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Open Forum

Crow Wing County requests assistance from public for E911 sign maintenance

Crow Wing County Land Services would like to remind property owners to keep their blue E-911 signs clear of snow and debris. The E911 system relies upon the property owner to maintain signs once installed. Keep the sign visible at all times and remove vegetation, debris, snow and other intrusions.

Crow Wing County considers the safety of its residents and our guests a priority. It is vital that emergency vehicles are able to locate properties quickly and efficiently when there is an emergency proper maintenance and attention to E911 signs are an important part of this process.

If the sign is damaged or removed, please contact the Land Services Department at (218) 824-1125 to assist in  getting a new sign installed. E911 address signs or road signs shall not be altered, defaced, removed or moved and must comply with the county sign ordinance requirements. Signs that are not on an approved address post, should be relocated and placed on an approved post, which is visible from the primary access road. For any questions regarding E911 sign maintenance, please contact Land Services Department.

Inside the First Amendment: FREE SPEECH CAN BE SHIELD OR SWORD, AS COSBY FUROR SHOWS

Bill Cosby’s career has been deeply rooted in the possibilities and protections provided by freedom of speech.

The legendary comedian and actor’s career began with landmark comedy routines in which he tackled sensitive racial subjects. He was the first African American male with a starring role on TV, in the 1960s series “I Spy.”

The iconic late-1980s, early- 1990s sitcom “The Cosby Show” featured an affluent, professional black family that countered decades of denigrating stereotypes. And, most recently, he’s made headlines and created a few critics as a public observer and candid counselor on matters involving race and fellow African Americans.

Claims have now come to light across various media that Cosby drugged and then sexually assaulted a number of young women, in incidents reaching back into the 1960s. Various news reports say no criminal charges are likely because of statutory time limits on prosecution.

The Cosby furor exploded in social media in recent days, starting with video of comedian Hannibal Buress inviting an audience to “Google Bill Cosby rape,” while riffing on what he said was Cosby’s current curmudgeonly posture.

In an ironic twist, Cosby himself helped call attention to those making the assault claims when his Twitter account asked fans to create memes — images intended to spread quickly throughout the Internet — about him. What likely was attended as a feelgood PR stunt backfired as the images contained comments about the assault claims.

Then, in a pre-taped National Public Radio interview aired on Nov. 15, in which Cosby and his wife, Camille, had been talking about their collection of African art, NPR host Scott Simon switched subjects: “This question gives me no pleasure, Mr. Cosby, but there have been serious allegations raised about you in recent days.” When Cosby did not speak, Simon continued, “You’re shaking your head ‘no.’ I’m in the news business. I have to ask the question. Do you have any response to those charges?” Still, silence from Cosby. So Simon ended the one-sided exchange by saying he had wanted to afford Cosby the chance to speak out.

In the days since, more women have come forward with graphic claims of sexual assault. Appearances on television and entertainment projects involving Cosby have been cancelled, and his lawyer says no response is forthcoming. But such actions that once would once have resulted in a low profile are being swept aside in an ongoing social media tide — Cosby’s critics continue to range across Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

We’ve seen such controversies play out in the news media in the past in very different ways.

A little less than 90 years ago, as movies surged into prominence, a beloved entertainer of that era also faced stunning allegations involving a claim of sexual assault. Newspaper accounts in 1921 raged around popular comedian “Fatty” Arbuckle following the alleged assault and subsequent death of 26-year-old Virginia Rappe. Ironically, the silent film star was forced to speak out to counter the media blitz. Two juries deadlocked, and the third jury voted for acquittal, but Arbuckle’s career never recovered. He died in 1933.

On the Time Warner website “Crime Library,” writer Denise Noe reports that “Newspapers, led by William Randolph Hearst’s San Francisco Examiner, had a field day. Yellow journalism was at its peak and readers were regaled with stories about Arbuckle’s supposedly debauched private life and his alleged cruelty to (Rappe).”

Noe’s story also says that “Hearst once bragged … that the Examiner had ‘sold more newspapers because of the Arbuckle case than the sinking of the Lusitania.’” She also writes that Arbuckle “was bewildered by his dizzying fall from public grace. ‘I don’t understand it,’ he complained. ‘One minute I’m the guy everybody loved, the next I’m the guy everybody loves to hate.’”

In a much more contemporary example, filmaker Woody Allen used a guest column in The New York Times in February to respond to — and largely dampen a brief media frenzy over — the resurfacing of 21-year-old allegations that he had sexually abused an adopted daughter. Allen said at the time that “This piece will be my final word on this entire matter and no one will be responding on my behalf to any further comments.”

