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Open Forum

To the Pequot Police Department

Letter to the Editor:

Thanks for your prompt response to a 911 call on the hot July 4th, 2018 at about 5:11 pm, my 5- week-old Great Grandson was locked inside a vehicle with 2 dogs. When I placed the 911 call, not only was there fear of his life and health but worry as to how soon help would arrive.

I believe a municipality has the responsibility to help provide safety for its residents for Fire and Police protection. However, Jenkins Township Supervisors believe fire protection is the only service which is time critical and not Police. Therefore, they cancelled its contract with Pequot and now depend upon the Crow Wing Sheriff. Jenkins Township is negligent and selfish by expecting the Sheriff’s vehicles to provide time sensitive help and to hope Pequot Police will provide help to their residents at Pequot’s expense with no reimbursement.

Sincerely,
Robert L. Smith
Jenkins Township Taxpayer

Heart Breaking!

Letter to the Editor:

It’s a small 55 acre lake in Merrifield, sorta like a farm pond – yet I love it so! This year the two baby loons appeared in the last week in June. Unlike when I was born – some people say that I was so hard to look at that the ‘Stork’ dropped me off a block from the house! Not so with these two, I rowed out to see them!

Coincidentally, this year, two different sports boats also appeared on the lake. By the time they were finished roaring around this little lake with their usual recreational activities on that last weekend in June – the little loons would never be seen again; only the parents remained!

A question surfaces: is lack of character a form of mental illness? My Grandma used to say – if it isn’t in there, you can’t put it there! Some people behave as if stupidity was a virtue!

William M. Stalpes
Merrifield, MN

Janus v. AFSCME

Letter to the Editor:

I was not overly surprised by the Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME. I think that it was wrong. The Supreme Court has been wrong before and it will be again. In this case I believe that Janus was just a freeloading deadbeat with a lot of money behind him. I doubt that it was his own money. Someone planned the case and set it up in advance. I hope that the next time that they negotiate that they negotiate that any non-union members will be hired at minimum and they get minimum benefits. If they need a lawyer to deal with a problem with the employer the union will supply the lawyer subject to being reimbursed at a fair rate for time spent on the case. Seeing as they don’t want to pay for the time and money that their fellow employees have put into achieving those benefits and wages they don’t deserve them.

Unions have done a lot for the working class in this country, securing safe working conditions for everyone, through getting legislation passed and standards negotiated. They negotiated health care, which then became a standard benefit. Now that union membership is down it is being taken away as it is to expensive, or a copay added that is very expensive and a percentage of it payed for out of the wages as a deduction.

Weakening the unions is a tactic to lower the income of the working class and lowering the living standards in the US. Encouraging deadbeats and freeloaders to be government employees isn’t a good thing. I was never a member of a government employees union, however, my Republican wife was the President of her local when she was a government employee. As a republican precinct chair she would receive all kinds of information from candidate’s bragging about the work they were doing to destroy government unions, seeing as we used the same e-mail and phone I received them also.

Jesse Nix
Emily, MN

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Fund Suicide Prevention Efforts

It’s been a little over two weeks since the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain and the CDC report on the dramatic increase in suicides in our country. Calls to suicide helplines went up, some people made calls to loved ones and friends to check up on them, a few people took a suicide prevention class. Now what?

During the coming weeks will our attention to a truly serious public health crisis wane? By the time the next legislative session starts will our attention have turned to other issues? Our history demonstrates that we too often stop paying attention and don’t take action.

The first suicide plan for our state was developed by the MN Department of Health in 2000. At that time there was concern about the rising number of suicides – which was about 400 people a year back then. The legislature appropriated $1.1 million annually to implement the plan.

But in 2005 state funding was eliminated due to budget cuts. Funding was restored for the 2008-2009 biennium only to be reduced for the 2010-2011 biennium by over 75%. There was about $98,000 a year to fund community suicide prevention efforts. By the end of 2013, 673 people had died by suicide in MN.

In 2015, MN Legislature allocated $146,000 per year for suicide prevention, funding a part-time suicide prevention coordinator and three community-based grants and in 2016 allocated $348,000 per year for suicide prevention, funding a full-time suicide prevention coordinator and six community-based grants. This funding allowed the department to fund suicide prevention efforts across the state including evidence-based trainings, working with the media on safe messaging, and holding postvention trainings to provide technical assistance to communities after a suicide in order to prevent clusters and contagion.

A new statewide plan was developed to guide our efforts. The goals are broad, focusing on preventing suicide but also reducing risk factors such as isolation, trauma, and limiting access to lethal means. The goals also include timely access to mental health care, including crisis care along with better data collection to inform prevention efforts.

The question now is will the legislature consider this a public health crisis and take action to increase funding for these efforts? In 2016, 745 people in our state died by suicide. We need to take the number of lives lost seriously – famous or not – and fund the work to prevent further suicides.

Sue Abderholden is executive director of NAMI Minnnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness), a non-profit  organization working to improve the lives of children and adults with mental illnesses and their families through education, support and advocacy.

Care N Share Café Celebrates serving 100,000 meals since 2008.

Requesting Donations to continue the mission.

The Community Care N Share Café began 2008 when several individuals recognized a growing local population of individuals in need. The program began in a church kitchen but was discontinued for one year until a building addition was completed with a commercial kitchen. The Care N Share Café is its own 501c3 and is located in the fellowship hall at the Wesleyan Church in Emily. Most food comes from Second Harvest Food Bank located in Grand Rapids and funding is from private donations and grants from the United Way, Essentia Health / St. Joseph Foundation and Crow Wing Power Round-Up Program.

The Care N Share Café is run by volunteers and has served over 100,000 meals since its start in 2008 and they look forward to many years of continued service. The Café currently serves within a 25 mile radius of Emily,  including the towns of Emily, Crosby, Crosslake, Outing, Merrifield, Fifty Lakes, Pequot Lakes, Palisade and Pine River. Meals are still provided free every Wednesday night (except on holidays). Volunteers come from the surrounding areas also including Crosslake Lutheran, St. Emily’s Catholic Church, Emily United Methodist, Hill Top Chapel in Palisade, and the Wesleyan Church in Emily.

Over one hundred fifty meals are delivered every week to veterans, homebound and community members who may be unable to gather at the fellowship hall for a meal. In addition to the delivered meals, over 100 meals are served at the Care N Share Cafe from 5- 6 pm. where folks can drop in and enjoy a free meal with their neighbors and share events of their day in fellowship with each other.

The volunteer board for Care N Share Café has determined that we need additional donations beyond our normal budget to fund a Certified Food Manager (CFM). The CFM is required to meet Minnesota Department of Health  regulations. We have relied on a volunteer CFM to date, but find that the situation has changed and we must now pay a CFM.

Your donations can be sent directly to Care N Share PO BOX 354 Emily, MN 56447-0354 Thank you for helping  us continue our mission.

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