Stofferahn supports those with disabilities

As a person with a disability, the next election is especially important to me for many reasons — from protecting medical assistance for people with disabilities, having more affordable and wheelchair accessible housing — and on this 30th anniversary of the American With Disabilities Act — making sure that all people are able to live full lives in our community. All of these things are under threat. That is why with an election as important as this, it’s vital to get involved.

I am extremely excited that Justin Stofferahn is running to be my state senator. I know Justin will be a great senator. He listens — truly listens. I am confident that when he becomes my state senator, that I’ll be able to connect with him on issues that are critical for people with disabilities. And that he’ll not only listen but will act. It’s time we have a senator that works for all of us!

No matter what issues you may be passionate about protecting or advocating for, it matters that we show up. It matters that we get involved. It matters that our elected representatives and senators are protecting what we believe is so important.

Justin Smith

White Bear Township



Rogers, Goebel have our support

Members of my household are happy to add our voices to the supportive letters in the Vadnais Press endorsing the candidacy of Steve Rogers and Erik Goebel for Vadnais Heights City Council. Both candidates advocate for transparency in government, which has unfortunately been lacking in many levels of government today. Steve and Erik want to make sure they listen to diverse views so as to represent all of our city’s citizens. 

Attention to environmental sustainability will not only save resources but be more economical for our city and make it more attractive to businesses and residents alike. Therefore, these candidates advocate for joining the Green Step cities program. Additionally, both Steve and Erik are dedicated to keeping Vadnais a special place to live, which includes being attentive to roads and other infrastructure. 

They have our votes, and I hope they win your support as well!

Louis Asher

Vadnais Heights



Chamberlain understands our struggles

When I vote Nov. 3, I want somebody who represents me and my family, not the government. I want someone who is independent of the governor.

I have researched SD38 candidate Justin Stofferahn, and all I see is that he is for more government regulation and control of our lives. Justin was a lobbyist for the Coalition for Greater Minnesota Cities to renew $1 billion in taxpayer subsidies (LGA) for cities.  

For several years Justin worked for the Minnesota Department of Revenue and, before that, the government in Illinois. Right now, he’s an “advocate” for a nonprofit that’s trying to channel the power of unions to pressure for stiffer environmental regulations. Of course I support protecting our environment, but it must be done with full consideration of all of our needs — including our economy.  

Many people in the private sector have gone through two recessions in a dozen years. They have had to change jobs, get rehired or retrained and spend down their savings while being laid off just to stay afloat financially. Justin Stofferahn has been a “more government” fellow for years and has little understanding of the real world the rest of us live in.  

The question all of us should ask is, “Who will put me and my family’s needs first?” My vote will be to reelect Sen. Roger Chamberlain, who as a citizen legislator personally knows the struggles most of us endure to support a family, educate kids and build a nest egg.  

Sen. Chamberlain is the hardest-working elected representative of the people I have had the privilege of helping to elect. Please consider voting to reelect Sen. Chamberlain.

Scott Nintzel

White Bear Township



Morse is the right choice for Vadnais Heights

We will be voting for Bob Morse for Vadnais Heights City Council. We have had the privilege of living near Bob for many years. He always takes time to listen and takes action on behalf of the people he represents. As just one of many examples, shortly after Bob was elected, a resident asked him about the lack of a drop-off site for organic food waste in the city. Within a matter of weeks, he had a compost dumpster installed in the parking lot next to City Hall.

Bob is a banker, so he brings financial expertise and fiscal responsibility to the City Council. He has saved the city large amounts of money in his first term on City Council, and would continue to be fiscally responsible for the city going forward.

Bob Morse is a kind, passionate and responsible leader. He has been a smart and responsible advocate for the residents of Vadnais Heights in his first term and is exactly the type of leader this city needs going forward. Please join us in supporting his sensible and effective leadership, and vote for Bob Morse.

Jean and Scott Crow

Vadnais Heights



Engen will keep funding police

We need a strong, solid, sensible, local representative who has the good of our communities, businesses, and residents at heart. We need Elliott Engen to represent us. Defunding the police will not help anyone, let alone any of us, living in this community. Do people remember Minneapolis? Portland? Chicago? Louisville, Kentucky? Michigan? New York City? And almost ... Hugo, Minnesota!

