We Won’t Be Silenced on Refugees

By Andrew Richter

I want to share a great piece from our friend AJ Kern calling out our race-baiting governor on refugees;

During your Oct. 13 visit to St Cloud, hosted by the NAACP, you deflected legitimate inquiries on refugee resettlement by making divisive and inflammatory accusations in your opening statement, “If you are that intolerant, if you are that much of a racist or a bigot, then find another state.”

Governor, your name calling was inappropriate and undignified for the office you hold.  As the state leader, you purposely manipulated an overdue discussion by banking on the silencing of citizens.

The American system of government doesn’t work successfully by directives from the top down.  This tactic may work in Germany, but not here.

Reasonable concerns

Concerns over the number of refugees and immigrants the St. Cloud area may reasonably absorb and support certainly isn’t racist.

Census reports the past several years confirm what residents have known for years. Thousands of Somali immigrants have moved to this area within the past decade.

St. Cloud State University’s School of Public Affairs Research Institute provided “An Analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity, Threats for City of Waite Park Land Use Study,” Sept. 10. The analysis cites a higher crime rate and higher number of police officers per 1,000 residents than the Minnesota average and identifies an increasingly high ratio of rental/ownership of housing units, perhaps explaining lower average home sales than the state average.

A city of St Cloud study supports the same observation of an increase in rental properties, in addition to rising poverty.

In fact, governor, the day you came to town and admonished residents, Stearns County commissioners eliminated a foot clinic service for seniors which has existed for almost 25 years.

We’re not rich

Minnesota Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey stated during the meeting, “America is a rich country.”

That’s a myth.  America isn’t rich.  For the first time in American history, the current generation will be handing over an unprecedented $20 trillion national debt to the next generation. The federal government’s latest budget has estimated a deficit of $474 billion.

Unquestionably America is the most generous country in the world, providing humanitarian assistance without discrimination.  The U.S. has provided over $1.5 billion in assistance to Somalia alone since 2009.

I counter that we cannot continue to be responsible for the rest of the world.  Politicians irresponsibly borrowing from our children is not compassion. We are no longer taking care of our own seniors, veterans and American minorities.

A 2015 U.S. Census Bureau report projects, for the first time, the immigrant population will account for more than one in seven U.S. residents (51 million) by 2023.  Along with new immigrants is a demand for increasing taxpayer funded services and grants.

According to the federal Domestic Resettlement Program, the Office of Refugee Resettlement in fiscal 2013 received $999.4 million.  Approximately 74 percent of refugee households received food assistance, 23 percent received housing assistance and 47 percent received cash assistance.

Refugee-immigrant-asylee numbers are increasing while the standard of living for the average American is decreasing. Governor, next year there will be no cost-of-living increase for tens of millions of our senior citizens in their Social Security check.

And despite billions of dollars budgeted for improving veterans access to medical care, veterans still face major delays in gaining access to medical services.

Education impacts

The GAO admits, “Refugee students can negatively affect performance outcomes for school districts because they often have limited English proficiency.” (Underperforming schools affect home values.)

Our state never solved the achievement gap, governor.  Now we are spending millions to assist an increasing number of English language learners.  Where is the voice of American minority parents?

When the United Nations, politicians and non-profits make decisions resulting in over 20,000 immigrants who may need English skills moving into a community of less than 115,000 people — a community that had no voice in the decision making — you’re going to have a problem.

We get it.  Democrats seek new Democratic voters while establishment Republicans seek cheap foreign labor, which also provide additional corporate tax exemptions.

And by the way governor, Minnesotan’s have a right of not only free speech but, the right to preserve our American culture.  The adults in the room will not be silenced by the battle cry of diversity and accusations of racism.

Thank you!


November 13, 2015 at 8:56 am 1 comment

Golden Valley’s City Council Race!

By Andrew Richter

In addition to the mayor’s race there are six candidates going for two spots. HERE is the Sun Post article on it. I’ll let you read it and come to your own conclusions but here is my quick take;

*Carol Barry is very critical of the high taxes in Golden Valley as well as the large debt and she says she’ll donate her salary (I’d rather she just not take it) but she also seems to favor more transit along Highway 55.

