Onions: The Northland Building in Virginia is a very busy place with many people coming and going. However, there is rarely parking available to the public. That is because many, many of the county workers (Public Health and Social Services) consider the parking in that area to be their own, free parking. The parking lot across the street is supposed to be one-hour limit parking, yet the employees park their personal vehicles there all day, every day! They even park in the lot in areas not designated for parking! This has been a problem for well more than a year. Those employees are taking spots designated for the public. They should be ashamed of themselves! Why aren’t the cops monitoring that area? They also park on the street in two-hour limit spots. There are never tickets issued. So why not just remove all the signs, and whoever gets there first, has a spot for the day? Many people are upset about this. Maybe Commissioner Nelson needs to check into this.

Onions: To the mayor of Mountain Iron for his long-time annoying habit. He spends more time at City Council meetings talking about who died, who got married, who’s old, sport statistics, Onions, who’s nice, who shot a deer, the weather, who’s sick, who’s on vacation, who he knows, than he does covering city business. Stop it already! If we want to know the latest gossip we’ll join a coffee group. (Submitted by the Gang of 8.)

Orchids: To Saint Louis County Commissioner Keith Nelson for seeing to it that county plow drivers make a pass through the parking area at the Ash River Public Landing when plowing the Ash River Trail. This attention to a small detail in the county’s huge plowing schedule is greatly appreciated by snowmobilers and ice fishermen in the Ash River area. Thank you.

Orchids: For last weeks Onions from the Mountain Iron-Buhl High School honor student about parking in Downtown Mountain Iron. That person was spot-on in noticing that recently nothing has been fair anywhere in Mountain Iron.

Orchids: How about this idea? Instead of spending $65 million on a new high school building, spend it on teachers! $1 million per year divided by $60,000 per year, equals 16 extra teachers per year, every year, for 65 years! Otherwise it’s probable that Virginia and Mountain Iron-Buhl could end up like Duluth. Nice buildings but no money for teachers pay or teaching materials. Isn’t that what it’s all about, teaching kids?

Orchids: A bouquet of them to the gentleman from Cardiac Rehab at the hospital who is an angel! I do believe in miracles and he is one. Thank you for finding my keys outside the hospital in a snowbank in the bitter cold and turning them in when I had given up. Thank you Pam for tracking me down. An amazing gift that I never expected to see. My gratitude forever! (Submitted by Pat T.)

Onions: Of shame and disgust to Dennis Rodman for his utter disregard of the thousands of persecuted Christians in North Korea. We all know how the Muslim countries murder and persecute Christians and they are all in the top 20 according to the latest U.N. report. But, the number one country in the world is North Korea, with 50,000 Christians in concentration camps! Just think — you can only be a Christian in complete secrecy, or you are thrown into one of these horrible camps or killed. Rodman should be leading prayer sessions and bringing worldwide attention to these persecuted Christians and not glorifying the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, the man responsible for these terrible persecutions!

Onions: To all the misled fools who continue to blindly vote for the Democrat Party even though they are the ones who are bringing about the destruction of our unions, the mining industry, and the workingman. It has just been announced that the new F-150 Ford truck, which is the most popular truck in America, will be 700 pounds lighter because Ford is replacing steel with aluminum! Chevy trucks are also following suit. The reason is out of necessity to meet President Obama’s beyond-belief high miles per gallon vehicle standards, which go into effect soon. Obama has destroyed the coal mines and now comes iron ore mining. The environmentalists, gays, radical feminists, socialists, atheists, and abortion supporters apparently now control the Democrat Party and we on the Range are stupid enough to vote for them. Good grief — open your eyes!

Orchids: To all the kind people who helped my husband on Wednesday the 8th in the morning after a fall in the Perkins parking lot. He did break his hip, had surgery and hopes to be back here for rehab. Your kindness is so very appreciated! (Submitted by Diane VanDervort.)

Onions: To the skeptics who get their information from Fox News and continually deny that global warming exists because of the cold winter we have had. Fact: Global warming is a reality. Fact: Longer, colder winters and shorter, hotter summers are the result of global warming. Deny it if you must, but it will affect you, too.

Onions: An infinite number, to certain members of the MI-B School Board opposing the proposed idea to build a joint-venture secondary school with Virginia. First, the new school would be built in Mountain Iron. Secondly, because monies for the new school would be obtained through a state bonding bill, there would be no tax increase to the citizens of the MI-B and Virginia school districts. In other words, you have an opportunity to get a new free school built within your town and you are opposed to the idea. Unbelievable. The proposal is a no-brainer. The state is not going to build MI-B a new secondary school for the 200 students you have attending grades 7-12. It’s time to face reality. Also, let’s not forget the number one priority. This joint-venture would greatly enhance the educational opportunities for all of our students. Really, it’s long overdue, to think of the educational benefits for all of our students. There really is a lot more to quality schools than sports. That’s what your job as an elected School Board official is. It is to represent all students! (Submitted by A Parent from MI-B who wants to Work Together.)

Onions: To all those against the MI-B/Virginia school venture. I have a daughter attending MI-B. She participates in no sports, but loves music. This fall she was so disappointed because MI-B doesn’t even have high school choir. Come on, it’s time we all work together for the best educational opportunities for all of our children. We now have a chance to build a new combined high school right here in Mountain Iron at no cost to the taxpayers. Please MI-B School Board, do not throw away this golden opportunity that would benefit all of our students!!

Orchids: To those who choose life over death. Compassion, mercy, and the grace of God to those who choose death over life.

Orchids: All of them, to the life-giver who believes life is worth giving! Where would we be without Him and life?