Traditional media, in Cosby’s case, already are being criticized for not jumping on the stories earlier. Cosby’s lawyer has rightly noted of the widespread claims against his client that “the fact that they are being repeated does not make them true.” And Cosby’s right of free speech certainly carries the right not to speak.

But in this news-and-information-saturated era, and with his accusers having ready access to social media to reach everywhere, Cosby’s approach of “silent until proven guilty” may not carry the day in terms of protecting his reputation and preserving his career.

Gene Policinski is Chief Operating Officer of the Newseum Institute and senior vice president of the Institute’s First Amendment Center. - See more at: http://www.newseum.org/2014/11/20/free-speech-can-be-shield-or-sword-as-cosby-furor-shows/#sthash.DjcY6B1q.dpuf

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Patty Norgaard, Economic Development: Live, work, play and give generously

Letter to the Editor

Crosslake is a great place to be in November. However, I think we can all say, Thank Goodness, elections are over, no matter who your political affiliation is with. And as in the past, the EDA will continue to work with city government to bring economic vitality to the city. As the EDA plans for the coming year, we will keep you informed and ask for your help and ideas. But let’s go on to the” fun stuff” as we move into the holidays.

Just a year ago, through a $5000 matching grant from the Crosslake- Ideal Lions, we lit up the Pine River Federal Dam for the first time. We received generous donations from the business community and private citizens. Joe Doerfler from the Lions, Cindy Mygeto from the Chamber and Corinne Hodapp from the Army Corp of Engineer were also very generous with their time and talent to make this event happen. We were very pleased with our first year efforts and heard the same from our community.

Beginning in January 2014, we formed a committee and throughout the year began planning for 2014 Holiday at the Dam! With the help of Ted Strand and his crew, from Public Works and many volunteers, we have strung more lights on the Dam, trees, fences and buildings. And this year we have expanded our efforts to “Light up Crosslake”. You will see more lights on our city property and we even have adopted a “Deer Theme” so look for lighted deer around the town.

The main focus will always be at the Dam. This year, we have planned our first Holiday at the Dam, December 6th from 1PM to 4PM. There will be sleigh rides, visit with Santa, bonfires and hotdogs, smores and hot beverages. So come on out, young and old and enjoy the day!

So, one may ask, why do we want to go through all the work? Or what’s this got to do with Economic Development? Or better yet, what’s in it for Crosslake?

Tourism is one of Crosslake’s economies and the Pine River Dam is one of our natural assets. So it just makes sense to put the two together and create a tourist destination that leads to a more vibrant economy for Crosslake. It is true to a large extent we are a retirement community, but we also have a manufacturing economy, a high tech economy, a retail economy, and a tourism economy as well. And all have a place for participating in a growing economy for Crosslake. Everybody can win – people shop at our stores, eat at our restaurants, stay at our motels.And maybe someone will say, I want to live here, or I want to work here or I want to have a business here.

In an article I read and I quote, “The recognition of a community’s culture assets and the marketing of them is an important element of Economic Development. Creatively acknowledging and marketing community assets can attract a strong workforce and successful businesses, as well as help sustain a positive quality of live”.

I’m asking you again to join our efforts to create a successful Light up the Dam project for this coming year. Tax deductible contributions can be made to PAL, (memo, Light/Dam). Checks can be dropped off at the Community Center, or mailed to 14126 Daggett Pine Road, Crosslake, MN 56442.

So please join me and all of us who work to make Crosslake a great place to live, work and play and give generously.

Happy Holidays!
Patty Norgaard
Economic Development

Campaign of Integrity

Letter to the Editor

I am an interested reader of your informative newspaper.

Many thanks and gratitude for my fellow parishioner, Darrell Schneider, for conducting a campaign of integrity.

Pat Schloesser
Outing, MN

Mitchell’s Concession letter

Letter to the Editor

Nov. 4, 2014: I would like to thank the residents in Crosslake who supported me with their votes. Unfortunately I did not receive enough votes to win tonight.

I would like to congratulate our new Mayor Steve Roe and the new council members for their victories tonight. I hope that they all will learn from the lessons of this campaign and that they will establish a new open and transparent City Council.

As for the future, I want my supporters to know that I will seriously consider running for Mayor again in 2016. Thank you.

Darrin Mitchell
Crosslake, MN

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