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Seventh annual Rock ‘n’ Block a success

Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 Volume 19, Issue 32 Est. 1995

Town Crier

The seventh annual Rock ‘n’ Block party in Sartell was, once again, a success, despite the threat of rain shortly after it started at 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9. The event is hosted by the Sartell Area Chamber of Commerce, along with more than two dozen business sponsors from the Sartell and greater St. Cloud area. At about 6 p.m., a very light drizzle of rain began to fall. Some people left the party, but many stayed and put up with the damp evening. As luck would have it, the rain stopped and by about 7 p.m. more people began to gather

Franny Fest set this weekend

Franny Fest, the St. Francis Xavier Parish Fall Festival, will be held Friday-Sunday, Aug. 15-17 on the parish grounds. Highlights include a Teen Night for grades 7-12 from 6-8:30 p.m. Friday; a 10K, 5K, 1K walk and run, food, refreshments, kids’ games, silent auction, a 4 p.m. Mass followed by live music by Tres and Big Toe and the Jam on Saturday; and 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. Masses, bake and plant sales, Belgian waffle breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and a raffle drawing on Sunday. For more information, visit stfrancissartell.org.

Pinecone Central features music, movie Aug. 21

Music and Movie in the Park will be held Thursday, Aug. 21 in Pinecone Central Park, 1105 Central Park Blvd., Sartell. Music in the Park at 7 p.m. features Gypsy Mania. Movie in the Park, sponsored by BankVista, features Despicable Me 15 minutes after sunset. Bring a snack or purchase one from the concession stand. Both events are free.

St. Cloud hosts summer art crawl

The annual St. Cloud Sizzlin’ Summer Art Crawl will be held from noon to 9 p.m. Friday Aug. 22 in Downtown St. Cloud. The Art Crawl features more than 30 selected artists around venues in historic downtown St. Cloud. There will be musicians, art demonstrations, performers and activities that are fun for the whole family. For more information, visit www.artcrawlstcloud.com.

Meet the Lindberghs set Aug. 16, 30

Meet the Lindberghs, a character re-enactment, is set from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last tour leaves at 4 p.m.) Saturday, Aug. 16 and 30 at the Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site, 1620 Lindbergh Drive, Little Falls. Learn what life was like for Charles Lindbergh growing up on a farm during World War I. Costumed characters portraying Lindbergh family members and neighbors will provide insights into young Charles’ interests in aviation, technology and nature. Try some of the chores Charles did around the farm. A nominal fee is charged for adults, seniors and students. Children 5 and under are free. For more information, call 320-616-5421. For additional criers, visit www.thenewsleaders.com and click on Criers.

INSERT: Culligan

in the field southeast of PineCone Marketplace in south Sartell. Participants enjoyed a fourhour block of time in the Kids’ Zone where inflatables were the center of attention. Many strolled the premises, checking out the many vendors, including a set-up by the Sartell-LeSauk Fire Department. Others sat leisurely at tables and enjoyed snack foods and beverages. From 5-8:30 p.m., the band 90 Proof entertained the crowds; and from 9 p.m.-midnight, the stage was dominated by the music of the Fabulous Armadillos.

photo by Dennis Dalman

At left: Josie Barker, Sartell, savors a cold-sweet mouthful of a snow cone at the Rock ‘n’ Block party Saturday in Sartell. Early in the evening rain threatened the event, but an hour later it cleared up and all was well for the many people who enjoyed the event. For more photos, visit www.thenewsleaders.com.

Mark calendars for ‘Back to School’ programs Parents should mark their calendars for some very important “Back to School” dates that will take place soon in the SartellSt. Stephen School District. The meetings will take place starting Aug. 19 running through August and into early September.

The following is a list of the “Back to School’ meetings. New Family Meeting This get-together is for new families to the school district, and it will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19 in the Pine Meadow Elementary School’s Media Cen-

ter. School staff will share all kinds of information about school and programs available. For more information, contact the District Office at 320-656-3715. Athletic Information For parents of seventh- and eighth-graders who plan to par-

