Letters to the Editor for July 25, 2014

Take a look at Abeler

To the Editor:

Elections on Aug. 5 will give voters a chance to name their candidate by party for the Nov. 4 national elections. My request is to take a hard look at Republican Jim Abeler, Anoka, a 16-year member of Minnesota House of Representatives. Jim earned a host of awards and accolades for his legislative work, done because he is an individual who knows how to pull opposing members together for meaningful and fair legislation. In this time of contention by both parties, Jim is one who will be a factor as U.S. senator just as he has done at the state level.

I know him as a faithful, family-oriented man with a set of values we can all hope for. He will be the future of the U.S. senate that will get the chaos and the confusion to more positive conclusion – how badly we need this.

It will make me proud to call Jim Abeler our “fine, new senator from the great state of Minnesota.”

Please consider a vote for Abeler.

Dick Blomquist

Mayor went out of his way to help

To the Editor:

I wanted to say thank you to the mayor of East Bethel, Bob DeRoche. A few weeks ago, the motor went out on my car while I was driving on 35W en route to visit my family.

Bob immediately pulled over in front of my car to see if I needed help. He patiently and knowledgeably assessed the damages and told me he would help tow my car off the freeway. We got my car safely off the highway after back towing it 2 miles.

My family wasn’t answering their phones, so he stayed with me and helped make arrangements to keep my car at a nearby gas station. He had shown me his credentials and was honest, kind, generous and helpful throughout the whole stressful endeavor. He even offered to drive me 45 minutes to the cabin my family was staying at.

In the end, I got ahold of my family and they picked me up, but I could not have been more impressed and thankful for the wonderful mayor of East Bethel. You just don’t meet many genuinely good, kind people these days.

Holly Schoephoerster

Jensen responds to Johnson

To the Editor:

I never said our school board can’t account for $195,578 per 30 student classroom. I said that was the actual amount the Anoka-Hennepin school district paid out in salaries per 30 student classroom in 2008-2009. The 30 students per class, was based on Johnson’s original letter to the editor back in February. I went back and analyzed the 2012-2013 budget Roger said I should study and the number was $192,509 per classroom. I, rhetorically, asked Johnson where the other $145,578 went if the teacher in each class only makes $50,000 a year.

Here’s where the money’s going, Roger. The district employs about 2,800 teachers at an average salary of a little over $50,000 a year. Remember though, the district has 39,000 students. That is about 1 teacher for every 14 students or 2.15 teachers for every 30 students. So actually, $107,500 of the $195,578 in each 30 student classroom is going to pay for teacher salaries.

So, either classroom sizes are not 30 students, there are more than two teachers teaching every class at the same time, or teachers are on average teaching in the classroom less than half the school day. I suspect it’s probably the third.

The rest of the money, about $88,000 per classroom, after the 2.15 teachers are paid, goes to pay for administrators, principals, counselors, media or audio and video, interpreters, paraprofessionals, psychologists, nurses, audiologists, secretaries, therapists, social workers, etc.

Now to Roger’s first letter back in February (whew!). He claims that public school teachers are underpaid but they work less than half the days out of the year, are only in front of students teaching half the day, get excellent benefits and retirement packages, tenure after a couple years, and earn on average $50,000 a year. I’ll let the readers decide.

Mark Jensen

Policies don’t infringe on freedoms

To the Editor:

Anti-bullying policies do not infringe on anyone’s religious freedom. There is no place in which the anti-bullying policies suggest that one must abandon his or her religious beliefs to be a kind and respectful person to others. They simply call for tolerance of all people.

If a person subscribes to a religion in which the integration or tolerance  of different groups degrades the fabric of their own beliefs, perhaps a personal evaluation of their belief system is in order.

The GLBT community has suffered enough hatred and violence at the hand of those who refuse  to respect differing values. I am pleased at the adoption of these policies and sad they have come too late to save the lives that some of these new regulations may have protected.

I am a married mother of two sons. My husband and I teach them the value of welcoming all kinds people into their world in spite of their religion, color, income bracket, education, sex or sexuality. I hope my peers do the same.

Jaime Wickard

Sivarajah has record of accomplishment

To the Editor:

Please vote in our primary election on August 12.  You can vote absentee. Don’t rely on partisan and activist group endorsements to select a candidate; look further and talk to the candidates.

The 2014 primary ballot for Republican Congressional District Six will offer two candidates, Rhonda Sivarajah and Tom Emmer. I am supporting Rhonda. Her record of achievements is truly awesome. It includes cutting county property taxes by 10.5 percent over three years, reducing county debt by $30 million and streamlining county government with business efficiencies. When first elected to the Anoka County Board, Rhonda was the lone conservative voice and now she leads the board as chairperson. Rhonda has successfully made significant tax reductions in property taxes for Anoka county residents and will bring that same work ethic to Washington.

How does Tom compare with Rhonda? Tom Emmer has name recognition from his radio show and his run for governor in 2010.

That race unfortunately was won by Mark Dayton in the best Republican year in over 40 years. In that race Tom’s past DWIs were brought up and will likely be again if he is on the ballot for November. While serving on the Delano City Council, Tom voted to raise property taxes by 16 percent in just one year alone. While he was in the Minnesota House Tom spoke in favor of cancer treatment centers independent of hospitals, consistent with a free market system. He later flip-flopped his position and became a paid lobbyist to extend the ban on new non-hospital cancer clinics. Rhonda is consistent; she studies the issues and will take the right stand. Tom became the national spokesman for the George Soros funded National Popular Vote for President which undermines state sovereignty, favors high density metropolitan areas and adds another loss for state sovereignty. Rhonda opposes the National Popular Vote.

Rhonda has a record of accomplishment. She will not let outside groups and lobbyists manipulate her. She will abide by Constitutional and limited government principles. She works to get government out of people’s lives where it doesn’t belong. She proved this in Anoka County. We need her in DC.

Dan Koehler

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