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Open Forum

Public Right of Ways Domino Effect?

Letter to the Editor

I only have 500 words, so pardon my succinct letter.

Last Monday evening (12/8/14), the Crosslake City Council narrowly tabled a letter (3 to 2) drafted by the city attorney which would have allowed a lake resident who owns land that abuts a public right-of-way leading to Trout Lake, to have about 2,000 feet of the public right of way that a portion of his garage and home sits on. This letter claimed that vacating this land was in the “public’s interest.” I am writing to inform the public who live off-lake in this area that first, there are usable public right of ways that lead to lakes here (you can find them on the GIS map on the city website), and secondly, now that some citizens are trying to address issues at these usable accesses, there have been roadblocks and disputes. I am deeply concerned that if the city agrees to vacate public property to one owner, it will set precedence, and become a domino effect – where the public loses.

In my particular area (Manhattan Beach peninsula), a group of people donated public right-of-ways to the public “forever,” back in 1929; these areas are clearly marked on the plat map. Several home owners over the years have encroached on these accesses, never thinking that families would be moving up here, living off-lake, and wanting to use them. Excuses are being made such as these cabins were built such a long time ago, etc. However, it is the city’s responsibility to call these squatters on the carpet, and certainly not to reward them with free land.

There are two larger accesses on the point where I live that are the biggest problem: one on Whitefish Lake has a tiny cabin that was built on it that no one is claiming and no one is paying taxes for, and the other one is on Trout Lake. The Trout Lake access has been cleared and used as the owner’s lawn, fire-ring and partial beach. This is the access where the owner has been asking for a vacation of the right-of-way. It’s a tough call, but the city needs to remove the cabin sitting on Whitefish, and ensure that the public has knowledge of, and can safely use the access on Trout.

I have requested signage and a trail on the larger accesses for over ten years with no response. I am calling on citizens in the area who care about preserving these right-of-ways to contact the Crosslake City Council and voice your opinions, or we may witness a quiet domino effect – nullifying opportunities for families to enjoy the lakes. Here in Crosslake, the only public beaches are located at the campground, and a small beach next to a boat launch on Trout Lake. Preserving and developing the larger accesses will make this area attractive to young families. The council will be making a decision about this in the next few months. Please speak up.

Mary Miller
Crosslake, MN

Fair Share of Taxes

Letter to the Editor

A couple of times lately, I have heard things that sort of stuck in my craw, one was a person calling in to CSPAN whining that they had worked hard all their life and raised their kids and sent them to school. Now the opportunity arose for them to make some real money and they were being taxed to death.

It reminded me of a resent sermon that I listened to where two old classmates each very successful in their own right were talking. One was in business and making a lot of money the other was a theologist, a renowned surgeon and a philanthropist. The businessman told his friend that he used to tithe but now he just couldn’t seem to afford to. His friend said well I’ll pray for you and see if it helps. “He immediately began to pray” Lord could you help my friend by adjusting his income down to a level to which he can afford to tithe again.”

I pray for those that cannot afford their fair share of the taxes that their income be adjusted down to where they can afford both their taxes and a tithe for their church.

In real dollars higher education doesn’t cost much if any more than it did back when I could get it for two dollars a credit. The difference was the government picked up the rest now we just raise the tuition and cut taxes on the ones who are benefiting from having an educated work force.

At the end of WWII and during the Korean war we were paying off the wars educating the country and building the infrastructure and we balanced the budget. Then we decided to change the tax code to make it less graduated (fair), we started to run deficits. It is very good now for the super rich, good for the rich, not so good for the middle class and terrible for the poor. Much of this is the result of tax dodgers spending a lot of money to get a version of economics into a prominent position to give the impression that we could have a free lunch a great economy without paying for it: just lower taxes.

I look at tax dodgers the same as draft dodgers.

