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Open Forum

Covid-19 Exposure at Crosslake P&Z Meeting

Letter to the Editor

At the Planning and Zoning meeting held on March 26th an individual in attendance at the meeting tested positive for Covid-19. Due to privacy requirements the name of the individual is confidential. However, Crosslake City Hall was notified by the individual that he was in attendance at the Planning and Zoning meeting and that he tested positive and had exposed individuals in attendance. The two Planning and Zoning staff employees along with the Park and Recreation/Library Director (who was running the recording equipment) were directed to quarantine by the City Administrator that week and just returned to work.

As City Administrator, Mike Lyonais should be held accountable to notify us of our possible exposure along with the rest of the Commission and those individuals from the public that were in attendance. How many people were affected and exposed by the lack of [action] and poor judgement on the City Administrator’s part? The issue was raised during the Public Forum at the April 12th City Council meeting. When Mayor Nevin asked staff to  comment there was no response.

Question for the City Administrator: Why would you have the city employees quarantine due to exposure and not notify anyone else in attendance at the meeting? The staff was asked the day following the council meeting why there was no notification sent out to Board members? The response was “they are not responsible for notification.”

The Community Center has protocol established for contact tracing. It is required that  individuals sign in so in the event someone has tested positive a notification can be sent out  to individuals. Why not at public meetings? Local governments are required to establish and implement a Covid-19 Preparedness Plan pursuant to current executive orders. The plan needs to include protections and protocol for customers, clients, and guests. This lack of consideration and respect for the commission and towards the citizens is inexcusable and  unacceptable.

Jerome Volz
Planning and Zoning
Commission Member

We Need To Do Better

Letter from the Publisher

Racism, sexism, bullying and discrimination of all types are, sadly, alive and well everywhere. It happens in the work place, in schools, in social settings, on the roads, in the government, in churches, on social media …. no place is exempt.

To deny its existence does not make it go away. To turn a blind eye and ignore it does not make it go away. To accept it as status quo doesn’t make it go away. To say we are not part of the problem does not make it go away. We need to do better!

Everyone needs to think about any time in their life when they felt discriminated against. Whether the unacceptable treatment was because of race, sex, religion, politics, income level, job, welfare needs, housing needs, age, appearance or any other undue reason. Think of the affect it had. Then think of why and how we would want to protect others from any type of experience that would make them feel the way we felt.

Now think about how we may have, at some time, discriminated against someone for any of the reasons mentioned above... or discriminated against someone because we felt  discriminated against. This vicious cycle needs to be stopped and everyone needs to do better for all of our sakes.

Diversity training and education is a positive step. However, the principles of that education and awareness must be applied: Peace vs. Violence; Understanding vs. Willful Ignorance; Kindness vs Cruelty; Respect vs. Contempt; Inclusion vs Exclusion; Love vs. Hate. We need to be proactive and call out injustices when we see them, rather than simply observing, accepting and/or ignoring them.

By protecting other people’s dignity and rights we in turn are protecting our own. We are  protecting our families, our friends, our neighbors, and our fellow workers by accepting  others without discrimination and making our communities a safer, more enjoyable, accepting and welcoming place to live and visit.

No one wants to believe they are part of the problems that exist in our communities, so the best way to counter that is to be part of the solution. Everyone needs to treat others with respect and dignity. The Bible says in Mark 12:31 “Love your neighbor as yourself”. We need to come together and care for each other’s welfare. We need to do better! This needs to be a conscious effort on all of our parts.We need to remind each other and ourselves that words and actions really do matter. We need to do better to be better!

Sincerely,
Joanne Boblett, Publisher
Northland Press

All Fishermen are Guilty

Letter to the Editor

I am writing a follow up to the well written letter dated March 16 by Mr Johnson on “Fishing Suppression”. He warned us that if we want to get the husband /wife combination fishing permit in Minnesota, things have changed. He said both need to show up to purchase a license together. In the past one could buy the license and then have the other sign later if not present.