Fire again strikes paper plant by Dennis Dalman news@thenewsleaders.com

Seven fire departments responded to yet another fire at the former Verso paper mill in Sartell – a fire that started in the early evening of Aug. 6. According to the Sartell-LeSauk Fire Department, two firefighters received minor injuries – an injury to one man’s shoulder, and a knee injury to another man. Nobody else was injured in the incident. It’s one of several fires that occurred at the plant during the ongoing demolition process of the past year. The Aug. 6 fire was started when sparks from a torch used in the demolition process ignited coal dust in a coal chute on the south end of the property, at the tall blue structure. The fire was difficult and awkward to fight, which caused firefighters to stay on site for five hours. Those responding to the fire, besides the Sartell-Le Sauk

Fire Department, were the departments from St. Stephen, St. Joseph, St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids and Waite Park. Water had to be hauled in with trucks because there was no water access at the site of the fire. Black roiling smoke rose into the sky as bystanders gathered and watched, some of them from the bridge nearby. The smoke and sounds of fire trucks arriving were eerie reminders of what happened at that plant on Memorial Day 2012, when an explosion and fire killed one worker, caused massive damage and ultimately sealed the fate of the doomed paper mill. American Iron and Metal bought the plant and has been dismantling it to use its massive amounts of metal for recycling uses. After the site is cleared, a Canadian-based firm named Edmonton Trailer is expected to set up a plant there. The company manufactures a variety of rigs for semis.

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ticipate in sports, there will be a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20 at Sartell Middle School. The students are also invited to attend. For more information, contact the Activities Office at 320-656-3717. School • page 5

photo by Tara Wiese

The spectral glow of lights through a haze of smoke dominates the scene at the Verso paper mill in Sartell after a fire broke out at the demolition site in the early evening of Aug. 6. It took firefighters from five departments five hours to put out the flames. Two Sartell firefighters suffered minor injuries.


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People

Friday, Aug. 15, 2014

Obituary Roger ‘Skip’ Aaker, 57 Faribault

contributed photo

Optimist Club award recipients and sponsors (from left to right) Jackie Johnson of Big Brothers Big Sisters; Kayla Backes and Jamie Holub, both of Luther Honda; Jill Luehmann and Chief of Police Jim Hughes, both of the Sartell Police Department; and Shari Wahlin of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Optimist Club recognizes Sartell Police Department, Luther Honda of St. Cloud

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Each year the St. Cloud Optimist Club awards individuals, businesses and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the community. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota, along with other youth-serving organizations, assisted in nominating deserving candidates. Both award recipients were recognized at a ceremony hosted by the St. Cloud Optimist Club on July 29. Officer Jill Luehmann and the Sartell Police Department received a Friend of Youth award for planning and coordinating Safe Night, an annual activity that is offered to youth in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. This educational activity provides youth with an opportunity to learn about police and fire departments, interact with officers, discuss personal safety and explore emergency vehicles. Luther Honda of St. Cloud re-

ceived a Friend of Youth award for their advocacy and support of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Luther Honda of St. Cloud and Luther Honda House Powersports donate a portion of every sale and service transaction to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Their employees, led by General Manager Carlos Garcia, are actively involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters’ fundraising events and agency committees. In addition, the Luther Honda team hosts an annual family-friendly drive-in movie night and donates the proceeds to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota was established in 1969 and provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-toone relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.

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Love What You Do! EOE

contributed photo

Neighbors from the West Meadow Court cul de sac had a fun evening participating in National Night Out on Aug. 5. Residents wish a big thank you to Officer Wayne Schreiner who stopped by and spent time going through the police car with the neighbor children.

R o g e r “Skip” Aaker, 57, of Faribault, Minn., passed away Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014 at his home following an extended illness. Funeral arrangements are being completed with the Parker Kohl Funeral Home and Crematory of Faribault and will be announced later. Please visit www. ParkerKohlFuneralHome.com for complete funeral details.

Blotter

If any readers have tips concerning crimes, they should call the Sartell Police Department at 320-251-8186 or Tri-County Crime Stoppers at 320255-1301 or access its tip site at www. tricountycrimestoppers.org. Crime Stoppers offers rewards up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for crimes. July 30 2:02 p.m. 7th Avenue S. Suspicious vehicle. A report was made regarding an unknown vehicle parking on the street for several weeks. An officer that it was a local employee taking daily walks. He stated he would park in a different location. 9:18 p.m. Brianna Drive. Loud music. A complaint was made regarding loud music coming from a residence. An officer spoke to the homeowner, who agreed to turn down the music. July 31 4:47 p.m. 5th Street N. Welfare check. A report was made regarding a child left unattended in a vehicle. An officer checked the parking lot and the vehicle had left the area. 7:41 p.m. 3rd Street S. Traffic stop. After checking a vehicle’s registration, it was found the driver had a revoked license. The driver stated she was aware of her status. She was issued a citation and released to a valid driver. Aug. 1 12:54 a.m. Northview Drive. Suspicious activity. A report was made regarding two juveniles looking through cars. Officers checked the area and were unable to locate anyone. 2:31 p.m. 10th Avenue N. Arrest warrant. An arrest warrant was issued for an adult male. The male was located and taken into custody without incident.

