Letters to the editor for July 6, 2012

Food shelf donations

To the Editor:

ACBC Food Shelf wants to thank everyone who participated in the annual “Scouting for Food” and Stamp Out Hunger” food drives!

Ten local troops collected 8,063 pounds of food and our letter carriers collected 16,279 pounds of food. These generous donations will help restock our shelves as we head into the busy summer months.

During May, ACBC served 893 families as the need for food continues to grow. Thank you donors and volunteers for all your efforts to help prevent hunger.

Jerri Loughry, ACBC


Recycled fly ash

To the Editor:

In Washington, D.C., Congressional members are drawing up a new federal transportation reauthorization bill before the current extension expires on June 30.

Great River Energy strongly encourages them and particularly our own Senator Amy Klobuchar to ensure the longevity of our nation’s infrastructure and health of our environment by expanding the use of recycled fly ash, a coal byproduct that provides environmental benefits.

High-quality fly ash already can be found in familiar projects and landmarks across the country, including in our backyard. For example, the concrete mixture used to build our LEED-Platinum certified headquarters in Maple Grove includes fly ash, and it was an important factor in achieving this status.

Additionally, 12,000 tons of fly ash was used for Crosstown Highway 62 improvements, one of the largest road construction projects in our state’s history.

Fly ash reduces overall energy and natural resources consumption because its durability requires fewer repairs.

In 2011, more than 400,000 tons of fly ash from Great River Energy coal-powered plants was distributed to construction projects in the region. Because we have identified practical and beneficial uses for fly ash, less is routed to and stored in our landfills.

Industry leaders like us are optimistic that the potential for fly ash will grow, but first, members of Congress need to pass a federal transportation bill that favors our communities and the environment.

As we look to rebuild our critical transportation infrastructure here and nationwide, fly ash should be a key

component of this planning.

David Saggau
President and CEO
Great River Energy


A person of virtue

To the Editor:

Who do you want to fill the open 37A Minnesota House of Representative seat? I think the choice is clear. Mandy Benz has demonstrated to me she is a person of virtue.

This woman will not back down from the truth, even when it pits her against her own party or the Democratic Party establishment. The idea of virtue seems almost quaint, the sound of the word itself, so seldom heard today, is almost unfamiliar and suggestive of another era.

It refers us back to the generation of the Founding Fathers and the high value that was placed on virtue. That generation valued virtue so highly that they chose George Washington as their first president not only because he had led the colonies to a successful war against the rogue King George III and his parliament, but because George Washington was considered the most virtuous man in the original 13 states.

When was the last time we chose our representatives on the basis of their virtue? One of Mandy’s most virtuous assets is her knowing of the value of government accountability, especially in the area of spending restraint

Mandy understands that government should never expand at a rate faster than economy. Mandy also realizes that current levels of government expansion are unsustainable in today’s economic climate.

This is the kind of leadership we need at the state and I know our state is in desperate need of the leadership especially by people of virtue. For these reasons I support and recommend to you the candidacy of Mandy Benz.

Kirk Burback
Coon Rapids


Arguments were logical

To the Editor:

In response to Maureen Ness’ rather colorful response to my letter of May 25 regarding the denial of a permit for the placement of a clinic in an unused room in St. Francis High School, she claims my letter to the editor was based on misinformation; that I hadn’t been at any of the meetings where this issue was discussed, which is absolutely correct.

Along with thousands of other people who read the accounts in the St. Francis Courier and the Anoka Union, I relied on these articles for my information.

Much of it came from the unbiased article in the Anoka Union written by a reporter who was at that particular city council meeting in which the permit was refused on a 2-2 vote.

In keeping with the reputation of this newspaper, I believe that article to be a true and factual account of the meeting. So, if I based my letter to the editor on misinformation, you can blame the newspapers.

While the Courier’s article presented only the merits of this proposed clinic, I found its arguments to be well-researched thought-out and logical.

According to what I read in both newspaper articles, along with Maureen Ness’ letter to the editor to which I am now responding, Ms. Ness and the two dissenting members of the city council, Brown and Sandoval, entirely ignored the arguments of the administration, particularly those presented by Tom Larson, head of special services, dismissing them as “misinformation” and “lack of critical thinking,” a trait Ms. Ness claims I also possess.

In Maureen Ness’s letter to the editor, her chief argument was that there is already a clinic in St. Francis on Highway 47. She has ignored the administration’s explanation that this particular clinic is not the one mandated for ISD staff’s use by their health insurance plan; therefore is unavailable to them.

Neo-Path, the clinic approved by the insurance plan, would be a contracted service just like many other services that are contracted by the school district. It would save the district thousands of dollars in health insurance premiums and in time lost for the travel required to visit the off-site clinics.

As for the city council’s two-man vote against a resolution that “would have allowed a business in a residential district.” Get real, people. Both sides of Bridge Street, on which the high school is located, are the business district of St. Francis. There are no residences along that stretch.

Ms. Ness and Mr. Gardner (sorry for the misspelling first time around) and a few others have a documented record of harassing the ISD school administration and particularly Tom Larson, whose excellent work on behalf of ISD 15 has been recognized statewide.

They have cost the school district thousands of dollars with phone calls tying up staff time in finding answers to frivolous questions. (Also documented). But yet Maureen Ness says she is concerned about the district spending money for the clinic.

To its credit, the school administration has found an alternate solution by renting a space for the clinic across the street in the business district of St. Francis.

But, does having to rent space save ISD 15 money when it already has on-site space whose use is denied to them? This blocking of the clinic’s location in the school itself, I believe, is further evidence of Ms. Ness and Mr. Gardner finding another avenue for harassment via the St. Francis City Council.

Bomb threats? Racial slurs? Illegal weapons? Moldy classrooms? ISD 15 is the victim, not the perpetrator of these incidents, as Ms. Ness’ final paragraph would have you believe.

It speaks volumes about the animosity she harbors towards a very fine school district.

During my 40 years of residency in the district I have watched ISD 15 overcome many obstacles to attain its fine degree of excellence.

So far it has graduated all four of my children and three of my grandchildren, with more to come. I personally recommend the St. Francis schools as a fine place to educate one’s children.

One last note: All collaboration and cooperation in this world is not evil. It is people working together for the betterment of the whole, as I would hope the city of St. Francis and ISD 15 would do to create a better community.

As for my “lack of critical thinking:” I’ve considered Ms. Ness’s leaky arguments and find they just don’t hold water.

June Anderson
District 15 resident



Honored to be part of event

To the Editor:

American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT) had the opportunity to bring our Cost of Freedom Tribute to Discover Aviation Days in Blaine from May 31-June 3. We were honored to be a part of such a great event!

Blaine proved to be a community filled with patriots and those that truly understand what it means to honor, respect and remember our American heroes.

Discover Aviation Days was such a unique event and it was a thrill to be on-site with the Cost of Freedom Tribute and Traveling Wall.

We at AVTT want to extend our appreciation to the community for hosting us and for participating in all of the ceremonies and events that took place throughout the week and weekend.

A big thank you to everyone involved with this event! Special thanks to Craig Haas and the entire Blaine AVTT event planning committee.

To all of the folks involved with Discover Aviation Days, thank you for all of the hard work!  A huge thank you to the escort participants, the setup crew and the teardown crew who ensured the Tribute was set up properly, the daily locator computer volunteers, the security volunteers and countless others…thank you!

There were so many people that made this event possible!

Thank you for welcoming us into your community and thank you for taking the time to honor our active duty, veteran, and fallen heroes.

We very much look forward to coming back to Blaine in the future.

Leah DeLuzio
American Veterans Traveling Tribute

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