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Ortonville, Minnesota
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May 12, 2009     The Ortonville Independent
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May 12, 2009
 

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Dear Editor, First I would like to thank all those people who have given words or hugs of support to Curt and I during all of this. Those gestures will never be forgotten and are greatly appreciated. Nearly two months ago I stood before the ciiy council and asked questions. I don't think anyone has yet heard any answers, even tho Mr. Johnson requested a copy of those questions so he could address those. I would guess he doesn't really plan on addressing them. I am sure a few of you may take what I am about to say as words of an angry wife, that's your choice. But, for those who know men you haven't seen me angry yet. I am hoping more to get people to think and talk to your councilman, let them know how you think. They are there to work for you, not themselves. I am very disappointed that a few bad apples makz this city look so bad and force my husband to retire from his career and a city that he has devoted and given his all to. And what does he get in return? I attended the city council last night. In a vote to request that Curt reconsider his retirement, Blair Johnson and John Cunningham voted NO that they did NOT want him to reconsider. A vote of confidence huh? Also, there was a motion to pay for having charges and allegations against the attorney fees for Curtis. The a person there needs to be an majority ruled no. Blair Johnson, investigation? And those words are Nick Anderson, John Cunningham very inflammatory. Is the city and Craig Randleman voted NO, not administrator not supposedto know to pay for the attorney fees. that the city ordinance for the proper Approximately three weeks ago a handling of issues or complaints letter was given to Curtis with the regarding the city police dept? (Police wording "charges and allegations" on, Commission has absolute authority prior to any investigation being done. over the Police Dept. per City The city agenda listed an executive Ordinance). session and a police commission What happens when the city meeting was scheduled for the police administrator violates city ordinances commission for the same night (the or acts unethically? Will there be an police commission had no prior investigation? I highly doubt it knowledge of these "charges and based on the past performance of allegations"), Curtis was given a letter the city council approvin~ fraudulent with the wording that " these charges mileage or the same council who takes and allegations are being brought the city administrator in for an against you". It wasn't worded executive session for discussion of complaints or issues. Would you not issues regarding poor job performance bring representation if you thought and the man comes out with a $10,000 you werebeing "charged" with dollar raise. something? If this had been handled Bottom line, first there was the properly, I am sure both representation previous city administrator who was would not have been needed and the driven out of office, now is their outcome would be different, witch hunt over with Curtis or who's The city administrator brushes it next on their list? How many off as it being a temp plate: This tells officers/people/families does this city me the wording was highly need to loose before they wake up? intentional. A temp plate is that a guideline, a tool, etc. Not something used to fill in the blank. Is he not in a Penny Hormann position of being a professional and Ortonville, MN educated person to know that prior to KEN HALVORSON, author of "If Grandma is in Heaven, Watch Out!" returned to the Ortonville Public Library to promote his second book, "Life With Grandma and Grandpa After Prison" on Saturday, May 2. This was the first time that he has talked about this book. He was not comfortable releasing this edition because it is so dark. It was hard because some characters are still alive today and the abuse is so deep. Pictured above is Ken Halvorson and his wife Marsha and their poodle, Pierre. Clues ACROSS 1. Digested 4. Fixed on a purpose 7. European money 10. Bruce Springstein 12. Geological times 14. Red,baseball team 15. Titan 17. Irish Republic 18. NYC art district 19. Portable PC 22. Velocities 23. B : pager 24. Sea eagle 25. Dried up vegetation 26. Parking area 27. Rhode Island 28. Mama,rock singer 29. Element #30 31. Indicates position 32. Coach Parseghian 33. Vegas actor R. h 35. Pimples 37. Stars 39. Catholic order 41. Talk show hostess 44. J.A journalist 1849-1914 45. Dices 46. Procumbant juniper 48. Hostelry 49. Macaws 50. Singer Home 51. Electrocardiogram 18. Preternatural 52. Area = to 100 sq. 20. "Waiting for Lefty" meters playwright 53. Young female 21. Foot (Latin) socialite 28. Holiday singing 29. Zen Buddhist Clues DOWN meditation 1. Nightline network 30. Eye membranes 2. Carpenter's instruments 33. Remove connection 3. Get free 34. Common food 4. Oozes container 5. Musician Clapton 36. Strained for lumps 6. Poi ingredient 38. Vt. ch r cheese 7. Confined to an inner =* 39. James, outlaw circle 40. Banteng ox 8. Cling 41. A great lake 9. Wife (Latin) 42. A genus of mustel- 11. Expressions of praise idae 13. ster: school term 43. Sports equipment 16. Transcription poolers 47. Snatch or seize To Whom it may concern, to call me with any questions. You dumped a garbage bag and wooden trellis at Mound Cemetery Clyde Weros Tree Dump. You must have missed Mound Cemetery Caretaker seeing the sign that says no dumping. 