Blotter • page 8

Published each Friday by Von Meyer Publishing Inc.

Newstands Country Store and Pharmacy Holiday on Riverside Drive Holiday on 7th Street N House of Pizza JM Speedstop

Little Dukes on Pinecone Sartell City Hall Sartell-St. Stephen School District Offices Walgreens

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Publisher/Owner Janelle Von Pinnon

Operations Manager Logan Gruber

Production Manager Tara Wiese

Editor Dennis Dalman

Contributing Writer Cori Hilsgen

Delivery Glen Lauer Greg Hartung

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Friday, Aug. 15, 2014

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Coborn’s helps with dog park by Dennis Dalman news@thenewsleaders.com

Coborn’s Super Store in Sartell is now offering customers an option to contribute to the planned dog park in Sartell’s Pinecone Central Park.

At the cash registers, through the end of August, customers will see brochures that ask them to donate one of two amounts ($1 or $5) for the park. The money is needed to build a chain-link fence around the park, which is the vital first step in developing the dog park, a

place for dogs and their owners to romp and walk in security. The city has pledged $10,000 to help with the park, but other than that, all funds for the facility must be raised privately. The fence, it is estimated, will cost $50,000 to $60,000 to purchase and install.

Emmer wins primary for Sixth District by Dennis Dalman news@thenewsleaders.com

It’s official: Republican Tom Emmer of Delano and Democrat Joe Perske of Sartell will face off in the Nov. 4 election for the U.S. Sixth Congressional seat now occupied by Michele Bachmann (RStillwater). Tuesday’s primary elections narrowed the races and determined which candidates will face off come November. Emmer defeated Rhonda Siv-

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arajah by nearly 3-2 in the primary. Independence candidate John Denney will also be on the ballot for the Sixth District seat in the November election. In other primary races: Republican Jeff Johnson, a Hennepin County commissioner, defeated three other contenders to take on Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton in the next election. Dayton handily defeated two sets of challengers in the primary. U.S. Democratic Sen. Al Fran-

ken won a primary against Sandra Henningsgard and will face off against Republican candidate Mike McFadden, a Minneapolis investment banker, who topped four other Republican contenders in Tuesday’s primary. Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner and challenger Mark Bromenschenkel, a Stearns County commissioner, were the top winners in the primary for the Stearns County sheriff’s position. They will both be on the November ballot.

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Friday, Aug. 15, 2014

Muskies again head for state playoffs by Dennis Dalman news@thenewsleaders.com

For the third consecutive year, the Sartell Muskies are heading for the Class C State Amateur Baseball Championship playoff games. The team nabbed the state championship last year. On Aug. 10, the Muskies won the regional championship at Hinckley. In that weekend and the one before, they played five games and won four. Now the Muskies are in the top seed after winning over Hinckley and Mora. The Muskies will play Belle Plaine in Belle Plaine at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 23. Then, if they win that game, they will play the winner of the Detroit Lakes vs. Belle Plaine game at 11 a.m. in Belle Plaine Saturday, Aug. 30. The Muskies need to win five games to cinch the state championship. “I’m confident even though we’re a bit banged-up,” said Randy Beckstrom, Muskies manager, who explained pitcher Dave Deminsky has recently suffered some back problems, which leaves the other pitcher, Adam Wenker, to face performance pressure. “Yes, there’s some injuries on the team, but I think after our (winning) experience of last year, we’ll go into it with confidence.” The Sartell Muskies have a season record of 25-5.

contributed photo

At the Class C Regional playoffs in Hinckley, Sartell Muskies slugger Tim Burns winds up to hit what would be a three-run homer, scoring runs for Adam Wenker, Andrew Deters and himself.

contributed photo

Shortly after winning the first-place regional trophy in Hinckley, the Sartell Muskies line up for a happy team photo. From left to right (kneeling) are Shawn Schoen, Travis Weaver, Jake Sweeter, Jase Otto, Luke Sweeter, Andrew Deters and Brian Schellinger; (back row, standing) Chad Schwegel, Randy Beckstrom (team manager), Dave Deminsky, Cody Partch, Tim Burns, Grant Mackenthun, Adam Wenker, Tony Schmitz, Dan O’Connell and Boone Lewellyn.

