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Open Forum

Healthy Community Grants totaling $8,000 were awarded this week by Crow Wing Energized $25,000 remains for final application deadline of May 30

Crow Wing Energized has awarded more than $15,000 in Healthy Community Grants this spring to support efforts to move our community to a place where the healthy choice is the easy choice. Most recently the following organizations received $8,000 to improve the health and wellness of the individuals they serve.

PORT of Crow Wing County, Central MN Adult & Teen Challenge, and Cummings Treasured Time Adult Day Center each received a grant to create a garden working with local Master Gardeners. The purpose of the garden will be to educate program participants about gardening, sustainability, enhancing on-site healthy eating, as well as adding exercise and activities to the program participants’ daily routine.

The City of Pequot received a grant to add signs, benches, picnic tables and more bike racks to Sibley Lake Park and Mayo Lake Nature Preserve impacting the ease of utilizing these parks for those of all ages and walks of life. By enhancing parks, the City will be promoting active living and a healthier lifestyle by encouraging the citizens of our community to spend more time outdoors.

Emily Emergency Food Shelf and Good Samaritan Society – Woodland Campus both received sustainable funding  to support their established community garden structures and provide nutrition educational programming materials and tools.

CTC and MN DOT will enhance their employee education to impact healthy eating and increased physical activity.

Grant applications from Crow Wing Energized, a grassroots community movement led by Essentia Health and Crow Wing County Community Services to improve health and wellness in our community by making healthy choices essential, are being accepted. The application deadline is May 30, 2016 for the remaining $25,000 with desired impact areas of schools and community efforts that promote active living and healthy eating as well as health care strategy support.

Organization criteria for applying includes serving or located within Crow Wing County, including but not limited to: neighborhood, youth, or environmental groups; faith-based organizations; health care organizations; civic or citizens’ associations; economic development agencies; local government entities; local businesses; school districts and other similar groups. Applicants are not required to be incorporated 501(c)3 organizations.

Applicant projects need to align with the Crow Wing Energized guiding principles as well as Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) SHIP’s financial guide:

• Creating and sustaining a united approach to improving health and wellness in Crow Wing County

• Collaboration towards solutions with multiple stakeholders (e.g. schools, worksites, medical centers) to improve community engagement and commitment focused on improving community health

• Being anchored in evidence based efforts around greatest community good that can be achieved through available resources.

The Healthy Community Grants are made available through Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) funding that was awarded to Crow Wing Energized. Grant applications are reviewed by the Crow Wing Energized Community Leadership Team and Goal Groups:

Healthy Choices goal group develops sustainable strategies and encourages healthy choices by increasing access to healthy foods, increasing active living opportunities, and helping to promote and support the healthy environments.

Mental Fitness goal group encourages and equips citizens in achieving and maintaining mental fitness by building networks throughout the county for achieving resilience, increasing the practice of intentional choices to help reduce stress and anxiety, and educating our communities to increase the knowledge of mental fitness so it will   help to make positive choices regarding their overall health. Workplace Wellness goal group helps to create a healthy and energized workforce by increasing employee satisfaction, maximizing productivity, minimizing absenteeism, and helping to reduce health care costs.

For a Healthy Community Grant Application visit crowwingenergized.org “Resources” page or to learn more about Crow Wing Energized and what it’s community partners are currently doing, please contact Cassie Carey – Crow Wing Energized Coordinator at Cassie.Carey@crowwingenergized.org or 218-828-7443.

National Senior Service Corps

Make a difference in your community by joining the National Senior Service Corps.

Here are two opportunities to serve locally: Foster Grandparents tutor and mentor children in schools, head starts and shelters working 1:1 and in small groups with children in need of extra assistance.

Senior Companion volunteers are assigned to seniors they visit each week to keep them living independently: assisting them with grocery shopping, getting to medical appointments and helping them get out into the community.

Retirees (age 55+) receive a small tax-free stipend and mileage for serving 15-20 hours a week. For more information on how to volunteer and an application: call 218- 839-6650 or email Marcia.Ferris@lssmn.org

The grants are funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Minnesota Board on Aging, with in-kind support from the agencies they serve at.

Faith in Action Volunteers “Promote Possibility”

Concerned about driving on slippery roads? Need to take a short break from caregiving? Wishing there was someone to talk to or visit with during the long, cold winter? Contact Faith in Action for Cass County to meet neighborly volunteers who can help. Everyone qualifies!! There are NO income or age restrictions. You don’t need to be “old” or “poor”. You just need to call ahead to set something up.

