Retraction reaction

I was surprised to see the April 14 retraction published in your newspaper to a previous letter to the editor.  You retracted the portion of a Feb. 28 letter that could have implied that two newly elected Vadnais Heights City Council members may have received unreported help from the local DFL party.  I do not recall the letter, but I do remember that these two candidates sought out and received the DFL party’s endorsement. That is unusual for most suburban city council elections to have any political party’s endorsed candidates running for what is normally a nonpartisan city council seat. No one would deny that everyone has a political philosophy and it would be untruthful to say you did not favor one party’s platform over the other.  It would also be untruthful if an endorsed candidate did not expect to get help from the endorsement and possibly some extra help from the supporting party who thought they would gain influence on the Vadnais City Council from these new members. So, my complaint is that you retracted a letter that implied that there was unreported assistance. My understanding is that elected officials can have many things said about them and have little or no power to filter the press from accusations. The retraction makes your readers think that there is nothing to worry about from city council members who have ties to one of the two political parties. 

Craig Johnson

Vadnais Heights




Schools headed in

wrong direction

The stunning travesty perpetrated by immature children on their classmates, school and this entire community in the name of “social justice” is yet another example of the palpably dangerous direction ISD 624, its board, and specifically Superintendent Kazmierczak are taking the children of this community. Dr. Kazmierczak’s incoherent, and vacillating, response to the lies triggering the “student protest” aids and abets the smear cast on this community.

This follows the revelation that school district “employees” took it on themselves to interrogate young middle school pupils about their very existence, who they are, their values, and the values of their parents and families. Who gave these “employees” the right and authority to harass children about who they are? The children are the property and responsibility of their parents and families — NOT ISD 624.

One need only look at the district’s own website and the Minnesota Report Card statistics to gauge how poorly ISD #624 is serving our students. Fully one-third of students tested are judged not proficient in math, reading and science, and the proficiency rates have been trending downward steadily for years. We are achieving “equity”; however, the district’s proficiency rates continue to approach the even more deplorable statewide rates. This is abject failure by any standard. This superintendent, and this board needs to be removed and replaced immediately.

Randall Johnson

White Bear Lake

Whose bright idea

was this?

I was informed by a very young elementary student who attends school in the White Bear Lake School District that the teacher told the class there are six genders. When I was in grade school, there were boys and girls learning and playing together. I question why classroom teachers are planting seeds in these young minds that point out differences that label and categorize other student’s genders.

Parents might want to ask who made the decision to include divisive curriculum in their children’s classrooms while students are at risk of falling behind due to the impact of COVID and distance learning practices. This might be the district’s misguided attempt to promote tolerance, but could this approach backfire by pointing out differences that would otherwise go unquestioned by grade school-aged children?

Gender identity concerns might better be addressed within a family setting and left to parental guidance at the appropriate time during their child’s development.

Polly Barth

White Bear Lake


Looking forward to

Rush Line

Councilman Walsh stated in his April 14 letter that he believes that pandemic-inspired virtual work on a wide scale will continue on a permanent basis into the foreseeable future, and thus the Rush Line is no longer needed. Given the almost daily stories in the news about Zoom fatigue and the ill effects of social isolation, I think it’s too soon to generalize about a permanent shift away from onsite work. Target’s shift of 3,500 workers away from their downtown Minneapolis office space may grab some headlines, but that number represents a only small fraction of Target’s total work force. 

Councilman Walsh also brings up the low ridership on Route 265 as an argument that there is no desire or need for expanded transit service. Actually, I believe it proves just the opposite. The three or four buses in the early morning and the late afternoon that the 265 featured were too infrequent to rely on. While I’ve been a transit commuter for nearly a decade, I rarely take the 265 because if I need to stay even a few minutes late at work on a given day and miss that last bus, I risk having no way home. This route barely serves 9-5 workers, and workers with schedules outside that narrow window not at all.

Lastly, the Rush Line is not and never has been just about commuting to work. It offers the opportunity to use transit for shopping, doctor visits, trips to the theater and much more. It allows those who can’t drive and those who choose not to drive the freedom of mobility that automobile owners so value.

Thank you, Councilman Walsh, for calling for respectful citywide conversation on this topic. I look forward to being part of that, and also to the day I can start riding the bus to work again!

Lisa Brock

White Bear Lake

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