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Orchids: To the nice lady who stopped and offered assistance to me when a Jeep hit my car on Thursday, May 2,8 at about 5 p.m. at 13th Avenue South and 8th Street South in Virginia. I didn’t get your name and would like to thank you in person. I would appreciate if you could all me at 744-1759.
Onions: To whoever took from my friend’s yard on 5th Avenue the night of the Land of the Loon street dance. You took a star right off the house, a homemade flower and solar lights. Shame on you!
Onions: To the phrase “black lives matter.” It seems that phrase is only applied when a white person, usually a police officer, and a black person are in an arrest confrontation. This then provokes civil unrest, marches, rioting and looting. All under the excuse of racial discrimination. Last week in Minneapolis an innocent black mother and her 4-year-old child were shot by a black man, a supposed gang member. There were no public claims, “that black lives matter.” There were no riots, there were no marches, there were no protests at the Mall of America. The head of the local NAACP, who is a law professor at St. Thomas College, did not appear on television with the claim that “black lives matter.” Black and white lives do matter. But selective application of the term “black lives matter” only raises suspicion that it serves as an excuse for civil disobedience in certain situations.
Onions: Many bushels to Hennepin County and St. Louis County Protective Services. In an article on Saturday, June 27, it stated that a new study found out that Hennepin CPS (child protective services) has been ignoring child abuse allegations to save themselves money and caseloads. This is utterly sick that money is being put over children who are being abused. I feel St. Louis County CPS has done this, too. The safety of children who are being victimized is being overlooked all to save cash, and that is the sick part. Something seriously needs to be done, and charges should be pursued against any county CPS agency of which has been ignoring child abuse allegations. It’s their job to handle these issues, and they are just picking and choosing what they feel like they should deal with. Please tell others about this, or nothing will be done. No child should have to go to bed abused or neglected, but society is just letting it happen. What is wrong with people nowadays. You’ll stand up for your child, but if it’s someone else’s, you just let the world have its way with them. Stand up and do something for these children. Please!
Onions: To President Obama and others for saying guns and the Confederate flag are the cause of the recent killings in a black church. Guns or the flag aren’t even close to the problem. When you have never-ending negative television coverage of such events, it can have an adverse affect on those who are mentally unstable. Hey, look at me — I can make headline news, too! Ask any school teacher about some of the “weirdos” they’ve had to deal with over the years and they would tell you such negative repetitions on TV is the ideal formula for turning such people into copy cat killers. Let’s stop the endless news coverage of these events and only give minimum coverage and much future chaos could be avoided.
Orchids: To the Mesabi Daily News for the orchids and onions column. It gives me a voice and allows me to vent. If I couldn’t I might just implode.
Onions: And shame to Immigrant Lourenco Goncalves, CEO of Cleveland Cliffs, on his foul and detrimental talk of Essar Steel. Lourenco you are no longer in Latin America, but on the Mesabi Iron Range where we are all one family. Essar’s newness and innovation will make us all more competitive against our real economic foe — the mega giant ROY HILL. I urge my good Farmer-Labor friends, Thomas, David and Elder Junior, to follow the philosophy of Big John Blatnik and Rudy Perpich and show our immigrant hospitality and give Essar a big welcome and extend a helping hand to a family member that has stumbled. (Submitted by Matt Matasich, the Northside Republican. )
Onions: Stop! Read this! Left South Grove going north. Stopped at Garden Drive = no cars. Stopped at Diamond Lane = no cars. Stopped at Emerald Avenue = no cars. Stopped at Mud Lake Corner = 1 car. Stopped at No. 7 = five cars. Stopped at Carnation Avenue = no cars. Got a green light at No. 53 and drove across to Virginia. You can stop reading.
Onions: To the news media. A black criminal tortures and murders a white couple, their 10-year-old son and their housekeeper. Then sets their house on fire in Washington D.C. A white female officer in Omaha Neb., who had just had a baby was shot and killed by a black criminal. This is racism crime at the highest degree. But where is the outrage. Why isn’t the president on national television expressing dismay like he’s done with Ferguson, Mo.?