News Tips?

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Friday, Aug. 15, 2014

School from front page Dietary Needs The Food Service Department will host a meeting for parents about special dietary needs from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 25 at Sartell High School. For more information, contact Food Service at 320-656-3725.

Sartell Open Houses

The following open houses, orientations and picture-taking sessions will take place: High School Sartell High School, from 3:306:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26 for grades 9-12. Sartell High School picture-taking sessions will be held from 2-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26 at the high school. For more information, call SHS at 320-656-0748. Middle School An orientation for parents of fifth-graders at Sartell Middle School, along with students, will take place from 3:30-7:45 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26 at the middle school. The orientation for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders is set

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from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Sixth-graders are encouraged to meet with their advisors from 3:30-4 p.m. that day. For more information, call the middle school at 320-2532200. Pine Meadow An open-house and orientation session will take place from 3:306 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27 for grades K-4 at the school. For more information, call Pine Meadow Elementary School at 320-253-8303. Oak Ridge An open-house and orientation session is slated for 3:30-6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27 for grades K-4 at Oak Ridge Elementary School. For more information, call Oak Ridge at 320-258-3694. Dinner At the two elementary schools, on Wednesday, Aug. 27, the Food Services will make available dinners for $3.40 each and $2.40 for pre-schoolers. Early Childhood Families are invited to attend the open house date and time for the class in which their child will attend. If families are unable to make the preferred section time, they should select a time that

works better for them and call the Early Childhood Education Office at 320-656-3763. The following are the times and dates: Sections 1, 7, 10, 12. 5:15-6:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3; Sections 4, 9. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3; Sections 2, 3, 8, 13. 5:15-6:15 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4; and Sections 6, 11, 14. 6-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4.

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Friday, Aug. 15, 2014

Opinion Our View

Robin Williams was his own great gift to this world

What an awful feeling it is to lose Robin Williams. More than any comedian-actor in the past few decades, Williams had become an ongoing part of everyone’s lives. Who in the entire world has not seen and enjoyed one or more of his many classic films? It is such a memorable list: The World According to Garp, Good Morning Vietnam, Mrs. Doubtfire, Dead Poets Society, Moscow on the Hudson, Aladdin, Good Will Hunting, Awakening, The Fisher King, One-Hour Photo, Night at the Museum, Insomnia . . . And not to forget his many TV talk-show appearances and his first brilliant, hilarious role as Mork on TV’s Mork and Mindy. The word “genius” is over-used to describe so many entertainers these days. However, Williams was one of the few who merited the word. His many talents were nothing short of phenomenal: one of the funniest people who ever lived, an actor of astonishing range who could have you laughing one minute and breaking your heart the next, a lightning-quick inventive mind and master of on-the-spot improvisations. At times, Williams’ manic, rapid-fire comedy style was almost too much. It was almost exhausting because viewers had to pay close attention to keep up with his galloping wit. Besides his vast range of talents, Williams was an unfailingly kind and generous human being, helping raise millions for homeless people and performing many times for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Like many great comedians, there was a sadder, darker side to Williams, including his brushes with drugs, alcohol and depression. It was apparently a severe depression that caused him to take his own life at his California home. That darker side is what Williams tapped into for many of his finest performances. That genius was in touch with all of his emotions, bright and dark, and fearless access is what allowed him to deliver so many moving performances. Beneath the hilarity, there was that onscreen vulnerability and sensitivity so reminiscent of another great actor, Jimmy Stewart. What is amazing is Williams thrived for so long without burning out and crashing. He was so manic, so filled with energy, so hard-working and so generous it must have taken a toll on him now and then. And, basically, that is what Williams did with all of the talents he was blessed with – he gave, gave and gave some more. Perhaps toward the end, in his 60s, all that constant giving of himself left him exhausted, feeling as if his inner well was about to go dry, leading to the bleak depression. His loss is such a tragedy, not just for his family and loved ones but because there is no doubt Williams could have turned in wonderful performances into his 70s and 80s. Robin Williams was his own great gift to all of us, and this world is a sadder place without him. We are going to miss him.

