Huff Street bike pathis bad plan
From: Jean Kalmes
We appreciated your editorial on the proposed bike path on
Huff Street. The entire operation concerning bike path construction
is generally done without the knowledge of the public. Public
Law 81:11 which was passed by the federal government in 1983
was deceptive and unwise because the wording was inserted at
the end of a lengthy conservation bill "the building of
bike paths on abandoned railroad tracks from willing sellers."
I assumed this was the doings of bike salespeople and/or clubs.
I now feel the DOT and the DNR were probably the instigators
in a big landgrab plan. Much of the land has been in private
hands for many years and is being obtained by harassment of unwilling
sellers. More thought and study should have been involved.
Then just two years ago the State of Minnesota passed a bill
without general knowledge which is MN Law 85:015. It authorizes
the DOT and DNR to build a bluffland trail system and lists the
names of towns including Rollingstone and Winona. I have all
of this more specifically in my files. I feel this usurping of
private land "for the public good or economic development"
is unconstitutional. Condemning land for recreation I have been
told is not legal in Minnesota although Minnesota has the easiest
laws in the country in regard to eminent domain. I learned this
from a group in Illinois who are fighting the expansion of trails
in their state.
Rollingstone does not need economic development and is the proliferation
of these trails all across the land paid for by the federal gas
tax and other taxes really for the public good or is natural
nature true conservation? The bike club sent a letter to all
city councils saying "trails are free." We do not object
to city trails or all bike trails, but we feel there is a need
to limit the number and it should be done from willing sellers
and costs of construction and upkeep publicized.
I was aware of the Huff Street plan by local bicyclists who are
working hard to get their way. When it was brought up at the
city council meeting over a year ago, I called to see what the
projected cost would be . I was told, "The bids have not
been let yet; we think about $150,000." The bikers wanted
two sides. The council said only one. I agree that it will eventually
be on both sides and drivers will be limited to a very narrow
street. Also, the city liability insurance will probably be higher.
Where trails are built in farmland, liability insurance rises.
They customarily build all trails in smaller sections so the
public never finds out the total cost plus needed additional
Sad to say, the public just sits by. They may complain, but don't
have the courage to do anything more about it. Thank you for
your courage in speaking out even though some of your friends
and advertisers are probably bike fanatics. Rep. Gutknecht has
replied that the federal money is given to the DOT but without
any specific guidelines or checks as to all that is involved
in bike trail building...the usual political double talk.
Birthright to mark anniversary
From: Mary Ann Fuchsel
Birthright of Winona will be celebrating their 30th anniversary
on Tuesday, April 30. They will sponsor professional speaker
and author Michelle Neujahr. She will present her "Choice,
Consequence and Challenge" program at 7:30 p.m. in the Common
Room on the third floor of St. Mary's Hall located on St. Mary's
University campus. Her program will include her story of how
she challenged herself and overcame the consequences of her bad
choices. Her motivational program will include the following
Personal-Professional Development, Image-Self Esteem, Work-Life
Balance, Teen Issues and more. She will leave you inspired to
make immediate positive changes in your life. Her clear and professional
speaking style will leave attendees with a renewed passion for
achieving a successful and satisfying life. Many teens and adults
who attended Michelle's program say they were captured by her
message. She is a monthly columnist for Stressfree Living Magazine.
Following her talk, anniversary cake and coffee will be served
to all that attend. There is no charge for the evening celebration.
This is our gift to the community for their support of Birthright.
The men and women who founded our local group will be especially
honored earlier in the evening at a dinner for all Birthright
Birthright provides caring, non-judgmental support to girls and
women who have an unplanned pregnancy. Besides friendship and
emotional support, free pregnancy tests, maternity and baby clothes
Annual Poppy Drive is here
From: Bev Keiper
Many employers have been visited by the American Legion Auxiliary
volunteers recruiting donations for our veterans and their programs.
The Auxiliary assists the American Legion Post with the van that
transports veterans to the Veteran's Hospital in the Twin Cities,
and we provide Christmas cards and gifts of money to the veterans
at the Mosher Home and shut-in veterans in the city of Winona.
We also offer scholarship for veteran's family members to our
Girl's State Program.
Look for more volunteers at local retailers on Saturday, May
4. We encourage you to support this worthwhile program and want
to thank you in advance for your donation and continued support
of our local veterans.
Looking for classmates
From: Kevin Haessig
Invitations for the Winona Senior High School Class of 1991
reunion have been sent out. This is a list of classmates for
which we have no address on file right now. We may try to publish
another list if we get a lot of invitations returned as undeliverable.
