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Open Forum

Filibuster on gun control: Senate June 16, 2016

Letter to the Editor

Senator Chris Murphy, (D) from Connecticut began speaking at 11:21 am and continued in a filibuster that lasted 15 hours. (CSpan 1 – Wed. June 15th) about the need for background checks and closing the terrorist loophole at gun shows. He ended his speech and persuaded the Senate to take a vote on Monday, when he said that it took courage for the educational aide to wrap her arms around her autistic student before they were both shot and killed by an assault rifle with a 30 bullet clip. Senator Murphy ended by saying, “It does not take courage to stand up to the NRA when 90% of your constituents want (background checks and the loophole closed).” He asked the US Senators, “What can you do to make sure Sandy Hook and Orlando never happen again.” The Justice Department cannot currently stop the sale of weapons to people on the terror no-fly list. Watch the vote on Monday to see who represents the people of our country.

Bob Uppgaard
Pequot Lakes

What if

Letter to the Editor

If we had; had the group of republicans we have now when the capital was built we wouldn’t have this expense, repairing and restoring the capital. It would have been a simple no frills barn like structure similar to the buildings in Moscow Russia. The communist government in Russia is probably the most conservative government in the world the republicans seem to admire them so much they try to copy them in architecture. We wouldn’t have the magnificent marble dome the beautiful murals or all the expensive art to repair restore and care for, no waste of taxpayer money on that sort of unnecessary junk.

The important thing would be to have three separate dining facilities one for republican lawmakers one for democratic lawmakers and one for the staff. Can’t have any light conversation over lunch a secret might slip out before the leadership is ready to reveal it.

Which brings me to the question was the mistake in the final finance bill a mistake or was it on purpose. It was pushed through quickly to make the deadline. It was held by the speaker until the last minute so that the other side would not have a chance to scrutinize it. If the Governor had signed it there would have been another whole in the budget, like most of those that the Republican Governors had, and like the present governor has been trying to eliminate.

When you negotiate you have to trust and verify whether you are working with Iran, North Korea, or republicans or democrats. The republicans just got caught. Now it is time to come to the table and get it right; not just play to the election.

Jesse Nix
Emily, MN

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Political parties and voting decisions

Letter to the Editor

A couple of former supporters of the Republican Party presidential candidate now tell me they're not sure what to do.

I know: vote for anybody but him. Either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders would work for the people, more than themselves. That can't be said of the Republican candidate. Or, find a third party candidate to vote for; usually on the ballot there are 3 or 4 other names we've not heard of. Tired of the same old two-party politics? Shame on the media for not covering these candidates! If they got some coverage, they may get support from a lot more people, once we find out who they are. Ralph Nader, Ross Perot, and George Wallace were non-two party candidates I can think of. Nader's ideas were morally good, and if he'd been president, we'd never have had the Great Recession of Republican George Bush, Jr. that took President Obama 8 years to dig us out of, being fought all the way by  people like Republican Senator Mitch McConnell. (Impeach McConnell! Why does justice move too slow? We have a shortage of dozens of judges, plus Supreme Court, thanks to McConnell!)

We’d have to look long and hard to find Republican political candidates who worked for the people, rather than the privileged. Even when the Republican candidate seems o.k., if we look further back, we see their support stems from the wealthy. Democratic candidates, against their moral wishes, have often been forced to accept some of this 'dirty' money, just to be able to compete. To liberals or Democrats who doubt this, when's the last time you  contributed cash, or did volunteering work, to help your own cause?

Closet conservative Thomas Friedman (NYT 6-9-16) wrote that the Grand Old Party, GOP, needs to reform itself into the Grand New Party, GNP. GNP also stands for “gross national product”. Was this a Freudian slip by Friedman, or did he simply miss the irony of this?

Leave the GOP intact for the wealthy and robber barons to have, to prevent them from infecting the rest of politics in the US. Let true conservatives, who aren’t conservative just to rob everyone else blind and control the people with an iron hand, have their own party just to represent conservatism. Crazy people, of which it’s shown we have quite a few, can split off into the Crazy as Loons and Hyenas Party.

A. Martin
Merrifield, MN

Grant for Emily Food Shelf

Letter to the Editor

The Emily Emergency Food Shelf was recently awarded a grant from Susan Russell Freeman, Executive Director of the Foundation For Essential Needs (FFEN). The overall project was for technology, allowing the Food Shelf to have an improved communication system. This added a phone system, answer machine, and computer hook-up at our building site along with a year of telephone fees. The telephone system answering machine can be accessed from our volunteer’s home phones. The answer machine recording lets the clients hear the dates and times that the Emily Emergency Food Shelf is open for grocery pickup. The new phone number is 218-763-3663 (FOOD). The Emily Food Shelf is totally not for profit and we get all our financial support through fund raisers, grants, and individual support. All our workers are volunteers from the community. We continue to provide food for our clients who are unable to make ends meet, both on a monthly or emergency situation.