Faith in Action Volunteers “promote possibility” by being helpful neighbors and friends. They serve people throughout Cass County with transportation, visiting, home meal delivery, light homemaking and chores, telephone reassurance, and respite for caregivers. Volunteers do not provide medical or hands-on care. Volunteers do provide friendship, safety, security and neighborly help. Faith in Action doesn’t wish to take the place of family and friends who can help out, but we recognize that they can’t always be around and it’s always nice to have another friend or pair of helping hands.

In 2015, over 100 Faith in Action Volunteers provided 5100 hours of assistance, driving over 81,300 miles for 1560 rides. Volunteers befriended over 200 people, filling 170 requests on average each month. Service requests were up 20% over the year before.

Services may be limited in some areas due to volunteer availability over the winter, so it is important to schedule in advance. Faith in Action may be able to connect you with additional resources to help with your needs. If you would like to “promote possibility”, new volunteer trainings will be scheduled soon. Call Faith in Action at 866-675- 5435 or go to www.faithinactioncass.com for information on services or volunteer opportunities. Faith in Action is “Neighbors Helping Neighbors”.

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The Sandpiper /Line 3 Pipeline Update

Letter to the Editor

Enbridge, a Canadian company, is looking to increase pipeline flows across Northern MN by some 1.3 million barrels per day. This is comprised of an initial new 880,000 barrels in the Sandpiper line, and then a proposed upgrade/expansion and relocation of its “Line 3” currently operating in its present corridor near Cohasset.

At the beginning of the proposed Sandpiper pipeline-permitting process the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) conducted a limited version of and Environmental Impact Statement. In the PUC modified study the scoping document of the EIS included no alternative routes for the pipelines. The preferred Enbridge route through the lake country was the only option. Then, Enbridge filed for a second pipeline (Line 3 replacement) to be collocated in the same alignment as “Sandpiper”.

Friends of the Headwaters sued to have a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) conducted. The court ruled that a full EIS was required. The Public Utilities Commission countersued to not have to do the full EIS. The state Supreme Court upheld the original ruling.

Now the PUC has to reassess the scoping document to determine what aspects of  impact should be included in its full EIS study. The PUC is currently holding public hearings to gain input from the citizens to determine what the public feels should be included in the scope of the impact of oil pipelines traversing the lake country of Northern Minnesota.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as well as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will be assisting the Public Utilities to determine the impacts as they proceed to issue the permit for both the Sandpiper and Line 3  "replacement”.

The current status is: after all the public hearings are complete the actual  process of completion of the study will be done. An approximate timeline given is: a final scoping decision –early summer 2016; a draft EIS –early 2017; public hearings on the draft EIS- early 2017; permitting decision –Fall 2017.

The public is asked to comment by email or in writing by May 26, 2016 to:

Jamie MacAlister
MN Department of Commerce
85 7th Place East, Suite 500
St. Paul, MN 55101-0109
Fax: 651-539-0109

Email: Pipeline.Comment@state.mn.us
Online: www.sandpiperline3.us/

Issues for comment include: impacts to you and your area; any options for how to mitigate issues; criteria for how routes should be evaluated.

In summary, our lakes and North Country are still very much at risk. The short-term economic gains are compelling this process to proceed through the lake country. There is a huge risk of economic and environmental destruction when oil spills or leaks into our lakes and wetlands.

Make your voice heard by contacting the Public Utilities Commission.

Mary Kowalski,
Lake Roosevelt
Emily, MN

Ideal Township

Letter to the Editor

I appeared alone at the May 9th, 2016 Township monthly meeting before three Ideal Township Board Supervisors at 7:00 p.m. It took 20 minutes to present concerns shared by many. The Board continued with its Agenda as I departed at 7:30 p.m. Concern

#1: Ideal was named the Minnesota Township of the year (2014) by the Minnesota Association of Townships on Tuesday, December 16, 2014. The photo of Jim Brandt holding the Award, and the story by Kate Perkins, should forever be remembered.  Jim’s phone #, e-mail, and home address was posted on the Bulletin Board for those with problems needing immediate attention. He served from 2002-2014.

For two years the story and the Award has been a “Best kept secret”.

Concern #2: The March 10, 2015 election defeated incumbent Jim Brandt with 60 votes. 7.0% of Ideal’s 861 Registered Voters elected the new supervisor.

The March 8, 2016 election required 64 votes to elect a new 3-term supervisor. 7.4% of Ideal’s 861 Registered Voters elected the new supervisor.

Mark your calendar: Monday, June 13, 2016. Y’all would want to be aware of problems the township faces; and help the new board seek out simple solutions to complex problems.

