovations to the existing school ($4.4 million). Both of these add up to the original figure of $27.88 million.
You didn't give the taxpayers any new choices. The old school would only get the renovations if the new school referendum passed. Maybe the people voted 'no' because they believe the school board can cut real dollars out of the referendums. Maybe they don't want or can't afford a higher tax bill. Maybe they think that District 186 hasn't made such great planning decisions in the past to need more renovations and a new school so soon after major acquisitions of property and improvements already made over the past few years. Wallace, you get real; take a look at what the people need in District 186 rather than what you want.
Wallace was quoted again, saying that (the school board) needed to regroup and "come back at them (the taxpayers)." Wallace, you should remember that you were elected to the school board by the same body of people who just voted 'no' to your referendums.
Relay for Life
To the organizers of the Brainerd Relay for Life, July 27 was an evening of great anticipation and hours of preparation by so many people. Thank you to everyone involved in the events.
I decided to join a team of walkers and help raise funds for the American Cancer Society as a way of remembering a dear friend who died three years ago from cancer in Colorado and also in honor of a cousin now battling the disease. Although I know (and hope) much of the money will stay in Crow Wing County, I received donations from family and friends in Colorado and a friend in New York, as well as friends from my church here.
I was especially looking forward to the lighting of the luminaries, an event previous walkers considered a highlight of the evening. But an unavoidable rainstorm cut the evening short. Although we didn't get to walk throughout the 12 hours and enjoy the other activities, money was still raised for the intended purpose. My husband put it into perspective by reminding me that no matter how inconvenienced and miserable we were because of the storm, it doesn't compare to the disappointments and pain that cancer patients endure. What's one night of getting soaked?
Now for the main reason I wrote this letter. Thank you to the following businesses for their generous donations to the raffle: MK Auto Body, Brainerd Sports and Marine, In-Fisherman and Brainerd Recreational Supply. I won the fishing package "For the Man in Your Life." Next week I'm delivering the fishing pole to the 13-year-old son of my friend from Colorado. She'll never get to see him grow up to be a man, but he will know that people all over are "Fighting for a Cure."
While I don't work in a steel plant, I'm a proud steelworker member and I am aware of the crisis in the steel industry. I think it is a shame that 24,000 steelworkers have lost their jobs and thousands of retirees have lost their healthcare coverage because our government has refused to take strong action to stop the illegal dumping of steel into this country. U.S. workers can't compete with the illegally dumped steel. We are in danger of losing a whole industry to this. It's about time we stand up for American companies and American workers.
I encourage others to join in and tell their Congress person to support H.R. 808; this bill would correct the injustice and help save the steel industry and protect the hard-earned benefits of retirees.
Mom won't forget
I buried my son Andy Nelson this week. I never thought this would happen to me.
Andy was such a joy. I would look forward to the time he would be getting home from work because he was like sunshine in our home. Andy was so obedient. He had rules he had to follow as long as he lived at home and he followed them.
He would always ask permission from us to be gone overnight. Just simply out of respect for our family rules. He was a great guy.
As I look around the Brainerd lakes area I see the kids, it's sad. I don't have all the answers for parenting but I see many parents who aren't parenting.
Moms and dads, wake up, stop thinking of yourselves. It's not the young kids who are just bad, it's the parents who aren't doing their jobs.
I have had so many teens say to me, "If my parent would just listen to me." That's sad, your kids need you and you need them. Parents need to set some rules down for their kids and keep them. You know how much more can the teens cry out for attention, when they have to dye their hair green and purple, and pierce their bodies all over?
Mom and dad, they want you to say 'no.'
The biggest thing though is to get your kids in a Bible believing church. Our kids need Jesus and so do we. That's what made Andy special, he loved the Lord. That's where his smile came from.
I miss Andy so much, but I will never forget his smile, his joy and his attitude on life. I will try and carry that out for him.
Actor says thanks
As an actor it's hard to believe sometimes that the production you're in will be ready by opening night. There's so much to do and learning your lines is only a small part. Thank you to Mike Harvey for the great set for "Don't Dress for Dinner," CLC's Summer production.
His crew worked very hard to get it ready in a short time. Thank you to all the stage hands and box office people, Dennis Lamberson for the great costumes, Patrick Spradlin for his easy, yet constant, art of directing. A big thank you to all my fellow actors who pushed me to do my best and were a joy to be on stage with. I am very proud of this production. Thank you all so much. I hope the community enjoyed it as much as I did.
"Don't Dress for Dinner")
A shame and a waste
It seems a shame and a waste that a potentially good program is being closed or on suspension. With the closure of Bemidji and Duluth Auto Body programs Brainerd has the whole north half of the state of Minnesota to train and draw from.
I would guess that the portion of the new school for Auto Body would have had to cost a million plus taxpayers' money. From the things we hear and see nobody wants to tell us what is becoming of that area.
There is a real need for trained Auto Body Technicians and according to Minnesota State Placement and Information Booklet Auto Body ranks very high in available jobs and salaries and other categories.
In my opinion I think there should be efforts made with college, industry and anyone else directly related to reinstate the program.
Former Auto Body student
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