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Letters to the Editor: May 12, 2012

Perkins Lake Development is not take it or leave it issue

With all respect to the editor of the Morris Sun Tribune, the rezoning proposal on the docket before the Stevens County Commissioners is not one of take it or leave it. Stevens County can arrive at a solution that every reasonable taxpayer would support without creating a new zone and incurring potential unintended consequences long into the future.

Even the so called opponents of the measure support "developing a space that can host family reunions, banquets and weddings...rather than going to a venue outside the county," as the editor of this newspaper has stated. The two neighbors (the O'Reilly's and the Nyroca Club) most affected by a rezoning have stated in person to the principals of B&H Holdings that they are in support of historical use of the facility, including its use for events such as weddings, etc.

What is the disagreement about then? The neighbors, who have the most to lose, believe that the responsible response to the B&H Holdings request is one which accomplishes what the applicant has expressed they desire, but does not open the door for any use or activity in perpetuity which will require more of the county's time and resources to deal with every time the property changes hands, or the owners come up with a different idea of how to use the property. The S-3 zoning will allow virtually any use of the property in the future. As a wild example, conceivably a conditional use permit could be issued under the proposed S-3 zoning for an adult oriented business.

While most of us would like to believe our county commissioners would not issue a permit for an unsavory or environmentally unsound business, the current S-2 zoning protects the neighbors and citizens of the county from such activity.

There is a way to make everyone happy, and that is to amend the current S-2 zoning to permit the uses requested by the applicant B&H Holdings. We drafted and submitted such language to B&H Holdings in the latter part of April; our draft amendment supports the use of the facility and grounds in a manner consistent with its long term history and the stated desires of the B&H Holding company.

Framing the issue as if opponents are against economic development is akin to saying we are against motherhood and apple pie. I repeat, we support the stated intentions of our neighbor, B&H Holdings, we do not support the creation of an unfettered new zoning ordinance that will long survive the applicant's current intent.

Steve Frank, Nyroca Club

Take the time to say thanks

May is National Foster Care Month, and Stevens County Human Services would like to take this opportunity to thank our child foster care families for the work they do. Opening their homes, sharing their hearts, and giving hope to children and families, foster care parents play a vital role in helping children and families heal from a crisis.

Foster parenting can be both a challenging and rewarding experience. Helping vulnerable children through difficult times can be a very gratifying experience. These youth need stable, loving care until they can either safely reunite with their families or establish other lifelong relationships with a nurturing adult. Foster care parents strive to offer the best care possible for children in need, not only during Foster Care Month, but on a daily basis.

Each year, more than 400,000 American youth reside in foster care. Here in Stevens County, developing an adequate number of foster care homes to meet the varied backgrounds of children in crisis continues to be a need within our community.

For some families, opening their home to foster care can feel like too much of a commitment, but still want to help children in some way. For these families respite care can be the perfect fit. Respite care homes provide short term care ranging from a few hours to a few days a month. Children needing respite care live at home with their families and respite care helps support the child's continued placement at home. As with foster homes, there is always a local need for respite care homes.

Please take time this month to consider making an investment in a child's future by becoming a foster or respite care home. For more information about becoming a respite home or a licensed foster parent, contact Stevens County Human Services at 320-208-6600.

If you know a family providing respite or foster care, thank them for making a difference in the life of a child in our community.

Elisa Ettesvold, Stevens County Human Services, Child Foster Care Licensor

Minnesota nice?

On April 28 there was a letter to the editor by Melissa Sax about Minnesota Nice, and a lot of what she said is probably very true, as people today don't respect other people's properties. At least not as they should.

However, that isn't exactly the way it is here. I've lived here for thirteen years and I have yet to see them pick up their leaves in the fall. Last year was a very unusual year as it took a long time for the leaves to fall. I managed to fill 38 bags of leaves. Most of them that came off their cottonwood tree.

I'm looking over at the back yard across the alley and see yellow and maroon flowers - all heading out, guess where most of that seed will drift too?

I've worked hard to have a nice yard, but it's a never-ending job when your neighbors don't take care of theirs. I guess there must be a saying or something, "Don will take care of it."

Don Rasmussen, Morris, Minn.

McNamar a voice for District 12A

Jay McNamar will make an excellent voice for our new District 12A in the State Legislature. His experience as a teacher and a small town mayor will serve the people of our area very well. He knows the importance of education and of creating jobs in rural Minnesota.

Rich and DeAnne Kennedy, Herman, Minn.