Letters to the editor for March 2, 2012

Opposes gas prepay law

To the Editor:

I am surely disgusted about the city of Coon Rapids imposING upon us the prepay ordinance.

Having lived in Coon Rapids for some years, I always  purchased gas for my car here in Coon Rapids.

I will refuse to be treated like a low down thief by prepaying. I work in Fridley and often drive to Elk River to visit friends. I will surely choose to spend my gas money at some station that will appreciate me as a regular paying consumer. I will join in with my neighbors and friends who have vowed to do the same. We do not want to be treated in this disgusting way.

Last year I spent $2,831 at local pumps. I will not buy gas in Coon Rapids now that prepay ordinance has passed.
Sheila M. Beutler
Coon Rapids


Ongoing concern

To the Editor:

Our A-H School District 11 has a section on its website for Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender issues and has given GLBT training and materials to district staff.

For example, according to the website, “All counselors received copies” of the book “It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living” edited by Dan Savage.

Let me be clear: Dan Savage’s name has recently been removed from the A-H website and we thank the school board for making this change.

However, there is the ongoing concern about the source and character of materials influencing our staff and kids.

The counselors may still have the books, which provide a link to an Internet-based “It Gets Better Project” founded by Dan Savage in 2010.

The video project puts “gay” students on camera to share their stories. Older adults tell students that it’s OK to be gay, and that it gets better with age. This would appear to lead unsure or experimenting kids into the central and unhealthy homosexual lifestyle. We seem to be allowing this under the guise of bullying prevention.

So who is Dan Savage and why am I concerned? When I first heard his name I went on the Internet and instantly found his video titled “How to Come Out to Your Evangelical Family,” in which he advises young people to wait until the day their college expenses are paid by parents, then “come out” to their parents and give them a year to get over it.

After that time if they are still being—as he puts it — “a d–k about it,” he tells students to “stand your f–n’ ground” and tell your parents to “F-off!” He then observes that kids have leverage because they can just tell their folks they will leave and not come back. He calls his suggested behavior “being the grown-up.”

To malign former Sen. Rick Santorum (because he had taken a stand against gay marriage), Savage held a contest to come up with a very nasty definition for the word “santorum,” created a website specifically for it, then manipulated the system to push it to the number one reference worldwide. This is on both Google and Bing.

In describing this, one very liberal Internet site described Mr. Savage as, “…a potty mouthed Seattle-based sex columnist for The Stranger, gay activist and fixture on the college lecture circuit.”

Dan Savage and his “husband” Terry have adopted a little boy. This is what Savage says about their son and “three-way” sex: “I had ‘cheated’ on Terry — but only in front of him, only with his permission, only with someone we both liked and trusted, only when we were in one city and our son was in another…  While three-ways barely register on the kink-o-meter anymore, they’re considered the absolute height of kink for people like us.”

For the past 40 years I have worked in many countries around the world. I have never believed that vulgarity, profanity, sexually charged language, bullying, or absolute demands were acceptable much of anyplace, no matter who is doing it.

They are both harmful to others, and a character witness against oneself resulting in a loss of credibility.

I am writing this to inform our A-H staff and administration so they will not bring materials by Dan Savage (or similar materials) into our schools. He certainly is not a desirable role model and I do not trust his advice to our teaching staff, counselors or kids.
George Anderson

Editor’s note: According to Brett Johnson, District 11 assistant director, communications and public relations, all secondary counselors received a copy of “It Gets Better,” which is a collection of stories in their own words from gay people and their allies about coming out and coming to terms with their sexuality, as well as stories about gay people and straight people who talk about overcoming bullying and ostracism to live successfully and comfortably, Johnson said.

Staff members who facilitate the GSA clubs also received a copy of the book,  which is used to support and counsel students and is not part of the district curriculum, Johnson said.
The book is based on videos that have been published on YouTube, but access to YouTube is blocked in all district schools, he said.


A letter of greetings

To the Editor:

Greetings city of Coon Rapids, my name is Samantha Phillippi and I am your Miss Coon Rapids 2012.

First and foremost I want to thank your community for the wonderful welcome extended to me.  From the staff at Fridays to the entire Miss Coon Rapids Committee, this has been an amazing experience.

A little over two weeks ago I participated in the Miss Coon Rapids Pageant. I competed with four other talented and beautiful women, and I had a great time getting to know each of them. We had time to get to know each other while we made contestant appearances before the pageant; you may have seen some of us bagging groceries at Cub Foods, at the Dress Barn fashion show, or at the Snowflake Days 50s sock hop.

The Miss Coon Rapids Organization is affiliated with the Miss America Organization. In the Miss America system there are five areas of competition: interview, swimsuit, talent, on stage question and evening gown.

Each contestant had their interview the day before the pageant. The interviews are 10 minutes long and they are best chance for the judges to get to know each contestant.  The actual pageant was Feb. 4 at Coon Rapids High School. It started with an entertaining opening number that was choreographed by Megan Torgerson, Miss Coon Rapids and Miss Minnesota 2003.

Immediately after the opening number was the swimsuit portion of the pageant. Following the swimsuit portion is the area of competition that separates the Miss America Organization from all the other pageant systems – talent.

Miss America contestant are expected to be talented individuals as well as poised and articulate. The talent portion is my favorite part of the competition because I feel it is the most entertaining. I performed a vocal dance talent to the song “But I am a Good Girl” from the movie musical “Burlesque.”

Intermission was after the talent portion and once the pageant resumed we had our on stage question. Lastly, was the evening gown portion of the pageant. When evening gown was over we all walked the stage one last time before waiting to hear who would be the next Miss Coon Rapids.

It is so hard to describe the feeling of waiting to hear if your name will be called; all I can say it seemed like the longest few seconds of my life. Once I heard my name announced as the new Miss Coon Rapids I was immediately overwhelmed with excitement. It also meant a lot to me that I was crowned by Miss Coon Rapids 2011, Megan Ehlert, who has become a dear friend of mine.

The pageant after party was held at the Coon Rapids Fridays. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to meet everyone and thank them for supporting the Miss Coon Rapids organization. A highlight of the after party was meeting the mayor of Coon Rapids Tim Howe. He gave me a Coon Rapids pin that looks marvelous on my sash.

I want to tell you a little more about myself. I am from Oakdale and live there with my mother, father and younger sister. Recently I graduated magma cum laude from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a bachelor of science degree.

I love to sing, dance, and rock climb. I love being physically active which ties into my platform, “Dance this Weigh: Physical Activity for a Healthy Lifestyle.”

For those of you unfamiliar with the pageant system, a platform is an issue a contestant addresses during her reign. My platform focuses on getting the community to live a healthier life by educating them about nutrition and physical activities.

You can follow my platform on my website: samanthaphillippi.weebly.com, or on my platform website, www.wix.com/dancethisweigh/healthy.

Since being crowned I have been preparing for the Miss Minnesota Pageant. We spend a week at Miss Minnesota making appearances throughout the metro area. The Miss Minnesota Pageant will be held this June at Eden Prairie High School.

During the past two weeks, I have been constantly on the go – making appearances around the Coon Rapids community and working on different areas of competition.

I am doing everything in my power to get the Miss Minnesota crown back to Coon Rapids!

I look forward to meeting as many people from this amazing community as I can! Thank you all for supporting me and the Miss Coon Rapids organization.

Samantha Phillippi
Miss Coon Rapids 2012

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