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Fri, Jun 8th, 2001
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To the Editor,
Monday, June 11, 2001

It just gets dirtier & dirtier. This letter has been in the makings since your February 26, 2001 Journal, page 5 says, "apparently, the current county engineer, Steve Voight, was hired for a one-year probationary period that is non binding for the county." That means the county does not have to retain his services as a regular, full-time employee after the one-year term, nor does it have to give good reason why it does not desire to move him into permanent status. Doesn't this mean our commissioners have a back bone and are possibly doing an excellent job. They deserve a pat on their backs, instead every week this paper continues to keep making trouble for them. And then going on about the 1 month experience that 2 new ones had and many papers have made dirty comments about the experience of 3 or 4 combined. It does seem like something is bugging you. What is the problem? Are you mad because you lost the bid for the county legal paper?? It's really unfair to get one side when the commissioners Are Not Allowed to tell their reasons on front page April 2, 2001 Journal says "Something smells fishy" page 2, then May 14, 2001 there was 2 pages of questions and answers with Steve Voight and last column (top) he mentions 5 year plan. Everyone's red flag goes up. Why then didn't you ask the question, what is in the 5 year plan? Could it be what was in the 5 year plan - just was not good for Fillmore County. You have control of what you write and what gets printed. Could it have been land use? Everyone smells something. In another paper May 28, page 10, I think the word tabloid journalism what Randy Dahl had say was true and to the point. (and it came from a new commissioner) I say hats off to Randy. Please would you quit your digging always about the commissioners. Just what does a one year probationary period that is non-binding for the county mean. It states just that, a child would understand this. Think before you put it in printing.

Loretta Ladsten
Mabel, MN

To the Editor,
Monday, June 11, 2001

It just gets dirtier & dirtier. This letter has been in the makings since your February 26, 2001 Journal, page 5 says, "apparently, the current county engineer, Steve Voight, was hired for a one-year probationary period that is non binding for the county." That means the county does not have to retain his services as a regular, full-time employee after the one-year term, nor does it have to give good reason why it does not desire to move him into permanent status. Doesn't this mean our commissioners have a back bone and are possibly doing an excellent job. They deserve a pat on their backs, instead every week this paper continues to keep making trouble for them. And then going on about the 1 month experience that 2 new ones had and many papers have made dirty comments about the experience of 3 or 4 combined. It does seem like something is bugging you. What is the problem? Are you mad because you lost the bid for the county legal paper?? It's really unfair to get one side when the commissioners Are Not Allowed to tell their reasons on front page April 2, 2001 Journal says "Something smells fishy" page 2, then May 14, 2001 there was 2 pages of questions and answers with Steve Voight and last column (top) he mentions 5 year plan. Everyone's red flag goes up. Why then didn't you ask the question, what is in the 5 year plan? Could it be what was in the 5 year plan - just was not good for Fillmore County. You have control of what you write and what gets printed. Could it have been land use? Everyone smells something. In another paper May 28, page 10, I think the word tabloid journalism what Randy Dahl had say was true and to the point. (and it came from a new commissioner) I say hats off to Randy. Please would you quit your digging always about the commissioners. Just what does a one year probationary period that is non-binding for the county mean. It states just that, a child would understand this. Think before you put it in printing.

Loretta Ladsten
Mabel, MN


Black bear visits eastern Fillmore County
By Debi Jertson

It’s not very often in southeast Minnesota that a person can relax on their back deck and watch a passing black bear wonder on by. But that’s what happened this past week.

My daughter, Kacey, and I had just returned from our evening stroll through our valley visiting with our horses, when I spotted this black ball of fur in the valley where we had just been.

I said to Kacey, “That’s a black bear!”

As we watched the animal cross the creek and head up an adjacent field, I decided to get a closer look. Getting 40 to 50 yards away from the bear, I could see its shiny black coat and brown snout. He appeared to be equivalent in size to my husband’s full mounted bear in our basement which is in the 300 to 400 pound range.

A quick shiver of fear (and excitement) went through me as the animal turned to look at me, which put me in a reverse walk. As the bear continued to cross the field and head towards Ferndale Valley Road, I noticed a vehicle heading in our direction. I watched as the bear went up onto the road in near collision with the vehicle. The car paused on the road, the occupants no doubt staring in astonishment at what had just crossed in front of them.

I learned from talking to our game warden Dan Book that there had been several sightings of the bear in the area, including one from my neighbors Robert and Bettie Lou Bunke. I called the Bunkes to find out what they knew about the bear.

The Bunkes had been entertaining guests when they spotted the bear meandering through their field. They managed to get a few photos of the animal. They then ran over to my house to warn me of the bear, but we weren’t at home (that was when my daughter and I were on our hike).

I later learned that after the near accident on the road, the bear visited my eastern neighbors Bert and Helen Hovland. They had received a call telling them to look out their window because they had a bear in their yard. The Hovlands called their daughter, Heidi Halverson, in Rushford, telling them of the visiting bear. Heidi and her two sons drove out to the Hovlands and spotlighted the bear, noting its size and quite “rolly polly” physique. The bear soon disappeared in the darkness of the woods.

My husband seems to like the idea of having a migrating bear as a visitor. I, on the other hand, worry about letting my children camp out in the valley or go for walks through the woods. And what will our domestic animals think about sharing their domain with a visiting bear? Even though black bears are described as being on the more docile side, being more afraid of you then you of it, I can’t say that I would want to cross tracks with one to find out.

Dan Book tried to put this whole thing in perspective for me by saying that people up north live with black bears around them all the time. He also noted that we have rattle snakes to contend with down here. Neither statement made me feel much better about our visiting bear.

There sure was excitement in our valley last week. I would never have imagined a migrating bear taking a wrong turn and winding up on our farm. But both, Robert Bunke and I have tufts of fur to prove it. And, if Bob’s photos turn out, the whole world might get a look at our bear.

Deb Jertson is the Journals Office Representative in Rushford.


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