To not hold accountable people who have violent, abusive, totally anti-police and anti-authoritarian morals and values is not the way Americans should live. Nor should Minnesotans. Our police are there to help us. Would you rather have a social worker trying to help talk a robber out of robbing your house? Or talking to a crazy person high on meth and fentanyl, talking them out of trying to commit a crime or hurt somebody or kill somebody while they are brandishing a knife or a gun? It’s not even sensible. It’s not a rational thing to think that the police could ever be eliminated or defunded.

Elliot Engen is a strong, vocal supporter and believer in our law enforcement. We want successful, community-based police departments in our districts. His opponent voted in the House in June 2020 to defund the police. It’s easy to look up which legislators voted to defund our law enforcement. But now she’s somehow turned it around so she said she does not want to defund the police. She has supported defunding the police since the beginning of this campaign. Her voting record says it all. There was nothing said about the John Thompson debacle in Hugo by any DFL candidates or politicians ... Yeah, it’s a mile out of her district! So does that mean you don’t condemn what he did to those people and that community? Does that mean that all you do is say the language that that person used was wrong? There was never an apology for the actual action. Only the language. That was not the whole picture at all. There were pinatas made to depict two residents in that neighborhood, hitting the pinatas with sticks, swearing and yelling at young girls, walking around on people’s private property, using graffiti and tarnishing of public and private property by writing things on the street — which the residents themselves cleaned up after. And that seems to always be the case! People cleaning up who did not cause the destruction and looting and rioting and causing property damage, because the actual instigators will not do it. And Elliot Engen was right out there with them in Minneapolis, helping clean up the mess! There were no Democratic candidates out there helping at all. Only conservative candidates were out cleaning up the mess that all those other “peaceful protesters” created.

With no law enforcement, this whole community would be a disaster ... businesses could not call someone if they were being broken into. People could not call for help if they were getting raped, mugged or abused in any way because there would be no one to call if there were no police because the police as we know them had been defunded. No one would protect our personal property. It is a very unethical, valueless way to live in a community without law enforcement to protect the residents, businesses and citizens in our communities.

So, let’s keep our communities safe, protected by law enforcement, by strong candidates who believe in protecting our rights and our safety and our livelihood. Make your vote count. Vote for someone who will fight for our rights and our safety and our well-being ... every person, no matter which side of the aisle they’re on. Because we sure wouldn’t want another situation like almost happened in Hugo, Minnesota. And it very well could happen, with no law enforcement around to help stop this.

Laurie Carlson

White Bear Lake



Justin has my vote

Birchwood Village has a wonderful opportunity to elect a qualified, community-centered person to its City Council, Justin McCarthy. In my interactions with Justin, he has displayed a knowledge of Birchwood priorities such as increasing public participation in governance and improving financial accountability. 

He recognizes the need for long-term planning to ease our tax burdens. He will work with volunteers and committees to move forward the work of enhancing our parks and making our roads safer. 

Justin will work to ensure that new subdivisions respect the community that is Birchwood Village. This will entail a clear review and updating of the city code book as well as mechanisms for education and enforcement of ordinances and procedures. 

A vote for Justin is a vote for transparency, honesty and the welcoming spirit he will bring to the work of the council. 

He has my vote!

Mary Sue Simmons




Rush Line wrong for White Bear

I suspect that the folks at the Metropolitan Council, Mayor Jo Emerson and Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt are secretly thrilled that COVID-19 and public unrest came along to help take the focus off the Rush Line BRT project that they are collectively shoving down the throats of White Bear Lake, White Bear Township, Gem Lake and Vadnais Heights residents.

Case in point: the most recent bulletin released by the Ramsey County Rush Line Policy Advisory Committee was reporting what they heard in the station survey that they conducted. 

Search online for Rush Line BRT Project and then look for “E-Newsletter archive.”

You’ll find all types of charts and information, but the one that tells the tale is the one accompanied by “Figure 5: Frequency of Transit Use by City of Residence.” It breaks down the intentions of those surveyed about how often they intend to actually use the buses which will be roaring into WBL every 10 minutes.

If you look at how many people responded “Never,” “Occasionally” and “For special events” and remove those classifications from the chart, you’ll see that hardly anyone actually intends to use this service.

So, for $475 million, downtown White Bear Lake will get to be bothered by buses that hardly anyone cares about.

Thanks a LOT, Vicki Reinhardt and Jo Emerson. I’ll bet you got all kinds of “attaboys” and pats on the back from the Met Council for sticking it to us. 

It's still not too late to call it all off, is it?

Now ... where's that ballot box?

