Letters to the Editor - Nov. 5, 2006

Palmer overlooks getting to know the candidates To the Budgeteer: I have great respect for Dick Palmer and his weekly opinions in the Budgeteer. His latest on voting is interesting. However, it overlooks something very important. The question he ...

Palmer overlooks getting to know the candidates

To the Budgeteer:

I have great respect for Dick Palmer and his weekly opinions in the Budgeteer. His latest on voting is interesting. However, it overlooks something very important. The question he and so many others pose is on getting out the vote.

It makes no sense to get people to vote who make no effort to know either the candidates, their policies or the issues. The best these people could do is play a guessing game, which could turn out bad results.

Each of the two major parties, who have all the money and publicity, have a few good politicians. Both have many who are a disgrace and policies which are a disaster.


E.G. I voted for Michael Peroutka in the last presidential election. The papers listed nine parties, including the Constitution Party, the day before the vote. They gave us the outcome of only the two big ones the day after, as if the rest of us were not smart enough to count. I got four phone calls thanking me after I wrote to the Duluth News Tribune from others who thought they might have been the only Peroutka voters.

We do not need quotas among those we vote for or against, be they male or female, white, black or other, long term or short term. Their qualifications should be that they are honest, intelligent and fair servants of the nation or locale to which they are elected.

The Rev. Richard Partika


Budgeteer ad gives misleading impression

To the Budgeteer:

On Oct. 29, a political ad from the Think Fink Committee appeared in the Duluth Budgeteer. The ad incorporated a confirmed quote from Joe Ferguson "Duluth Attorney and President of the Board, Community Action Duluth." Ferguson never intended nor allowed that his name be listed with reference to Community Action Duluth for campaign material, but rather only as a private citizen.


The other correction is that Ferguson is indeed a board member, but is a former chair of the board. I serve as chair.

Besides the inaccuracy, the larger concern is that the paid political advertisement gave the impression that Community Action Duluth endorses the candidate. Community Action Duluth is proud of its neutral and unbiased nonprofit status in the community and does not endorse political candidates.

Mark D. Nelson, board chair

Stan Kaitfors, executive director

Community Action Duluth

Many thanks are owed for mall expansion

To the Budgeteer:


This is in response to the Sept. 17 article about the opening of Miller Hill Mall ("10 Stories That Have Shaped Duluth").

When the mall opened in the fall of 1972, it had 600,000 feet of floor space. The stores were happy, and the mall had grown.

The expansion plans started in 1981. Construction on the additional space and purchase of additional property started from 1983 to 1984. The grand opening of the 1 million-square-foot mall was held June 1988.

The addition was made possible with help from Duluth Planning and Zoning, the Duluth City and Planning Department, Harper Eaton Law Firm, the Minnesota Highway Department (especially John Bray) and the Duluth Fire Department, which had just built a new station across the street.

Great attention should be directed to Norm Hewitt, the JC Penneys manager. His connections in retail and real estate were vital in the building and development of the mall as well as his relationship with the mall's owners.

Another giant was Bob Brazerol, assistant manager at Glass Block. The Miller Hill Mall Merchants Association was also helpful.

Obviously I must include Mayor Fedo, the Duluth Police Department, Uptown Merchants Association, U.S. Air Force and National Guard. Several thousand Air Force and Guard members shopped at the mall. They also put on airplane displays and started balloon races at the mall.

Two more people who should be recognized are Gloria Royseth and Larry Marshall. The mall looks so good indoors and out because of Larry. I will also be grateful for all the things you did for me and the mall.


Edward Orman

Former Miller Hill Mall Manager

Find out candidates' values before voting

To the Budgeteer:

Before we vote on Tuesday, it is important we be educated about what our potential candidates of choice stand for. I suspect many in the Northland will vote along certain party lines simply because it's what they have always done.

Don't be fooled, however, by what union bullies, the media or deceptive campaign ads say. For instance gubernatorial candidate Mike Hatch claims he "will stand up for our kids." U.S. Senate candidate Amy Klobuchar claims she will "stand up for what is right."