Jesse Nix
Emily, MN

Respect for Law Enforcement Officers

Letter to the Editor

I want to declare a long and loud “THANK YOU” to each and every one of our law enforcement officers. I have 100% respect and appreciation for all that you do as you put your lives on the line every day. The recent attacks on law officers in the national media are absolutely outrageous. The race hustlers are going full force, fanning the flames and further dividing our country. The rhetoric and lack of leadership from the President and his pathetic Attorney General are inciting riots rather than denouncing them. Those who serve in our many police departments and county sheriff’s departments are charged with maintaining the peace and order of our civil society and protecting the innocent. Anyone who is stopped by an officer or questioned by an officer must show the utmost respect and politely cooperate. The two recent incidents in Ferguson, MO, and Staten Island, NY, were clearly situations that would have ended very differently if the perpetrators had behaved properly when contacted by the law officers. They were both engaged in criminal behavior. They chose to resist and fight. The outcome is their own fault. Law Enforcement Officers have a very difficult and dangerous job and they deserve our utmost cooperation and support. When you see an officer, you are looking at a man or woman who has sworn an oath to risk their own life to save yours.

Tom Lund
Longville, MN

Light Up Crosslake

Letter to the Editor

Thank you to Crosslake businesses and residents for your support, donations, efforts and willingness to light up Crosslake! Thank you Patty Norgaard of the Crosslake Economic Development Authority for your vision to light up the dam and flock the town with deer. Thanks to the Light Up the Dam Committee for organizing the project  and stringing lights on the dam. Thanks to Ted Strand and the City of Crosslake Public Works Department for stringing lights in the trees. Thanks to the US Army Corp team; Corrine Hodapp, Deb Griffith, Jason Hauser and Miranda Peters for your helpful can-do determination. Thanks to the Crosslake-Ideal Lions Club who have generously pledged or contributed matching dollars of $10,000 to this ongoing project and thanks to the PAL Foundation for tracking all the funds.

This really is a community-wide effort that adds a wonderful twinkle to the season.

Cindy Myogeto
Crosslake Chamber of Commerce

Torture: "enhanced interrogation technique"

Letter to the Editor

Torture: "enhanced interrogation technique". So blithely rattled off as 'EIT' by immoral CIA administrative jerks, as though it's just nothing. Those same people call murdering someone "extreme prejudice".

CIA people are trained to lie to everyone, even us. Especially us.

Torture is torture. Period. No matter what it's called. When it's called something else, that's being shifty and deliberately deceitful; Nazi-like. It's intended to hide something. If they weren't ashamed of it, they would just call it what it is: torture.

Whether or not it's effective is immaterial. The first question must be "Is it right, or wrong?", for a country that feels it's "manifest destiny" is telling everyone else how to live.

Taking money from someone is similar. Is it right or wrong? Did you earn it, or are you stealing it? If stealing, another path must be found to obtain needed money. To do otherwise is the slip that sends us falling and plunging downward endlessly, until something outside of ourselves stops us.

During the period leading up to WWII, this primal slip is what happened to Nazi Germany, and Imperial Japan.

For True Evil to reign, there must be capability, and intent. The U.S., through it's technological military certainly
has capability. By accepting torture, we develop intent.

The war criminals and creeps that were leading Germany and Japan were exactly the same types of people recently leading us for a time. The U.S. had lost it's compass, and it still hasn't fully recovered it's sense of direction. (Witness all the police actions, Wall Street, or banking.)

A country doesn't "fall" because it allows gay marriage, or family planning (including abortion): it falls when it accepts things like torture. What's next for the U.S.? Chemical or biological crimes? (Imagine the sort of success-torturers would claim we'd have educating our children if we threatened them with torture for poor performance.)

Some things are more important than 'the bottom line' of a situation.

If one is Christian, the first question must be, "What would Jesus do?" All atheists I know have answered this question correctly, in a way positive for man, Earth, and heaven(?). Those relating to higher powers now need the guts to step forward.

This country is afraid to ask itself the one most important question about "9-11", and would not listen if it were told: "Why did 9-11 occur?" It's part of that slippery fall.

A. Martin
Merrifield, MN

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Beware of scam IRS phone calls

Letter to the Editor

Sheriff Todd Dahl reports his office is receiving complaints of local residents being contacted by IRS officials. The person making the calls is not affiliated with the IRS and the call is a scam. One Crow Wing County Resident recently was swindled out of $2000.

The IRS made the following release this month: An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn't answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.

Note that the IRS will never: 1) call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill; 2) demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe; 3) require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card; 4) ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or 5) threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

Sheriff Dahl recommends any persons receiving these calls hang up immediately and report them to local law enforcement.

