Letters to the editor for Feb. 28, 2014

Editor’s Note

Earlier this month we made some changes to the Opinion page for the Anoka County UnionHerald and Blaine Spring Lake Park Life. To improve the timeliness of letters to the editor, a word limit of 350 was instituted.

We did neglect to make that update to the policy on the submission page at abcnewspapers.com until alerted by a letter writer this week.

I would like to thank the letter writers for taking the time to revise their submissions to meet the new guidelines. Your cooperation is appreciated and your contributions are important to the community dialogue.

Mandy Froemming
Managing Editor

Blaine council has not addressed property rights

To the Editor:

I recently submitted a letter to the Blaine City Council regarding the proposed Walmart project on Ball Road. I wanted to share an excerpt of that letter with you:

I am thrilled Walmart has chosen to stay in our community. They provide valuable jobs and inexpensive, quality products for the people who live here. My concern, as well as yours, is the well-being of the citizens who elected us.

There are two main concerns with the proposed Walmart development on Ball Road: first, property rights as it relates to the value of the homes on Ball Road; second, safety in the neighborhood. We are well aware of the issues so I will not repeat them here.

It appears the council is considering a variety of possible solutions that will address many of the neighborhood safety concerns. Unfortunately, I have not yet seen the issue of property rights sufficiently acknowledged.

The proposal I discussed at the meeting will address this important concern. It aims to protect property rights by providing a form of insurance for the six remaining homeowners on Ball Road. It will also allow the project to continue with little added cost to the three parties.

The three parties to the deal, Walmart, the City of Blaine, and the property owner would create a trust. Each party would contribute an equal amount to the trust; perhaps $200,000. The value of each of the six remaining homes would be guaranteed up to a maximum of $100,000. A baseline value would be established for each home as of a certain date, perhaps January 1, 2014. When the homeowner sells the house, if the selling price is below the baseline, the trust makes up the difference up to $100,000. If the selling price is above the baseline, no payment is made.

This compromise will benefit all parties, and allow the project to move forward. Additionally, it may give citizens some amount of renewed faith in those elected to represent them.
Thank you again for your time and thoughtful consideration of this difficult issue.

Roger Chamberlain
Minnesota State Senator
District 38

In response to ‘Highly paid teachers’

To the Editor:

In response to Roger Johnson’s letter to the editor Feb. 21, I have never heard a Tea Party person every complain about teachers salaries. I have heard Tea Party people complain about administrative costs in school districts and I’ve heard them complain that teachers’ unions protect bad teachers who are tenured. I have heard Tea Party people talk about merit pay for teachers and school vouchers, but once again the teachers’ unions are against those items too.

I have, on the other hand, heard a continuous drumbeat from progressives and the left complaining about income inequality and the rising income disparity between CEOs and employees. Let’s use Roger Johnson’s “funny math” about teachers salaries based on hourly wage per student and take that to the corporate level shall we and look at a CEO’s hourly wage per employee just to show how ludicrous this whole argument is.

The CEO of Apple (the largest company in the world based on capitalization), Tim Cook, earned $4.25 million dollars last year and Apple employed 80,300 employees. That means Tim Cook earned 2.6 cents per hour per employee.

Here in Minnesota we love to demonize UnitedHealth Group’s CEO salary. Stephen Hemsley earned $34.7 million in 2012 and UnitedHealth Group employed 133,000 employees. UnitedHealth’s CEO earned 12.8 cents per hour per employee. Target’s CEO, Gregg Steinhafel, earned $23.5 million in 2012 and Target employed 365,000 people. He earned 3.2 cents per hour per employee.

I personally believe that teachers don’t make enough for what they do. My father was a teacher. I’m just saying, instead of looking to blame Tea Partiers for poor teacher’s salaries, maybe Roger Johnson should look at overinflated administrative costs eating up school district budgets and the teachers’ unions who are completely against merit pay for teachers and fight it every chance they get.

Mark Jensen
Anoka

Not a true bullying prevention bill

To the Editor:

Minnesotans beware! A war is being waged against our children. It is brewing in the Minnesota Legislature and is coming after the minds of every child PreK-12th grade.

In 2013 the Minnesota House passed HF 826 known as the “Safe and Supportive MN Schools Act.” The Minnesota Senate will vote on it when the 2014 session begins.

The 2010 Minnesota Student Survey states: “Students reporting they feel safe at school remained high at 93.9 percent of 12th graders and 92.8 percent of ninth graders.”

We all agree the bullying of any student for any reason is wrong. However, Governor Dayton and his “Anti-Bullying” Task Force have manufactured a bullying “crisis” for which there is no data.

This bill (if passed) will: violate children with sexually explicit curriculum, violate parental rights, violate basic constitutional rights, and forever change our society for generations to come.

The words “inclusive” and “diversity” sound benign; but peel back the layers of the language used in the bill, and it opens the door for the public school system to teach children about all sexual lifestyles, values and attitudes.

Page 18 of Governor Dayton’s Prevention of School Bullying Task Force Report – the guiding document for the bill – reveals the intent to change “values, attitudes and behaviors” regarding “the nature of human sexuality.”

What does human sexuality have to do with bullying?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the true intent and motivation behind HF 826 is to transform our children’s thinking to accept and celebrate all sexual diversities and lifestyles. HF 826 is not a true bullying prevention bill.

Why does the Minnesota Teacher’s Union support this bill when the Minnesota School Boards Association does not?

Some school districts are already financially strapped. What will they do to fund this $20 million annual unfunded mandate? Close schools? Cut teachers? Increase class size?

This bill will be an administrative legal nightmare for school officials, school administrators, teachers, etc.

The contents of this bill should outrage everyone! What will you do to stop it?

Visit the Minnesota Child Protection League website at  www.mnchildprotectionleague.com to learn more.

Laurie Thompson
Andover

Correction

In the Feb. 14 edition a letter from Gene Hodel was incorrectly titled “No legalization of medical marijuana.” The title did not accurately represent the opinion of the letter writer, who opposes the legalization of recreational marijuana. We apologize for the error.

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