Onions: To the Minnesota Legislature. The system is broken! These elected representatives of the people have hopelessly failed their constituents. They can’t get their work on time. They only care about getting re-elected and not about doing their work they are supposed to do. They wait till the last minute to theoretically pass bills. A PhD economist from Hamline University in St. Paul was interviewed by WCCO Television in the Twin Cities and gave his take on the Minnesota Legislature and their last minute term papers. If term papers were done the night before due they then ended up not being very good and he said that was true for bills passed at the end of the session. When the House passed a budget bill at the closing of the session, some representatives actually stated they had not read it! Can you imagine that? The citizens of the state are paying for this and now will pay for a special session because they can’t get work done on time after five months! We need to get rid of all of them and have ordinary working folks who are responsible to take over.
Onions: To the four Virginia council members who support the International Building Code. Why do we need this in our town of 8,500 people? Come on council members ,why don’t you enforce other ordinances such as our very unfair blue bag system. I have a single garbage can, but every day I can see people in my neighborhood who live with four or eight families to a large can throw everything in that can without a blue bag! Another ordinance that is surely not enforced is blight. You can see it all over town and never gets any better .....why? Another is speeding, which is awful on most of our avenues, but very seldom does a person ever see our police stopping speeders.
Orchids: It was a very nice gesture on the part of Gov. Dayton to invite former Gov. Pawlenty to the ground-breaking ceremony for the first campground at Lake Vermilion State Park. Gov. Dayton is a first-class person!
Onions: To the U.S. Forest Service for allowing deer hunters who hunt on federal land in the Little Thirteen Lake area to leave their portable deer stands in the woods all year long. They were told about this matter over five years ago, but nothing was done about it.
Orchids: I was in the Virginia Kmart April 26 and was trying to redeem my points. You would not believe the wonderful service I received from Walt, Sandy and Nancy ... what a team they were to make my shopping experience a very positive time. Keep up the excellent customer service. (Submitted by Caroline Johnson of Northeast Minneapolis.)
Onions: Hello anonymous whiners of Virginia! If you want to put up on a mural the two or three nationally famous Virginia residents who made it to the big time, go for it. Hold a bake sale or rummage sale and raise the money yourself. Do something good for the community instead of just whining all the time. The rest of us who are working for a better Virginia are pretty exhausted from hearing you whine.
Orchids: A school bus full to all the wonderful individuals and groups who helped inspire and support our third grade students at Roosevelt Elementary School this past year. To Phyllis Starich, who once again taught, accompanied, and performed with our third graders at Gift Stock. What a great way to inspire our youth through music. To the Rotary Club — our third graders were fortunate enough to receive free dictionaries to enhance their reading and writing skills thanks to this generous group. To Matt Frericks who shared his knowledge and expertise of Minnesota wildlife through a hands-on presentation to all of the 3rd grade classrooms. To our Roosevelt P.T.S.A. This generous groups is always helping and supporting our third graders by providing books to our students from the Book Fair and sponsoring our year-end field trip. To the Leos Club. This group of Virginia High School students came into our classrooms and did seasonal projects with the third graders. Our students really enjoyed being with them. (Submitted by The Third Grade Teachers at Roosevelt Elementary School.)
Onions: It’s contract time again at Essentia-Virginia Clinic and the fun begins. It’s all so familiar, wanting to take away more and more and give us less and less. This has been going on for too many years and it’s time to put a stop to it. We are hard working employees who keep the clinic running and we shouldn’t have to fight so hard for what we deserve. Wages are the number one problem. We can’t even get equal pay compared to the other clinic sites and they don’t care that the cost of living keeps increasing, along with our list of duties. They want to take away parts of our insurance coverage, but keep the premium cost the same and increase it yearly. These are just a few of the things we are fighting. Who wants to work with this unfairness? We have to fight this and do not back down. We have to all stick together, that’s what we have a union for. This is the only way to obtain our rights. We absolutely can not let them win, or we will never get ahead. We must not weaken. A satisfied employee means better attitudes and better production, certainly something that the general public sees. Hopefully we can come to a beneficial resolution for all parties.
