Letters to the editor for May 25, 2012

Weeds in Coon Rapids

To the Editor:

I started paying attention to weeds in Coon Rapids Saturday. Remember the old saying “when you point a finger, four are pointed back at you.”

Here is what I noticed while driving on 121st Avenue, Main Street to Riverdale and almost the entire length Coon Rapids Boulevard from Anoka to Northtown.

I saw weeds on almost every piece of property owned or controlled by the city (or county). I saw informational signs that could not be read until almost past them… hidden by weeds and wild bushes

Yes, I saw some dandelions where the seed stalks were over eight inches high, but they will die and slump over soon. The weeds I saw will only grow bigger.

I’m sure some will say “that is county land.” Is the county exempt? It’s still in Coon Rapids and reflects on our city.

If it is in Coon Rapids, Kristin DeGrande, the city neighborhood coordinator, should be contacted promptly and a point made to ensure action is taken against the violators.

If action is not taken immediately, let us hope that the Herald will post a listing of phone numbers for the people responsible for this ordinance, be it wise or misguided.

This appears to be one of those regulations that borders between silly and unenforceable.

Thank you,
Ernie Ridens
Coon Rapids


District 15 clinic denial

To the Editor:

It was with utter amazement that I read in both the Anoka Union and the St. Francis Courier of the St. Francis City Council’s tie vote (2-2) to deny ISD 15 a permit to remodel an unused classroom in the high school to serve as the location for an on-site, non-profit health clinic for its employees.

ISD administrators meeting with the Planning and Zoning Committee had all their ducks in a row; approval from both the school board and Anoka County, with no objections from the Fairview Clinic or other entities located in that city. It should have been a slam-dunk.

Seventy percent of the district employees work within the city of St. Francis, and it makes sense to have a conveniently located health service available to the 643 district employees eligible for this service rather than their having to take hours off from teaching or other duties to travel to remote locations for routine, non-emergency medical treatment.

These obvious benefits, which have been well-researched by district administrators, advocated and approved by many, would effect a cost savings to the district in both health insurance premiums and time lost from work and would favorably impact the 84 percent of employees eligible to use the clinic.

This plan was shot down by two either misinformed or very arrogant councilmen wielding the powers granted to them by the people of St. Francis in a very irresponsible way.

Based on the facts, the reasons they cited for denying this permit were baseless.

It is obvious from the e-mails the dissenting council members, Sandoval and Brown said they received, that they were unduly influenced by Maureen Ness and Bill Gardiner, the only names they cited as sending them.

Ness and Gardiner have a long history of opposing legitimate school board business and harassing school administrators. It’s obvious they’re up to their old tricks again, this time using the council as their whipping boy.

With four schools, including Crossroads, located within the St Francis City limits, it’s time these two obstructionists on the city council realize that the schools are the lifeblood of their fair city — a gift.

Without them, St. Francis would just be another backwoods burg — a bleep on the map. Sandoval and Brown need to collaborate and cooperate with the school district for the good of all.

June Anderson


Leadership applauded

To the Editor:

MCCL would like to thank Sen. Michelle Benson and Rep. Jim Abeler for their hard work in updating Minnesota’s life-saving Safe Place for Newborns/Give Life A Chance law.

Originally passed more than a decade ago, the Safe Place for Newborns law allows mothers (or someone acting on the mother’s behalf) to relinquish their parental rights over a newborn baby simply by bringing the newborn to a hospital.

Without this option available to parents, these newborns might otherwise be at risk of harm or abandonment. Though not used frequently, this law has saved the lives of several newborns in the last decade.

Updates to the law expand access to the program by allowing a mother the option to either bring the baby to a hospital or an urgent care clinic, or to call 911, up to seven days after the newborn’s birth.

After receiving a call, ambulance personnel will pick up the newborn and take him or her to a hospital.

MCCL applauds the leadership of Sen. Benson and Rep. Abeler on this important, life-saving issue.

Leo LaLonde
President, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, Minneapolis

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