Greg Lees

White Bear Lake



McCarthy shares ideas

My name is Justin McCarthy, and I would like to represent Birchwood Village as a City Council representative. I am running for City Council because I believe that the council should govern in a manner that reflects the neighborly attitude of Birchwood and look for ways to unite all residents, no matter where they live in the city. I promise to represent all of Birchwood and to respectfully listen to residents, even if we do not agree.

I also believe that I am the candidate that can provide fresh ideas for moving Birchwood Village into the future. These ideas include improving our parks and open spaces by implementing the maintenance plan that members of the (now-defunct) Parks Committee devised. Second, despite a recent park survey showing that Tighe-Schmitz Park is the most used park within the city, large parts of it are unusable, as it is very marshy. I propose exploring options to fix this.

Third, I would work to increase pedestrian and vehicle safety by supporting the Traffic Calming Task Force (of which I am a part), and exploring better winter plowing.

Fourth, I also propose promoting community involvement by resurrecting committees that the city disbanded, such as the Parks Committee.

Fifth, we need to explore better long-term planning. According to the recent Comprehensive Plan, the City has several lift stations that are nearing the end of their life spans. The city estimates this to cost $1 million. I believe that we need to start aggressively saving for these expenditures, rather than waiting until they occur.

Finally, I believe that the City Council should advocate for policies that bring the community together, such as Music in the Park. I would propose a neighborhoodwide block party once a year with food trucks and games so that members of the community can get to know each other. Thank you for your time. You can learn more about me at or send me an email at

Prepared and Paid for By the Committee to Elect Justin McCarthy; PAID ADVERTISEMENT.

Justin McCarthy




Stout is a voice for parents

I am writing in support of Stacey Stout for Mahtomedi School Board. Our boys have grown up in Mahtomedi together, and I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Stacey attending school activities and sports. Her commitment to our community and our children is incredible. Her dedication to our district is immeasurable, including her countless volunteer hours.  

As a mom balancing work and the new school schedule, Stacey fully understands the scenario in which we all find ourselves. She is a voice for parents. I am thankful to have her on the Mahtomedi School Board.

Melissa Russell




McKenzie outlines positions

I'm running for mayor of the City of Birchwood Village, and I'd like to make my general positions clear. Birchwood is a great community with a long tradition of civic pride. My wife and I have loved raising our three children here since 1994. I can think of nowhere else I'd rather live, and that is why I'm running to help make this great place even better.

I believe in face-to-face personal communication; that residents should always be treated with respect and kindness; and that the council's proper charge is to serve the community based on community input. I believe that most, if not all, resident issues can be settled through open, honest communication and with a win/win result. I feel strongly that treating people with respect and addressing issues with a standard process that is the same regardless of who the people are behind the issue will demonstrate that they were taken seriously, treated professionally and will ultimately leave them satisfied even if the decision doesn’t go the way they’d hoped.

I welcome anyone with questions or concerns about me or my positions to go to my website: and read my positions. There is also a link to email me directly to get more specific and personal with your concerns.

I realize that most of the focus this election is on the national contests. However, please don't forget to get educated in the local choices and choose wisely. Please vote, and stay safe.

Paid for by committee.

Michael McKenzie, Ed.D.




Consider voting for Engen

If you believe our current Minnesota political administration is doing a poor job or has failed us in protecting our welfare; if you believe the administration could be doing a better job with the Covid shutdown and the ongoing emergency extensions the State government has put in place, which have caused so many layoffs, business closings, restaurants going out of business and bankruptcies, and where people are suffering greatly to pay their ongoing bills; if you believe the government has let us down in Minneapolis and St. Paul with all the riots, looting, burning the communities down and allowing protestors to run amuck; if you believe they could be doing a much better job managing the shutdown on a broad and local level where city halls are shut down and shut up, essentially barricaded to the point where it takes months to get an appointment, leaving the elderly without computers and access to modern conveniences at a loss for help, then you may think to yourself I wish we had someone in office to represent our wishes, someone local, who grew up here, went to school here, works in the community and have generations of family in White Bear Lake. I have the answer for you-take a sincere look at Elliott Engen who is that representative who will hear you out, and then take your interests to the Minnesota House of Representatives,

It all starts by choosing the right person in office to carry out those wishes, starting here locally at the grass roots, ground level to promote those changes we hold dear.  Let’s put an end to the chaos and hurt and vote in Elliott to help us get there!

