10-11-12 CCN Letters to the Editor

Experience will help Lynch, Ische

To the editor:

As you may have noticed, election season is here, and with it some really great promises from some of the candidates. Unfortunately, these claims and promises are from candidates that have never held an elected public office before.

Jim Ische and Tim Lynch both served on township boards before (as I did) and learned about local government budgets and taxes with on-the-job training. Jim Ische and Tim Lynch also take the job of public servant further by volunteering at church, school and community celebrations.

I have worked together with Jim and Tim on various government committees as they listen to both sides of an issue before making a well-informed decision.

When you have that rare combination of common sense, hard work, experience, there are three good reasons to re-elect Jim Ische and Tim Lynch as Carver County Commissioners again.

Harlan Dobratz
New Germany


McDonald set a standard for us all

To the editor:

The first time I met K.J. McDonald, he asked me, “What would I be if I weren’t Irish?”  His answer was “embarrassed!”  Being Irish was just one of many things about which K.J. was passionate.  If fact, he seemed to be passionate about everything he did in life.

This week we mourn his passing from our company as we celebrate his being in heaven with the Lord.  For indeed, if this is not where K.J. is, then I fear for my own fate.  K.J. was devoted to his faith and his God. However, I would not be surprised if K.J. is at this very moment offering the Almighty a few suggestions now that they are face to face and he has His ear!

Next on K.J.’s list of passions was the love he shared with his wife Barbara and their devotion to their children. There is always an elevated level of energy and positive spirit whenever you are around the McDonald family. K.J. was clearly proud of his son Joe following in his footsteps, but he was no less proud of his other children and grandchildren. We would all be fortunate to be esteemed by our children in the way that I have witnessed the McDonald children admire their parents.

Service was an action verb for K.J.  Whether serving as a Minnesota State Legislator, as Mayor of Watertown or as an aerial photographer for the United States Air Force, K.J. was committed to doing his part to leave the world better than he found it.

An active member of the local Toastmasters Club, K.J. was an eloquent spokesperson and effective organizer for events large and small.  At the front of my mind are the many Memorial Day, American Legion and Eagle Scout events I have witnessed him orchestrate. He kept us engaged with his wit. K.J. always reminded us that God is Great, American leadership is vital to preserving all we hold dear, the U.S. military is to thank for the many blessings we now enjoy, we all share a duty to do our part and that Watertown is truly the center of the universe!

I have visited many communities in the Minnesota, in the United States and in 40 countries around the world.  During these travels I have found few individuals as willing to put themselves on the line for their God, their family, their country, their state or their community as Kenneth J. McDonald.

Yet what will always be what I remember first about K.J. is that whenever someone mentioned his name, the first response was to smile. He will continue to serve us in the future as he brings a smile to our face whenever we remember the remarkable life he lived.

Mark R. Kennedy
U.S. House of Representatives, 2001-2007
Watertown, MN


Writer questions Mann lawsuit issue

To the editor:

In a January 19, 2012 (Page 12) Carver County News article, the reporter wrote about Rick Mann and his wife Laurie’s threatened litigation against the City of Watertown. This threatened litigation took place while Rick Mann was serving on the City Council.

On Dec. 21, 2011, three members of the City Council and several members of the city’s staff met in a closed executive session to discuss the threatened litigation. Therefore, it is common knowledge among Watertown citizens that Rick Mann, while he was serving on the City Council, threatened to sue the City of Watertown. He now wants to lead the city as its mayor. How do you, Mr. Mann, respond to this issue?

Kristopher Olson


Disappointed in ECM Editorial

To the editor:

It bothered me a great deal to read the “Opposed to the Amendment” article in the Oct. 4 issue of the Carver County News. I have always felt that it was the responsibility of newspapers to report the news and not be an influence to be the news. I find it hard to continue my subscription to the Carver County News when part of my money goes to support a campaign to redefine an institution that was created by God for the good of mankind.

Part of the article says, “America was not founded on the principle of oppression. America was founded on the principle of freedom.” Granted, the Constitution calls out certain freedoms that we as Americans enjoy. But, there are also restrictions that have been placed on that freedom for the good of society at large. For example, we are not allowed to drive our cars at any speed that we want on the highways. No, speed limits are set by government in consideration for making life better for the public in general. Should we do away with speed limits because they inhibit persons who would like to drive faster? Of course not.

Also, we have laws that restrict fathers from marrying their daughters, mothers their sons, restrictions from siblings marrying, etc. If we start down the slope of totally opening up the definition of marriage what is to stop allowing all the above “marriages” from taking place?  If we are simply to say that any people who love one another should be allowed to marry without concern for what is good for society then we shouldn’t have any restrictions for marrying. Maybe someone really loves their horse.  Should they be allowed to marry their horse? Again, of course not, we might say.

The editorial stated that restricting marriage to one man and one woman would limit the ability of companies like General Mills and St. Jude Medical in recruiting and retaining top talent. I find it hard to believe that with millions of people out of work in this country that finding qualified workers would be so difficult. Are only gay persons talented? I don’t think so.

Further, it says “Times change. Moral climates change.”  I’ve read the Ten Commandments a number of times and never have I found the wording that says: “For now, thou shalt have no other gods before Me”  or “For now, honor your father and your mother…” (note, there are two genders called out).  Also, we don’t read “For now, you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife…” (It also doesn’t say ‘or whoever one is living with.’)

