If we like our garbage hauler, will they let us keep ’em?

I read with interest the recommendations for changes to the city of Saint Paul’s organized trash collection system (MyVillager, September 28). Before the citywide mandate, and after years of poor and inconsistent service from big-business trash haulers, I was lucky enough to have Ken Berquist & Son Disposal as my provider. The locally owned family business provided exceptional service every week. My home did not fall into Berquist’s new territory, and unfortunately it became one of the companies forced out of business by the new system. While that was difficult, I was lucky again to have Gene’s Disposal assigned as my new provider, and Gene’s has been excellent—another local, family-owned business with roots in our community and responsive and helpful staff.

I hope that with the proposed changes to trash collection, consideration is given to allowing people like me who are happy with their current service to keep what we have, and the focus is put on improving the system where it is not working. If anything, it would be wonderful to bring back more local family-owned businesses as trash haulers. It is always tempting to try and reinvent the wheel when perhaps only some of the spokes need fixing.

Kim Amrami
Highland Park

Why it’s tough to recruit cops

The most revealing statistic in Jane McClure’s excellent report on the Saint Paul Police Department’s proposed 2023 budget (MyVillager, September 28) is that, “Almost 800 people sought to join the (police) department in 2014. The December (police) academy has 52 applicants.”

Ask yourself whether you would be tempted to begin training for a job with the following requirements:

“Must be willing to work under a mayor and City Council who are actively hostile to your existence and will not fund your department properly. Must be willing to work large amounts of overtime. Must be OK with judges gratuitously piling on your already overwhelming workload by imposing ridiculously lenient sentences on convicted violent felons.”

Most people who find themselves working for a boss who dislikes them and sabotages their work start looking for a new job, or retire early if they are able to. Police officers are no different from you or me.


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Matt Gilson
Highland Park

Danger still lurks on river road

The repaving of Mississippi River Boulevard (MRB) from Randolph Avenue to Highway 5 is now complete with many new ADA-compliant crosswalks. However, one very dangerous combined pedestrian-bicycle path still exists under the Ford Bridge.

While the city spent millions on the new bike and pedestrian tunnel between Highland Bridge and Hidden Falls, the path under the Ford Bridge is a continuing danger for pedestrians, cyclists and anyone else who uses it. All share a 5-foot-wide pinch-point with a 10-inch dropoff directly into the traffic lanes. I sent a similar letter last summer and two years ago to MyVillager with copies to the city of Saint Paul, but received no response from the city.

Over the years I’ve seen many near misses where families, children and older adults biking or walking meet head-on on the path under the Ford Bridge. Add to that the ubiquitous scooters, roller-bladers and roller-skiers who end up jumping onto the road among two-way car traffic. This pinch-point is sure to see increased traffic with the growth in housing and commerce at Highland Bridge.

Combined paths are a bad idea, dangerous for both pedestrians and cyclists. Currently, MRB has an on-road bike lane on the west side. The distance from the center line to the curb is the same on the east side of MRB. Why not just add a bike lane to the east side of MRB? MRB rarely has vehicles parked on the east side. The occasional delivery truck or lawn service is the exception.

Terry Brueck
Merriam Park

Vote for prosperity in November

Remember, voters, it is the Democrats who continue to generate doom and gloom, increase homelessness and create more poverty. Biden inflation continues to grimly and greatly deflate our economic well-being. Governor Walz continues to hoard Minnesota’s budget surplus by refusing to cut taxes across the board, eliminate taxes on Social Security benefits and give taxpayers a rebate check. It’s our money!

Being a lower-income senior citizen, I will not support Democrats in the 2022 midterm election. I need more dollars in my wallet, not loose change in my pocket. My votes will be for Republican or independent candidates who will most likely work for the best interests of and toward more economic prosperity for we the people.

Sue Shetka

Biggest race on the ballot

A hallmark of American democracy has been the peaceful transition of power. Unfortunately, this principle has eroded from a solid rock foundation of the American experiment to nothing but dust. About this principle, George Washington said, “The peaceful transfer of power is what will separate our country from every other country in the world.” When asked about this principle, former President Trump said, “We’ll see what happens.”

Across the country, forces unsatisfied with the legitimate results of recent elections have been lining up like-minded candidates to take over the chief election offices in states. In May the Minnesota Reformer, an independent, nonprofit news organization, ran the headline, “Minnesota GOP endorses election denier to oversee elections.” By contrast, the incumbent Secretary of State Steve Simon, said, “We should all abide by the final results of the election, no matter who wins.”

We must re-elect Steve Simon as Minnesota Secretary of State for the sake of our democracy.

Miguel Lindgren
Highland Park

Re-elect Levine in Mendota Heights

Mendota Heights has had wonderful leadership over the past two years, and it shows. We have responsive and compassionate police, fire and EMS services. Our public works department is incredibly efficient; there is no city that is plowed out faster than we are after a snowstorm. We have fantastic parks and other amenities. Under Mayor Stephanie Levine’s leadership, our city is thriving. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Mayor Levine is the only current City Council member or candidate with a background in finance. As an actuary, she is an expert in budgeting, taxes and future planning, a key responsibility of the council given our aging infrastructure. She has found the sweet spot of low taxes and high-quality city services.

Mayor Levine is the leader we need. She is transparent, honest, hard working and caring. She is also out in the community, accessible and visible to all at events. She has shown integrity in her decision-making. She examines all sides of an issue, seeks expert opinion, listens to the community and ultimately does what is best for our city and residents. Let’s keep this wonderful, positive momentum going for another two years. Please help us re-elect Stephanie Levine as mayor.

Julie Sullivan and Mitchell Caron
Mendota Heights

Make Maczko mayor of Mendota Heights

I encourage the residents of Mendota Heights to vote for John Maczco for mayor. Current and recent city leadership has supported development that is not compatible with a community that values open spaces, is committed to protecting and enhancing our environment and preserves the natural feel of our city.

As a lifelong resident of Mendota Heights and our fire chief for 32 years, Maczko has an in-depth understanding of the city, including the administrative functions, building requirements, traffic considerations and the future needs for residential and commercial development. His academic preparation in civil engineering, business administration, leadership and executive management combined with his over 35 years of professional experience in engineering for the city of Saint Paul assure us that he is well qualified to serve as our mayor.

Maczko is highly regarded as an articulate communicator and an authentic and respectful listener. He has demonstrated the ability to process complex issues and to determine short- and long-term impacts, which are essential to good decision-making

Marina McManus
Mendota Heights

Abuse of gov’t power continues

The U.S. Supreme Court’s October 3 decision to refuse to take up the 10-state appeal to block the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for health care workers in facilities that receive federal funds is wrong. It’s an abuse of government power, it’s a violation of individual bodily autonomy, and it forces American health care workers into a deadly game of Russian roulette if they want to keep their job. With more information emerging on the lack of proven safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, and with the new booster in play, more health care workers are going to be forced into a jab-or-job situation.

This is a crisis for health care workers and their patients. The continued vaccination mandate has put the lives of hospital patients at risk as more nurses and other health care workers are likely to opt to leave their job behind, exacerbating already dangerous staffing shortages. Furthermore, if health care workers are harmed by the vaccination, they too will leave their jobs behind.

The government now admits that these experimental mRNA vaccinations do not prevent infection and do not prevent transmission. Furthermore, as the VAERS database makes clear, the COVID shot has not been safe and effective for many people whose lives have been lost or changed forever post-vaccinamRNAtion. Refusing to take action against this abuse of government power continues to expose the 10.3 million health care workers under the mandate, and endangers their patients.

Twila Brase, RN, PHN, President
Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom


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