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In light of recent comments made by Marine City Council Member Charlie Anderson, which disparaged our school community, we would like to take a moment to make our stance clear about how we feel about the community he represents. We have nothing but love, admiration and appreciation for the C…

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There are many things that have gone unsaid regarding the situation in Wilder Forest, and to many in the area we’ve simply kept quiet since we know that speaking up might not be worth it to a community that has continually dealt with hardship surrounding the closing and opening of schools. W…

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When Wilder ceased their own programming at the Wilder Forest over 20 years ago, they began leasing out their property to entities who all had a mission and a use that was consistent with the goal of the Conservancy Zone, that is … “providing for the preservation, protection and management o…

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As predicted, Scandia taxpayers will see an unprecedented tax increase and borrowings to pay for the Scandia Councils's wildcat spending on subsidies to owners of a private internet company - Midco. In addition the Scandia Council has and will continue to subsidize sewer upgrades that have b…

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The MEGA-camp eliminating River Grove School will be devastating, not just to May Township but to our surrounding communities.

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Transparency in government is the ideal mode to conduct government operations. In fact, state law mandates that all government information can be accessed by individuals. The law is called the Data Practices Act.  Sadly, Scandia government struggles with the concept in its attempt to avoid t…

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Gene Johnson, in his Country Messenger column July 20, bemoans mass shootings.  According to Mr. Johnson - if we only would all get along and read our Bibles, the problem would be solved.  This useless recommendation is exactly what the NRA and gun-rights advocates giggle about. They do so b…

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The Marine on St. Croix City Council received a proposal on March 10 from Carbon Solutions Group to install electric vehicle chargers downtown. Their proposal to install, operate and maintain a DC Fast Charger and a Level 2 Dual Charger in Marine is, in a word, gold-plated. There is no cost …

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Henry Ford is often quoted to have said: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” 

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The classrooms at River Grove Elementary School are sunny and spacious, set in a cluster of buildings on a wooded hillside in Wilder Forest. The trails, fields, and waterways outside the buildings are also classrooms, where students spend as much time as possible. It’s the ideal setting for …

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Mr. Johnson, your description of the insurrection, violence and killings while storming the nation’s capital - all omitted one critical fact: the false “stolen election” narrative emanated directly from the Trump administration’s own falsehoods using social media (Twitter) as a primary tool …

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Despite a global pandemic, residents throughout Eastern Twin Cities Area Team shared the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season.

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Having been elected by a razor thin margin, thank you to those who took the time to vote, and to those who opened a door to conversation and entrusted me to this role. I entered this race because I believe Marine is a rare and precious treasure -- one that ought to be polished and offered to…

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Thanks to those who supported me in the Marine City Council race. Thanks to those who greeted me warmly yet didn’t vote for me.

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I am writing to endorse our two challenger candidates in the upcoming Marine election, Wendy Ward and Kevin Nyenhuis. First, though, I want to acknowledge that we have been fortunate to commit public servants doing good work for our village for many years. I appreciate the commitment, persis…

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The Stillwater Area School Board recently approved a new procedure to specifically clarify the requirements for contract approvals. The board made this decision in response to citizen data requests that revealed multiple large-dollar contracts executed without the full school board’s knowled…

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Electing five new board members for Stillwater Area Schools, as some are proposing, would significantly impede the progress that has been achieved between the current board and a new neutral administration. When two board members resigned earlier this year, Bill Gilles and Tim Brewington wer…

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I am writing a letter to the editor because of my deep concern about the risks of the pandemic.  As a retired nurse practitioner, I have read many articles in the past in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM.org), a well-respected medical journal that focuses on medicine, not politics. …

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In Minnesota, we have surpassed 2,250 deaths from COVID-19, and it has become abundantly clear that COVID-19 is one of the greatest challenges our generation will face. In addition to the personal and economic devastation caused by the disease, the world is facing she highest level of humani…

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After a few years of drama and two years of recovery, voters in our neck of the woods know just how much of an impact our elected school board representatives have. I was disappointed to learn that district teacher unions, specifically St Croix Education Association (SCEA), chose to endorse …

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As a longtime resident of Stillwater/Oak Park Heights, I was dismayed to see the former school board member’s endorsement in the Gazette. Some of my fondest memories include watching my children and grandchildren grow and attend Oak Park Elementary School. One of the biggest heartaches I hav…

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The impact of the coronavirus pandemic and measures taken to control its spread have had a huge impact on the workers, homeowners, renters, and business owners in Washington County. Today, more than 5,000 county residents are unemployed than were unemployed in March. That is why the Washingt…

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I am writing to take exception to the headline and first paragraph of the report in the August 26th Country Messenger stating that the “city of Scandia taxpayers can expect an eight percent increase in their local property taxes in 2021.”  This statement is false. 