Fairness and ethics

Newsleader staff members have the responsibility to report news fairly and accurately and are accountable to the public. Readers who feel we’ve fallen short of these standards are urged to call the Newsleader office at 363-7741. If matters cannot be resolved locally, readers are encouraged to take complaints to the Minnesota News Council, an independent agency designed to improve relationships between the public and the media and resolve conflicts. The council office may be reached at 612-341-9357.

Tighten screws until Putin sags, falls Finally, European nations have joined the United States in ratcheting up economic sanctions against Russia. They had been wavering, cowardly, because they are largely dependent on natural gas they get from Russia. What changed their minds? Maybe it was the awful reality of a plane blown up in midflight and 298 human beings, including 40 children, falling six miles down to land dead on a field in northeast Ukraine. Although Russian President Vladimir Putin trotted out the usual dissembling lies and blame games after that atrocity, there is no doubt the surface-to-air missile that struck that plane was provided by Russia with Putin’s approval, along with many other missiles, to Ukrainian Russian separatists. It’s about time Putin pays a price for his reckless, brutal interference in Ukraine. Putin is a thug, a throwback to the “good old days” of Soviet communism, which he obviously wants to revive to some degree. A former key member of the KGB (Soviet Secret Police), Putin was wired long ago to function as a spy, a cog in the Soviet State, and his thought patterns and strategies still bear the stamp of the hammer-and-sickle. He has learned through sly manipulations how to gain and retain power and how to play one faction against another for his own benefit in a kind of Machiavellian chess game. Even his mask-like, dead-looking face seems to conceal all kinds of underhanded schemes. In his speeches, he has often pined for the supposedly wonderful old “Mother Russia.” In that respect, he is like those extremists, socalled Muslims, who seek to destroy anyone who doesn’t agree with their ludicrous nostalgia for a medieval glorious past that was

Dennis Dalman Editor anything but glorious. There is nothing more dangerous in this world right now than sentimental nostalgic nationalism. It is a throwback distortion of the most hideous order; it’s an unfounded self-righteousness that feeds on bloodshed; it’s what caused most of the cataclysmic wars throughout history, including Hitler’s mythic Aryan delusions that led to the deaths of millions of Jews and others. Unfortunately, Putin is popular in Russia. People in troubled times learn to love a dictator. During the first of his three presidencies, (1999-2008) it’s true the Russian economy, such as it is, showed tremendous growth, partly the result of foreign investments. Putin also initiated some good reforms that helped fight rampant organized crime and helped increase production, the energy industry and the standard of living. There’s no doubt he’s brought about successes and done many good things, including encouraging religious freedom and the protection of endangered animal species. However, not to forget, other Soviet/ Russian dictators, namely Lenin and Stalin, had their “successes,” too. Like those two, Putin has been hostile to dissenters, to human rights and to press freedoms. He has also shown open support for the oppressive,

murderous tyrants in Syria and Iran. Putin is an opportunist, a wheeler-dealer, a sly-and-slippery fish – the very product of the sinister, double-dealing network that was the KGB. He knows exactly when to turn on his “charm” to schmooze and boondoggle the Western democracies, but at heart he remains a monstrous egotist, a virtual dictator, a silly macho strutter and a sentimental nationalist with all that blather about “Mother Russia,” which was, in fact, a land of indescribable misery. Putin knows exactly how to garner favorable reviews. For example, he spent tens of billions of dollars to showcase the last Winter Olympics, his expensive bid to be admired across the globe. Those who know his history and how he operates with his sense of entitlement and self-aggrandizement were not fooled one bit. Putin is a volatile, highly dangerous man. It’s a shame he holds democratic countries such hostages to his energy exports. Someday, as his expansionist policies turn into more bloodshed and more horror, those European countries will come to regret their tacit, cowardly approval of his expansionism. For now, at least, most nations in Europe have agreed enough is enough, that Putin is a threat to world peace on multiple fronts. We can only hope under economic pressure the thug backs down and Russians realize what a slippery snake he is. Bring on the sanctions! Tighten the screws! Let Putin sag and collapse and let the Russian people finally wake up to the thugin-disguise who is making a mockery of what he claims, hollowly, to stand for: freedom, humanity, decency and democracy.