James Sanchez

White Bear Lake



Justin McCarthy a breath of fresh air

We encourage the residents of Birchwood to vote for Justin McCarthy for City Council. Justin believes in open and clear discussion with all parties in the resolution of issues. Justin will bring a fresh perspective, attention to detail and a commitment to fair and reasonable governance to the city. All residents of Birchwood would benefit from his representation and we ask for your vote for Justin McCarthy for Birchwood City Council — a breath of fresh air. 

Gerry and Judy Duffy



Way to go, Willernie, Mahtomedi

My wife and I stopped at Roma Restaurant on Sunday for an early dinner. Somehow on my way from my car to the building I unknowingly dropped my money clip. Cash, credit card, driver’s license. Someone spotted it lying on the sidewalk outside the restaurant and brought it in. One of the servers found me and asked if my name was Mark. Answering yes, she handed me my fully intact money clip. First of all, thank you to whoever found it and brought it in. Secondly, thank you to the Roma staff for reconnecting me with my money. My wife just wanted to go out for dinner so we wouldn’t have dishes to do. It would have been very embarrassing to have to do dishes at Roma for our meal.

Hooray for all the good people out there!

Mark Klosterman

North Oaks


Bookseller happy to stay

We at Lake Country Booksellers, your local independent bookseller for over 40 years, wish to express our gratitude to all of our community supporters who have bought books and kept us alive during this pandemic. A special thanks also to our landlord, Tyler Conrad, for extending our lease another year, which will take us to Jan. 31, 2022. We feel lucky to be in this wonderful community that appreciates us!

Susie, Roberta, Faith, Nancy and Lance

Lake Country Booksellers


Stealing political campaign signs is a federal offense

I would like to inform people that stealing political yard signs is felony theft under Minnesota statute 609.52. The law views campaign signs as personal property. If you are caught with stolen property, you may be charged with possession of stolen property under Minnesota statute 609.53 and the victim may also file a civil action and seek damages. I would also like to refer to Minnesota statute 609.605, which is trespassing with intentional, wrongful entry onto another person’s land without permission or legal privilege to do so.

If you have had your political campaign sign stolen, please consider reporting it to your local law enforcement agency. They take this very seriously, tracking and mapping the incidents and assigning extra patrol as time permits. Without your report, there is no investigation.

Ollie Gottschlich



Nature lost to development

My dad decided to leave the concrete maze of Chicago, thankfully with us kids and mom, and flee to Wheaton/Winfield, Illinois. We kids quickly discovered the world of trees, woods, creeks, insects and frogs. The outdoor world became our playground. There were fields to play football and baseball, and neighborhood games of kick the can. Fences were extinct, so we had acres to roam. A passion was ignited as we observed our playground diminish. Open land was replaced with houses, buildings, parking lots and businesses. Dad explained to us that all of this development was necessary to reduce our taxes. Developers/development won. We siblings mourned the loss of the places that our epic neighborhood games were played, the trees we climbed, the woods full of wild animals and the source of so much imagination. I asked dad if his taxes ever went down, or stayed the same? “No,” was his answer, but it would be worse without the development. My last conversations with him on this were sad. He felt betrayed, sold out. He too missed the natural beauty that had been bulldozed, leveled and literally rooted out. Empty promises. When I came to Minnesota, I was impressed with the greenway system that Minneapolis/St. Paul had. The Midtown trails, the connecting lakes. The environmental consciousness. I was grateful to those who had the foresight to preserve this natural beauty. I am not naive. I know development, jobs and business will always exist. But can we co-exist? There is a large townhouse complex going up on the corner of County Road E and Linden, another on the corner of County Road F and Centerville Road, another off McMenemy in Vadnais Heights. Are all of these full already? Can all or part of Level Up Academy on County Road E be green or, God forbid, a park? Can we preserve an acre for every three or four acres we develop? I would like to see already developed land used before new land is torn up. I am willing to volunteer, to join a committee, to brainstorm possibilities. Thoughtful development and environment are possible.

Bob Bartlett

White Bear Lake



Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and Rep. Shirley Jackson Lee (D-Texas) are sponsoring a bill to pay reparations to Blacks.

1)  Then should Blacks pay reparations to descendants of the more than 300,000 Union soldiers that gave their lives to free the slaves?

2)  And why should Northerners pay, when they spent a great deal of money to fight the Civil War?

3)  And why should Haitians and Black Africans that immigrated to U.S. after the war receive reparations?

4)  And why should my family pay, since my family members immigrated long after the war?

This is not meant to be racist. In fact, a case could be made that reparations are reverse racism in the interest of fairness.

I regularly contribute to the United Negro College Fund.

Thomas G. Briggs, MD


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.