Nancy Moritz
Emily, MN

Lack of enforcement on underage smoking

Letter to the Editor

I was having coffee with some friends with coffee and representative Heintzman came in and joined us. We had a little discussion of the session and everything was the Governors fault in his view. The idea that they gave the tobacco companies a multi- million tax-break was false; it was just that they would not collect the tax from the smokers and they would not then remit the money to the state to spend on smoking session and smoking prevention especially for young people.

The conversation then went to the law not doing any good because it was not being enforced. One person at the table regularly saw cops driving past teens smoking and not busting them. Over by the school the kids are outside before school around the corner smoking as fast as they can to get as many smoked as possible before school starts and the police drive by and see them and do nothing. I do fault them for not taking pictures of them and texting them to the school and the police chief. Also if they see a squad passing a group of smoking teens text that to the police chief and copy to the local paper.

Jesse Nix
Emily, MN

Comp Plan and Interim Use Permits in Manhattan Beach

Letter to the Editor

Dear fellow citizens of Manhattan Beach,

Looking around Manhattan Beach, it looks like a rural residential area where there is privacy, peace and quiet and where nature can be enjoyed. That’s the way we’d like to keep it.

Nearly all Minnesota zoning ordinances create separate districts for residential, on the one hand, and commercial, on the other hand, in separate areas. It would be out of step to mix the two with a haphazard IUP process. Those municipalities that allow for home occupations in residential districts consistently do so under specified standards that protect the residential character of the area.

Here are MORE Findings of Fact regarding IUPs that the commission and council need to consider.

1. Interim Use Permits (IUPs) are rarely used in the larger communities around 1 1/2 square mile city of Manhattan Beach.

2. IUPs do not run with the land because they are temporary by state law.

3. IUPs, by definition, interim means temporary. State law says the use date "will terminate" "with certainty". (In other words, not be extended).

4. Since when does the word “terminate” in the law mean to renew?

5. One independent attorney's opinion is that IUPs are good for uses that "are not neighbor-friendly". Why would we want a law like that in MB?

6. He also said, “They are only effective if used properly. Coordinating an additional land use ordinance into your existing system can be complex. It is even more complex when it is something that does not have clearly defined limits.”

7. IUPs will create unintended consequence in land uses in MB.

8. Unlike CUPs, IUPs would be unpredictable. Example: This year, the city might allow a landscaping material storage and loading area next to a property. Next year, on the other side of your residential property, the city could allow a storage yard, and across the road a green house… in 5-10 years, the area would resemble a commercial area rather than the residential area that is called for in the Comprehensive Plan that seeks to preserve and protect “land resources and the rural residential feeling of Manhattan Beach.”

9. IUPs would result in spot zoning, with commercial uses outside of the home and structures would be mixed in with residences scattered around the city.

10. The mutations of IUPs are limitless. As such, the danger of the city officials engaging in arbitrary and capricious actions increases dramatically.

11. If the city gives an IUP to one commercial business, it will be unable to restrict others. MB could become a magnate for easy to get interim use permits. While surrounding cities have tight restrictions on IUPs, MB will become known as the easy place to operate a commercial business under an IUP, thus destroying the Comprehensive Plan that seeks to preserve and protect “land resources and the rural residential feeling of Manhattan Beach.” The types and uses of IUPs are unpredictable.

12. Because it is rarely used and untested in court, and because municipalities are starting to experiment with IUPs, they have strong potential for controversy, confusion and contempt.

13. Home occupations are clearly defined in our present ordinances and are in keeping with the same use in our surrounding communities.

14. More than half of the registered voters in the city have signed a petition asking that our city comp plan not be changed and that IUPs be eliminated from the MB ordinances. There is no rational basis to create IUPs that would allow commercial uses in the rural residential area of the small city of Manhattan Beach.

Thank you,
Larry & Marilyn Wannebo
Highway #66 in Manhattan Beach

Transgender bathrooms & locker rooms

Letter to the Editor

In the consideration of transgender bathrooms and locker rooms, the following illustration may help some of us to view the situation differently than our president. I had a friend (she has recently passed away) who was plagued in her younger years with bouts of severe mental and emotional disorder. Once in an illusion that an imaginary lover was calling her to come to him, she joined the traffic on the streets of New York City, believing confidently that she was in a white convertible Jaguar with a wooden steering wheel and dashboard. Seemingly, she manipulated the wheel and “drove” ecstatically in the middle lane. Horns were honking; vehicles were terribly frenzied, but the flight to her lover was not to be halted. Continuing at top speed for ten blocks, she finally landed face down on the pavement, tackled by policemen who admitted her to an institution. The whole time she had been running on foot. Now this woman was convinced in that episode that she was in a Jaguar. Wasn't it discrimination to ban her from running the streets alongside the automobiles? Where were her rights? Why not create a middle lane for the safety and respect of all who imagine themselves to be in cars even though they are observably on foot? Of course, it's ludicrous, yet where will the line be drawn? The difference between objective reality and dysfunctional deception can be staggering. Sincerely considering oneself to be of the opposite sex does not alter the God-given unchangeable surety that a baby born with a boy's body is a boy, and a baby born with a girl's body is a girl. Psychological departure from those facts calls for compassion, counseling, and healing, not the restructuring of society to accommodate what will never prove to be true.

Janet Carlton
Emily, MN

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