Opinion: Pinewood, the Golden Rule, bond planning and recovery

Counterpoint: There’s still a public golf course in town

“Nowhere else in Elk River … will you see a father bonding with a teenage son and an elderly grandmother and granddaughter laughing — while actually playing the same sport together.”

I beg to differ! I actually see and experience this often in golf season at the Elk River Golf Club!

Hello, Elk River community! Come on out and support your local club! Contrary to many public perspectives, it is not a private course — and lots of fun is to be had out there. — Debbie Carlson, Elk River


Economy hits more than course

It was pretty clear to me that after reading the article about the closing of Pinewood Golf Course in the Star News on March 29, the city of Elk River is planning to let the property go back to its previous owner, Paul Krause.

As resident of Elk River, I bought my house the same year the city purchased Pinewood. We all paid too much for our properties, but who didn’t?

There isn’t a single person in the country who hasn’t been affected by the economy in one way or another. I am like any homeowner, who does what he or she has to do to save their dream, let alone to pay the ultimate price of foreclosure. What makes the city exempt from fulfilling their obligation on the balloon payment?

Pinewood Golf Course is a little gem just outside of town, and every summer I see how much joy it brings to people of all ages. Keep in mind it’s a city park; once it’s gone, it’s gone.

If the golf course goes into development, you’re going to see property values drop, homeowners assessed with city, sewer and water. Who knows how many vacant lot will be sitting in our backyards, not being maintained.

That’s when residents who live in and around Pinewood will be walking away like the city of Elk River. But then again, they have their own agenda, right!

So the people of Elk River, speak up about our amazing park just on the outside of town called Pinewood Golf Course.

Remember, our motto is “where city and country flow together.” Let’s keep it that way. —Tim Schrupp, Elk River


Not surprised by bond consideration

I read with no surprise that the Elk River School District will be requesting yet another tax hike this November. What is especially galling about this request is that the district asked voters last election for a tax hike for all-day kindergarten. The voters said no. What did they do in response? Cut programs that parents enjoyed and rolled out all-day kindergarten anyway. This despite the fact that there was a budget deficit.

So now the district wants even more of your tax dollars, making property taxes even higher. Voters, remember, not only were your wishes disrespected last election but the School Board seems to view you as an ATM that lets them do anything they wish. They will try and gain favor by appealing to the northern region, which will of course need even more funding.

Where does it end? I realize it’s a long way to the election in November, but remember what happened the last election when your vote was disrespected by the current board. Please vote no on this proposal as well. — John Gall, Elk River


City a bully in case of unloading golf course 

I realize I won’t be getting the front page, as the city does, so only a small percentage will read my thoughts on this matter, but I can’t go without saying them.

Since when do we get to purchase something eight years ago, use it and then renegotiate the price because the value went down? I would like to renegotiate my house and my car, which the value has decreased on since I agreed to purchase them.

I think the city is being a bully to Paul Krause, and his wife Pamela, and they should pay the amount they agreed on. If the course loses $82,000 a year, how much does a city park, the YMCA or the ice arena lose a year? If the amount is comparable, when will they be shut down? Is a $1 million to $2 million clubhouse really necessary for a grandparent and their grandchild, a group of friends, or a mother and her son to enjoy a round of golf together? How simple can this be?

Pinewood Golf Course is a beautiful nine-hole course with so much to offer that anyone can enjoy, from little kids to senior citizens, and it’s really sad that whoever is making these decisions on closing this gem cannot see the value of this golf course to this city. Not only does Pinewood Golf Course give lots of fun to many of the Elk River residence, it attracts people from surrounding cities to come enjoy a round of golf, lunch at a local restaurant and shopping at local businesses making it worth every penny. What city wouldn’t want this beautiful course?

