Letters to the editor for June 22, 2012

Sincere gratitude 

To the Editor:

We want to express our sincere thank you to the community, Grace Lutheran Church, friends, neighbors, and family for your prayers, love, and support during this difficult time with the death of our mom, sister, and friend, Ann Blake.

The Blake children lost their father, Dan, October 1, 2011, after a 10-month battle with cancer.  Ann, their mother, was killed in a tragic, senseless pedestrian/car accident in Maple Grove on January 31, 2012.

A special thank you to Ann’s Cub Riverdale family in Coon Rapids for the fund-raiser held this past Memorial Day weekend to benefit the Blake twins.  Family is caring for the Blake twins – a son and daughter. We sincerely appreciate your kindness.

Jean L Gmach,
sister of Ann Blake for the Blake twins and family


Support for Scott Schulte 

To the Editor:

I am proud to support Scott Schulte for Anoka County Board. My support of Scott comes not only from years of friendship, but because he possesses those qualities that I want in my county commissioner.

For over 30 years I’ve have had the opportunity to call on over 140 small and medium-size businesses here in the Upper Midwest.

I have had the opportunity to deal on a daily basis with chief executive officers of companies from $1 million-$100 million in sales. I have observed the management styles of these corporate officers and what makes their businesses succeed while others fail.

Those qualities boiled down to three common denominators – leadership, a strong work ethic and a sense of their responsibility to the communities in which they and their employees live, and in the cites and towns where their businesses are located.

Scott exhibits those qualities better than anyone I have seen who seeks political office on the city, county or state level, in the last decade. Scott is probably the last of a dying breed, those who are citizen/ legislators. The foundation of American government and American politics is based on the citizen/legislator.

A citizen/legislator is a man (woman) who has a full-time job or profession in the private sector of our economy while at same time serves his (her) community in different positions, elected or volunteer, paid or unpaid for a limited period of time.

Lest you forget, the leaders who wrote the Declaration of Independence, those who wrote the Constitution of the United States and our fellow Minnesotans who wrote the Constitution of the state Of Minnesota, were citizen/legislators.

The last several years for those in the private sector have been very difficult.  During this period Scott has guided a transition in the ownership of the 55-year-old family business while at the same time implementing a new business model to meet the changing times in his industry.

During that same time period Scott, as a three-term councilman at large and mayor pro-tem, helped guide the city of Coon Rapids through these same tough economic times. With his help and guidance, Coon Rapids is one of the most financially sound, well-managed cities in the north metro, if not the state of Minnesota.

As a businessman, even in these hard times, Scott has never laid off employees, never cut their income and his business continues to grow and prosper.

This man is a true leader, a true citizen/legislator and your vote for Scott Schulte for Anoka County Board will allow Anoka County to take advantage of this citizen/legislator, and a dynamic leader.

Dave Norland
Coon Rapids


Ordinance violation 

To the Editor:

My husband, Ron, has been putting up political signs in the Anoka County area for well over 30 years.  These signs were for candidates running for local, state and national offices.

He has always abided by local sign ordinances in the particular area in which the signs are being put up. He recently obtained a copy of the Coon Rapids ordinance for political signs from the staff at city hall.

It states that no political sign may go up in Coon Rapids before June 29, 2012.

We, and several other people have seen political signs for a certain Coon Rapids sitting councilman who is running for a County Board seat being visibly displayed at his place of business.

We have also seen moving vehicles around the city with his signs attached.  City officials have been notified on several occasions about this. And yet nothing is done about it. So I was wondering, if this ordinance is not being enforced for said

Councilman, can the rest of the candidates running for office also put their signs up, or does this individual have special privileges ?

Yours truly,
Gloria Lawrence
Coon Rapids


Campaign signs

To the Editor:

Driving by the former Shell Station, at the corner of Hanson and Coon Rapids Boulevard, I noticed a campaign sign promoting Scott Schulte for Anoka County Commissioner, although the sign was placed behind the station, it was still quite visible to all who were driving by.

A week or so later, I happened to drive by the same station (in the evening) and saw the same campaign sign, inside the station, positioned next to the glass garage door.

Minnesota Statutes 211B.045 states: In a state general election year (evenyears) campaign signs may be placed from 46 days before the primary until 10 days after the general election. For 2012, this period begins June 29. Scott Schulte’s campaign sign has been out since May…. and now he is driving a car promoting his campaign… with his picture and all.

I was taught, from early on, that rules/laws are to be followed. Could it be that Scott Schulte, a Coon Rapids City Council member, is unaware of Minnesota campaign statues? If elected county commissioner, would he educate himself of Anoka County Statues?…. and most important…. would he follow them? Just wondering!

Jennifer Koch
Coon Rapids


Protect freedoms

To the Editor:

As a minister at Minnesota Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, I have the honor of marrying many wonderful couples. The story goes the same everytime. Two people fall in love and decide they want to spend their lives together, their families approve and they have a huge and wonderful wedding.

Some of the weddings I have officiated over the years have been for gay and lesbian couples who want to marry for the same reason as anyone else – to make a lifetime promise of love and commitment.

The only difference between their ceremonies and any other I perform is simple: I am not allowed to sign one little piece of paper and send it off to the county. Their marriages are not recognized by the state of Minnesota.

Where is the religious freedom in this? Freedom of religion means allowing each congregation to decide for themselves who they do and do not marry. My fellow Unitarian Universalist ministers three hours to the south in Iowa are allowed to sign that little piece of paper, as are my colleagues five hours to the north in Canada.

My congregation and religious tradition believes marriage is between two loving, committed adults and we are not alone. Lutherans, Catholics, Methodists, Episcopalians and Minnesotans of many other faith backgrounds from across the state have come together to say that the proposed constitutional amendment on marriage would limit religious freedom.

In Coon Rapids on Sunday afternoon, I joined over 100 residents of the northern suburbs to discuss the importance of ensuring that the constitution is used to protect freedoms, not take them away. We must continue having conversations with friends, family, neighbors, and even strangers in our communities in order to defeat this amendment that would limit the freedom to marry.

Vote no this November!
Rev. Dr. David Breeden
Minnesota Valley  Unitarian Universalist  Fellowship, Bloomington


Abeler is honored 

To the Editor:

Members of the Minnesota Habilitation Coalition, service providers of employment and community integration supports for people with disabilities, were pleased to join professionals from across the state in honoring Rep. Jim Abeler of Anoka with our Legislative Partner of the Year award for his tireless efforts on behalf of our state’s most vulnerable populations.

Over the past 14 years in office, and in his current role as chairman of the Minnesota House health and human services finance and reform committees, Rep. Abeler continues to champion their rights to accessible, quality services which will enhance their full participation in community life.

Most recently, Rep. Abeler took the lead and worked tirelessly to help restore a proposed 1.67 percent provider rate cut for much-needed Medicaid services. He also worked with service providers to help pass a new rate-setting methodology which will help ensure that programs serving people living in foster care and supported living services, as well as those participating in day training and habilitation, respite and prevocational and vocational programs will have the necessary funding to provide quality services.

Working effectively with state agency leadership, service providers, advocacy organizations and those who require these programs, Rep. Abeler led the way to pass legislation to assure that Minnesota continues to provide high-quality, responsive services to those who need them most.

Rep. Abeler is indeed a champion of the people and we of the Minnesota Habilitation Coalition are grateful for his insight, energy, and compassion as he works to help improve the lives of all Minnesotans.

Lynn Noren, vice president, Rise, Inc., Spring Lake Park, and
Tom Weaver, CEO, Achieve Services, Inc., Blaine

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