Letters to the editor for July 26, 2013

Missing in Anoka

To the Editor:

There is something important missing in the city of Anoka. That is, a public storm shelter. More on that in a moment.

There have been at least three tornado-themed articles in the Anoka County Union History Column over the last few months.

Two of the columns focused on the 1939 Anoka tornado and one on the 1965 Fridley tornado. Publishing tornado history in the spring is good public service. It reminds us that we in Anoka County live in our own little “tornado alley.”

I lived through the Fridley tornado. What I saw in the southwestern sky that night — before mom and I scampered to the basement for a bit of cowering — scared the heck out of me.

That night’s experience, coupled with the horrible devastation I witnessed the next morning, instilled in me a very healthy respect for — OK, fear of — tornados.

About a year ago my wife and I considered moving to a beautiful town home in Anoka. However, we did not buy that home. Why not? Because I hold this great respect for tornadoes.

The home is built on a pad (no basement). The association development has no storm shelter. As a last effort to feel OK about that home, I called the city of Anoka Fire Department to inquire if there is a city storm shelter; I was told there is not.

We, eventually, settled on a home in Coon Rapids. Here, we have a walkout basement, which — I am hoping — will offer sufficient protection, if a tornado finds its way to our street.

Now, back to the city of Anoka.

Who can argue that Anoka Middle School and Anoka High School sports teams legitimately lay claim to the names Anoka Cyclones and Anoka Tornados, respectively?

It makes sense, also, that the most prominent design element on the high school’s home web page is a photo of a huge tornado.

The 1939 tornado will live on — along with Halloween festivities, of course — as a distinct element of Anoka’s identity. And, rightly so.

It is ironic that the city of Anoka, with this history, has no public storm shelter.

Randy Getchell
Coon Rapids

Tired of the brouhaha

To the Editor:

Just wanted to thank Mr. Steven Johnson for speaking out in Coon Rapids Herald of June 14. “Who do we think we are” was the title of his response.

I, for one, am tired of all the brouhaha about homosexuality. I don’t care what others sexual preference is and I don’t go around tooting that I am heterosexual.

The issue is marriage, not your sexual preference nor your social equality. That is already established.

Marriage is a gift from God between a man and a woman to form a family which is the bedrock of our society … to create children through God’s plan, not ours.

Enough. Just wanted to give kudos to Mr. Johnson and he said it so eloquently. I am saving the article.

Margaret Wierman
Coon Rapids

Behavior of parents

To the Editor:

The recent editorial on the importance of more third-graders reading at a third-grade level quickly brought a critical letter. The writer commented that “…ECM actually advocates that others do the job that parents refuse to do.”

The writer’s suggestion is that parents who have not been reading to their young children need to start doing so. Of course, I agree, but a simple scolding seems unlikely to change the behavior of the parents in question.

Allow me to make a politically incorrect point: If these parents were going to invest more time and energy in their child’s education they probably would have already done so.

But they have not and probably will not, and it’s the child who bears the consequences described in the editorial. What to do then? Find help for the child outside the home?

Apparently not. The writer opposes the “…continued subjugation of children to public schools, volunteer groups and non-profits,” or spending more money on this problem (somehow it’s always about the Benjamins).

Subjugation? Yikes! The editorial was an argument for helping children who need help, not a political manifesto.

Let me see if I can summarize this educational version of survival of the fittest: These children will struggle and perhaps fail without additional help but public schools and the community are to “stand down” because helping a child is the parent’s responsibility and if they won’t that’s too bad for the child.

Do I have that right?

Michael Harwell
Forest Lake

Decline of walleyes

To the Editor:

In response to the May issue of the District 15 publication, The Courier, in which Tom Larson writes the “Fins, Feathers and Outdoors” column, I would like to know why a retired District 15 employee is allowed to use The Courier as a conduit to claim that the DNR and the Native American

Indian tribes as being the standout problem concerning the decline of walleyes in Lake Mille Lacs.

What qualifies him to insinuate that the DNR is putting out false numbers concerning the amount of release mortality of the walleyes and that the tribes are at fault for their netting, which is a given treat right?

He stressed these two points while making small mention of some other factors involved in the walleye decline.

He makes no mention of the lake being over fished by rod and reel.

He makes no mention of the kill from live-release tournaments. Live well sorting and culling is not allowed by law, but is still practiced.

He makes no mention of the mishandling of fish done by jamming your fingers into their gills, just as he is so doing in The Courier photo, which greatly harms them, and the fish often die after being released.

The size walleye he is holding for the camera shot is obviously the size you automatically release because it is likely a female that will produce the next big hatch or it’s not within the legal keeper slot limit size.

The Courier, I believe, was created to bring school news and events information to the students and families, not for a delivery system for some individual’s personal comments not pertaining to our school matters that can put a cloud over the tribes and DNR.

Dennis Lund

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