Letters to the Editor for June 21, 2012

Letters to the Editor for June 21, 2012

Overlay project is focused on the wrong street

To the editor:

I read in the Norwood Times that the council approved a joint powers agreement with Carver County to do a overlay on County Road 34, which is a truck route. The cost is $230,000 of which the city’s portion is approximately $46,000. Why is this being done when trucks don’t even use it since they are using 2nd Ave SE as their route?

Semis and delivery trucks are continuously driving on 2nd Ave to get to and from Main Street. Why is there no enforcement being carried out when these trucks are over the weight limit for 2nd Ave SE?

If there is a truck route that is the route all trucks should be made to use. I realize there is a large business on Main Street, but why should they be over and above anyone else?

According to the Vehicle and Traffic Chapter 7 Section 700 General Provisions, #700.5, 2nd Ave SE allows up 5 tons and the road is not designed to handle the load large semi trucks with a load and large heavy equipment. In #700.06 exceptions 2nd Ave SE is not listed as an exception. Also, the semis are parked on the street to unload and there are fork lifts driving back and forth trying to unload sometimes for several hours. Sometimes it’s like driving through an obstacle course. I really worry about kids walking and riding their bikes with all this stuff taking place

We can feel the vibration inside our home when these large trucks go past; we have to wonder what this is doing to our water and sewer pipes that are buried beneath the street. Why should the taxpayers have to pay to maintain 2nd Ave SE for the profit of a few?

Citizens of the community, please take a drive on County Road 34, the truck route from Hwy 5 to Hwy 212, and then take a ride from Main Street down 2nd Ave SE (the street that goes past St John’s church) to the five-way stop and see which road needs an overlay or repair.

Should our tax dollars, both county and city, be used on a road that is in good shape and that is not being used by all trucks compared to a street where there is a great need of repair? With the economy the way it is, shouldn’t our tax dollars be used wisely? Also, shouldn’t the truck route be enforced??

Karen Kohout


Mother says Central mishandled graduation

To the editor:

I wanted to make sure and thank Betty Hoen for taking the time to write her letter. I am Andrew’s mom and was very deeply hurt by Central’s decision by Brian Corlett and Tom Erickson, the district staff. The reason given by them was "a graduation ceremony is a celebration, not a memorial service." So, if you can make sense out of that, I sure haven’t been able to. Mentioning Andrew’s name during the ceremony would have caused no harm or glamorized the way he died.

I have also been in contact with Elizabeth Mohr at the St. Paul Pioneer Press who would like to cover how Central handled this graduation.This is my plea for you call her and tell her how this blatant disregard for a child affected you and to share your thoughts (1-612) 228-5162, [email protected] I met with her Monday to share about Andrew and his life and the aftermath of his death and how the school handled his graduation.

It is my ethical duty not only as Andrew’s mom, but a social worker to stand up for this complete injustice and lack of acknowledgement of a person. All we, as Andrew’s family and friends, have are our memories we made and shared with him. For the school to disregard all those lives he touched at his school is beyond me. What harm would it have been to print his name in the program and provide us with that? Something! I have been asking the school to memorialize and pay tribute to a fallen student since January, with no results.

The school asked to send a honorary diploma to me in the mail, I stated I would be at graduation. No, Central, that was not the way to handle it, I sent it back – return to sender. It means nothing without the deserved recognition. A foreign exchange student was able to go up and accept his honorary diploma and he went to school there for nine months? Andrew was a student since 4th grade, his parents and three aunts graduated from Central and likely his brother, niece and nephew. Our family should have been able to proudly go and accept Andrew’s honorary diploma or seen him mentioned at some point.

How can a school cast such a judgement? What right do they have? What does it tell our children and community, to have the leaders in charge remain silent? Remember, we as a community have another graduation in 2014 that maybe can be done right.

Nothing will change the pain that Central caused me and my family, but there are changes that can be made so the next family doesn’t have to experience what we did.

Oh, please don’t forget that Andrew was not pictured in the NYA Times in the graduation section, again no mention or honor of our son, brother, friend and relative. I don’t know if that was again the school’s decision, I can only guess it was.

My son lost and gave up hope that things could be better, I am here to hold hope and not give up that things could be better. Please keep your thoughts and comments coming, that is how we can change things and make a difference! I personally thank you for doing so.

Jen Withrow


Minnesotans should pass two amendments

To the editor:

It is a gross understatement to say that this fall’s election is an important event. It is our opportunity to reset the priorities of less government spending while encouraging economic growth. From school boards to the Oval Office, we need a serious reality check with what government is doing.

In addition to this, Minnesotans have two important amendments that must pass. The Minnesota Marriage Amendment is important as it defines what a family is – the basic unit of society. The creation of a family is clearly a necessity to nurture the next generation.

Numerous studies document that the optimal setting for raising a child is in a home with a father and mother. The sanctity of that must be guaranteed by definition. To date, 32 states have similar laws in their constitutions. The passage of this amendment doesn’t preclude others from their alternative lifestyles. I guess the obvious needs judicial protection in these "modern times."

The Voter ID Amendment is of greater importance in my view. It is necessary to have elections where the highest level of voter integrity is ensured. Voting is too important not to have measures in place to keep everyone honest. This freedom to choose can no longer be watered down with "same day registration" and "vouching." I want this freedom to be available but not without limitations. By that I mean we need to ensure that those who vote, deserve to participate. Voting shouldn’t be a cavalier event whereby someone can "vouch" for your identity.

Submitting a utility bill as "identity" encourages fraud. Yes, there are exceptions that can be accommodated. The "other side" likes to argue that any photo identification law will "disenfranchise" the poor and elderly. To that I say, voting is an act that comes with some responsibility. Voting is serious business which sets the stage for future directions of government. Do you know the issues, the candidates positions and the implications of your decisions? If not, stay home.

Submitting a valid photo ID is commonplace in order to engage in commerce. A valid ID is needed in many aspects of life, such as obtaining medical services, life insurance policies, taking college entrance exams, buying tobacco, liquor or a firearm, boarding an airplane, driving a car, getting a hunting/fishing license, obtaining a passport and dozens more. Surely voting can be elevated to these realities! If you truly value your right to vote, then you will be properly documented, right?

The recent lawsuit to stop the amendment, by the American Civil Liberties Union, Common Cause and the League of Women Voters is a fallacious attempt to hide their real motive. Using the facade that the Voter ID amendment is "misleading," these groups who claim to champion democracy, want it stricken from the ballot.

In my view, they want the condition to continue where fraudulent votes can evade the system. Hopefully the court will dismiss their attempt to stop legitimate legislative action. If you are too lazy to get a free valid photo ID, then I don’t want you voting!

While people struggle worldwide for the ability to have valid elections, we have already paid the price. Fort Snelling National Cemetery is a sacred place. The rows of white tombstones attest to the sacrifice of too many Americans. Failure to pass this amendment diminishes their "last full measure." Lets all "vouch" for their service by passing Voter ID by a wide margin.

Joe Polunc