Letters: Instead of suing business owners, use ‘restorative justice’ process

17December 2020

MN Attorney General Ellison is bringing lawsuits against three small Minnesota businesses for opening in spite of Gov. Walz’s questionable “emergency” orders, seeking as much as $25,000 per incident.

Here’s a better idea — apply the same “Restorative Justice” process that was used to recommend that Michael Forcia, who toppled our statue of Columbus last June causing $150,000 in damage, walk away with community service and no monetary responsibility.

To be fair, the Restorative Justice “discussion circles” who recommend the penalty should include small business owners who understand the responsibility of making a payroll, paying vendors and the need to support their families with money their businesses generate. A concept A.G. Ellison and Gov. Walz are apparently unfamiliar with.

Robb Jacobs, Stillwater


A scarcity difficult to imagine today

I am writing to make a plea to everyone to please stay safe and stay home this Christmas. My home is where we gather for most holidays and last Easter I made the call not to have a huge gathering. It was easy, there was no great debate. I love my family and because I love my family I do not want to see any of them until we have all gotten our vaccines. There are other ways families can celebrate at a distance.

This past Thanksgiving our extended family visited with Zoom. Our 98-year-old mom gave us a wonderful blessing. In it she reminded us of how fortunate we are. We grew up hearing stories of the depression from both our parents. They talked about rationing, unemployment, scarcity difficult to imagine today. One example: Mom used to talk about how her dad had to leave for weeks on end for his work and that many nights all they ate was corn on the cob. Then came WWII, mom lost her fiancee, worked as a “Rosie the Riveter,” then met my dad, a WWII veteran. Dad taught us many things using the past as a reference.  He always reminded us that we came from great poverty in Ireland so the little things we did without were put in perspective.  My parents knew great hardship and instilled in us as a family the importance of suffering for the greater good of the whole.

We took advantage of the Zoom meeting to have our eldest brother give us a presentation on our family history. Sure enough he brought us all back to that small village in Ireland. We saw a memorial plaque  of a mass paupers’ grave where our family was buried. A village where our orphaned 13-year-old forefather left for America. But that’s another story.

Other celebrations have come and gone. This Christmas it will be one year since I have not been with my big Irish clan but hopefully next Christmas we can resume the Great Irish Debating Society. In the meantime may we all show our love for our families, stay safe and stay home.

Mary Anne Crawford, Oak Park Heights



If Gov. Walz and all his Democratic supporters and judges were forced to give half of their tax-supported salary to the businesses that they shut down, I’ll bet they’d find new science that would permit all these businesses to remain open.

Gerald Agrimson, Stillwater


A ‘heartfelt’ thank you

For 30 years of cardiology practice I have had the privilege of knowing and caring for so many of the great citizens of St. Paul. Over those years I have shared both countless successes as well as failures accompanied by rivers of tears with the eventual loss of so many. You have put your faith in me and I am eternally grateful. I thank God for this honor.

Today is my last day of cardiology practice. I thank my gifted staff and delightful patients for their trust through the years.

Mark W. Erhard, M.D., Excelsior


Slow down, Sibley school board

The ISD 197 School Board recently voted to change the name of Henry Sibley High School because Henry Hastings Sibley did not “demonstrate good character.” At this point, I don’t know if I would vote for or against a name change. However, I believe it is the responsibility of our school board to present all of the facts to the citizens/taxpayers of ISD 197 so we can make an informed decision.

Henry Sibley High School has been in this community for 24,090 days, but it took the school board approximately 153 days to cancel the current name. This decision by the board, I believe, was done misguidedly in haste, with limited input from the citizens and taxpayers of ISD 197. Yes, the board has the authority and responsibility to name the facilities in the district. However, they’re not renaming the gymnasium or the new pool, but a high school that has been in our community for approximately 70 years. Surely, the school board could have sent a notice to the citizens of the district, much like the information flyer we received this past fall, informing everyone that this important subject was being discussed and voted on. The pros and cons could have been documented and a recommendation from the board could have been included.

I find the validation for their decision shallow and with little merit. Most citizens in the school district don’t watch school board meetings. The board, in part, based its decision on a limited number of electronic participants that could not possibly reflect the number of citizens upset with the decision. Furthermore, the school board should not rely on the 200 emails listed as the basis for their decision. We all know how social media can “stack the deck” and make it appear that your decision is overwhelmingly correct and justified. At this point, nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, the board can say it’s our fault for not paying attention. However, they must have known the decision to change the name would be met with controversy. Their criterion of “demonstrates good character” for someone 158 years ago that “violates School Board Policy” is shallow. Let the citizens read all of the facts before considering the change.

The school board should table its decision, send a letter to the citizens of ISD 197 with the facts listed, explain its position, then let the people decide through a vote. Henry Sibley High School has been here for 70 years; surely delaying this decision would not be detrimental to our school district. We, the citizens and taxpayers of ISD 197 deserve to be heard, and counted.

Rick Fretschel, West St Paul

Powered by WPeMatico

Twin Cities Dealz

For more information on our listings and advertising services please contact us today!