Yes, times do change. We no longer burn witches at the stake, or put people in the stocks for uttering profanities in public. But changing moral absolutes that were given to us by God is wrong. His Word does not change. If we start changing His moral laws when are we to stop? We are breaking the First Commandment by making ourselves into gods and coming up with what we think is best for us at that period of time.

I do agree with the editorial in one point – that it is wrong that the question of defining marriage is on the ballot at all. It should be accepted by all of society that the laws that have been in place for thousands of years which have held that marriage is a union of one man and one woman should not have to be protected from the whims of a small number of people in society seeking to change it for their supposed benefit.

It is for the sake of the good that Matt Bunke has done in the community of Watertown that I am currently holding off in canceling my subscription to the Carver County News.  I pray that the eyes of the ECM Editorial Board are opened to accepting the validity of the Judeo/Christian perspective on the sanctity of marriage being of one man and one woman and cease from promoting a view that is contrary to God’s will for mankind.

Richard Schimmel


Writer likes Washburn for council

To the editor:

Our community needs Steve Washburn on the city council.
Steve is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management and is currently active on our planning commission. We need someone like Steve representing our interests when such important decisions are being made about the future of the city.

He favors setting priorities for how the city spends its resources with public safety and maintenance of the assets we already have at the top of the list. He thinks the city should adhere to a budget and not start new projects without first deciding where they fit on the list of priorities and asking how the new projects will be paid for.

He is a conscientious, thoughtful and committed leader. He is a perfect fit for our city council. In these turbulent times, we need someone who will listen, evaluate and decide on a course of action that meets our community’s future. Steve Washburn is that person and more.

Angela Medower


Amendments shouldn’t be on ballot

To the editor:

Here’s a conservative reason to vote no on both constitutional amendment questions:  They shouldn’t be amendment questions.
The Minnesota Constitution, as our state’s charter, is intended to set the structural framework of government, balance power, and protect our fundamental liberties. The gritty detail: that’s our work. We hire most of it out, via elections, but our crew is slacking. Please don’t allow our legislators to cheat by shifting legislative burdens to the constitution. Say no.

Like any issue, there are many strong opinions. Some may differ widely; some may be surprisingly similar; but they’re all important. Good ideas are formulated from listening with both ears; and seeing with both eyes — left and right — the full spectrum of opinions. The place to implement ideas about these two questions is through thoughtful legislation. Legislators have a duty to mete out solutions through honest debate and compromise. Instead, they’ve asked us to compromise the Constitution to end all debate.

Why even have a Legislature if the power in control can rewrite the Constitution?  That’s the slippery slope we’re stepping on. It’s what other systems do! You can end the debate of one philosophy now, but it might be the other later and the future consequences could be very extreme.

It’s hard work and often frustrating, but keep listening with both ears, left and right.  Keep debating and keep looking for workable compromises. Resist the urge to compromise the Constitution — our very democracy — to end two debates that are presently frustrating.

Eric Luoma


We need to shed labels in politics

To the editor:

In my work with people at the end of their lives, I have learned so much. What I’ve learned most clearly is that we are not Democrats, Republicans, Catholic, Protestant, black or white. We are God’s children — flawed, loved and forgiven.

We do not enter life with these labels, and we don’t leave with them either. When we let these labels get in the way of our common humanity, we are straying from the people God wants us to be. When we say, “that liberal” or “that conservative”, “that”: “socialist” or “teabagger”, or “gay person”, or “Muslim”, we dehumanize people. When we do that, it’s much easier to hate or discard them.

In our history, taken to the extreme, this has led to great tragedy. When we fail to recognize the humanity in another person, we begin to lose the humanity in ourselves. Politicians on both sides and the media constantly perpetuate this — we let them.

In my work I have had beautiful, sacred experiences with people of many faiths and political perspectives. If we can sing, pray, cry, serve and grieve together, we can surely find a way to work and be together to create a better world. People of good faith can disagree and still love each other. Life’s too short not to treat each other with the love we all deserve.

Christian Nielsen


Weygand best for state senate

To the editor:

It’s a beautiful fall day, I’m making breakfast and the phone rings.  The caller asks if I could write a letter in support of Jim Weygand for State Senate.

The answer was a resounding yes.  I met Jim Weygand shortly after he moved to Carver, watched as he became involved with community organizations, served as a Carver city councilman and then as mayor of Carver.   Jim Weygand is a strong supporter of our area, he helped Carver through its rapid growth and helped bring Fleet Farm and the larger commercial area to Carver.  Jim Weygand is currently on the Carver County Library Board, the Board of The Community Foundation of Carver County, SD 112’ s Beacon Council and Carver’s Park and Recreation Board.

Jim Weygand has proven that he can work with multiple levels of government; he has proven that he can put party politics aside and listen to all sides of an issue; he has proven that our district is important to him and that he will work hard for us.  I urge you to vote for Jim Weygand on Nov. 6.

Beverly Simon


In support of Long for county board

To the editor:

This fall I will be voting for Frank Long for Carver County Commissioner. I have met Frank, talked with him, reviewed his positions, and I believe in what he says.

I voted for Tim, but no longer. For the last 8 years, I have seen and experienced first hand a County Commissioner spend our money recklessly and irresponsibly. Even in good economic times, it is a poor judgment to foolishly spend other people’s money when an elected official.

Will I be in support of Frank 4 years from now? I don’t know.
I do know that I do not support Tim, because of the policies and purchases he has supported. And the way he has spent yours and my money without thorough examination.

I ask you to join with me in my vote for Frank Long.

Tom Radde