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Open Forum

Focus of the Special Session

Letter to the Editor

For months, we watched as Governor Dayton and legislative leaders tried to negotiate a special session to finish their important work. This included passing bipartisan tax and bonding bills supported by legislators in the Brainerd Lakes Area.

The recent move to fund Southwest Light Rail Transit outside of the legislative process—the primary sticking point in negotiations— should now pave the way for a special session. We’re not alone in resurrecting this hope.  Dayton himself raised the possibility of convening lawmakers during a State Fair interview.

The sole focus of the special session should be the bonding bill, as passed by the House, and the tax bill with its needed technical fix. Nearly 90 percent of legislators supported the tax bill that was pocket-vetoed by the governor due to a wording issue. The bill provides needed relief and reform for many taxpayers, including small businesses that form the foundation of our state’s economy.

Likewise, the bonding bill, which was stranded in the final hours of the session, would provide funding for much needed infrastructure and transportation projects in communities throughout the state. Among the notable projects in limbo is the Cuyuna mountain bike trail expansion, a well-organized effort that has all the elements of a responsible public investment.

Working on behalf of its member businesses and communities, the Brainerd Lakes Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee made several St. Paul trips to advocate for these priorities alongside the Minnesota Chamber and many other colleagues.

Speaking with one voice, we encourage the governor and legislative leaders to engineer a revival in the special session to provide tax relief, bonding dollars and transportation funding for the good of all Minnesota. The time for action is now!

Doug Loon, President
Minnesota Chamber

Matt Kilian, President
Brainerd Lakes Chamber

Campaign Signs

Letter to the Editor

Election time is upon us. Campaign signs are starting to pop up like weed. Let have our candidates obey the laws that exist. The Minnesota Department of Transportation states that objects along roadways pose hazards for drivers and maintenance crews and, in fact, state law prohibits the painting, printing, placing, or affixing any advertisement or advertising device within county and state highway limits.

Confusion can arise for candidates on where they can post signs. An easement document or plat generally defines the scope of the right of way, which will include the street itself, as well as an area on either side of the street used to support the use of the street.

As an example most of our newer county roads have a 100 foot right of way. This roughly means that if the sign is within 50 feet of the center line of the road, it is probably illegal.

The authority responsible for the road where the sign is posted may remove an illegally placed sign. I would like to see misplaced signs be repositioned before the authorities have to remove them.

Darrell Shannon
Crosslake, MN

Support Breast Cancer Patients in the Brainerd Lakes Area!
7th Annual Pink Tie Party – October 13

Join us to celebrate the 7th Annual Pink Tie Party to support Breast Cancer patients in the Brainerd Lakes Area from 6:00-9:00 pm on Thursday, October 13 at The Woods Event Center (formerly Timbermist), 19624 County Road 3, Brainerd. The Pink Tie Party will feature hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, dessert samples, silent auction and raffle.

The Pink Tie Party presented by Consolidated Telecommunications Company (CTC) offers a special occasion to socialize with the members of your community while supporting an important cause. All proceeds benefit breast cancer patients through the St. Joseph’s Foundation at the Essentia Health Cancer Center and The Pink Ribbon Cupboard. Last year the Pink Tie Party raised over $12,000 and we hope to surpass that amount at this year’s event.

The funds are used to support patients who are undergoing active treatment for breast cancer through continued improvements in care and non-medical assistance. The Pink Ribbon Cupboard serves breast cancer patients living in our communities who are currently in treatment regardless of their healthcare provider. Below are some examples of how funds have been distributed to support patients:
• Gas cards
• Wigs for breast cancer patients
• Rent payment to lessen the stress on a family
• Mortgage payment to prevent home foreclosure
• Payment of auto insurance to keep this transportation resource available to the family
• Payment of utilities to keep the lights on
• Grocery gift cards for help with family grocery expenses

“It’s one way that as a community, we can collaborate to extend our outreach to improve the life of cancer  survivors and their families in the Brainerd Lakes Area,” said Marian Foehrenbacher, Cancer Center manager at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center. “Having resources for helping to treat the entire patient, not just physically, spiritually, and emotionally through compassionate care by Essentia Health staff, but practically by helping to meet the needs patients have beyond the disease.”

David Jeremiason, Director of St. Joseph’s Foundation, comments, “We are so excited and appreciative to CTC, The Woods Event Center, GLS Promotions, Cash Wise Liquor, Range Printing, and all the individuals and businesses that are supporting this event. We hope both men and women will attend and help us raise money to support breast cancer patients and their families through The Pink Ribbon Cupboard. All money raised will stay local—to help the men and women in the community undergoing breast cancer treatment.”

Come and join in on the excitement of this event! The first 200 advanced tickets will receive a great swag bag filled with goodies at the event. Tickets may be purchased through Kristin Larsen of Spectrum Reach, David Jeremiason of Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Foundation, Kathy Buxton or Sue Beck of The Pink Ribbon Cupboard, Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center Gift Shop, Cash Wise Liquor and The Woods Restaurant. Tickets are $25 per person in advance, $30 per person at the door.

Please come and show your support for this great cause within your community!

The Pink Tie Party will be held Thursday, October 13 at The Woods Event Center, located at 19624 County Road 3 in Brainerd, MN from 6-9 p.m.

Tickets may be acquired through:
• Kristin Larsen, Spectrum Reach 218-259-5771
• Kathy Buxton, Pink Ribbon Cupboard 218-829-6205
• Sue Beck, Pink Ribbon Cupboard 218-829-7254
• David Jeremiason, St. Joseph’s Foundation 218-828-7362
• Essentia Health - St. Joseph’s Medical Center Gift Shop
• Cash Wise Liquor
• The Woods Restaurant

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Term Limits

Letter to the Editor

While watching the news lately, there has been a fight going on about petitions being added to the ballot for a minimum wage of $15.00 an hour. Now, I have my own feelings about that issue, but it brought to mind an issue that people have brought up time and time again in normal political discussion. Term limits! I think people should get on the bus and talk more about this issue, possibly start a petition about term limits.

Let’s get this on the ballot and see what people think! Some of our politicians have been in office way too long. It seems that they are doing more for themselves then for us, the people they represent. They have voted themselves raises, better hospitalization, life long pensions after only 1 term, which the normal person could never achieve, all at the taxpayer’s expense.

I think the time has come to stand together and see some of these represenitives go. Voting along party lines, (gridlock) is not the answer to getting anything done. None of them can work together. It is time for a change in the way politics are done. This is not only for Minnesota, but for all States.

George Pepek
Emily, MN

Good News Friday

Letter to the Editor

When stopping in at the Pequot  High School Library, I was happy to learn that two of my highlighted self-help books had been check out, and the permanent library copy had been moved to fill the spot in my display. I was also impressed that students at the Pequot High School are interested in issues of self-help, WWII, Lyme, Fibromyalgia, Bonnie Prudden’s Pain Erasure: Erase Pain in Minutes without drugs, and the Korean copy of Taking Control of TMJ: Your Total Wellness Plan for Recovering from TMJ Pain, Whiplash, Fibromyalgia and Related Disorders. The display is my attempt to prepare students on many issues. Some will make things happen as they work to address important issues in the future. The books are also in the Pequot Lakes Public Library and the Crosslake Community Center Library. I am proud of all we are doing in our community.

Bob Uppgaard
Pequot Lakes, MN

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