Thank you from Crosslake Ace Hardware

Letter to the Editor

A special thank you to all the shoppers that showed up Saturday November 29th at Crosslake Ace Hardware in support of the Crosslake Food shelf. Every person that donated $5 to the food shelf received a 5 gallon bucket in which they received 20% off their purchases. One hundred and twenty-five customers participated last Saturday thus raising $625 for the food shelf. They were in need of 2 refrigerators in the near future so we hope this will help them out.

Thank you,
Dan and Betty Soller & The entire staff of Crosslake Ace Hardware

Lighting up the town

Thanks to all the participants for lighting up the town with holiday lights. It appears the City of Crosslake has a theme – the reindeer are delightful! Thanks for making everything so festive this year.

Sandy Melberg
Crosslake

Enbridge to present Sandpiper Information Dec. 18

The Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Pequot Lakes and Crosslake Chambers, will host a free informational presentation on the potential Sandpiper oil pipeline route through Crow Wing County.

The meeting is scheduled from 9- 10 a.m. Thursday, December 18, in the Minnesota Room at Breezy Point Resort.

Representatives from Enbridge will discuss the project and answer questions. Business leaders are especially encouraged to attend.

To ensure adequate seating, all attendees should RSVP by contacting Jodi Nelson at 218-822-7107 or jnelson@explorebrainerdlakes. com by Monday, December 15th.

Senator Carrie Ruud to Hold Senate District 10 Meetings

Senator Carrie Ruud (R-Breezy Point) and Representative Elect Dale Lueck (R-Aitkin) will hold a series of Senate District 10 meetings on Saturday, December 13th and Saturday, December 20th.

On December 13th they will be at Hallett Library in Crosby from 9:30- 10:30, Brainerd City Hall from 11-noon, and Pequot Lakes American Legion from 12:30-1:30.

On December 20th they will be at Garrison City Hall from 9:30-10:30, Aitkin City Hall from 11-noon, and Hill City City Hall from 12:30-1:30.

“I’d like to encourage anyone with questions or suggestions regarding the upcoming session to stop into one of my local forums,” said Senator Ruud. “I’m looking forward hearing from the district about the issues they feel strongly about.”

Senator Ruud encourages constituents to contact her Capitol office at 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, State Office Building, Room 25 St. Paul, MN 55155, by phone at 651-296-4913, or via email at  sen.carrie.ruud@senate.
mn.

Cindy Moor to speak at the League of Women Voters December 11 program

Wondering how kids in our area are spending their out of school hours? Curious about what’s being done to provide safe spaces in our community for young people? Join the League of Women Voters and Cindy Moore, Executive Director of TheShop, for an informative meeting regarding TheShop, a drop in center on Main Street where “‘Loitering’ will forever remain a welcome activity.”

The program is at noon on Thursday, December 11, at the Brainerd Library. And if you are feeling particularly in the holiday mood, bring an item for Cindy to share with young people at TheShop. TheShop clientele range in age from 12-25, and warm boots, hats and gloves seem to be popular. If you’d like other ideas, call Beth Passi at 218-825-0397 or contact TheShop.

In 2013, a report issued by the Minneapolis based Youthprise organization states that “32% of K- 12 children are responsible for taking care of themselves after school and only 12% participate in afterschool programs.” Focused “Out of School Time” Activities play a crucial part in supporting youth and in particular work to “level the playing field” for youth considered “disadvantaged.” On average, students spend 2,000 hours a year outside of school, and they need places to go where they feel welcome and comfortable. At the same time, our most vulnerable youth find themselves disconnected from our local communities and underappreciated.

TheShop is here to provide a place for our youth where they can grow to be positive, productive, and engaged citizens in the Brainerd Lakes Area. The Shop is also here to close the “opportunity gap” for youth who have yet to find a place to participate in constructive activities, inspiring recreation, and transformative programs.

All League meetings are open to the public, and there is never a charge for attending.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization with a strong 90-year history educating Minnesota’s voters. It encourages informed and active participation in government, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Membership in the League of Women Voters is open to men and women of all ages. Join us in making democracy work! Information on League of Women Voter Minnesota can be found on the LWV Minnesota website at www.lwvmn.org or by calling 651-224-5445.

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