If you know where any of these people are (or if you are one
of these people), please call 507-457-9696 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don't receive an invitation (and are expecting one) by
May 1, contact me also. We don't want to leave anyone out if
we can help it. Thanks.
Aaron Ahrensfeld, Travis Brugger, Dennis Dunbar, Brenna Duran,
Tonya Finley, J.D. Fratzke, Michelle Grebin, Christine Green,
Jesse Hall, Brent Hanson, Jeff Hanson, Jennifer Hoff, Christina
Holubar, Laura Johnson, Jeremiah Kimber, Christine Korupp, Courtney
Koth, Keith Lockwood, Michael Lowther, Terri Morey, Tim Newcomb,
David Portis, John Przytarski, Stephen Reiter, Eric Repice, Chad
Sieracki, Toby Smith, Dave Stephans, Michelle Stiles
From: Connie Blackburn
for the Winona County
Child Abuse and Neglect
The month of April is observed nationally as Child Abuse Prevention
Month. As the month comes to a close, the Winona County Child
Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council would like to thank the
businesses who supported our "Hands Are Not for Hitting"
poster contest. This poster contest allowed children from our
community to play a vital and visible role in getting across
an important message for Child Abuse Prevention Month. We greatly
appreciate the savings bonds awarded to the winning students
through the generosity of Winona National Bank. The four winning
posters are featured on placemats which have been used by the
following local restaurants: McDonald's East, West, and Downtown;
Burger King; Hardees; Perkins; Culver's; Prime Steak n' Cake;
Beier's; Country Kitchen; Taco John's; Taco Bell and Chula Vista.
We thank these restaurants for their help in building community
awareness about child abuse and neglect and the role we all can
play in keeping kids safe.
Students concerned about Monarch butterflies
Dear City Workers:
Our city is beautiful because of your work. You are good at cutting
the grass and picking the weeds so we can play in a clean place.
You snowplow our roads, and if you didn't we couldn't get places
fast. Sometimes we need to get places fast.
We know you are cutting the grass, and we know you like it short.
But you need to notice that the grass near the lake is full of
milkweed. The Monarch butterflies need milkweed to survive. I
like to see Monarchs. But I will not get to see them if you keep
cutting the milkweed. That will be very sad. In school we learned
about the life cycle, we had our own butterflies. A Monarch only
lays one egg per a plant. When the caterpillar hatches it eats
the milkweed. The life cycle takes about a month.
So when you think about it, there will be less Monarchs.
Monarchs are part of our community too. Thank you for your time.
Dear City Workers:
Our city is beautiful because of your work. You pick up the garbage,
pick weeds and cut the grass so we can play. You snowplow our
roads. You keep Windom Park clean.
We know you try to keep the grass short for us, but don't cut
down milkweed. The Monarch butterflies need milkweed to survive.
The Monarch caterpillars are dying. A Monarch only lays one egg
per plant. The Monarch caterpillar eats the milkweed leaves.
They make their chrysalises under the leaf. The life cycle can
take up to 4-6 weeks.
We had Monarchs at school. We know that they are very, very special.
Take some real history classes
From: Beth Carrier
I don't usually take the time to respond to all of the absurd
things that I often read in the Letters to the Editor section
of the Winona Post, but I had a sudden and uncontrollable urge
to do so today. I just read Patrick Johnson's piece on "Israel
and the PLO" and all I can say is, "Please take some
REAL history classes before you start throwing out information
as though it were valid." It's embarrassing to read such
stuff passed off as historically documented fact. You never
cited references or resources for your data. It is fairly obvious
that your information did not come from any objective, reputable,
or historically documented material. Your attempt to justify
the horror of the current situation in the Middle East and the
inhumanity of actions being taken by one group of people against
another by minimizing the humanity of one on the basis of random
trivia, unsubstantiated data and percentages is disgusting.
Attempting to further discredit Palestinians by somehow linking
them with Hitler was beyond the pale of civil discourse.
I do not approve of any of the violence on either side, but I
do understand where it is coming from as I have made it my business
to be informed about both sides of the issues. It may be of
interest to note that there were thousands of Israelis who have
demonstrated against the violent policy which their national
leaders have deemed necessary to the survival of Israel. Peace
-- any peace -- will NEVER come about as a result of political
or military might on either side. It can only arise from a basis
of mutual respect and a recognition that to claim ownership over
a piece of land at the expense of peace is the most foolish act
of all. What good is any "holy" site when it causes
blood to be shed to "defend" it -- as if all that
we hold holy and sacred can only be found in a bit of soil or
rock or monument. That which is truly sacred exists in the temples
of our hearts. I keep hoping and praying that justice will come
and that the desire for peace will some day outweigh the need
for power. In the meantime, the words (I hesitate to use the
word "information") you were throwing around do a disservice
to people on both sides of a complex issue.