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Dan Johnson’s “A love letter to local journalism” (The Country Messenger August 19) was a refreshing dose of optimism and appreciation of the potential of our better selves.  It was also a heartening insight into the roles journalists can play in these difficult times.  Yes, Dan, we need jou…

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Citizens expect the Scandia City Council to be frugal. However, the compensation for their fire fighters is neither moderate nor reasonable. 

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In this time of stress and uncertainty, I have found it helpful to sit by water.  We are blessed with nearby lakes, streams, and rivers. Let's enjoy them and revel in the joy they give us during this pandemic summer.  I sat this evening by the shore of Big Marine Lake and wanted to share a s…

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Thank you for taking interest in reporting on our local water resources. The Carnelian Marine St. Croix Watershed District did not have the opportunity to be interviewed for the article “Goose Lake Residents Struggle with Shoreland Management Issues”.    The Watershed District, Washington Co…

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Marine on St. Croix is in the process of changing their city code to allow for Short Term Rentals. (VRBO, AirBnB etc.) A short term rental is defined as a rental period of less than 30 days. STRs are in effect “fee for service” motels, which may or may not be supervised.

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Marine needs a good discussion of the public health aspects of cell tower placement. There is plenty of world research into ways cell signals affect people and animals. 

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Today I had the opportunity to hike the trails at Warner Nature Center for the last time.  The trails were open on certain days for volunteers before the Center closes at the end of this year.  I usually had a trail of happy kids following me. Their excited and joyful voices usually overwhel…

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In the next few months, Stillwater residents are going to lose the only independent pharmacy in Stillwater. Lakeview Community Pharmacy is located within Stillwater Medical Group Clinic. The last day of operation is January 20, 2020. No one imagined the community pharmacy would close when La…

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As Veterans Day nears, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our active and retired military personnel for their service to our country. At a time when many of our young men and women are protecting our interests overseas, we sometimes lose sight of the duty and sacrifices of the m…

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When my children were young, they attended summer classes at Lee and Rose Warner Nature Center near our home in Scandia, Minnesota. More than once while dropping them off, I heard comments from kids who had ridden the bus from St. Paul.

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I want to share concerns about the sudden and inexplicable closing of the Warner Nature Center at the end of this year that was recently announced by the Lee and Rose Warner Foundation that has funded WNC for its entire 52 year existence. As the retired Vice President for Education at the Sc…

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I am trying to understand why the Manitou Fund has decided to stop funding Warner Nature Center (“Warner Nature Center announces closure,” Country Messenger, Wed., 9/11/19).  As a volunteer at Warner Nature Center (WNC), I have regularly seen the excitement of children as they strap on snows…

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September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. With the number of people dying by suicide increasing in Minnesota and across the country, it’s important to take time this month to raise awareness of this public health crisis and steps we can all take.

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Your op ed piece about Merle Haggard hit a note! It’s not that we should not criticize our leaders or policies it is our duty to do so. However the manner in which the criticism is delivered is a large part of the issue. The vitriolic, crude, vulgar manner used is not appropriate regardless …

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Recently, the Washington County sheriff sent out a notice about an increase in home burglaries in the metro area (not specific to these northern communities). The notice provided tips to prevent burglaries. It’s important to know that one of those tips — leaving exterior lights on at night —…

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Last week’s article in the Country Messenger covering a recent community conversation regarding short-term rentals (STR) concluded that there was general support for the concept.  That was a reasonably accurate conclusion, but as they say: “the devil is in the details.” There is a wide range…

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Thanks for Andy and Karen Kramer’s thoughtful letter regarding Marine short-term rentals, in today’s paper. Marine already has 117 short-term rentals just outside town, in William O’Brien State Park. The park has 113 campsites plus four camper cabins and two group camping areas. Tent and RV …