While it is laudable that a Sept. 11 letter writer defends his friend Bob Olson from public chastisement, it is unfortunate that he must resort to "attacking the messenger." Regardless of whether one is a political friend or foe of the redoubtable councilman, it is his dismissive demeanor- not his position on super-stores- which is at issue.
We have long suffered Olson's patronizing sighs, chuckles and conspiratorial whispering when an opposing viewpoint is presented in council chambers, but the irrelevant and cruel personal attacks engaged in earlier this month is beyond the pale. Olson should rightly be called to task. It's an embarrassment to this city which he so loves and has so long served. A mean-spirited, petty city hall is not conducive to growing Brainerd's prosperity.
What inspires me to respond, however, is the author's assertion that Olson's detractor is somehow hypocritical for speaking bluntly and publicly about Wal-Mart's abusive business practices and then chastising Bob O. He equates the truths espoused through a bullhorn at a protest with Olson's bullying histrionics. In this he is wrong, for the former is laudable and courageous while the latter is cowardly and contemptible.
As a Southeast Brainerd resident, I've seen Lucy Nesheim's commitment to community improvement. She was instrumental in establishing the Jaycees Park and turning the Spur Line into a recreational trail, two projects that have greatly improved our neighborhoods. I know Lucy will carry that commitment to the House of Representatives.
Meeting was a farce
The Planning and Zoning meeting re: the racetrack variance was a farce.
Originally called for 6 p.m. the meeting was not called until 8 p.m. because they were running behind schedule. I sat through three of the earlier hearings and only one seemed like a worthwhile decision was to allow a local man to build a house in the outlying county area. The rest was a waste of taxpayers money as the chairman seemed to have his mind made up before the hearing and steered things his way. It appeared if you wanted to do something on your property, make the original plan as close to a road or wetland as possible because the committee will set you back further anyway. Put an entrance road in the worst possible site because they will change it anyway? Is this just a way to justify the zoning department's existence?
As far as the race track I support it, we need clean wholesome and safe activities for our children in this area and the Johnson's are providing this. A little noise is the cost. Is this worse than kids finding an old gravel pit, running their bikes there and possibly severely injuring themselves and no help available? I don't think so.
The planning and zoning board recently heard from Mr. Craig Johnson about opening a motocross race track in Crow Wing Township. A lot of information was given by both sides. The chairman, Ed Larsen's appointee, managed to get the issue tabled until more board members were there so as to have a better chance at getting his way. As a citizen of the county I was ashamed at the way this board handled this. If this is all the better that our county government can handle the job then it is time for a change. This is not the first time that the planning and zoning board has come under fire but this is just another sad moment in the history of the board. I feel that we all have been let down. This board has one excuse after another. Sad sad sad.
Clash of civilizations
Iraq is reported to own 10 percent of the world's known oil reserves. Would American mothers and fathers willingly urge their children to fight a war to capture Iraq's resources for powerful oil interests?
Surely it is time for U.S. parents and non-parents alike to soundly reject losing America's young people to a Middle East "clash of civilizations" war. To do otherwise would be unthinkable.
Elaine Jensen Chesley
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