Letter to editor

Insulting Republicans is counterproductive Greg Bearson, Sartell I just want to thank Dennis Dalman for once again gracing us with grandiloquence in utilizing his lexicon of choice titled “Words to insult Republicans and their actions.” In Dalman’s opinion article in the Newsleader on Friday, Aug. 8, he continued his propensity to not just disagree with Republicans, but to once again resort to calling them names, thus diminishing the spirit of honest differences and respectable discussion. In his article, Dalman’s lack of thoughtful political debate, civil and polite disagreement, and respect for another point of view prompted him to use derogatory names to describe republicans throughout his article. Here is a list of his descriptions of Republicans and their actions; pathological hatred, cabal of anti-Obama extremists, radical right-

wingers, right-wing reactionaries, teaparty extremists, tea-party crazies, witch hunters, cast their voodoo spells, ongoing war (against Obama), hysterically stirred up as Puritan mobs, wacky accusations, desperately silly, shrill cheerleader, lunatic lawsuit, loony-tune lawsuit. Did I miss anything? Oh wait, yes. There are “some courageous Republicans” who have been “brave” enough to try to work with the Democrats and the president. Apparently, one is only courageous if you agree with the author’s point of view. Dalman, while I think your scorn and hyperbole in describing Republicans is counterproductive and systematic of the problems we have on a national level, I respect your right to those opinions. However, do you honestly believe insulting and demonizing Republicans makes your arguments stronger? Do you think you always know the motivations for what Re-

publicans do? Do you respect only those opinions that match yours? Do you want people to potentially assign your words and beliefs to anyone you endorse, such as Joe Perske, which you will likely do in the upcoming election to replace Michele Bachmann? There are honest disagreements between republicans and democrats. Your insistence on constantly using inflammatory rhetoric throughout the years to describe republicans as “right wing,” “radical” and “crazy” is, quite frankly, trite thinking and lazy journalism. I would like to challenge you to raise the level of discourse in our local publication during the coming months to replace the divisive and offensive language you regularly use to describe Republicans, with respectful dialogue. Is that too much to expect?

I confess, I am an old fogie I have some confessions to make. That will probably come as a surprise to some but it’s true – I have some flaws. At least that is what I am being told by some younger people, especially those directly related to me, like grandchildren. This is what happened just recently. My lovely wife and I were out to dinner at a quiet, peaceful, little restaurant. We prefer quiet because that allows us to speak to each other without having to yell. In my mind, dinner out should be a calm experience. It doesn’t have to be “fun.” It certainly shouldn’t be loud. If there is background music, it should be barely audible. To me it’s a time to communicate and relieve oneself of the worries of the world. Four people came into the restaurant and sat beside us. They appeared to be a family of parents and their teenage children. Immediately upon being seated, they all four took out electronic devices and buried their heads in those devices. For the entire time they were in the restaurant they never looked up. Even while ordering their food, they stayed glued to their screens. When their food came, they didn’t look up. All during their meal, they stay tuned into their electronics. I don’t think any one of them spoke a single word during the entire meal. When they had finished, they made their way out of the restaurant still click-

Ron Scarbro Guest Writer ing away while walking. I was amazed. At least they were quiet. They didn’t bother anybody, but I wonder if they even knew what they ate. I wonder if they tasted their food. Of course it’s their business how they spend their time and none of mine. I mentioned this experience to my own grandchildren as a way of trying to teach the value of direct communication versus electronic communication. They told me, “Grandpa, you just don’t get it. This is the new way. You’re just an old fogie. This is the new communication.” OK, I confess. I don’t get it. How can that experience even be compared with actually looking into a person’s eyes and talking together? It all seems so impersonal to me. How does one hear the laughter? LOL is not laughter. How does one feel the presence of another when they are connected only by

electronic devices? Why would you go to a restaurant and spend money to get expertly prepared food, eat it and never know what it tasted like? It all seems silly to me and I would guess I am not alone. Is this the direction of the future? Are we to believe interpersonal communication is passe? Do you want me to believe speaking to my wife over some device is the same as holding her hand? Listen, I understand the need for the phone. I understand the need for modern electronics. I get all that, but none of that will ever take the place of person-toperson contact. Sometimes I truly appreciate the fact I am 73 years old. As Joe Soucheray used to say on his radio program, Garage Logic: “Sometimes I just don’t feel I am made for these times.” I guess I am an old fogie. I will take holding my wife’s hand over a text message anytime. Scarbro is retired and spends most of his free time with his grandchildren having moved from Sartell to St. Simons Island, Ga.. Writing and commenting on the news of the day is a pastime. Visit his weekly blog at ronscarbro. blogspot.com for more commentary.