Orchids: To Gary Plombon for remodeling our bathroom at the Quad City Food Shelf in Gilbert. Such a nice volunteer to do this free of charge.

Onions: On my recent visit during the holidays to McKinley, I was astonished by the blight conditions in that city. Blight in yards spilling over into the city boulevards and into city streets. These conditions would be unacceptable in the cities. The blame and many street full of rotten Onions go to a very lax McKinley City Council. These blight conditions just didn’t happen over night.

Onions: To the latest shocking statistics on illegal immigration and the resulting cost to we, the taxpayers. There are now more than 11 million illegals in the USA at a cost of approximately 346 billion dollars annually. This is an outrage! The cost to our welfare, medical, educational, and law enforcement systems is devastating. It is appalling that one of our political parties has given huge support to such lawlessness all because of the voting support they get from Latinos. Where has patriotism and love of country gone?

Orchids: To Chipper Kovatovich who keeps the Biwabik city sidewalk on 4th Avenue clean of snow so the children have a safe walk to the bus stop. To the Kmart shopper who generously contributed to our Mesabi East “Kids Closet” shopping spree. Our children are fortunate to have such caring people.

Orchids: To the man who helped me with my tire at U-Save parking lot.

Orchids: To staff at Fairview. All were extremely gracious.

Orchids: To Frank’s in Gilbert for the excellent service.

Onions: To whomever dropped two black bags of garbage on the highway west of Biwabik.

Orchids: To a special bus driver for the Arrowhead Bus who went out of his way to get me a free pass to the Arrowhead Bus. You are a special person, greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Orchids: To Downtown Dance for the wonderful performance at Christmas. Everyone should see the excellent job that Miss Amber has done. What an asset that she has brought to the area. (Submitted by Grandparents and Parents of Sophia P.)

Onions: To the Gilbert City Council. Have you heard of cutting services in Gilbert to lower city taxes. The Gilbert Library — close it down. The city wasted a quarter of a million dollars on the library building for a few people to use the library. Close it down — computers have taken over. There is no need for a money pit library in Gilbert. The citizens of Gilbert pay approximately $20,000 to heat this building a year. Close it down. Gilbert City Council, wake up.

Orchids: To my fellow union worker. Thank you for your response to my letter. I appreciate your input. I think the fast food industry is an excellent opportunity for young workers to get their start. I know several people who work there when school is in session year after year. They receive good wages and benefits and are treated well — they enjoy their job. As to the history of unions, my grandfather was a union organizer. I was raised in a strong democrat household. But I was also raised to work hard and think for myself. The unions did a lot of good in their time. Times have changed — and that’s why they are in decline. The unions tend to stir up discontent, making the workers feel unsatisfied. Most of your union dues go to help liberal causes which hurt rather than help the working class. Case in point — the liberal environmentalists keep trying to stop precious metals mining development in a state with the highest regulations. All their delay tactics are very costly to the developers, which in turn raises the price of the precious metals that go into many of the products that we purchase. Higher wages also raise prices on American-made products making it impossible for us to compete with the lower-priced imported goods. When employers’ costs go up, so do prices, so we fall farther behind. Like it or not, we have to compete with a world market. (Submitted by a Former Union Worker.)

Orchids: To the City of Aurora for extra efforts in 2013 to enforce the blight ordinance for residential properties. Hopefully this will continue in 2014.

Onions: To the City of Aurora for not enforcing the ordinance to business and commercial properties. Some of these businesses are in residential neighborhoods, so why do they get a pass? Some are the first thing people see as they come through town, so it doesn’t make for a very good first impression. We should all have to follow the same rules. Happy New Year and let’s hope this item is on the City of Aurora’s resolution list for 2014.

Onions: To all the train wrecks causing oil spills and explosive fires. Common sense and sure knowledge tells us that pipelines should be the carriers of choice for oil out of Canada and North Dakota. But since Warren Buffet, the billionaire supporter of President Obama, owns most of the main railroad lines hauling oil, Obama has done everything possible to delay and stop any major pipeline construction. Just ask the pipe fitters union about this ridiculous scenario. Thousands of jobs lost and the deadly spills are the result of what many consider unethical behavior beyond belief. It certainly appears that our president put paying off his political friends and big time supports before what is good for America.

Onions: To what in the world is going on in the DFL Party. Over the years, we on the Iron Range have been the backbone of the Democrat Farmer Labor Party and now they stab us in the back. The St. Louis County DFL Unit 3 Executive Committee passed a resolution stating that copper mining, such as the copper/nickel/precious metals mine PolyMet that has been trying to start up for many years, “has unacceptable environmental impacts and should not be allowed in the sulfur-bearing Duluth Complex from the Boundary Waters to Lake Superior.” Wow! In other words, we have the Democrat Party leadership in St. Louis County taking sides with the anti-mining environmental extremists at the expense of multitudes of mining jobs and prosperity once again on the Iron Range. How can our labor unions support such treason? Let’s now see if Dayton, Klobuchar, Franken, and Nolan scream to high heaven over this stab in the back, or are they a big part of the problem?

Onions: To the Obama Regime and their dozens of legit scandals. Oh yes, the Regime says the Republicans are wasting time chasing these phony scandals. But just by the sheer number and in many cases, severe consequences with Americans dead, one has to think that misbehavior, abuse of power and possibly corruption and cover-ups are not things being dreamed up by conservatives. The parents of the Border Patrol agent (Fast and Furious) and the four families of the Americans killed in Benghazi are not congressional Republicans. They are American people, citizens of this great country, who have been simply lied to by this administration for years now without anything or anyone being held accountable.

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