What warrants impeachment?

First, we have a severely unstable president, a childish bully who believed and endorsed conspiracy theories and outrageous lies and incited a deadly and treasonous assault. Then Georgia elected an even more bizarre conspiracy theorist to Congress. She endorsed QAnon and supported beliefs that: Trump was a messiah sent to defeat Satan-worshipping cannibal pedophiles; the Clintons plotted to kill JFK, Jr.; 9/11 and school shootings didn’t happen; certain FBI agents should be executed; and that the deadly 2018 Camp Fire wildfire was caused by a laser from outer space. Wow.

If these things were voiced on a street corner, the person would likely be hauled away and recommended for an evaluation. But somehow these people got elected to the presidency and Congress.

It is absolutely proper to have differences of opinion in politics and passionate discussion over tax rates, health care, education foreign policy, etc. And though many identify with one political party, most respect leaders of the other party who argue their positions using logic and facts, even when those positions are considered “extreme”.

What is wrong that we allow leaders to espouse bizarre conspiracy theories, threaten violence, bully and incite deadly treason with little or no repercussions, when the same behaviors would get local leaders (e.g. city council members or a mayor) laughed at and removed from office? What is wrong with us that we elect national leaders who most wouldn’t invite into their home out of fear their bizarre words and behavior would influence their children?

This letter was submitted on Day 3 of the impeachment trial. The court of public opinion, in the USA and throughout the world, overwhelmingly believes Trump is guilty. Yet, despite acknowledging the horror of the deadly attack of the Capitol by Trump-inspired rioters, indications are that most Republican Senators will not risk their jobs with a guilty vote. If inciting murderous treason doesn’t warrant a guilty vote on impeachment, what would?

Different and even extreme policy views? Fine. Calls for murdering opponents, expressing bizarre conspiracy theories, inciting deadly and treasonous attacks, or tweeting out childish and bullying remarks? Absolutely not.

George Kimball

White Bear Lake

 

Give input on hiking and biking options

The City of Mahtomedi is currently working on improving pedestrian, bike and wheelchair safety while considering lowering the speed limits on residential and arterial streets. The rationale for improvements is to reduce bike and pedestrian accidents and fatalities; encourage children, parents and families to walk and bike for their health and well-being; and improve the safety of the city neighborhood and residential streets. The improvements will also provide safe routes to school trail segments for students who attend Wildwood Elementary, O.H. Anderson Elementary, Mahtomedi Middle School and Mahtomedi High School. The Mahtomedi City Council has specifically stated that they need to hear from residents that they support the change. 

With the absence of in-person City Council meetings, now is the time to reach out to your local City Council members to let them know if you are in support of the proposed speed limit changes and safety improvements in your neighborhood. If you are a concerned parent, resident or citizen, please let your voice be heard by doing the following: 

1. Sign and comment on the Mahtomedi “20 is Plenty” petition (https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/20-is-plenty-for-mahtomedi-residential-streets).

2. Sign and comment on the Mahtomedi CH12 Greenway Project (ipetitions.com/petition/hwy-12-mahtomedi-greenway-project-safe)

3. Contact Mahtomedi City Council members and mayor to voice your support (https://www.ci.mahtomedi.mn.us/172/City-Council)

4. Share the petition(s) and ask 10-20 of your neighbors, family and friends to sign and comment

5. Attend the monthly City Council meetings (ci.mahtomedi.mn.us/AgendaCenter/City-Council-2)

On behalf of the Mahtomedi Area Green Initiative, thank you.

Brett Petersen

Mahtomedi

 

Government offices need to open, too

It's nice to see White Bear Lake Public schools reopening, but now I'm wondering who is making the decision to keep the White Bear Lake City Hall closed with appointments only? Sure, you can go online and try to book an appointment for driver's license renewal 90 days out. Funny thing is, there's not one available appointment. They then tell you to check back frequently for openings. People who work for a living don't have time to waste sitting online waiting for an appointment to open. It's ironic pretty much the only people who haven't missed a paycheck or had their income reduced are government employees who haven't missed one paycheck during the COVID-19 pandemic. Government employees are paid by taxpayer money and they should either have to go back to work or, if they're afraid, they should find a new occupation because they're not serving the people of White Bear Lake. Everyone else in businesses and schools are accepting the risks involved, implementing strategies and safeguards, while City Hall employees sit at home collecting their full paycheck. So, who is making this decision?