Sartell Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com

Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 Friday, Aug. 15 Burger and brat sale, sponsored by Knights of Columbus, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., St. Joseph Meat Market. St. Joseph Farmers’ Market, 3-6:30 p.m., near the Wobegon Trail Center, C.R. 2. Saturday, Aug. 16 Burger and brat sale, sponsored by Knights of Columbus, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m., St. Joseph Meat Market. Meet the Lindberghs, character portrayals of Lindbergh family members, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site, 1620 Lindbergh Drive, Little Falls. 320-616-5421. Monday, Aug. 18 Blood drive, noon-6 p.m., Ameri-

Community Calendar

can Red Cross, 1301 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767. Market Monday, 3-6:30 p.m., Sartell City Hall, 125 Pine Cone Road N., Sartell. www.marketmonday.org. St. Joseph Rod and Gun Club meeting, 7 p.m., American Legion in St. Joseph.

Tuesday, Aug. 19 Blood drive, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-7332767. Wednesday, Aug. 20 SummerTime by George, 5-9 p.m., Lake George, St. Cloud. Free live concert by Transit Authority.

Thursday, Aug. 21 Coffee and Conversation, a senior discussion group, 9 a.m., Country Manor, Sartell. Brat and hot dog sale, sponsored by Apollo High School Spanish Club, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., St. Joseph Meat Market, 26 1st Ave. NW. 55+ Driver Improvement program (four-hour refresher course), noon-4 p.m., Salem Lutheran Church, 90 Riverside Drive SE, St. Cloud, 1-888-234-1294. Blood drive, noon-6 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767. 55+ Driver Improvement program (four-hour refresher course), 5-9 p.m., Gilleland Chevrolet, 3019 Division St., St. Cloud, 1-888-234-

1294. Friday, Aug. 22 Blood drive, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767. Sizzlin’ Summer Art Crawl, noon to 9 p.m., downtown St. Cloud. Musicians, art demos, performers and activities for the whole family. St. Joseph Farmers’ Market, 3-6:30 p.m., near the Wobegon Trail Center, C.R. 2. Saturday, Aug. 23 55+ Driver Improvement program (four-hour refresher course), 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Miller Auto Plaza, 2930 2nd St. S., St. Cloud, 1-888234-1294.

7

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Sartell Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com

8

Blotter from page 2 Aug. 2 10:53 a.m. 21 Avenue N. Vandalism. A report was made regarding a residence being hit with numerous paintballs sometime overnight. 12:01 p.m. Riverside Avenue. Suspicious activity. A report was made regarding an adult male sitting and possibly watching children play and swim. An officer spoke with the male who stated he was not watching the children but was just relaxing. The male agreed to leave the area. 10:08 p.m. 11th Avenue E. Noise. A complaint was made regarding loud noise coming from a residence. Officers spoke to the resident, who agreed to keep the noise down.

10:54 p.m. Meadow Drive. Domestic. A report was made regarding an adult male and a juvenile male arguing. Officers arrived and found the argument was only verbal. Both parties stated they were now calm and needed no assistance. Aug. 4 2:02 p.m. Riverside Avenue. Traffic stop. A vehicle was witnessed traveling 45 mph in a posted 30-mph zone. The driver was issued a citation and released. 3:49 p.m. 7th Street N. Juvenile problem. A report was made regarding juveniles misusing an air hose at a business. The juveniles had left the area upon an officer’s arrival.

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Fall Tours: Pacific Coast Sept. 3-15 Nova Scotia, PEI & Cape Breton Sept. 13-24 New England Fall Colors Sept. 22-Oct. 7 Celebration Belle Fall Foliage Tour Sept. 30-Oct. 3 Branson/Memphis/Nashville Tour Oct. 6-13 Fall in Door County, WI Oct. 7-10 Carolinas & Georgia Oct. 21-31 Christmas Branson Tours Nov. 10-15; Nov. 17-22; Dec. 1-6 Nashville Country Christmas Tour Dec. 4-9 Thank you for traveling with Utopia Tours and Cloud Travel - we appreciate your continued patronage. Hope to see you on a day trip or tour soon.


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