Bob Uppgaard
Pequot Lakes

Take a long, careful look in the mirror

Letter to the Editor

When I was around 12 years old, a carnival came to Cloquet every July 4th. They had a wrestling tent, with the house wrestler on stage looking very much like the old cartoon character Peter Pain in the Ben-Gay ads. Some strapping farm-boy-looking stranger from the crowd (that no one had ever seen around before!) would accept the challenge to wrestle the scrawny, balding house wrestler. After the suckers bought our tickets, we'd see a match that clearly should’ve been won by farm-boy, but by hook or crook, with the referee conveniently not seeing it, would be won by the scrawny one.

Back out front. The insults and challenges would fly back and forth, fans angry the "bad guy" won. Soon there'd be a "rematch". Before I was 13, I caught on to this. Apparently not all voting age Republicans are doing the same in today's politics.

It's a good time for all good US citizens to take a long, careful look in the mirror. The little flag-wavers should stop waving for a moment, the standers for the Pledge of Allegiance (since the 1950's an unconstitutional pledge) to sit out one pledge, the "troop supporters" to take a pause from creating more "troops" to support.

If the Foundling Fathers looked at our reflections coming back from the mirror today, what would they think? Would they be proud of us? When Ben Franklin was asked what sort of government the Fathers had come up with, he's famous for saying, "A republic, if you can keep it."

The Party Republican candidate gives the impression that like a poisonous mushroom he suddenly popped up overnight from nowhere. His slogan, "Make America great again" was copyrighted by him in 2012!

Is the same liar who confused and confounded the conservative media over the lie that Barack Obama wasn’t a US citizen, the same insidious source of the “untrustworthy Hillary” image?

Those of us who still like the original premises of our country can’t afford to sit by and say, “Hillary (or Bernie) seems to have a comfortable lead”, or we may find ourselves sitting numb and slackjawed on November 9th.

The Republican candidate had demonstrated his ability to assemble lynch mobs, including those who will mob against their own ‘kind’.

A. Martin
Merrifield, MN

Land Use in Manhattan Beach

Letter to the Editor

May 12, 2016

Fellow Residents of Manhattan Beach,

An important public hearing will be held at the Manhattan Beach City Hall on May 20, 6:30 PM regarding land use in our city. As of today, no one from the city has been professional or courteous enough to provide us with clear and detailed answers about the reasons for this hearing, the options that we have, or how those options will affect the people, our land values, the process, or our city’s future.

In order for our citizens, the planning and zoning commission and the city council to make informed decisions, we all need more information well in advance of a public hearing.

It is imperative that the city attorney, zoning administrator and council cooperate now to provide the public with answers through every available media. Without a comprehensive and informed approach to the changes they are proposing, it is impossible for the public to participate effectively in the democratic process.

The information we are requesting is basic and simple. The fact that the city is grappling with the result of losing a recent land use lawsuit is not justification for withholding information.

1. What are the options available to us other than changing our Comprehensive Plan and Ordinances?

a. What are the positive and negative issues of each option?
b. How will each option affect our quality of life?
c. How will each option affect the value of our property?
d. How will each option reduce or increase the risk of future land use lawsuits?
e. How does each option measure up in terms of the health, safety, and welfare of our community?

2. When will the proposed Comprehensive Plan revised wording and ordinance amendments be available on line so that all interested citizens can review it?

3. How will the public hearing be conducted? At this point we have not seen an agenda or an order of business. When will that information be made available?

4. How soon after the hearing will the Planning and Zoning commission make their decisions or recommendations, how will their decisions be made available to the public?

We need a clearly written, side by side comparison of the changes to the Comprehensive Plan and the ordinances that the city attorney is suggesting. A side- by-side comparison is in keeping with the process established by the city’s P&Z and city council ordinance revision project of 2009-2013.

Our thinking is simple
1. There is no reason to change the city’s Comprehensive Plan.

2. There will be many “unintended consequences” if the Manhattan Beach city council approves the proposed changes to the Comp Plan and ordinances to allow Interim Use Permits.

3. We do not need an untested Interim Use Permit (IUP) that allows “an exterior indication of a business use that does not meet the Performance Standards”.

4. Commercial business operations conducted outside of the home or structures in our Rural Residential district should not be allowed.

Larry and Marilyn Wannebo
Manhattan Beach

PS If you cannot attend the meeting, please send your concerns PRIOR TO THE MEETING to: City of Manhattan Beach, 39148 County Road #66, Manhattan Beach, MN 56442. Or, email the mayor at paulphr@crosslake.net and the City Clerk at  barb@manhattanbeachmn.org . Must be received PRIOR TO THE MAY 20th MEETING.
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