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Open Forum

Brainerd Lakes Area League of Women Voters to host Crow Wing Energized

Subject: Crow Wing Energized
Date/Time: Thur., Feb. 11, 2016
Social 11:30 am, Program at noon.
Location: First Presbyterian Church, 512 8th Street
Speaker: Cassie Carey, SHIP Coordinator

Cassie Carey will speak on Thursday the 11th at noon on the Crow Wing Energized movement. The purpose of the Crow Wing Energized Community Leadership team is to establish and grow community support for policy, systems and environmental change work in obesity prevention and tobacco use and control. Crow Wing Energized also aims to enhance health and wellness through the development and implementation of a county wide strategic plan.

The Crow Wing Energized Community Leadership Team will have four main goal groups that will help with implementation and be driven by partnerships within these collaborating goal groups: Healthy Choices, Mental Fitness, Workplace Wellness, & Community Connections. This grassroots effort is bringing together community leaders and interested volunteers to identify ways to help people live healthier lives. Some initiatives are as easy as connecting people to existing programs or resources, such as promoting local farmers markets or events that help families exercise together. Others will take more time and study, such as reducing obesity or falls among senior  citizens.

Cassie Carey is the Crow Wing County/Essentia Health SHIP Coordinator, the State Health Improvement Program. She is a LPN Clinic Nurse with Essential Health.

All League presentations 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.

Jesse

Letter to the Editor

Jesse was a beautiful Chocolate Lab and was put to sleep a couple of days ago due to age and health issues. She was 13 years old and loved by all of us. She was a wonderful companion and loyal and trusting to the end.

Needless to day it was one of the hardest decisions that the family and myself had to make but, we had to do it for her and it was the last loving gift we could give her before she went to sleep. Jesse was ready and just simply went to sleep. Thanks to our wonderful Vet, Kyle, who was so very gentle with her until the end.

I ride in my car now and feel a huge void because that’s where she was most of time, in my back seat loving to go where ever I went and listening to me talking to her or listening to WCCO.

I am a Bereavement Facilitator with a heavy heart and feel it’s time to write about the loss of a pet and how to cope with it.

We all deal differently with the loss of a loved one but, when it comes to losing an animal the feeling sometimes is “here today and gone tomorrow.” The grieving process for an animal is just as important as the loss of a human being. Time and time alone will heal. The process can be a long journey. Remember they leave you with all of their love, trust and are loyal always.

I’m feeling better already putting this down on paper and sharing my thoughts with all who have had to go through a loss or will have to in the near feature. Knowing that Jesse is in a better place with warmth and all the food she can eat whenever and just loving thoughts and memories of a lovable, smart companion family dog will let me sleep better tonight.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and please know that I am available if and when you might need to talk to somebody about losing your companion like we did, our Jesse.

G’ma Keiffer (Donna)
Crosslake, MN

Build a stronger bond, look at Scouting

Letter to the Editor

We are coming to the end of January, which means some people may have already given up on their New Year’s resolution. Research from the University of Scranton shows 45% of Americans make a New Year’s resolution and the tenth most popular resolution made is: to spend more time with family. That same study tells us by now 40% of people will have failed to maintain their resolution.

If your resolution was to spend more time with your son and build a stronger bond with him then you need to take a look at Scouting.

Whether it is working on a pinewood derby car together, going camping together or working on a Cub Scout Adventure together you will build memories together that will last a lifetime. By joining Scouting with your son you will have a better chance of maintaining your resolution and have something to truly feel proud of as you go through the program.

Research shows that families who are involved in Scouting have a stronger bond and are happier.

You can find the Scouting opportunities in your neighborhood by visiting BeAScout.org

Don’t give up on your resolution to spend more time with your family or to have a stronger bond with your children.

Lord Baden Powell, the founder of Scouting, said, "A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different, because I was important in the life of a boy."

Kenneth Toole
Pine Tree District Executive
Baxter, MN 

Inspire Me Playground

Letter to the Editor

I am spearheading a much-needed project for children with special needs, “Inspire Me Playground for the Northland Community”, a new playground would be added to the existing 20-year-old playground at Northland Community School in Remer.

The idea of the new play area came from an “A-ha!” moment while I was supervising on the playground. The children who were in wheelchairs, or others with special mobility needs were unable to use the equipment. The planning of the new handicapped-accessible playground began to form in my mind.

Truly, working with special needs students inspired me to set up a meeting on January 12th. The committee started looking for funding. The first grant papers came as a surprise. It had everything but our name on it.

Let me explain, “Playground grants are available to Schools in low to moderate income communities in Minnesota”, with one sticking point: How to raise matching funds by the grant deadline of February 18, 2016.

Well, if you know me, all anyone had to say was that it can’t be accomplished and I am at full force.

Inspire Me! Look on the Northland Community School website www.isd118.k12.mn.us/ to donate. Please call your friends, neighbors and alumni. The committee wanted t find grant funding first but it seemed the grant we found, a matching fund grant, has Northland’s name written all over it.

Help is all I can ask for. This handicapped accessible addition to the Northland “Eagles Nest” playground can be a dream not only for our students, but for the community who has shown it cares by providing a new school for the education of area children.

I promise I will make it a play area that contributors can be proud of.

Inspired! I can use other people on this quest.

Carol O’Brien
Inspire Me Chairperson and Northland Schools Paraprofessional

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Legion Post 500: 1-18-16

Letter to the Editor

Monday, Martin Luther King Day, as I entered the Crosslake Community Center, Joan Baker thanked me for my Veteran Letter to Editor and told me of serious water damage due to frozen water line at the Crosslake American Legion – Post 500. This is a “story that has to be told.”

