Letters to the editor for July 13, 2012

Fiscal restraint

To the Editor:

Who will I vote for in the next election for state representative? I will be looking for a strong fiscal conservative. I think Mandy Benz is that candidate in district 37A. She will help bring fiscal restraint to the Minnesota House.

Mandy Benz is a candidate who knows intuitively that state government cannot spend more money than it takes in. Mandy knows from common sense life experience that individuals and families have to live within their income to stay solvent. The same thing applies to government.

Mandy Benz is rooted in common sense spending that works first and foremost for the taxpayer.

Her opponent has already had one term in the Minnesota House. The voters sent him packing after he supported every spending bill before the House during his term in office. (

If he gets his way we will again be facing tax increases that will align us with fiscally failed states of California and Illinois.

Mandy Benz is a citizen who has stepped forward with the right message of spending restraint that will appeal to the residents of Coon Rapids, Blaine, and Spring Lake Park. Vote for Mandy Benz on Nov.  6.

Kathie Casey

Coon Rapids


Explanation of concern

To The Editor:

Andover’s Jim Thompson’s “Make a choice” letter of June 29 certainly removes doubt that the electorate is carefully watching this year, as elections approach.

Inasmuch as he lives in Andover, it’s curious that he worries about an election in Coon Rapids, where he, sorrowfully, cannot even vote for me. Nevertheless, his concern deserves an explanation.

Let’s set the record straight. I started my campaign for the city council-at-large position in Coon Rapids last July (2011) as soon as the current occupant announced in this paper his intention to not seek re-election to the position and to seek another elective office instead.

So I have been working on the goal of serving my city on the council for about one year.

I have attended most council meetings and workshops over the past year, as well as all community meetings seeking input on city future planning.

That ought to remove any confusion Mr. Thompson or any other doubters have regarding my intent to serve my community.

But here’s some history: It is true that I have worked diligently for the last 12 years on the Parent Legislative Team for School District 11 and many other educational venues, intending to seek a position at some time on the School Board.

I tried, unsuccessfully, to seek appointment in 2008 when the sitting School Board elective District 6 member resigned in the middle of his term because he was elected to the state Legislature.

Someone else was appointed, as I was told, based primarily on her experience as a multi-term elected legislator with an entrée to lobbying for the school district’s agenda.

But that member suddenly, and very unexpectedly, resigned on March 5 over the matters surrounding the consent decree issued by the judge hearing the lawsuits brought by several students against the school district.

That left a gaping hole on our school board, with no representation for over 38,000 citizens, likely including Mr. Thompson.

I understood the magnitude of such a representative absence and was moved to try and fill that sudden, gaping hole in our largest state school district with over a $400 million dollar annual budget.

As someone with considerable experience at all levels of education, I applied for the school board vacancy appointment, along with six others.

Mr. Thompson and his friends need to relax. Had I been successful I would have stopped my campaign for city council, for by law one cannot serve in two elected offices simultaneously.

So having to make a “choice” is a moot point, which has escaped Mr. Thompson.

Besides, the school board’s choice to fill the vacancy was determined prior to his letter and again I was not successful, this time because I have no children in the schools anymore.

So rest easy Mr. Thompson; it’s back to the council campaign in earnest, where ageism is not in vogue.

The problem here is that the appointment/election cycle for the school board is not synchronized with our other elections.

So one, indeed, can seek an appointment to a school position in the middle of a city government campaign.

If Mr. Thompson still doesn’t like that, he should seek changes in the election laws, which would be a state legislative matter.


Roger Johnson

Coon Rapids

Editor’s note. ABC Newspapers does not, as a matter of policy, allow candidates for elective office to write letters to the editor during the campaign. But the letter to which Mr. Johnson is responding specifically questioned his running for Coon Rapids City Council at the same time he had put his name forward for the vacancy on the District 11 School Board. The letter neither addresses the merits of Mr. Johnson’s candidacy for either position nor promotes his candidacy.


Pancreatic cancer fight

To the Editor:

It is unacceptable in this day and age that there is a cancer for which the relative five-year survival rate is still in the single digits at just 6 percent.

It is particularly unacceptable when you consider that the overall five-year relative survival for all cancers is now 67 percent and the overall cancer incidence and death rates are declining, while the incidence and death rates for pancreatic cancer, the nation’s fourth leading cause of cancer-related death, are increasing.

This situation cannot be allowed to continue.

Congress has the power to change these statistics by passing the Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act (S. 362/H.R. 733), which will ensure that the National Cancer Institute develops a long-term comprehensive strategic research plan.

The bill has overwhelming bi-partisan support, including nearly half of the Senate and over half of the House.

On June 26, advocates from Minnesota joined more than 600 individuals from across the country in Washington, D.C. for the sixth annual Pancreatic Cancer Advocacy Day to urge Rep. Michele Bachmann to support the bill and to urge her to work for its passage before the end of the year.

I traveled to Washington, D.C., personally, to advocate for the bill’s passage.

In 2008, my active, otherwise healthy mother was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The doctors said she had two – six months to live.  She passed away 10 weeks later.

Most patients don’t know they have pancreatic cancer until it’s too late, as there is no early detection of this disease.

Please join me in contacting our members of Congress to ask them to pass the Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act. Go to www.knowitfightitendit.org to learn more.

Together, we can make a difference in the fight against pancreatic cancer.


Peggy Finkowski



Deadline for signs

To the Editor:

I’d like to address the article in the June 29 paper by Judy Schaefer talking about Mr. Paul Levy’s article in the Minneapolis paper.

First of all, my wife’s letter to the editor of the Coon Rapids Herald was sent one week before the Levy article was in the Minneapolis paper. It was not printed until after the Levy article.

On May 22 at 11:29 a.m. I sent this e-mail to the Coon Rapids City Hall, “Could you e-mail me the Coon Rapids political sign ordinance.”

I received a copy of the ordinance and also an e-mail from Deputy City Clerk Kris Linquist stating, “Attached is what the city has and will be handing out to the potential candidates. June 29 is the first date that a candidate will be able to post signs.”

Maybe Mr. Schulte being a city councilman was given different rules than the rest of us.


Ron Lawrence

Coon Rapids


‘Farewell to Paul’ tribute

To the Editor:

The “Farewell to Paul” tribute was well attended in spite of the stormy, gloomy day. Somehow perfect for a sad goodbye.

In our early years he’d had a five-minute “We like it here” KANO radio show for Anoka Chamber of Commerce, did Gilbert and Sullivan operettas with local musicians and sang for many services at Thurston-Lindberg and Gearhart-Miller.

His community involvement was integral in our lives and other.

Thank you Anoka.

Shirley Pierce

Ft. Myers, Florida


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