Robert Kiewel

White Bear Lake

 

Benefits not available to working seniors

Many seniors in the state of Minnesota who have been collecting the Social Security benefits have had to continue working in order to make ends meet — such as your local retail store worker or fast food server. Unfortunately, many of these seniors, like thousands of other Minnesotans, have been laid off over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, unlike their younger coworkers, they are not eligible for or are receiving reduced unemployment insurance benefits simply because they are on Social Security. To compound this injustice, because they were not eligible for the state unemployment benefit, they were also ineligible for the additional federal unemployment benefits that their younger counterparts received. This is due to the unintended consequence of a little-understood statute that only exists in Minnesota. This is grossly unfair, as the full unemployment insurance premium was paid for these employees for which there is little or no benefit.

Two bills have been introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives (HF2 and HF106) to address this problem, but the Minnesota Senate has yet to take any action. I ask that everyone contact state Rep. Ami Wazlawik at 651-296-3018 and Sen. Roger Chamberlain at 651-296-1253 to urge them to not only rectify this injustice but also make it retroactive to the beginning of 2020.

Ken Gildner

AARP Advocate

White Bear Lake

 

No Rush for the Rush BRT

I agree with the comments Greg Lees made in the Press Feb. 10 regarding “Feedback not considered in Rush Line discussion.”

The demographics to support and to continue to go through with the project are outdated.

In today’s current pandemic situation, which has been this way for well over a year, has anyone on the committee noticed how empty the Park & Ride lots are on Hwy. 61 in Maplewood, and in Vadnais Heights these days? The likelihood of returning to pre-pandemic levels looks rather bleak with more and more people who will continue to work from home permanently and will not be utilizing public transportation as they previously did!

On Tuesday, Feb. 9, KSTP TV News reported that Metro Transit employees are seeing an increase of crime, do not feel safe with recent assaults and vandalism, and are scared on many of the Metro Transit routes. Ridership is down considerably inner city! I guess I, and many of my fellow White Bear Lake residents fail to see why the planning committee of this project seem to think that this is something so desperately needed for our small town and quaint community with the present situation at hand. We don’t need more traffic and more crime! The demand is not there! Don’t destroy the businesses and residents that would be directly impacted by this project!

Listen to your residents … we don’t want this, and we don’t need this!

Barb Bicha

White Bear Lake

 

Survey shows kids need to be in school

I’m a parent of two White Bear Lake High School students. I’ve been following Let Them Learn MN on Facebook for quite some time. Today, they posted the results from a survey they conducted. The server can be found at https://www.facebook.com/104634468169579/posts/145660384066987/?d=n. 

Almost one year ago, Gov. Walz held a press conference saying we need to shut the state down to slow spread ... he also said COVID isn’t going away, so we have to “learn to live with it.” Is this living with it? Are we still slowing the spread? Not allowing kids to go to public school is living with it?

Private schools all over the state of Minnesota are attending full time in-person learning successfully, and students across the U.S. are attending school in-person successfully. Yet here in Minnesota, we are refusing to allow in-person education for our secondary students. As you can see from the survey, kids are hurting. Kids need to be back in school. They have the right to an education. Distance learning isn’t a quality education for many students. 

Angie Gustafson

Hugo

 

Leaders shouldn't break the rules

Stubbornness, truculence, ideology before public good, science confusion, unwillingness to protect staff and others at City Hall. All are characteristics that are not helpful when found in a city leader.

When it comes to the health and safety of our city neighbors during a pandemic that is killing thousands of Minnesotans, why do we tolerate a city leader who refuses to wear a mask?

Why not tell him to either wear a mask or attend virtually? What could be the problem with that? I'm sure the city leaders have consulted with our city attorney about this and after much hand-wringing and fine print examination have come up with some smarmy, creampuff reason to let this outrageous behavior continue. Nonsense. Force the issue in the name of public safety! If he wants to bring a legal action against the city, let him. We can raise a defense fund to offset any city legal costs in a couple of hours. The problem will likely be solved in November 2022, but we need a remedy to keep our staff/visitors safe NOW.

Our leaders need to actually lead instead of being bullied by this guy. Let's set an example for our kids and grandkids that we can be proud of.

Pat Cruikshank

Vadnais Heights

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