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Open Forum

Thanks from Patty Norgaard

Letter to the Editor:

I'd just like to thank everyone for the privilege of serving as your Mayor for the past two years. My only regret is not being able to carry out the many exciting initiatives we now have underway.

I have enjoyed serving as your Mayor and have done my best to represent this community that I love and am so proud to call home. I've been blessed to have been supported by so many wonderful people: staff, community volunteers and friends. But, elections do have consequences and while I would have rather been able to finish what we started, I want to wish David well as he enters into his new role.

Patty Norgaard
Mayor of Crosslake

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Guns everywhere?

Letter to the Editor:

Does arming school teachers provide the best defense of our schoolchildren?

As someone who had some small understanding of how large organizations and bureaucracies work, I’d say definitely not! When I think of all the rules and safety measures that would have to be in place, I see more children being killed, not fewer. This couldn't fit into the Wild West imaging seen by some armed teachers proponents. Imagine: the security of the guns, the training, the watchfulness would become so lax after 23 years of not having a shooting in your school. Suddenly a gunman shows up. Where's the guard? Where do we keep the guns? (I forgot.) Where's the keys? Guns couldn't be kept in the open, after a few incidents of children or others trying to grab or steal them.

But even if it somehow worked, then how do we also secure all the Jewish synagogues, Black churches, Indian sacred grounds; yes, even the white Lutheran churches? And don't forget Catholics. A lot of angry former altar boys may be out there. The preacher has the best view, from the pulpit, second to the organist in the balcony. I   suppose the pulpit could be steel-lined, with a bulletproof glass bubble or shield to protect the pastor. His/her AR-15 could lie right across the bible, where it's handy.

And the organist would need to be sent to constant upgrades to "active shooter" training, so she/he could  immediately switch from an A-minor chord, to locked and loaded.

Our next line of Wild West defense would have to be all those fast-food places that are often hit: the McDonalds, Hardees, Burger Kings, Jack-in-the-Boxes, etc.

If you have a long driveway and are constantly getting flat tires from nails scattered in the dirt, you don’t just keep  fixing flats. You get some magnets, and hire children, a penny or a nickel per nail, to help you gather all the nails you can find. Likely you won’t get every one, but flats will be much less frequent.

Similarly, it might make better sense to attack the root of the violence problem, which has been not guns, but greed, for money and power, that’s led to the corporate takeover of the Republican Party, and to a lesser extent the Democratic Party, and to all the anger this has built up among all people who sense their power and government slipping away from them.

A. Martin
Merrifield, MN

Appeal to protect our wetlands

Letter to the Editor:

Like many of you, I am a property owner in Crow Wing County, with a love for the beautiful natural landscape that makes this part of the state so special. In 2014, I bought a lot at the Boyd Lodge site. Since then, I have enjoyed a lake home with a wonderful view of Whitefish Lake and also a wetland that extends across several lots.

When I purchased my lot, I was given a County plat map of the development showing 9 lots with homes being built on the ridge. This map also showed a “proposed boardwalk” on an adjacent lot that does not have direct access to the beachfront on Whitefish, as the wetland lies between the main area of the lot and the shore.

This spring, the adjacent lot was sold. I later learned that the owners intend to build a home with a 2,000 sq. ft. structure on the land directly by the beach - not on the ridge. This puzzled me, as I could not see how a home could be built there when there is no vehicle access across the wetlands. I called the County trying to get information. I was told no building permits had come in. No information was shared about any administrative  actions. In mid-September, I observed orange ribbons around trees and several stakes on the shore of the lake. I called the County again and was told that on March 29, 2018, an administrative decision had been issued allowing a vehicle bridge/driveway to be built across the wetland. Neither the nearby property owners nor community at large were informed of the administrative review or decision.

This is a moral and social issue for our community, as the development will impact our shared wetlands. Constructing a driveway near and over a wetland is not consistent with the goal of preserving and protecting the natural resources. This property is subject to the Perpetual Wetland Conservation Easement, which is supposed ensure that the County protects the wetlands. The County can only be held to fulfilling its duties if its actions are visible.

It is unsettling that plans are being developed behind closed doors, with the possibility that we will not learn of them until there is nothing that can be done. Fortunately, I found out in time to have this discussed in a public forum through the appeal process. My appeal was heard by the Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment on October 18, 2018 but was tabled to November 15, 2018. It is disconcerting that while the public has a right to appeal, the agency did not inform anyone to allow for that right to be exercised.

I ask anyone who seeks to be a good steward and protector of our wetlands to speak out and join me at the hearing on November 15, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. at the Courthouse in Brainerd. If you can lend your voice to protect our natural treasures, I would appreciate your assistance.

Julie Rupert
Crosslake, MN

Dog lover

Letter to the Editor:

I just finished reading Mike’s Meandering Mind dated Tuesday, October 30th. As a dog lover/owner of a Golden Retriever “Beau” and member of the Crosslake Dog Park Committee I was in stitches laughing. Molly’s narrative was so indicative of how we interact with our pets and eye opening. With the Crosslake Dog Park becoming a reality soon, fencing in process, may I suggest Molly, that you ask Mike to bring you to the park. You won’t burn your feet on hot tar, will have new territory to explore and friends to make. Someone is always throwing a ball. Mike may even find life isn’t lonely at the dog park.

Marty Hayford
Pequot Lakes, MN

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