By Observer Upload June 30, 2014 08:04 am

Brainerd: Thanks for successful Riverfest

To the editor:

I would like to say “Kudos” and thank you to the Elgin Lions for an outstanding job organizing a very successful 2014 Riverfest. 

After a long hiatus, the event was held downtown. As a result, there was an increase in attendance and local merchants as well as other local organizations and members of the community reaped the benefits. In addition, there were a variety of enjoyable activities for every one of all ages to participate in. 

Location, location, location is the key along with strong organizing ability that make successful events victorious and this year’s event was nothing shy. 

Those key components combined, further help our local businesses and community to prosper.

As a Chamber of Commerce representative I appreciate the effort the Elgin Lions contributed in making 2014 Riverfest the best, and look forward to next year’s event. 

Kem Brainerd

Elgin Chamber of Commerce


Montgomery-Jones: Shelter services make up ‘free rent’

To the editor:

In response to Colleen MacLoed’s editorial opinion (June 13, 2014), I have three comments:

1. To call the protesters ungrateful is the patriarchal attitude that follows the thinking of abusers: After an abuser provides for his companion with 15 years of shelter then decides to throw her out, he calls her ungrateful for the fact that she protests the boot.

2. Providing Shelter From The Storm an alternative facility (the Joseph Building) that the commissioners deem unworthy to be occupied by the court and then proclaiming it “generous” is like throwing scraps to a mongrel dog. The staff and the victims of abuse deserve better.

3. A program/facility such as Shelter From the Storm that provides a valuable service to the community should not have to pay rent to do so. The services provided by Shelter From the Storm more than make up for the “free rent” provided by the county commission. It’s like asking the president of the United States to pay rent on the White House.

Emelie Montgomery-Jones

La Grande 


Hopkins: County should withdraw free space offer

To the editor:

I read with much interest the guest editorial by Colleen MacLeod concerning the county commissioner issue with the officials who run the Shelter From the Storm.

I am reminded that there are many groups in our county ranging from the Salvation Army, food banks and church pantries who provide necessary services to our community, but none of them insist that the taxpayers provide them with free office space and utilities forever. The building in question does not provide shelter for women and children. The building is only the administrative headquarters for Shelter From the Storm. 

We seem to be in an entitlement society. We taxpayers are asked to support anyone smart enough to write a grant application. 

We need to stop this nonsense starting with Shelter From the Storm. Not only have the taxpayers supported this organization for 15 years, but now they have the temerity to sue us when their occupancy is questioned. 

At this point, I counsel the county commissioners to withdraw their offer of free office space and utilities in the Joseph Building. This ungrateful bunch should find their own means of sustaining their vision, like the Salvation Army, food banks and church pantries do.

Doran Hopkins