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Open Forum

Congress on vacation for 7 weeks

Letter to the Editor

Congress will be on vacation for 7 weeks, beginning Friday, July 15th; however, the house Republicans left on Thursday (7/14). Democrats spent the entire day on Friday with one-minute speeches focused on support for stricter gun laws.

The next opportunity to vote on “expanding background checks for anyone trying to purchase a firearm, including gun show, or on line” will be when congress returns in September. Polls show 90% support for stricter gun laws.

Bob Uppgaard
Pequot Lakes

Well testing kits available to property owners that had their private drinking water wells affected by recent flooding

After heavy rains and flooding impacted the Brainerd Lakes area, Crow Wing County Public Health is encouraging residents to test their private drinking water if their well may have been impacted by flood waters.

Potential contaminants and bacteria may exist in flood water that may affect the quality of wells if the flood water reaches them. Wells that have come into contact with flood water or if flood water came within 50 feet of a well that supplies drinking water should be cleaned out and tested before going back into use. Well testing kits are available to property owners that had their private drinking water wells affected. Kits can be picked up at Crow  Wing County Community Services at 204 Laurel Street in Brainerd Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM. The  kits are provided free of charge from Minnesota Department of Health.

For more information about well safety and protecting your health during a flood, contact Crow Wing County Public Health at 218 824-1089.

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.

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Are you concerned about water quality on your lake? Are you aware of the pipeline routing threats to our water quality?

The Whitefish Area Property Owners Association (WAPOA) continues to support its water quality mission with this forthcoming workshop. We invite our members, local government officials, lake associations, neighbors and all interested persons to our next workshop/seminar.

Jeffrey Insko, a Professor of American Literature at Oakland University in Michigan, and his wife are landowners along the Enbridge Line 6b pipeline in Michigan, which was Enbridge’s replacement for the burst oil pipeline that in 2010 spilled over one (1) million gallons of Canadian crude oil into the Kalamazoo River (Michigan). Jeff is also the author of the Line 6b Citizens' Blog where he writes about their experiences with Enbridge’s Line 6b replacement, and provides a resource for landowners and concerned citizens in his area. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the national Pipeline Safety Trust. Jeff is familiar with our area and lakes as he and his family vacation every year on the Whitefish Chain of Lakes.

Landowners in this area who would be impacted by the proposed Sandpiper and Line 03 replacement route might find Insko's experiences with Enbridge especially relevant. Insko has described himself and his wife as "reluctant activists" who learned about pipelines and Enbridge by coping with an Enbridge "rebuild" on their property--a project similar to the proposed Line 03 that Enbridge seeks to include in the proposed Sandpiper corridor. Insko's story about his family's history with Enbridge is personal and compelling.

Richard Smith, President of the Friends of the Headwaters (FOH), will provide an update to the proposed Enbridge route that FOH believes could jeopardize the land, lives, lakes, and livelihoods of people in this area. Anyone with an interest in ensuring that the Mississippi Headwaters and Minnesota's lake country do not experience a disaster like the spill in Kalamazoo will want to attend this event.

The workshop/seminar will be held at 2:00 PM, Tuesday, July 26 at the Crosslake Community Center, 14126 Daggett Pine Road, Crosslake, MN 56442

Join us to learn more about managing water quality on our lakes and on your lake. You will also have an opportunity to participate in an interactive question and answer period.

Former student and football player expresses distrust in Northland (ISD 118) School Board

Letter to the Editor

Dear Northland HS School Board, You betrayed us. You betrayed the people who work at your school, you betrayed the people who go to your school, and you betrayed the people who put their trust in the school board, and by extension, you betrayed the community and the school itself.

You betrayed the people who work at your school by “rewarding” the staff who work the hardest to improve their programs, the staff who pour their heart and soul into improving the programs so that the programs are the best they could be for the students, you “reward” these staff members by terminating their contracts; terminating their contracts without proper notification, and disregarding policy to do so.

You betrayed the people who go to your school by doing what was the easiest “opt-out” solution, instead of doing what was best for those who actually go to your school. Instead of doing what you should have done, you weaseled around issues: You called a special meeting to try to avoid public scrutiny, you refused to inquire into whether the board broke policy, and refused to hear the public; in fact threatening several times to remove the  entire public so you wouldn't have to face the immediate consequences of you actions. Disgraceful.

Which brings me to my final point: You betrayed the community and the school itself by actions which could charitably be described as “reckless” and uncharitably described as either “sneaky” or “incompetent”. I, among others, am entirely appalled at your lack of professionalism, your lack of candor, and your lack of decency. I have a general distrust of fellows who run for offices of any kind, and I can say without a doubt, you (as group) have completely affirmed my belief in that distrust. I don't know whether you are lacking in ability or lacking in morals, but I do know that I will never again set foot on, or near, anything with which you are involved.

Goodbye (God willing forever),
Jonas S. Trostle, Former Northland HS football player

Request made for a State of Emergency for Crow Wing County

July 14, 2016: Due to the recent storm and flooding, the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office, Division of Emergency Management has requested Chairman Doug Houge of the Crow Wing County Board to sign a resolution declaring Crow Wing County in a State of Emergency. Preliminary damage assessments and cost of public infrastructure as of this morning are at $330,000. Current roads closed are CR 101 and Spruce Rd. All residents are able to get to and from their homes in these areas.

High Water Advisory from Cass County Sheriff's Office

Due to high water on lakes throughout the county, the Cass County Sheriff's Office is advising a no wake area within 300 feet of shoreline on all area lakes until water levels recede.

Sheriff Tom Burch reminds homeowners to take caution and ensure that boat lifts, boats, docks, rafts, etc are properly secured and not floating loose. Sheriff Tom Burch urges boaters to use extreme caution and be respectful of property while in these high water areas, especially channels, due to increased swift currents. There have been several reports of property damage, along with docks, floating bogs and other items that have floated loose from the shore. Careless operation of a watercraft laws will be enforced. This situation will continue to be monitored by the Cass County Sheriff's Office.

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