839-6193 This is private property and no dumping is allowed. I am sure you P.S. Those of you walking your would not appreciate anyone dumping dogs in the cemetery please clean up garbage in your yard. Please feel free after them. Thank you. By State Sen. Gary Kublyeliminating dental coverage for nearly Health Care Access Fund (HCAF). Kubly concerned about budget 300,000 Minnesotans. The HCAF pays for MinnesotaCare, impact on rural hospitals Sen. Kubly noted that after thean affordable health care program for The Minnesota Senate recentlyAmerican Recovery and Reinvestment working Minnesotans who pay a passed a health and human services Act (ARRA) was passed by Congress- monthly premium that is based on a budget bill that will reduce spending which required that states not cut sliding fee scale. The HCAF is by over $700 million over the next eligibility to health care programs to financed by a two percent tax on all two years and by nearly one billion in be eligible for federal funds-the hospitals and health care providers. 2012-2013. State Sen. Gary Kubly, governor shifted these cuts to the The governor proposed keeping the DFL-Granite Falls, said that while he 2012-2013 biennium. In an effort to tax, but eliminating the HCAF and was pleased that the Senate was able find additional cuts in the upcoming directing all its existing funds into the to accomplish these, cost savings budget, the governor recommended General Fund to balance the budget. without cutting health care eligibility eliminating the hospital and Hospitals and doctors have expressed to individuals and children, he still emergency room coverage for nearly great concern with using these had some concerns about the impact 33,000 people in Minnesota. dedicated tax dollars to solve the to rural hospitals and nursing homes. In spite of the positive pieces this budget deficit. Due to these concerns, he voted bill preserved, it still had cuts to rural "When health care providers are against thebill'spassage, hospitals and nursing homes. Sen. paying this tax, it is with the "It seems to*me that during.this Kubly believes that even though the understanding that it be used to economic recession, when manySenate's cuts were not as steep as the provide affordable health care options- Minnesota families are already governor's, they would force some not balance the state budget. I(s just struggling to make ends meet, it is not rural facilities to close, inappropriate to divert these dedicated the time to be'taking away their health "Rural h(ospitals and nursing funds away from their intended care coverage," said Sen. Kubly. homes are already operating on very purpose," said Sen. Kubly. "While the "Especially in rural Minnesota, many thin margins-a couple of them closed Senate's bill is vastly superior to the families rely on these affordable in Senate District 20 after the last governor's proposed health care cuts, I options to get the health care they round of cuts," said Sen. Kubly. still have concerns about its impacts need. I'm pleased that rather than "When a hospital or nursing home on rural Minnesota. I look forward to forcing many family budgets off the closes, it makes that community less the upcoming weeks where the Senate edge, the Senate's bill makes cuts attractive as a place to live or operate and House will work together to craft through reforms that will allow us to a business. If people choose not to a compromise solution that is more provide health care services at a lower live in our communities, rural schools fair for rural Minnesota. I'm hopeful cost." suffer, rural churches and businesses that a better product will emerge from The governor's original budget suffer-it's a no-win situation. So, conference committee." proposal recommended cutting hopefully, we can come back from Anyone with comments or eligibility to MinnesotaCare, a health conference committee with something questions about this legislation can insurance program that provides that improves the prospects for our contact Sen. Kubly at 301 State affordable insurance to working rural health care institutions that will Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luth'er families. The governor's plan would keep their services available to our King Jr. Blvd St. Paul, MN 55155- have resulted in the loss of insurance people." 1606, sen.gary.kubly@senate.mn or to over 100,000 people, including Another important provision of the 651-296-5094. children. His proposal also included Senate bill is that it does not raid the Dear Friends and Neighbors, Since this legislative session began, I have been contacted numerous times by constituents - educators, parents, hospital and nursing home staff, and business owners; all have asked to be spared from damaging cuts to help balance ONCE AGAIN MANY THANKS Recent new and renewal sub- scribers to The Independent which we gratefully acknowledge with thanks for your loyalty: Gertrude Rausch Karen Huber Garnett Steiner Angle Stotesbery Charlene Salverson D. Braun Monte Zehringer Judy Nichols Tom Magee Darrell Tober Kim Klancke Vernica Vanorny Marlys Johnson Dave CIoos Anne Draffenn Donald Swanson Stephen Millerbernd Joe Krueger Sharon Folk Lavay Anderson Sam Radermacher Heidi Linderholm Mary Kelly David Brown Dennis Bakeberg Randall Tietjen Patrick Kvidera our state budget. I have told each of them that I agree - we cannot fill our budget hole by cutting funding to the things that make our state great. The Governor, the Senate and the House all agree - to avoid these damaging cuts, we need new revenue. The choice of revenue is the sticking point. On Friday, I voted for a House and Senate plan that will protect our schools, our