*Hattie Bonds seems to have little to say on the issues and has the worst yard signs in the history of western civilization.

*Joanie Clausen is a person that many people seem to like personally. She’s very critical of Mayor Shep Harris which of course we love, but I’ll never forgive her for her flip-flop on Bottineau Transit.

*Steve Schmidgall is useless.

*Andy Schuler is most curious. He seems like a decent guy but he’s endorsed by the Green Party. As we’ve learned with Laura Libby in Crystal, that means he has his own agenda. His facebook page is covered with articles about legalizing pot which has nothing to do with being a councilman. Look for him to care about his Green issues and be indifferent to anything else.

*Paul Scofield  is the most conservative criticizing Golden Valley’s tax increases and debt.

The election is tomorrow everyone!

November 2, 2015 at 10:28 am Leave a comment

Golden Valley Mayor’s Race: Political or Personal

By Andrew Richter

Citizens of Golden Valley go to the polls this Tuesday in their strange odd year election. Their mayor’s race between “professional DFL politician” Shep Harris and challenger Marti Micks has been interesting. When reading about the candidates. The race seems to be more about personalities than policy. The Sun Post recently did a work up;

Sun Post Article

We all know Shep Harris is horrible; he’ll vote for higher taxes, more government, Bottineau Transit, and it’s our opinion that he is using his office to gain higher office.

Marti Micks is the harder one to figure out. She seems to really dislike the mayor personally. In the Sun Post she stated “I am concerned that as paid lobbyist, the current mayor can have a conflict of interest as a voting member of the council.”

She does have some good points; She’s opposed to the new community center, seems to oppose the development of high density housing, and paying off debt. All that seems great but then again I look at her background and wonder how much change she will really bring. Here is the experience she has;

“Golden Valley City Councilmember and Housing Redevelopment Authority commissioner for eight years; Open Space and Recreation Commission for three years; Golden Valley League of Women Voters, member, president for 10 years; Golden Valley Historical Society.”

League of Women Voters? Former councilmember? Does that sound like much change to you?

I guess we’ll find out tomorrow Golden Valley!


November 2, 2015 at 9:56 am Leave a comment

Crystal Getting a New Deputy Police Chief

By Andrew Richter

Looks like Crystsl is getting a new deputy police chief;

After former-deputy chief Mike Meehan left the department to helm the South Lake Police Department, Crystal police have been without a second in command.

To fill the vacant position, Crystal city staff say they plan to hire a candidate from within the department ranks. The minimum qualifications for the position, City Manager Anne Norris said, are 10 years experience in police work and four years as a police supervisor.

The department plans to announce its new deputy chief by Dec. 1, Norris added. Possible candidates could be the department’s two lieutenants: Derrick Hacker and Doug Leslin. Hacker is in charge of investigations, while Leslin heads the department’s patrol units and community service officers. The department also has four sergeants: Peter Underthun, Tracie Lee-Faust, Brandon Dorr and Adam Harrer.

Meehan announced his departure in September. He was with the department for about two years, having served in Golden Valley prior to his tenure in Crystal.


October 30, 2015 at 8:04 am Leave a comment

Environmentally Friendly? Hilarious!

By Andrew Richter

A funny letter to the editor came in supporting the re-election of liberal Steve Schmidgall to the Golden Valley city council;

To the editor:
Steve Schmidgall does more than just talk about climate change, he sets a positive example for us all by riding his bicycle to work.

You mean global warming? Oh that’s right the earth isn’t warming so it’s climate change.

Schmidgall is a leading advocate on the Golden Valley City Council for bike lanes on Golden Valley Road and Winnetka Avenue North this year as a part of Hennepin County’s existing paving projects. These bike lanes can be added to the projects at no additional cost to city and county taxpayers.

No cost? So bike lanes cost nothing? Huh?

He is also supporting a Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan to guide future bike lane and pedestrian trail construction in all of Golden Valley.