This golf course is a big reason for me purchasing a home in Elk River. I enjoyed the beautiful trees and landscaping, the fountain and pond, the well taken care of fairways and greens, the welcoming staff, the easy going atmosphere and so much more and now it’s closed. — Angie Anderson, Elk River


Golden Rule still applies today

I always read the letters to the editor and am grateful for those of you who express your concerns of our nation and community. After reading the letters to the editor the last few weeks, I think back to my childhood, which has been gone for many, many years. Back in those years we were continually reminded of the Golden Rule. I have done a little research and discovered what I have always called the Golden Rule is actually from the Bible and is found in Matthew 7:12. To refresh our memories I will quote from the King James version: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

You see, my people, I do believe we must take a little more time to think before we act. It is better to be a little more cautious. How many people have dived into a lake and discovered that it wasn’t as deep as they thought? The end result was that they were paralyzed for life.

If you believe in the Bible, it states in Deuteronomy 32:35, “To me belongeth vengeance, and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.” In the New Testament we have Romans 12:19, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

You know after reading that I don’t believe we have to worry about any wrong that has been done. Yesterday is gone and we can learn from our past mistakes. The future is ours. Let us move on and with God’s help make this a better world. — Lola Driessen, Elk River


Come support those in recovery

I would like to invite you to hang out with me and my family Easter morning for a few hours. Bring your boards, longboards, bikes, scooters and meet us at Big Lake Middle School!

I was watching Hunter Hayes sing “Invisible” the other night, and with the rash of suicides and overdoses recently, I cannot keep quiet any longer. Many of you know parts of my past. I was a drunk, junkie, thief, womanizer, adulterer, spent almost two years behind bars, tried to commit suicide, cheat, thug to name a few. While our circumstances may be different, the emotions and feelings are the same.

You are not invisible to me!

I was judged for my lifestyle and I know that you may feel judged for your lifestyles. You may feel rejected by society and certain churches because they don’t know what to do with you. You don’t fit into their “molds” and are considered outcasts or rejects. Been there and sometimes I am still there.

So, where do we turn to heal our brokenness? Our family? Our friends? Who would sit with a sinner, such as myself, and not judge me, but offer me peace and forgiveness? Who would love me unconditionally and keep no record of my wrongs? Who knows every hair on my head and keeps every tear I have ever cried? Who prayed for me and you around 2,000 years ago?

Jesus is the only answer.

He is the ultimate healer, the truth, the light in the darkness! You are all smart enough to look up the Bible references, so I will not insult your intelligence by posting them unless you need help finding them.

This is what I propose: We meet at the Big Lake Middle School around 9 a.m. Around 9:30 a.m., we roll down Minnesota Avenue (like they did on skate day). At 10 a.m. attend church service on the greatest day of hope. After service, we roll to the Big Lake Skate Park and rest for a while before we do our family stuff.

I pray that you will roll with me on this day of hope and find true joy! I pray that you would invite your family and friends to roll with us as well! — Robert Butler, Monticello (Editor’s note: Butler and Amanda Seals, a member of The Crossing Church in Elk River, are putting together the event in Big Lake to raise awareness for suicide prevention and what it is like to live as a recovered addict.)


Child abuse can be prevented

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. It’s a time to recognize that we each play a part in promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and families in our communities. As such, the Sherburne County Safe Child Council exists to partner with community members and professionals to deliver services and resources to families and to promote education and awareness about child abuse.

Child abuse is preventable. Often, just knowing what to expect from children, understanding their developmental needs and using effective approaches to parenting can make the difference.

Here are some basics, yet significant things to keep in mind for the sake of our kids:

–Infants need to form a healthy attachment to a caregiver. This is done when the caregiver responds to the baby’s cries, holds and interacts with him/her and takes care of his/her basic needs for food and hygiene.

–Babies cry for different reasons, but a parent should never shake a baby to make them stop, no matter how frustrated they become with the baby. Shaking a baby can cause permanent injury and even death. Parents with inconsolable babies should consider seeking advice from a doctor, who may shed light on the child’s physical needs.

–Toddlers often throw tantrums. There are ways to address this without yelling or hitting the child. Seek education and information on technique to handle this stage.

–Older children may talk back and rebel. Find ways to train them without yelling or hitting, such as using the teachings in love and logic.

For more helpful advice, please visit www.childwelfare.gov.