Onions: There are many fundraisers which if I am able to support I gladly will. When you place an order and then have someone call to verify your order, and then you go to pick up your order to be told they don’t have what you ordered and told that’s all they have!! I still paid. If these fundraisers want to be successful they need to get the orders correct. I know it’s not easy. Also, some fundraisers that are to deliver your order, then they tell you to pick it up!
Onions: To Virginia Councilors Sipola, Littlewolf, Jorgensen and McReynolds. Since when does little Virginia, Minnesota, need an International Housing Code? There has to be some of you who can tweek what we do have. Is Duluth, Eveleth, Hibbing, etc. going in this direction, too? International means global and next thing we know, we will have those three foreign countries breathing down our necks. If our own City Council cannot figure out on THEIR own and use their brains, we are in deep trouble.
Orchids: Thanks to Curt Jacka and co-worker at Northland Auto Service for picking up and repairing David’s mobile scooter and washing. You’re the best (Kara too!) Thank You. (Submitted by Nina and David B.)
Orchids: To the Virginia High School Music Department for an excellent performance of “Guys and Dolls.” The cast did an outstanding job that was enjoyed by all in attendance. We know they put in many long hours of rehearsals and it certainly showed in their acting abilities. We look forward to next year’s play. (Submitted by A Grateful Grandmother.)
Onions: To Tom Bakk for his silence on the Northland School when it was being planned and built. Your silence as a public official and leader means compliance, and now you want all of St. Louis County taxpayers to pay for it. As a parent, I would rather have my kids going to a renovated Cook High School and if they needed medical help the hospital is across the street. Shame on you Tom Bakk, you’re no Douglas Johnson.
Orchids: To Virginia native Chef Brad Hendrickson of the Black Bear Casino in Cloquet. The seafood gumbo was out of this world, absolutely fabulous. You have brought Bellagio quality and taste to the Northland. Five stars. (Submitted by Matt Matasich.)
Onions: A zillion-plus of them to the government again. Last year around this same time they wanted to close or change the population of the home my son lives in, again. But now under a facade of using the Olmstead Act they want to close or change the population again from the developmentally disabled to the mentally ill. Again they want to make them leave their home. This has been their home for many, many years. It was told to them this is your home. This will have negative, long term, and possible catastrophic effects on these citizens that the government is supposed to help and protect because they are vulnerable. I guess that is what makes it easy for the government to push their agendas through because they can not fight back. My son is not ready to be in a less supervised setting. He is doing well, but not yet to the point where they are going to be sending him. The IRRRB was involved in monies in building this home due to my son’s and others’ needs with developmental disabilities. They say we can move them to another home that will support their programming. What? They will still be in a supervised setting ... just kicked out of their other home! (Submitted by Rita Licari.)
Onions: To store managers who have their workers stand by the store entrances during their breaks. How about having a smoking area away from customers?
Orchids: To Cindy at the Eveleth Public Library. She will be missed when she retires next week. I will miss her cheerful smile, her helpful attitude and organization. She also did such a good job with the children’s programs. She deserves a very happy retirement.
Onions: To the Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department for doing a beyond bias investigation of the Ferguson Police Department. When you are bias like the Obama Administration against law enforcement, you can always come up with the results you need or want. Attorney General Holder is a disgrace to his office and has been almost since the day he took office, and the “nitpicking” charges against the Ferguson Police Department is his grand finale before leaving office
Orchids: To Craig Johnson, a hometown boy who won a Grammy for Best Choral Performance. Craig graduated from the Virginia High School in 1980.
Onions: To President Obama and his administration for their endless farce of trusting Iran in their quest of developing nuclear weapons. Iran knows that we are in a fool’s paradise and the longer they lead us on with never-ending negotiations, there will soon come a day when they have an atomic bomb and be the super power of the Middle East, and Israel will then be destroyed. We, as fools, continue to look the other way while doing nothing but extending deadlines.
Orchids: To the Women of Steel for a generous donation of over $5,300 to Care Partners. We are very grateful for your support and want to thank everyone who has made this donation possible. This money will provide financial assistance to many local individuals and families facing cancer. Together we are making a difference and look forward to your continued support with the Bowl For A Cure on Feb. 28 at the Plaza Bowl. (Submitted by Duane Sauter, Treasurer for Care Partners.)
