Letters to the editor for Feb. 3, 2012

Invitation to a caucus

To the Editor:

Tired of the same old power struggles between members of the two “ruling” political parties? Do they really represent you? Why not join a political party that wants to concentrate on issues important to you and your quality of life?

The Independence Party of Minnesota cordially invites voters and guests living within Anoka, Nowthen, Ramsey, Bethel, East Bethel, Oak Grove and parts of Elk River to the Senate District 48 Independence Party of MN precinct caucus being held in the Ramsey Elementary School cafeteria located at 15000 Nowthen Blvd., Ramsey. and beginning at 7 p.m.

Business to be conducted during the caucus will include the opportunity to: 1) sign up as a local election judge, 2) to submit written resolutions of local concern or for state party platform consideration, 3) to be elected a delegate or alternate to the legislative district and/or the congressional district and state conventions and 4) to participate in a preferential straw poll.

A preferential Minnesota first straw poll will be taken on two topical issues: 1) Should taxpayer money at any level (state, county, or city) be used to partially fund a stadium for the Minnesota Vikings? 2) Should at Minnesota Constitution be amended to limit marriage to one man and one woman?

Attendees will be given the opportunity to express an opinion in support or against each issue (within certain time limits) before each vote is taken.

It has often been heard as an excuse for not voting for a Independence Party candidate that you may actually have liked, that it would be “throwing away your vote” to do so.

How many of you wondered how wise your vote had been when the state shut down last summer because the parties in charge of our government could not work together long enough to balance the state’s budget?

Didn’t you begin to wonder if you hadn’t actually “thrown away your vote” by voting for those major candidates?

Why not attend our caucus and become part of something you could support? If those of you that are hesitating would make that switch, one person at a time it would make a difference and we could become a stronger political party.

Give the Independence Party of MN a try!



Karna and Siegfried Brewer

Independence Party of MN members and delegates



Obama cares

To the Editor:

Obama cares.

Thanks to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, we, the American people, now have or will have the following benefits:

• 2.5 million young adults have been allowed to remain on their parents’ health insurance until age 26.

• All Americans who enrolled in a health care plan after Sept. 23, 2010, now enjoy access to free preventive services, including cancer and cholesterol screenings, mammograms, colonoscopies, flu and pneumonia shots, vaccinations against measles, hepatitis and meningitis, blood pressure checks and nutrition counseling.

• 20.5 million Medicare recipients reviewed their health status at a free annual wellness visit or received other preventive services with no deductible or cost sharing this year.

• 1.8 million Medicare recipients received a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs in the Medicare Part D coverage gap known as the “doughnut hole” in the first nine months of 2011.

• Four million small businesses are now eligible for tax credits of up to 35 percent to help cover their employees. The credit jumps to 50 percent in 2014.

• Your health insurance company is now required to spend at least 80 percent of your premium (85 percent for large employer plans) directly on your care and well-being or rebate the difference to you beginning this summer.

• Americans with pre-existing conditions can now obtain coverage through a pre-existing condition insurance plan.

• Insurance companies can no longer place lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits for policies written after Sept. 23, 2010. Annual dollar limits will be prohibited beginning in 2014.

• The individual mandate will insure an additional 30 million Americans, some with the help of government subsidies. Since we’re already essentially subsidizing the uninsured who are forced to use places such as emergency rooms as their primary care provider, reallocating tax dollars toward their preventive care seems to me far more humane and sustainable.

Thanks, Mr. President, for working for these essential healthcare rights, and thanks to the U.S. Congress for approving them. With our Minnesota state legislators cutting health benefits it is good to know that we have this federally-mandated protection.

Richard Reiter



Upholds right of parents

To the Editor:

In 2009 the Anoka-Hennepin School District 11 School Board passed a policy that teachers should take a neutral stance on the topic of sexual orientation and that this topic is not to be a part of district-adopted curriculum.

This upholds the rights of parents to discuss this topic with their children at the time of their choosing.

Our school district gained national attention after several suicides were blamed on bullying — even though the investigation proved otherwise.

Now the school district is being pressured in a federal lawsuit by militant GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) groups. As a result, board members are considering dropping the sexual orientation curriculum policy and replacing it with something else.  The vote could be as early as Jan. 23.

It should be noted that the school board has made some concessions already. It has posted pro GLBT links and materials on its website.

One of its recommended sources is by Dan Savage. If you search for him on the Internet you will find some very disturbing materials.

As the largest school district in Minnesota, any decision the board will make will have an impact on other schools in Minnesota and beyond.

While there is still time, e-mail and call your school board members, tell them to keep the sexual orientation curriculum policy.

If they don’t, we will be a step closer to what has happened in California where alternative sexual lifestyles and new family structures are being integrated into the K-12 curricula.

This has been described as “the worst school sexual indoctrination ever.”

Lenin’s statement should be a warning to us. He said, “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”


Harlan Vall

Coon Rapids


General lack of interest

To the Editor:

I attended the Jan. 24 Coon Rapids City Council workshop. I was very disappointed. The discussion was on the proposed pre pay ordinance.

The mayor opened up with asking for possible alternatives to the ordinance. A number of residents as well as fuel retailers offered alternatives, myself being one of them.

The general tone of the entire meeting from the people was that we don’t want a prepay ordinance.

What disappointed me was the general lack of interest of a number of the council members in the opinion of the people that they are supposed to be representing.

I got the definite impression that they had already made up their minds. They were going to pass this ordinance anyway.

Not because it will reduce drive off gas thefts, not because it is in the best interest of the city and not because it will make our streets safer.

They are going to do it because “they can.” It will make them the “first” city in the state to have such an ordinance.

A feather in their cap? I think not. If the ordinance passes here are two possible scenarios for the retail gas stores in Coon Rapids and their employees.

First: If a clerk authorizes a fuel pump prior to the customer paying in full for that fuel, the ordinance states that the clerk “is guilty of a misdemeanor.” It does not matter if the person drives off without paying or not.

If the police just happen to be at that store at that moment, the officer can cite that clerk for breaking the law. Is that right?

Second: I estimated that if each store sold an average of two fill ups an hour at $50 per fill up for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year that the retail sales of fuel in Coon Rapids is just under $3 million a year. I was corrected later on in the evening. The actual number was $6 million in fuel sales a year in Coon Rapids.

If just two out of 10 customers that are presently filling their gas tanks in Coon Rapids refuse to prepay and take their business to another station in another city that has no such ordinance, well 20 percent of $6 million is $1.2 million in lost gas sales for the city’s gas stores.

Divide that by the 31 stores and you have an average of $38,709.68 in lost sales per store. That could be enough to put one or two or three or more stores out of business.

So what is my point? Why would a city council member ever want a pre pay ordinance? It will not punish the criminals. It punishes the retail gas stores and their employees and it is an inconveniences to their customers.

The only reason to pass this ordinance is to say “hey look at us, we are the first.”

The council needs to put its collective egos aside and do what is best for the city, its retail gas businesses and its citizens. If you agree, please contact your council person and let them know.


Respectfully submitted

W.H. Braunig, Jr.

Coon Rapids

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