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Open Forum

Cuyuna Legacy Bill Scheduled Thank you Crosslake Community for House Hearing

St. Paul, MN — The second of many legislative steps for funding the expansion of the mountain bike system within the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area (CCSRA) took place on Monday, March 23. The House Legacy Funding Finance Committee heard HF791, a bill that provides $1 million in Legacy dollars from the Parks and Trails Fund for development of the next phase of the Master Vision of the mountain bike system.

“Monday’s hearing is another step in the process towards fulfilling the Master Vision for Cuyuna,” said Aaron Hautala, Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew President. “We are excited for another opportunity to go to St. Paul to spread the word on the exciting opportunities happening in Cuyuna, and why Cuyuna is a Legacy worthy investment.”

The Master Vision takes the current trail system of 25 miles, or one day of riding, and adds approximately 50 additional miles of trails, increasing the opportunity to three days of riding without repetition of trails for an experienced cyclist. It includes trails for families and all skill levels, as well as making valuable connections between Cuyuna area communities.

“It is important to note that the Master Vision is not all about mountain biking,” said Hautala. “Cuyuna offers an incredible mix of 21st century outdoor recreation opportunities, including kayaking, canoeing, scuba diving, and paddle boarding. These, along with mountain biking, can coexist to create a one-of-a-kind tourism destination.”

As one of the first purpose-designed and built trails for mountain biking in the region, Cuyuna has changed the paradigm for bicyclists in the Midwest. It is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the best places in the nation to experience mountain biking.

ACT on Alzheimer’s goes to Washington and leaves with a plan to spread across the country

ACT on Alzheimer’s is a volunteer driven, statewide collaboration preparing Minnesota for the impacts of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. According to the official press release from the ACT on ALZ MN, a group of national cross-sector leaders met in Washington DC on January 29th to explore the possibility of developing a National Dementia-Friendly Communities Initiative based on the ACT on Alzheimer’s dementia-friendly community framework.

“The meeting followed the collaborative process that has worked so well in Minnesota,” said Seth Boffeli, Minnesota AARP. “I wasn’t sure it would work inside the Beltway, but everyone came together, discussed and debated, and agreed on steps for taking action.” The meeting was co-convened by AARP, USAgainstAlzheimer’s and ACT on Alzheimer’s.

Throughout the meeting, ACT on Alzheimer’s was praised for a well-designed program with robust community engagement and resources. “The meeting reinforced the cutting edge nature of our work in Minnesota,” said Deb McKinley,  Stratis Health. “Everyone who helped build this process should be proud. The 33 ACTion communities implementing changes around Minnesota may not realize that they are true models for how communities across the country can move towards becoming dementia friendly.”

Crow Wing County and the Brainerd Lakes Area became involved with the ACT initiative in 2013 and has completed three of the four action phases involved in the process to work toward becoming a dementia friendly community by creating supportive environments for everyone touched by this disease. A community survey has been completed to identify current strengths and gaps, and the data has been analyzed. A community meeting for all involved in the survey will be held on March 25th. The 4th Phase will be to ACT together to pursue priority goals that foster community readiness for dementia.

Members of the Crow Wing County ACT team include representation from family members/concerned citizens, local agencies/medical facilities serving seniors, the Central MN Council on Aging and Crow Wing County Community Services. The Brainerd/Baxter Act Team, as they are officially named, is part of the Lakes Area Memory Awareness Association (LAMAA). Anyone interested in becoming involved in this initiative is invited to attend the monthly meeting held the 2nd Wednesday of the month from 8:00am-10:00am at Home Instead in Brainerd.

Crow Wing County’s Department of Community Services administers more than seventy federal and state benefit and assistance services and programs totaling more than $130 million dollars annually. The Department is dedicated to providing excellent customer service and efficient management in performing its mission of promoting and protecting the health, well-being and self-sufficiency of all Crow Wing County residents.