However, for both of these candidates, "standing up for kids and what is right" includes supporting such morally reprehensible things as taxpayer funded abortions, partial birth abortions, taxpayer funded cloning and destruction of human embryos for stem-cell research and limiting a parent's oversight and access to their minor children's medical treatments for such things as sexually transmitted diseases, addictions/abuses and pregnancy.


In addition, these candidates do not support Minnesota's families in areas such as education tax credits, elimination of the death tax, preserving stable families consisting of the marriage of one man and one woman, and the balanced teaching of science in our schools.

Tom Bakk and Yvonne Prettner Solon, local state senate candidates, not only hold the same values as Hatch and Klobuchar as described above, but they also both opposed the requirement of Internet pornography filters in public libraries and schools. They opposed expanded school choices to Minnesota families and cracking down on illegal immigrants who commit felonies. They supported the promotion of homosexuality in public schools.

Local state House candidates Tom Rukavina, Tony Sertich, Tom Huntley and Mike Jaros also have typically stood for the same "values". In addition, these four candidates failed to support the prohibition of children from renting violent or sexually explicit video games (except Huntley) and failed to support measures to reduce voter fraud. Frankly, the "values" of these candidates is troubling at best.

Before you vote, make sure the candidates you choose have your values and best interest at the forefront of their agendas. If they don't, vote for someone else. Candidates Tim Pawlenty and Mark Kennedy both have proven track records of supporting solid family values; values that I suspect most Northlanders share.

Kristin Walch


Budgeteer article fails to include Ford's full background


To the Budgeteer:

Thank you for the Oct. 29 article regarding my race for St. Louis County Attorney. You ended the article with candidate backgrounds, but fell short of letting your readers know my full work experience.

Law is a second career for me. Prior to beginning a law career in 1992, I worked for 13 years at Cargill. As I worked my way up the corporate ladder, I gained supervisory experience, risk management and budgeting skills, and the ability to work with people from around the country and world.

This background, coupled with my legal experience and leadership in organizations in this community and my prior home, will be invaluable to me in serving the community as its county attorney.

Melanie Ford


Judge Floerke is a good choice

To the Budgeteer:

On Tuesday, many people will go to cast their votes.

Judge Floerke, who has been residing on the bench for a while now, is up for an election and will be on the ballot. I have worked with him and found him to be very respectful to all people who appear before him.

He always asks individual defendants how they are doing and listens patiently to whatever statements they may want to make. I have never heard Judge Floerke lose patience with anyone in the court room or treat anyone disrespectfully.

Yet, at the same time, he has the ability to be in complete control of his courtroom and never lets a situation get out of hand. He is not only kind and understanding in dealing with people who appear before him but is also creative in some of his sentencing or disposition options.

In appearing before Floerke, I have made many arguments on behalf of my clients as a defense attorney, and I don't always get what I am asking for; but neither does the prosecutor or probation.

Floerke truly listens to what everyone has to say and then has the burden of making the ultimate decision on the outcome of the case. Even though he does not always agree with me, I have never felt that he did not listen to me. It is apparent to everyone in the courtroom that he carefully considers what everyone has stated before making his rulings.

He will take the extra time to explain to an individual why he has made the decision he has made so that the person appearing before him does not feel like they did not receive the justice they deserved. Floerke has to make difficult decisions; he can't always please everyone in the courtroom. But he accepts the responsibility that comes with being a judge and the joy in handing down rulings that have a positive impact on individual lives, along with the despair of making some decisions that are not easy to make. He handles them all with dignity and respect for all involved.

Floerke has invited the public to come into his courtroom and listen to him. He is not afraid to have anyone come in and observe on any given day, as his demeanor is the same. He always displays integrity, is accessible, respectful and treats everyone before him with dignity. He is a judge I want to see return to the bench. He will receive my vote, and I hope you will vote for him also.

Cindy Evenson


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