Letters to the editor for May 4, 2012

Thanks for memories

To the Editor:

Thanks for the memories!

I am happy to take this opportunity to say one more time what a wonderful experience I had serving North Anoka County during my time as the director at the NACE Foodshelf and Clothing Closet.

No doubt there were down times and times of stress, but I have absolutely no regrets that I took that job 31/2 years ago.

It was a long hard process to come to the conclusion that I needed to step down, but I have left as an enriched person.

To the members of the board that entrusted me to direct the program, to the amazingly strong clients that I had the privilege to serve, to my loyal co-workers, and to the volunteer teams and organizations that each day brought me new strength with their unending support, energy, and passion to the mission, I simply do not have enough words to express my deep love, respect, and appreciation for you!

Keeping you all close in my heart, so not goodbye, just see ya ‘round in our community.

Joanne Yackel
Oak Grove


Big spending liberal

To the Editor:

The voters in the new State House District 37A will have an interesting choice to make. On one side they will have Jerry Newton and the other Mandy Benz. Jerry has run for this office three times. Mandy is running for her first time.

Both will probably visit you at your home. Both will talk to you about their conservative values. One major difference Jerry will talk to you about his conservative values, but he always voted as an extreme big spending liberal when he had a chance. Mandy is a true conservative and will always vote as a conservative.

You will like what both candidates say when they visit you at your door. Both will talk about family values, job growth, tax relief, less government, better schools, support for hunting/fishing/outdoor Minnesota and many other issues important to all of us.

Jerry will tell you everything you want to hear. Two terms back we listened to him and voted him into the House. Once in the House he forgot everything he promised. He became one of the most extreme liberals in the House of Representatives.

Due to his voting record we voted him out in the last election. I do not think we will vote for him this time either.

Mandy Benz is currently a legislative assistant to a Minnesota Senate assistant majority leader. She also will tell you about her views on family values, the need for less government, better schools, tax relief, better use of our tax dollars, job growth and many other topics of interest to all of us.

When you talk to Mandy Benz you will discover she really means what she says. You can believe she won’t forget she is representing the hard working families of District 37A.

When both of these candidates come to your door I hope you will carefully question both of them. See which one you can believe and trust. I am going to trust Mandy Benz for House in 37A and I hope you will too.

Harland A. Wyvell
Coon Rapids


Learned lot about city

To the Editor:

As graduate of the first Coon Rapids Citizens Academy I’d like to thank the city for sponsoring the Citizens Academy. Twenty-five citizens of the city had a chance to learn about city operations, city council, public works, engineering, utilities, community development and planning, police, fire, technology and capital projects.

Each of the eight classes included a power point presentation by a different city employee. That was followed by tours of facilities such as the police and fire stations, ice arena, public works building, CTN studios and Bunker Hills.

We all learned a lot about the workings of the city and had fun too. Thanks to all the city staff that worked so hard to make this possible.

Cindy Sullivan
Coon Rapids


Consequences for bullying

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to the article “Ramsey Safety Camp is looking for recruits” written by Tammy Sakry.

In the story, in mentions that CLIMB Theatre will be present to talk about bullying. “The message is going to be that it is not OK to be a bully or stand by and watch someone being bullied, Kreyer said.”

If passed, HF 1953 would prohibit bullying from happening in Minnesota public schools. It gives each school district the opportunity to implement bully prevention programs in public schools.

While creating a safe environment in schools for children to confront bullies, HF 1953 also requires appropriate documentation of any altercations or ill behavior.

We need to protect the mental and physical well-being of our youth.

Our youth ought to be educated on recognizing signs of bullying.

Having the right assertive tools to prevent bullying will stop bullies in their path.

There needs to be consequences for bullying. Our youth need to realize that poor behavior is inappropriate and unacceptable.

Now is the time to put an end to bullying. It is our duty to stop bullying from happening before it even starts.

Emily Eastman
St. Paul


Gambling revenues

To the Editor

The April 6 letter to the editor “Gambling bad policy” was misleading, especially the part about “brought before the Legislature (gambling) and time and time again it gets defeated.”

Minnesota gambling revenues (so far) come from horse track bidding, simulcast bidding, card rooms, lotteries, scratch-offs, and under the guise of charitable gambling (grossly misnamed) pull-tabs, bingo and raffles.

Besides these eight forms of Minnesota gambling, the state has also expanded its gambling venue into turkey hunting ($3 to enter the spring drawing).

I believe what the previous author was referring to was the Legislature’s policy of not treading on Native American slot machine turf.

The electronic pull-tabs (or even electronic scratch-offs) do not do this.

Leon Mager
East Bethel


Round up is confiscation

To the Editor:

The Anoka Union paper I received April 20 carried an article titled “Round Up Program To Raise $50,000.”

This is billed as a wonderful program “of improving the lives of children, families and seniors in the community” including Anoka, parts of Champlin and parts of Coon Rapids.

That is because the money collected by this “round up” process is earmarked for distribution to needy persons after it is “confiscated” from the people who pay electricity and water bills in the city of Anoka, portions of Champlin and parts of Coon Rapids.

Do you think confiscation is too strong of a word? Well please take a minute to read a quote from that article.

The Anoka City Council said, “While the program is voluntary, customers must call the utility billing department in order to opt out.”

Think about that for a minute while you read another quote from the Anoka city website regarding the round-up program, “The program start date is Jan. 1, 2012. Participation is easy, customers simply do nothing.”

By doing nothing, in Anoka, you are doing something when it comes to your electric and water bills.

At present they do not have one signature on paper or a single record of a phone call or any other list of people asking to be put on the voluntary contributor list because no such list exists.

In Aitkin, the participants of its round-up program are all signed up on a voluntary list. They all took the affirmative action of asking to be put on the list.

Anoka’s program is run entirely by default. If you don’t call you become a “voluntary contributor” and your failure to act somehow conveys legal authority for the city of Anoka to take your money.

The definition of “confiscation” is to take possession of something [of value] by or as if by public authority.

All we can do is try to stop the bleeding. Everyone who finds themselves described in this rebuttal, please call the utility billing department and tell them that you want to opt-out of the round-up program.

Then ask for a refund of all the money they have taken from your electricity and water bill without your permission and without your knowledge since Jan. 1, 2012.

They owe this to you. Even if it is only pennies, you want it back! It is the process you are objecting to not the amount they took.

Later in the year, in November, remember these guys on the Anoka City Council and their round-up program when you go to vote. There may be one of them up for re-election.

You can reach the utility billing department of the city of Anoka at 763-576-2750.

Remember to ask not only for them to stop the round-up for you but you want all that ill-gotten money back. If you don’t specifically request your refund you won’t get it.

Charles T. Thibodeau

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