Onions: To Gov. Dayton and all of our Iron Range DFL elected officials for proposing and supporting an additional 6.5 percent state tax on gasoline. Keep in mind that this is in addition to the existing 28.5 cents per gallon state tax on gasoline. Also, keep in mind that Dayton purposely proposed a percentage increase because he knows that with gas prices at recent record lows, his proposal doesn’t sound too bad, however, we all know that gas prices will climb back to $4 a gallon and when that happens, we’ll be paying an additional 26 cents per gallon. That’s almost double the present state gas tax. Dayton, Metsa, Melin, Tomassoni, we aren’t as stupid as you think. And how much of this tax will actually go towards road improvements? Let’s see how much our out-state roads improve over the next few years.
Orchids: To Don Doroff for running again as Greenwood Supervisor. Don is a kind, genuine responsible person who has a proven track record the past three years. His decisions have been for the better of all Greenwood residents, not just a preferred few. John Milbridge, and his wife Laurie, who moved back to the area, is also a perfect future supervisor. He has taken the time to get to know how the board works, has become a member of the Greenwood Fire Department and has used his RN skills as a new First Responder as well as firefighter. What a valuable person to represent our community.
Orchids: A big bouquet of them and thank you to the person who paid for our breakfasts at the Northgate on Friday, Feb. 13. (Submitted by the Four Ladies in their 80s. We will pass it on.)
Orchids: Beautiful bouquets to all the great volunteers and Ski Patrollers who work the Alpine and Nordic ski races all winter at Giants Ridge. Many of you are parents and many of you are volunteers who don’t even have kids on the team — but you love kids, the sport and your communities. You are the backbone of these races — we wouldn’t be able to have these high school races without you! Thank you to all of you who brave the cold and help out our kids and high schools. You are a blessing! Orchids: To Mark Sauer and Mesabi Daily News for always coming to the Alpine and Nordic ski meets. Always nice to read the sports sections and admire the great pictures Mark takes at Giants Ridge.
Orchids: It’s great to see some younger people approaching the Gilbert City Council about getting our town moving forward and growing. One big problem that we always have had is supporting our local businesses. Some will use up to three hours of time, spend $9 on gas to save $4. A top priority is a grocery store.
Onions: To Mr. Obama’s cursory rebuttal of austerity. I am a 69-year-old man who is saving money on a limited income to put my beautiful granddaughter through grade school at Marquette, and Orchids to the wonderful staff who so patiently and lovingly give of themselves for their beautiful children and ours. We are such an ungrateful lot in this country to see so little value in the things we are losing.
Orchids: To the Mesabi Daily News for the 2015 F.Y.I. edition. It’s a handy reference to have around. You’re number one!
Onions: Sen. Bakk stated on MPR that the reasons Polaris is building a new plant in Alabama and employing 2,000 new workers instead of choosing Minnesota was the lack of housing and shortage of skilled workers here. Sorry senator, but may I suggest the main reason Polaris chose Alabama is a friendly business tax structure!
Orchids: To all those putting in the Onions about what is really going on in Mountain Iron. The Onions point out the poor decisions, unfairness and political nepotism that we otherwise would never know about. Orchids to the Mesabi Daily News for having this column.
Orchids: It was great that the majority of the Virginia City Council voted to seat Ms. Pellinen as a council member. It was the right thing to do.
Onions: Many unnamed ones to those in the community who find it necessary to try to force others into signing their “Orchids and Onions”. It doesn’t matter if it is signed or unsigned, that isn’t what makes the “Orchids and Onions” column so entertaining. It’s the opinionated ideas of our community and society. Instead of being offended by an “Onion” you didn’t like to the point you started a petition to get the Mesabi Daily News to force its readers and subscribers into something they might not even want to do, you should step back and realize the reasonable thing is to let it go. No need to get upset over an “Onion” in the paper. It’s just an “Onion”. Personally, I find it can be an inconvenience to have to sign each and every “Orchid” or “Onion”, so I really prefer not to have to waste my time doing so each time I write one. So thank you Bill Hanna for doing the right thing, and allowing the community to continue to speak its mind, and for that, you have bountiful “Orchids” of appreciation from those who appreciate free speech. As they say, “If you give a man a mask, you will find out who he truly is.”
