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A group of people from Scandia, Marine and Stillwater went to the State Capitol for Water Action Day on Wednesday 5/2 to talk with our legislators about the importance of science based water policy and several bills proposed to eliminate environmental protections.

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As we celebrate National Park Week, April 21-29 and the 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act which helped established the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway, it’s worth noting the benefits national parks bring to our state and local communities, but also the challenges they face.

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Thank you for printing the article about the One Stop Donation Drop + Blood Drive in the February 28th issue of The Country Messenger. Many of the attendees at our March 3 event told us that they saw the article in the Messenger and wanted to see what the event was about because of it. 

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I am truly grateful for, and humbled by, your support this election, voting me onto the May Town Board for an 8th term. It is a privilege to serve you on the Board, a responsibility I have always taken seriously, and have met with passion and hard work, and with a little humor at times. When…

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Although January is not the peak season for bicycling in our area, Cycling Scandia is very busy and could use your help.  With the vision of Scandia as a destination where cyclists, residents and neighboring communities have a safe and enjoyable place to bicycle, Cycling Scandia incorporated…

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As I am writing this letter on December 4, the temperature here in Chisago City is 52 degrees. Green Lake was frozen in November and now is open… and is awaiting the promised cold weather, hopefully to refreeze and make beautiful ice for my favorite pastime, lake ice skating. Until recently,…

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Thank you for your attention to issues concerning Washington County residents, and your assistance in informing them about information that concerns their lives. My attention was recently caught by your column in the Oct. 18 edition of the Country Messenger titled “How long should a public b…

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If you’re reading this letter, it’s because you’re engaged. You pay attention. But are you critical of the information you’re reading, especially when it aligns with your particular worldview? It is something we’re all guilty of. So much so in fact, it’s got a name. It’s called confirmation …

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I am a resident of Scandia and have been for the past 32 years. I am appalled that the Forest Lake School District is coming at us with yet another two school bond issues to vote on. Not only that but the fact that they want to almost triple the per student funding which alone if passed woul…

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Thank you for the recent discussion about the survival of the human species in the face of climate change. While the world’s growing population is a cause for concern, it is not the primary problem. 

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More than two years ago we took the first steps to create a community-based charter school. The vision that guided its founding, its development and its ongoing mission was to provide our children with a unique learning experience and our community with the certainty of a permanent school.

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Earth Overshoot Day occurred August 2, 2017.  Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when we have used more from nature than our planet can renew in the whole year. In other words, humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services exceeds what Earth can produce and regenerate in that year.…

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I wonder if anyone favoring a $15 minimum wage saw and understood, the article in the February 13 Star Tribune about Dee Hampton, a 47 year old single mother of color. Ms. Hampton is working for $15 an hour for York Solutions, placed at 3M as a contractor in technology. After years working i…

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Your “Speaking of growth” editorial is insightful, relevant, and timely. You and the Country Messenger are to be commended for courageously addressing the complex and controversial issues related to human population. Understanding the problems of growth and overpopulation are fundamental to …

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A few weeks remain in the legislative session, and Century College finds its position precarious in sustaining quality, access and affordability for students. Health and viability of our state college and university system is currently at stake. Declining investment in public higher educatio…

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Your piece called ‘Crossing Their Fingers’ was unusually prescient in that I have recently received a Minnesota State Arts Board, Artist Initiative Grant for 2017 looking at the relationship between landscape and farming. In my grant proposal I stated that I grew up on a farm and understand …

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It’s tax time at the Capitol. No, I’m not referring to the state and federal tax forms we were required to submit mid-April. I’m talking about the legislature’s annual tax conference committee, and why it’s important for residents of Minnesota to call or email their local legislators on a to…

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In response to your question, “What does a more successful model (for farming) look like–one in which our nation’s farmers can earn a living, a model that doesn’t threaten our water supply or the health of bees, and what’s stopping us from moving to it?” The answers come from another perspec…

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I have been living on Panorama Ave. longer than anyone. Thirty years ago I was one of six year round residents.

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Readers in Wisconsin and Minnesota were well served by your publisher’s column on the United States Postal Service and its importance to newspaper subscribers and to residents in general.

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We live on 131st Street, adjoining Panorama Avenue.  We are VERY much in favor of paving and better maintaining a section of Panorama Avenue that is only ¼ mile long, yet negatively impacts dozens of homeowners, and their families.  We have participated with Doctor (retired) Jim Brockberg an…

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For years my family has enjoyed the national park sites in Minnesota and Wisconsin – especially the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. Whether it’s paddling, fishing, or camping, the St. Croix area has offered an unforgettable environment for my kids and me to spend time together.  

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At the March 21 Scandia Council meeting, City Administrator Neil Soltis put an item on the agenda to develop a communication policy to handle situations when council members or the mayor submit items for publication. Neil mentioned a couple of times during the discussion that his request for…

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Last April, about 100 people gathered in the Marine Town Hall and sang some old songs together, with leadership from the nonprofit group Minnesota Community Sings. It was a special experience, in which we were all simply neighbors raising our voices in unison. Everyone from toddlers to senio…

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In rural Minnesota, we know farmers are facing record low prices and our communities are suffering because of that. Legislators should be working to figure out how to help family farmers get through these tough times. Instead, I see bills designed to help the biggest corporate-backed operati…

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On January 24 a bill passed in committee to institute a penalty to citizens who exercise their right to protest.  HF 322 would allow our state government to file suit against any protester arrested by police and make them pay for public safety response costs incurred during the protest above…

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Bravo! Thanks for taking fake news to task but realize that way, way too often mainstream papers — large and small — have led the race to the bottom: insipid advice columns, celebrity news, reliance upon releases and columns from parties with an axe to grind, shallow one-source stories, over…

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Oakhill road has been super bumpy lately.  When I am riding the school bus it is extremely rough. What I think we should do is maybe start thinking of paving this next year. 

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Mike Ptacek has a passion for education - a passion to educate himself and a passion to provide students with the best educational opportunities possible.  He has served and will continue to serve you and your students well when he is re-elected as a member of District 834 School Board.  

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I am a young person, and I want our leaders to care about young people and the future. Watching this election cycle, I can’t help but feel that many of them don’t.

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Several years ago I wrote a letter of support for Mike Ptacek with my belief that he would make our school district 834 proud. He has fulfilled the expectation and as a voter I seek your support for Mike once again. I have known Mike for the past 25 years. Mike earned his BS, MS and PhD from…

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Our elementary schools are the heart of our communities. In areas like Scandia, Lindwood, Columbus and Forest Lake, as elsewhere, the elementary school is the place where young families meet and form lifelong friendships. As such, the schools are a critical part of not only a child’s educati…

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On November 8 we will be voting to reelect Rob Raphael to the Forest Lake Area School Board. Rob has proven that he has the commitment and energy to devote to ensuring academic success, safe and supportive facilities, and learning opportunities that afford students choice and options as they…

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On July 21, the United Nations weather agency reported that in the first six months of this year, global temperatures reached new highs, with 2016 on track to be the hottest on record. 

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At a time when there is much discord and disconnect in our country, it is refreshing to witness how community theatre works to bring about a positive sense of community.  Through the magic of singing, dancing, acting, and story-telling – we experience the Joy of “what is possible” when peopl…

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Apparently one should have a healthy sense of humor or risk being much more satirical than I would like to be.