WST - Letters to the Editor

Submitted Letters
Northstar Delayed . . . Too Damn Bad
People that drive into the cities are delayed every day as a result of congestion, a lot of which could have been remedied if the money that has been wasted on this train had been used to build an extra lane and other highway enhancements.
What’s more important, the freight use these tracks to deliver the necessities of live to people across the country or that a hand full of people paying a small percentage of what it actually cost for this train to be operated to chauffeur then to work.
In a January 11, 2014 article on Northstar it stated that the average fare paid by the passenger was $3.29 with a subsidy of $15.96. In other words for what cost $19.25, the rider only pays $3.29 or 17% of the actual cost! How is this fair? How does this make sense? Let’s say this rider takes the train 45 weeks out of the year, that means they receive $3,591 in subsidies. . .money from my taxes!
And I’m tired of seeing stories about how ridership is up as a result of special events such as sports, etc. The taxpayer has and is still putting money into this train to reduce congestion during the normal rush hour commutes. That was the purpose, not shuttling recreational users to ball games.
This is a failed experiment. Quit wasting more money on it and shut it down.
(Google the “Vermont Champlain Flyer” as another example of a failed commuter train.)
Bret R. Collier
Big Lake, MN
I would like to encourage all who read this to vote for BIG LAKE in the "Celebrate Your Lake" contest from Michelob Golden Light.  People may vote once each day until Sept.30, 2014.  The prize:  a $50,000 conservation grant for BIG LAKE.  We are in the top five vote getters currently.  Mass community participation is needed--this won't happen without you!
Big Lake could use the conservation funds for so many potentially worthy projects, such as weed control and removal, restocking of certain types of fish, various clean up or lake improvement projects …you get the idea.
Here's how to participate:  go to the website address  You may need to answer some identifying questions to be able to vote.  Then, click on "Vote Now", and a drop down menu will appear.  BIG LAKE is the first lake on that list.  Select "Vote for this Lake", and you are done!  After voting, you may also be able to log in to vote in future by using your Facebook account, and you will be given the option to share to your Facebook account to encourage your friends to vote.
Between now and Sept. 30, we need your help every single day, no matter
where you live, to make this happen.  If you are reading this and have internet access, you can help.  Once again, the website is  Please vote for BIG LAKE.  Thanks!
Kim Noding
Big Lake, MN
This is in response to the article about the disputed garage on Kasota Street, which is in reality is a 30’ by 32’ pole barn. June 25, we put the City of Big Lake on notice, that we wanted verification that all the city codes and ordinances were followed concerning the structure. The City of Big Lake chapter 10 zoning, 1006.03 says “certificate of survey required: Any person desiring to improve property shall submit to the building official a certificate of survey of the premises and information on the location and dimensions of existing and proposed structures, location of easements crossing the property, encroachments and any other information which may be necessary to insure conformance to this ordinances.”
If the city staff had followed their own ordinances, this would have never been an issue. This was not done until after the building was started. After the survey, they realized that the pole barn was one foot six inches from the property line. The front yard setback was too close to the street, and he has too much impervious surface. 
City staff did everything they could to accommodate the home owner. The city heard the complaints from the other residents, but didn’t care what anyone said, because they knew by then, that the ordinances were not followed. Instead of making the owner put up a new garage in the spot, where the old garage was, they were going to give him a variance for the front, and they did vacate 50 feet of the alley, and he can do whatever he wants about the impervious surface.
I feel that the City should have made the owner move, or scale back the pole barn. The structure is too large and there is no other pole barns in the city. I am upset that we have lived in this house for 18 years, and our voice was ignored. The property we are talking about is a rental.
The owner doesn’t even live here. We are very disappointed in the City of Big Lake. We are upset with certain members of the staff, including all city council members. We do want to thank Mayor Danielowski for being the only one who did talk to us.
Terry & Ruth Carlson
Big Lake, MN
I wish to inform the surrounding business community that I have authorized All-American Sports Posters to produce Big Lake High School’s athletic posters. All-American Sports Posters will provide terrific looking sports posters and will help the athletic departments raise much needed additional funding. All-American Sports Posters will be contacting local businesses to line up community sponsorship for this program and I urge all businesses to consider putting their support behind this worthy effort.
As you are not doubt aware, there are many businesses that solicit via telephone, and you always have the right to question anyone who contacts you in this manner. All-American Sports Posters is registered with the Idaho Attorney General and has been authorized to conduct this campaign on behalf of the Big Lake High School Athletic Department. No other company has been authorized to represent Big Lake High School in this way and you should question any other requests for funds.
If you have any questions, please contact me at 763-262-2547 or All-American Sports Posters at 800-556-1380.
Thayne Johnson
BLHS Activities Coordin.
Big Lake, MN


BETTY THIELEN, 88, of Big Lake was seriously injured in a traffic accident on Airport Road in Big Lake Township Thursday afternoon. (Archive photo by Jennifer Edwards).

BIG LAKE MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT COUNCIL have purchased hydration stations for their school and help prevent waste from plastic water bottles. Front row from left to right is Sophie Wesolowski, Emily Zinken, Erin Rootes, Mia Mielke, Destinee Schieck and Annika Holl. Back row from left to right is Erik Poffenberger, Sydney Throolin, Hailey Atwood, Cassie Walsh, Trent Ramert, Isabella Dahlen, Lexi Nau and Ashlyn Mattson. (Submitted photo).

SHERBURNE COUNTY SHERIFF Joel Brott at the Orrock Township meeting Wednesday. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

THE BIG LAKE AMBASSADORS take charge of the serving line.