Orchids: To Johnny Snidarich and his lovely wife, Samantha, for hosting the Slovenian Union Advent Party. The decorations, music and food were surpassed only by the Snidarich’s hospitality!
Onions: To the Democrats for blocking the Keystone Pipeline! We need to rethink who is really the party of the iron ore miner and the little guy. Democrats, like our own senators, have once again vowed to stop the Keystone Pipeline, which would provide union jobs and help us lower our gas bills and the prices on everything we buy through reduced transportation costs. It amazes many to see our local leaders support such a party that plays them as fools while collecting their money and turning around and falling at the feet of the Sierra Club. Don’t you realize that the Democrat Party is on the side of groups that would shut our mines down like they did with the coal mines our East, and be happy with $10 per gallon gas? Wake up and realize that we are but useful fools to them and being used in a manner that would enrage union workers of old!
Onions: To the St. Louis county commissioners for raising taxes to fix potholes. Why don’t you get the money from Sheriff Litman. After all, look at all the money he saved us by closing down the 911 call center in Virginia a few years ago? At least that’s what he told us. Where are the savings? Not in the new back-up call center in Pike Lake that someone said we paid more than $200,000 for. Its unmanned and has to be maintained. Also, I hear they keep hiring people and people just keep leaving and you never did catch up with the correct amount of personnel to run the center. So they’re still handing out overtime like it’s candy so look at the lack of savings there. So Onions to Litman. Onions to the commissioners for allowing this to go on.
Orchids: Big beautiful bouquets to the outstanding staff at St. Michael’s Health and Rehab for all the wonderful care you have to our Grandma Shirl. She was in the Waters Unit, but every department was outstanding! Big hugs to all for your love and kindness. And to Wendy and her Ottis for stopping everyday! God bless you all! (Submitted by the Very Grateful Family of Grandma Shirley Charles.)
Onions: To the federal judge for putting the grey wolf, “Timberwolf,” back on the endangered species list. I have a hunting cabin in northern Minnesota and this is the first time in 35 years I have not shot a deer there. My son and I hunted for two weeks and we saw more wolves than deer on our deer stands. I only saw one doe the first couple days, than she was gone also. In the summer, my wife and I take our grandkids and dog there for a couple days, two or three times a year, and it is getting so bad we can not let them go out of the cabin to play without someone going out with them. In the evenings, you can hear the wolves howling near the cabin. As soon as we get there I strap on my .38 for protection and do not take it off until we leave. With the wolves being protected more, I can see it only getting worse. We even had moose there 10 to 20 years ago, now there are none. Grouse and rabbits are disappearing also. Soon the wolves will be eating each other. That would be a good thing!
Orchids: Many school rooms full to Mrs. Aune, Mrs. Baumann, Erin Powell and Gail Johnston, and any other para’s who have worked with my daughter throughout this school year so far! I really appreciate everything that you do for my daughter, Kaylynn, and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! (Submitted by Katie Richards.)
Orchids: To all the blood donors who donate to the Blood Bank locally. From one who benefitted recently.
Orchids: To Perpich TV. Over the years we have purchased almost all our TVs from Perpich and just recently got a new TV and refrigerator. The items purchased are delivered quickly, set up, and they make sure all is working before they leave. If we have any problems ( this rarely EVER occurs) they are here immediately to correct them. The entire staff and Jon Perpich are wonderful to work with. The prices are competitive and you can’t beat the service! We just wanted to give a big THANK YOU to Perpich TV! Merry Christmas! (Submitted by Doug and Denesse Johnson.)
Onions: To President Obama and his EPA for wrecking our economy. Although you will never see it in the media, the U.S. economy is no longer No. 1 in the world. That honor now belongs to China. China now has the No. 1 economy in the world. U.S. is No. 2. This embarrassment comes on the heels of the U.S. falling out of the top 10 countries for economic freedom and the Standard and Poors (S&P) downgrading our debt. A triple whammy! This is what happens when a president goes rogue and tries running the country with his pen, phone and executive orders.