hospitals and our nursing homes by dedicating three new revenue streams to keep them whole. This plan will generate nearly one billion, almost exactly what the Governor wants to borrow. The money generated will go into two accounts, one for schools and one for hospitals and nursing homes. This .new revenue will go a long way toward preventing the kind of deep cuts that would be necessary with a "cuts alone" approach. Under the bill, a new fourth-tier income tax rate of nine percent would be created for the state's highest income earners (married couples filing jointly and earning more than $250,000, and single heads of households making more than $212,500.) The bill also raises the cost of an alcoholic drink by a few pennies - the first increase in over 20 years, and puts a surcharge on banks and credit card companies that charge customers excessive interest rates. While this isn't enough new revenue to fully protect state services from budget cuts, it does place a priority on educating our kids and keeping our important hospitals and nursing homes open. And~ at a time of record unemployment, it helps protect jobs. The Governor has promised to veto this bill; I find that to be very unfortunate. While he has been good at portraying his "no new taxes" as being responsible and harmless, there has actually been serious harm done to our state over recent years. Without 'new revenue, cuts have been the path to a balanced budget. Cuts to schools, cuts to city and county aid, cuts to health care, cuts to public safety and cuts to transportation; the cumulative effect of' these cuts is staggering. Minnesotans recognize that the damaging cuts of the past few years have led to schools living on the edge, and as a result, repeatedly turning to local taxpayers for help. Cities and counties have been forced to cut services and delay improvements. Thousands of Minnesotans have lost their health insurance, nursing homes have closed, and more hospitals than ever are on the brink of financial ruin. And, despite the "no new taxes" decree, property taxes have increased by $3.1 billion since 2003 and fees, another word for tax, have gone up by over two billion. Whether the Governor will admit it or not, taxes have gone up, and services have gone down. Sadly, these tax increases hurt seniors, young families just starting out, and the growing ranks of the unemployed the hardest. I remain hopeful that the Governor will recognize this is a reasonable and fair way to protect our schools and health care in Minnesota. It isn't a final answer, but it's a very good beginning. Please feel free to call me if you have any questions about what is happening at the state legislature. I can be reached at 651-296-4228 or by email at rep.andrew.falk@house.mn. I look forward to hearing from you. The Ortonville Independent (U.S.P.S. 412-460) JAMES'O; IIRCHER Publisher / Managing Editor SUZE'I-rE KAERCHER-BLAKE Editor and Advertising Sales MIKE SWENSON Associate Editor / Advertising Rep BARBARA A. KAYE Sales and Marketing u = t e Tues May 12, 2009 Vol. 91; No. 17 Continuing the ORTONVILLE JOURNAL STAR Published Every Tuesday at 29 2nd St. N.W. 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LETrERS POLICY Letters to the editor discussing com- munity issues are encouraged. Letter writers should be aware that The Independent reserves the right to edit and/or condense letters for prnt The paper also reserves the right not to pub- lish letters that are unsuitable or for which it might be held legally liable. Letters should contain the writer's )rinted or typed name, signature, address and telephone number. Addresses and telephone numbers will not be published. Letter writers are asked to limit them- selves to one letter per month. Please keep letter brief, perferably not over 350 words, and to the point. AD vs. NEWS The Ottonville Independent policy in determining what is advertising and what is news is based on one simple test: If an individual business or organi- zation charges for admission to an event, for an item or for a service, it will be con- sidered advertising. In other words, "If you charge, we charge." Advertising is the life-blood of a news- paper. Without it a newspaper would cease to exist. The money a paper receives for subscriptions and single paper sales is used to pay for the ink and paper used in producing the product. It no longer does so because of paper cost increases. It still covers the cost of ink and a small portion of the paper used. Advertising to a newspaper is like crops and livestock to farmers; meat and )roducts to the grocer; dresses, coats and underwear to the soft-line merchant; and plows and tractors to the implement dealer. Without any of those items, the )articular business would not be in busi- ness. ADS: We reserve the right to refuse any advertising without obligation to justify our decision. POLICIES: ANews:Our goal is to report the news as fully and accurately as possible. The staff's opinions will appear only on the opinion page. A Editorials: Opinions published on this page, whether locally written or reprinted from other sources is intended to stimu- late thinking and discussion among our readers. Opinions expressed by the edi- tor are her own and not necessarily those of other staff members. Opinions expressed in items from other publica- tions may be contradictory to the editor's own views, but are offered for their gen- eral interest. Phone 320-839-6163 or fax 320- 839-3761 to place display or clas- sified advertising in the Ortonville Independent or via E-MAIL mail@ortonvilleindependent.com WEBSITE www.ortonvilleindependent.com Page 4 INDEPENDENT Tuesday, May 12, 2009 it I t 7