Yeah everyone is running to council meetings demanding more pedestrian trails…..

With Columbia, S.C., being flooded by unprecedented rains recently, we need to re-elect sensible, environmentally friendly city council members like Schmidgall on Nov. 3.

What? South Carolina is flooding so we need more bike lanes? What?

We need to pass on a livable environment to our children and grandchildren.
Lois Binder,
Golden Valley


Schmidgall is sure going to get a lot of votes off this letter….wha wha


October 24, 2015 at 8:50 am Leave a comment

This is Beyond Unbelievable!

By Andrew Richter

Well, if you don’t think you’ve heard every excuse in the book by a mayor or city council for raising taxes, check out the idiot mayor of Edina;

The mayor of Edina says a proposed 7 percent property tax levy increase is partly due to mega liquor retailer Total Wine & More taking a bite out of municipal liquor store profits that help fund city services.

In a quarterly newsletter to residents, Mayor Jim Hovland said profits from the three Edina Liquor stores are projected to be $900,000 in 2016. That is about on par with profits recorded in 2014 and predicted for 2015, but down from 2013, when profits were $1.45 million.

“Revenues have dived since national retailer Total Wine opened next door in Bloomington late last year,” Hovland said, noting that the city has refreshed stores and lowered prices to stay competitive. “It’s clear we’ve lost some of our customers to the draw of Total Wine’s very low prices – prices we simply can’t match given our small size,” he wrote.

Prices you can’t match? Um these liquor stores are subsidized by the government aren’t they?

The Total Wine store at Interstate 494 and France Avenue opened in November, one of four Minnesota stores that the Maryland-based retailer has opened since last year. A fifth will open in Maple Grove on Nov. 5. Total Wine points out that Edina’s liquor store revenues were on the decline in 2013, before the Total Wine store opened, and in 2014, when it was only open for the last six weeks of the year.

Awe, that damn capitalism!

“When the city of Edina blames Total Wine & More for falling profits at its municipal liquor stores, the city is really blaming Edina residents and other consumers who are not spending enough money at its government-owned stores to meet the city’s profit projections,” Total Wine Vice President of Public Affairs Ed Cooper emailed.


Edina is proposing a total tax levy of $31.9 million, an increase of about $2.1 million. Hovland also said the general fund budget has increased with the hiring of four new employees to handle redevelopment demand.

How can they get by on so little?

Edina Liquor’s shrinking profits
2012: $1.5 million
2013: $1.45 million
2014: $1 million (Total Wine opened in mid-November)
2015: Under $1 million (projected)
2016: $900,000 (budgeted)

I can fix Edina’s problems; get out of the alcohol business and get a new mayor!


October 22, 2015 at 3:58 pm Leave a comment

Paula Pentel Rips Shep Harris and We Love It!

By Andrew Richter

I am thrilled to be supporting Marti Micks for mayor this fall. Golden Valley’s reputation as a place with “good government” has come under fire over the past four years, and it is time for representation from a mayor who knows the value of collaboration, respect for staff and council, and grounded leadership.

Micks served eight years on council during my time on the city’s planning commission. These were transformative times for downtown Golden Valley, and she was right there, supporting the development of the Golden Valley Town Center and Golden Valley Commons.

Getting this sort of redevelopment, which created new housing opportunities as well as wonderful gathering spaces, came from setting realistic parameters for the task forces who developed the vision for these places, having inclusive planning processes, and most important, agreement and buy in from the entire council.

Having served nine years on Council, it saddens me to see the acrimony that exists due to our current mayor. I deliberately chose to not seek re-election due to the harshness, and personal agenda I felt from the mayor.

Whoa! Go Paula it’s your birthday!

Golden Valley needs to regain its governing equilibrium to meet the coming challenges and opportunities of the future. Micks has the skills, time, dedication, and knowledge and management style to grow Golden Valley. Please join me in supporting Micks, and let’s get out the vote this Nov. 3.

Paula Pentel
Golden Valley

Nice! We join you in defeating Shep Harris! Come on Golden Valley!


October 21, 2015 at 11:33 am Leave a comment

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