Profile of Learning
From: Morgan Brown
Minnesota Education League
Ever since its inception four years ago, the Profile of Learning
has received a steady stream of well-deserved criticism. This
week, the Minnesota Senate came closer than ever before to approving
an end to this ill-conceived mandate on schools and teachers.
On a tie vote of 33-33, the Senate narrowly avoided sending legislation
to Governor Ventura that would finally repeal the Profile of
Learning. (The House of Representatives had previously passed
the bill by a vote of 109-22.)
As a result, Minnesota voters who care about education reform
have a unique opportunity to ask if their Senator could have
made the difference.
What would a repeal of the Profile of Learning mean for K-12
education in our state?
For students, an increased exposure to challenging lessons that
help build the knowledge and skills necessary for future success.
For parents, an end to the frustration of watching their children
waste countless hours on busywork projects that lack clear learning
For teachers, the freedom to rely on experience and sound research
in developing the best teaching methods for instructing their
For schools, a reduction in the endless paperwork and curriculum
planning that pulls staff time and funding away from the classroom.
For education reformers, an opportunity to develop rigorous standards
in core academic areas (math, science, history) and rid our state
of the stigma of having standards that are ranked among the worst
in the nation.
With their votes to end the Profile of Learning, 26 Republican
and 7 DFL Senators demonstrated that they recognize its fatal
flaws. The only question remaining is why 33 of their colleagues
continue to ignore the evidence and stick their heads in the
Complaints about school
From: Kathryn Harr
I recently readmitted my son into the district 299 high school
after he had spent 7 months with his father in a different school
district. I thought it would be a fairly easy process since he
had attended here for two years already...WRONG! It took THREE
weeks to get him enrolled in this high school, that's one-third
of a quarter that he missed because of beaurocratic red tape.
I could understand having to wait for transcripts (although not
for three weeks when they were given the fax number the first
day), I could even understand there being a few days betweeen
my phone call and time of the meeting to re-enroll him. But what
I find appalling is the fact that not only did my phone calls
get ignored because the principal was busy with meetings for
the entire three weeks(!), but when I finally did get a call
from him, he told me that he understood that my son was already
enrolled! I told him that my son had NOT been enrolled yet and
that the school had not returned any of my calls, he then proceeded
to forward my call to the teacher who was to have enrolled him
in his classes. She said she'd been busy and hadn't had time
to get back to me...three weeks is a pretty long wait! I understand
that my son is just one student, but having to wait three weeks
is ridiculous!!! And having my calls ignored really ruffled my
feathers, I wasn't asking for something that they didn't normally
deal with--THIS IS THEIR JOB!
Anyway, the teacher told me she would get back to me on Thursday
or Friday, so I sat at my desk in front of the phonewaiting patiently
for a phone call that never came. She finally called me back
on Monday morning at 9:00 am and in a very rude tone of voice
asked me why I was not at the meeting to get my son into school...
She claims that she called me TWO times on Wednesday about the
meeting and proceeded to insinuate in front of the other people
who were there to attend the meeting (including my son) that
I was lying.
It seems to me that all of the children would benefit from open
communication between the teachers and parents, while there is
nothing to gain by the actions that I and others have been forced
to endure from this district. If you can't treat the students
and their parents with some respect and don't have time to do
what it takes to ensure that EVERY child is getting the eduction
that they deserve, then maybe you're in the wrong profession.
An amazing group of kids
Winona Senior High
Soc. St. Teacher
So . . . Imagine this: A public high school . . . Thirty-seven
ninth graders sitting in a required 80 minute American History
class. The teacher is absent. She had requested a substitute
teacher . . . but the system failed. No sub was called. No sub
showed up. The kids are (yikes) in-class-alone.
When you were in ninth grade what would you have done?
When you attended a university what did you do when the professor
Well, when I walked into Winona Senior High School today I heard
all about my amazing 3rd hour class! I learned today that these
students found and followed my lesson plans! They took notes
from the overhead, they read the material, they completed the
questions that were to have been assigned by the substitute teacher!
The teacher in the room next door told me that the class was
so quiet (37 ninth graders!?) that he had had no idea that there
was no substitute assigned to the room.
So, when the system failswhat will 37 ninth graders do? They
will behave respectfully and responsibly.
What an amazing group of kids! Once again I am proud to say
I am a public school teacher!