Onions: Of horror at what our massive beyond belief debt will do to our nation and children. Already, President Obama’s term in office has seen a 70 percent increase in our national debt. It just hit $18 trillion, but our true debt is $60 to $80 trillion when you consider all the unfunded programs that Obama and Congress have “cooked up” over the years to help themselves get re-elected by the stupid ill-informed voters. Even if your tax rate goes up to 86 percent of your income, it won’t be enough.
Onions: To the GOP for whining about Obama’s executive order. FYI — Bush issued 290 executive orders and was called “A Man of Action.” Obama has issued 171 executive orders and they call this “Abuse of Power.” Where were you GOPers when Bush did this? I guess you just looked the other way and approved of anything that Bush did. I guess your motto is, “Do as we say, not as we do.”
Onions: Once a month the Mountain Iron City Council has the city attorney at a regular meeting. The attorney never has a report or is asked any questions. The city is still paying the law firm $100 per meeting to have him there. The council should drop the attorney being present at meetings and save $1,200 per year in fees. Year after year it would add up to a large amount being saved.
Orchids: Gardens full, to Claudia Skalko for reviving the Festival of Trees in 2013. Last year you and your skeleton crew created a beautiful festival and were able to accomplish what it took a full-fledged, “mandated army” to do this year. Great job Claudia and you should be proud! (Submitted by Mike O.)
Orchids: Thank you Ed Roskoski for your Letter to the Editor explaining how in 2005 $600,000 was spent on the now Rock Ridge area. Then later, much of what was first put there for that $600,000 was dug-up and re-done with more city money spent. The same thing happened by the Silicon Energy area (the Brunt dumps). Sewer, water, electricity and a road were put in two years ago for $1 million. Now, two years later, all that was dug-up for the new 102 route. Folks: That is the main problem here in Mountain Iron, hurry-up and do something without much planning and thought. Then the cost doubles! Just think of all that could be done around town if all that wasted money was now available? Maybe new streets without assessments would be one use! Or lower taxes!
Orchids: A big postal pouch full to our postal carrier in Virginia. We had left town for a few days and failed to notify the post office to hold our mail. When we got home on Friday afternoon, there was no mail in our mailbox, and we got a little panicky. On Saturday our postal carrier knocked on our door, and let us know that he noticed we had left the mail in our box, which was not normal, and he took it back to the post office for us until he was sure we were home. We are so grateful for his efforts and kind service. Being a postal worker is not a job I would want, and I hope that everybody appreciates the fact that our postal workers walk miles a day facing horrible weather, bad streets, snow clogged sidewalks, horrendous heat and humidity, rain sleet, snow, biting dogs and grumpy customers. And our postal carrier does it with a smile on his face, and has always been very nice. We want to say thank you so much for a job well done, above and beyond the call of duty. (Submitted by a Grateful Citizen of the City of Virginia.)
Orchids: To Walmart for all its wonderful donations to the Quad City Food Shelf in Gilbert. This has been a real help for those less fortunate families in this area. Also, thanks to the Lucky Seven Chapter of the Minnesota School Food and Nutrition Association for its donation to the Quad City Food Shelf.
Orchids: Our inability to see the forest for the trees… so we thought it appropriate to send some orchids to the Range area school boards. So much talk and embellishment by Range constituents surrounding the co-location idea that I feel this alone will jade the election process for those incumbents worthy of their position and support. Whether you were for it, or against it (I personally do not readily subscribe to bigger is better) those board members who were “exploring” the idea were, at a minimum, not thinking about themselves but about kids and education. Better stated as exploring long range options for the Range. Come Election Day, we may also want to consider these people have either grand experience in this forum, or at a minimum two years’ worth of learning the ins and outs of becoming an effective school board member. Both locally, and with legislative bodies this is no small task. Emotional or personal stances simply do not replace experience. I would have liked to seen the comprehensive study, even though I believe uniqueness comes in small packages. Maybe we can step back and work with our members instead of throwing everyone off the cliff because we take it personal. New is not always better either. (Submitted by JMK.)
Onions: To Al Franken and Rick Nolan for their deceiving political ads on TV. Listen closely and you will see everything Franken claims as his accomplishments during his tenure as senator, he states he is “working on.” Please think of what is going on in our government and vote responsibly.
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