Thank you Crosslake Community

Letter to the Editor

As the Director for the Crosslake Chamber of Commerce I want to say Thank You to the community of Crosslake for rolling out the red carpet for the St. Patrick’s Day festivities. We estimate attendance at more than 20,000 lining the streets basking in spring-like weather as more than 100 businesses and organizations rolled thru town presenting their floats and entries in the 41st Annual Parade. We are extremely proud and appreciative of the business community who support the event with financial sponsorships, raffle prizes, deals, discounts, events, activities and floats and entries in the parade. Our hats go off for a job well done to the City of Crosslake Public Works, as well as law enforcement from Crosslake and the surrounding communities. A special thanks goes out to the youth from Crosslake Lutheran Church and the Crosslake Evangelical Church for sweeping the streets clean following the parade. I feel privileged to work with an exceptionally talented volunteer committee who meet year-around to organize and execute this fantastic celebration. Our goal is to continue to grow this event with fun activities and a parade full of entertainment to be enjoyed by residents, seasonal residents and visitors, whose experience is so great, they make Crosslake their vacation destination or maybe even buy a home and stay! Mark your calendars for March 12, 2016 and we’ll see you next year!

With special Thanks to the 2015 St. Patricks’ Day Committee:

• Mike O’Connell - Larson Group Real Estate
• Laura Stromberg - Stromberg’s Chicks and Gamebirds
• Dawn Maucieri - Maucieri’s Italian Bistro
• Becky Peterson - Whitefish Properties
• Katie Wallace - Northland Press
• Heather Jones - Barstock Liquors
• Bob Heales - RA Heales & Associates
• Bruce Gateley - Crosslake Insurance Agency
• Brian Thull - North Country Lawn Care
• Cindy Nelson - Crosslake Chamber of Commerce

Cindy Myogeto, Director
Crosslake Chamber of Commerce

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St. Patrick's Day Parade

Letter to the Editor

Yesterday [03/14/15] we attended Crosslake's St. Patrick's Day Parade. We have lived in the area and attended many parades throughout the Brainerd Lakes over the years. But Crosslake put on the most creative, musical and cheerful parade that we've ever seen! No political advertising and the businesses that advertised did it so cleverly - Maucieri's, Whitefish Lodge and so many more. The people who put it together and participated deserve kudos! The parade matched the weather - perfect! We are proud members of the Crosslake community!

Mary and Donn Hall

Racism, there’s still a problem

Letter to the Editor

The daylight saving time that's forced on me.

The 7 a.m. news started off with a story of a racist chant posted online from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity of boys (not men) at Oklahoma University. The chant said: no ("n-words") will ever be members of the fraternity.

Next news item: unarmed 19 year-old black student shot and killed by white police officer in Madison, WI.

Again.

Next, President Obama, shown at the base of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL, during a commemorative ceremony for civil rights marches from Selma to Montgomery. (I worked from an office at the base of the bridge in the 1990's.)

A survey showed 52% of whites, and 32% of blacks felt race wasn't much of a problem anymore. So even though almost no whites are ever affected by racism, almost half of us can see there's still a problem. Two out of three black people see a problem. Black or white, that's an outrageously high percentage.

Why do we still tolerate or sometimes even encourage racism? Small people might attempt to elevate themselves by putting someone else down, but that never really works.

Is it just human nature; are we trying to be too politically/socially correct? We don't excuse murders as being "just part of human nature", so why accept racism? It's stupid, and it hurts people. If someone finds racism is accepted in their 'books of morals and ethics', they'd be best to throw those books away.

Partly seems it's refusal to accept that slavery was wrong; immoral; even in the "old days". It was never o.k. For those still fighting the Civil War, do they seriously think if the South had won the war, that they'd still be keeping slaves? Time to move on, become men and women, not immature racists.

When I look at the history of my/our society, I see a pattern of intense reluctance to ever admit a mistake or apologize. To me that demonstrates a great lack of self-confidence in the morals, religions, and principles our culture is based on. (For example, it took the Catholic church over 300 years to actually admit it was wrong concerning Galileo's simply reporting on what he saw as the working order of the solar system!)

A. Martin
Merrifield, MN

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