When I arrived on Tuesday, the Becker Flooring truck was at the Front door; so - I entered and began by taking digital photos of damage. Bob Baker served as my guide dog.

Busy was Dan Schorr, a carpenter, volunteering his time. His wife, Ann, was busy cleaning, painting, staining, Dan and Ann are overseeing the restoration, working with the contractors, and the insurance adjustor.

Thanks to the many, many volunteers who have stepped up to the plate to get the legion back up and running.

I dropped in to do a “Fact Check” on Thursday’s visit to learn that the front bar will be open on Friday, January 22nd at 3:00 p.m. As a member of American Legion Post 49 in Pequot Lakes, I plan to attend as a show of support for Post 500 veterans.

Bob Uppgaard
Pequot Lakes

Free market capitalism

Letter to the Editor

Free market capitalism is working, only 62 of the richest people are needed to have as much money as the poorest half of the people in the world. At the rate of change this is happening in a couple of years the richest person will have more than half the lowest people will in 2010 it was the richest 322. In 2015, 62 was all that took.

The richest 62 only gained 1/2 a trillion, the lowest half lost 1 trillion, so much for free markets being good for everyone.

Wisconsin next door elected a free market Governor and legislature about 3 years ago they were dissatisfied with the way things were going. They cut taxes, attacked unions, and did the standard free market goals, their economy, which at that time was better than Minnesota’s, has slipped well behind Minnesota’s. Their ACT scores which for years was number two right behind Minnesota’s slipped to number 42 this year, maybe, had something to do with the major cut in school funding a couple of years ago.

Minnesota has had a nice recovery from the stagnation under Governor Pawlenty who held those same views. We  now have one of the top run state governments in the US and a surplus of funds which we can use to start repairing and replacing much of our worn-out, outdated, broken, and aging infrastructure.

The Speaker of the House, Mr. Ryan, is of the same philosophy as are many of the Presidential candidates. Seeing as many of our spiritual leaders also do, I feel we need a lot of praying that the good Lord will have mercy on us.

Jesse Nix
Emily, MN

Guest Editorial: Continue building on the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King

Representative John Lewis (DGA) was interviewed by and spoke to a spectrum of Minnesota high school students in 2006. The event was filmed by PBS, sponsored by Minnesota's General Mills Corporation, and rebroadcast recently through the Bemidji PBS stations, KAWE and KAWB. There were 10 students, representing a cross section of culture and race: Black, Indian, Caucasian, Hispanic, and a teacher. The students were from high schools around the Cities, such as Wayzata, North, Blake, Hopkins, and others.

Congressman Lewis had been one of the Freedom Riders of the 1960's, a group of black and white people moving against the racial color barriers so firmly entrenched in US culture, and even law. They boarded buses and traveled mostly from the East, to the South, in protest of the institutional racial segregation of our country; a racial segregation that had grown like a mold or disease, spreading and harming even it's host body.

Mr. Lewis was one of those beaten unconscious, into concussion, by law enforcement - on the attempted peaceful civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama on "Bloody Sunday".

Congressman Lewis was a young man in those days, around age 25, and like many other blacks and many whites, saw the inherent wrong, injustice, and inhumanity of what was established. He was one who believed in what Dr. Martin Luther King was trying to accomplish, and Mr. Lewis was one of the founding members of SNCC, called 'Snick', the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Much misinformation was propagated against SNCC by those fearful of losing the perceived privileges of segregation.

At that time, so much was segregated by race, in attempts to let minority peoples such as Blacks, Indians, and Hispanics, know without a doubt that they were considered "second class citizens" by the dominant race. Some of the measures could be considered comical, had they not been so hurtful and harmful to everyone, including those doing them. In many places there were separate drinking fountains, for "whites" and "colored". What difference could it possibly make who drank from a fountain, other than to deliberately hurt and humiliate another human being?

Waiting rooms, toilet facilities, buses, schools, eating places and so forth were segregated in order for one group to insult and make another group feel bad. All of us have at one time or another suffered slights or insults, and we feel that discomfort a long time, sometimes forever. Imagine us knowing that we could expect to be accosted and insulted, maybe assaulted, at any time by anyone, not for what we did, but for who we are; what we looked like. It wouldn't matter if we were living an exemplary life of sainthood.

In some places it was expected if you were "colored" and a white approached coming down the sidewalk, the minority person was required to step off into the gutter and let the white person pass. I once saw a black man and his son do this, and it struck me: how does that father later explain this to his son? What would I say to my own son?

It's been said racism of the North was worse than the South, because it was more hidden and covered up, and therefore more difficult to deal with.

What sort of culture does this to another? Nazis? It humiliated me, being part of such a culture.

A Black man was elected President twice, and has a fine Black family. This is wonderful, but only touches the tip of the iceberg of prejudice. Racism is still a problem, even in Brainerd. A few years ago our Crow Wing County Human Rights Commission was disbanded by the county commissioners, at about the same time a black man, Mr. Navy, was nearly beaten to death on our streets in a racial incident. Many volunteers had worked long and hard to establish that commission, and some involved in that disbanding now represent us in government. I wonder what sort of philosophy or thinking they bring to our state government?

Do we still have work to do to deal with racism? When we look at unemployment data, as bad as it's been for whites, it's about twice as bad for blacks, and it's even much worse for Indian people. Either minority people are genetically inferior, or we still impose a lot of racism. Since science has already shown minority people and dominant culture people are genetically equals, that leaves racism as the cause.

We need to continue working; continue building on the dream Dr. King had. People will feel and be much better, when we can act and feel as true brothers.

The Civil Rights Movement not only served to begin freeing Black and Indian people from racism's effects, but also helped free many whites, who were reluctant or afraid to protest and oppose this sin of prejudice.

A. Martin
Merrifield, MN

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