My lovely wife and I went to Fleet Farm and gave them our Minnesota ENHANCED  driver’s licenses. For those who have not experienced the joy of applying for the enhanced  license, you will make several trips to the DMV, supply your old license, marriage  certificate, social security card, tax returns, and official Mn birth certificate amongst other demanded documentation. The Fleet Farm clerk said my wife’s fishing license application was rejected. Fleet Farm asked for her Social Security number. We guard our SS# well, and obviously don’t just hand it out when asked. Bad things can happen if others get your #. When ask why, we were told it is a new DNR regulation. We left without licenses, but given  a # to the local DNR office. We call the DNR and asked why we need to enter my  wife’s SS# , she explained that it is a new federal regulation, so they can track down people who are –wait for it ---– DELINQUENT IN CHILD SUPPORT. She also reprimanded me for being a poor listener. (My wife tells me the same –She tells me I have two faults. One, I don’t listen, and something else!)

We, as a couple, are 40 years beyond our child raising years, and did so successfully, fully funding our children. We also have paid way more than our share of taxes. I ask two  questions. Why would the Federal government decide the MN DNR would be the logical  partner for tracking down delinquent child support? I fully support the effort, but don’t get  where a fishing license application comes into the formula. Why an interest in fishing then  be subject to a background check on not paying child support - even if you did not have  children. Ah, the logic of government! Also if I had been a delinquent, they should have caught up with me in the last 40 years - through other channels.

The DNR has a history of poor Walleye management, zebra muscle control, as well as ignoring the damage being done by all the new huge wake boats. They are not the gold standard of administration. I suspect that if you are stopped by a conservation officer on the lake this summer, the first question will NOT be “show me your license, and stringer.” It will begin with “how many children do you have”.

Charlie Carlson,
Pine River, Mn

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Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid awarded Older Americans Act funds to provide legal services for seniors

Web posted April 20, 2021
The St. Cloud office of Mid- Minnesota Legal Aid has received a grant of Older Americans Act funds from the Central Minnesota Council on Aging to provide legal services for seniors residing in Benton, Cass, Chisago, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena, and Wright Counties. The funds will be used to provide legal advice, counseling and representation in court and administrative hearings. There is no cost for these services.


If you are 60 years or older and reside in Benton, Cass, Chisago, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena, and Wright Counties, you can get help with legal problems involving Medicare, Social Security, eviction or other housing problems, public benefits, such as medical assistance, food support and fuel assistance, family law issues, including domestic abuse and income maintenance, nursing home problems, home care services, powers of attorney, health care directives and debt collection. NO help is provided for criminal matters, wills, estate planning, or real estate transactions.

Seniors can also call the St. Cloud office of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid toll free at 1 (888) 360-2889 for help scheduling an appointment.

Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid accepts contributions for the legal services, but contributions are not required to receive legal help.

USDA Funding Available to Help Low-Income Individuals and Families Buy or Repair Homes

Web posted April 20, 2021
USDA Rural Development has funding available for very low- and low-income individuals and families seeking to purchase or repair a home in a rural area.


The Direct Home Loan program offers financing to qualified very-low and low-income applicants that are unable to qualify for traditional financing. No down payment is required, and the interest rate could be as low as one percent with a subsidy. Applicants must meet income and credit guidelines and demonstrate repayment ability. The program is available in rural communities of generally 35,000 people or less.

The maximum loan amount is $20,000 at a one percent interest rate, repayable for a 20-year term and can be used to improve or modernize homes and do essential repairs. Grants of up to $7,500 are available to homeowners 62 and older and must be used to remove health or safety hazards, such as fixing a leaking roof, installing indoor plumbing, or replacing a furnace.

Time is limited to receive funds for the current fiscal year. Contact a USDA Rural Development Housing Specialist in your area today, to see if you qualify.

USDARural Development loans and grants provide assistance that supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mn.
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