Archive for the ‘Hastings’

County Commissioner Writes Like a 5th Grader

Dakota County Commissioner Tom Egan for the Third District recently submitted a response to this Letter to the Editor over at SunThisweek where he takes personal offense to his belief that unscientific survey results were manipulated in the public’s view. While he can be as upset as he likes, instead of his incorrect base claim, people should be more concerned with the fact that one of the people making decisions for the county cannot write worth his life.

From the Egan’s Letter to the Editor:

About a year ago, a very unscientific Survey Monkey survey conducted by Dakota County asked people what park uses they would support and one third answered paved trails. This was considered by county staff to be high considering the make up of respondents. The other two thirds didn’t oppose paved trails: They simply had different choices. Based on the findings of this unscientific survey, the writer might want to suggest that if I go out for diner with two friends and I order a steak but the other two order something else that it means two thirds of us are opposed to steak.

Earlier this year a poll was conducted for Dakota County by the National Research Center with a margin of error of 4 percent. When asked what uses they would support in Dakota County Parks such as Lebanon Hills, respondents were given eight specific choices and a ninth choice of “other.” Sixty-six percent selected the choice of “Trail networks for hiking, biking or skiing.”

Those who oppose paved trails in Lebanon Hills have an absolute right to their opinion; but they can’t create their own facts.

There are so many issues here I had difficulty even knowing where to begin:

    1. He uses contractions in his letter. This is a politician writing a Letter to the Editor which will be seen by the 10 or 11 people who don’t use SunThisweek as tinder for their fire pits and as such he should be trying to sound like an adult. “Can’t” may be acceptable for daily speech, text messages and e-mail, but keep it out of formal newspaper responses.

    2. Tom Egan should have asked someone to do a read through so he could have avoided misspelling “dinner” as “diner”.

    3. He should have carefully researched this ‘unscientific survey’ prior to berating the improper use of statistics by the previous letter writer. Egan ended up doing the exact same thing himself, unintentionally; it makes him look incredibly silly and unfit for office.

    4. Egan completely misunderstood the question being asked on the survey he chose to use as evidence that paved trails are a popular choice by County residents. No where in the question he notes does it state ‘paved’ and all of the uses provided as part of the question can and do currently happen on unpaved trails. Talk about creating facts!

Egan should post a follow-up Letter to the Editor where he apologizes for this one. He has proven himself uneducated, misguided, and misspelled and he should really think twice about his future decision-making, up to and including putting himself as a representative of Dakota County residents in the future.

What do you think about this one? Do you think Egan looks like a fool after what he wrote? Do you think public officials should be more careful with what they disseminate? What about his choice to misrepresent the survey question just as he had claimed the original letter had done with the results? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.

What Makes You Attached to the MSP Metro?

According to this MinnPost article which discusses what makes people attached to a particular city. The article discusses with Katherine Loflin, a placemaking expert and lead consultant for a Gallup and Knight Foundation study on what drives attachment to a city. While the results of this study are interesting, most people may disagree with the findings.

From the article:

If people can find jobs and reasonable places to live, they’ll be attached enough. Worrying about quality of life, amenities, public spirit and all that squishy stuff seems a bit trivial in an economy that still recovering from one of the worst recessions ever.

But Loflin makes a business case for love of a place. These days, those people most likely to drive the growth of a city, namely young people between the ages of 25 and 34, have reprioritized. Quality of life registers high on their list of necessities. Corporations are finding that increasingly they have to sell talented recruits on the place where they would be relocating as well as the job.

As a hiring manager working in a field which is showing rapid growth and high competition during the turned down economy, I have been fighting to both recruit and retain people for my teams. While my experience is limited and certainly not as wide as the number of people looked at by this study, my experience in no way mirrors what Loflin has said. Talented recruits just out of school or with less than 10 years experience have just as much desire for high salary, regardless of their current location in our outside Minnesota, as anyone else I have talked to recently. You can sell them all you like on the greatness of the MSP metro but they know two things: money talks and it’s freakishly frigid here. When recent grad students are requesting six figure salaries without more than a few months of relevant real-world experience and getting offers from elsewhere with it, I can give you a 99.999% guarantee that this study is bunk.

What do you think about this one? Would you pass over a much higher income elsewhere just so you could stay where the people are? Are you surprised that recently minted masters-level students without much relevant experience are receiving such high offers when you hear in the news that this group is so hard pressed for cash lately? What attaches you to the MSP metro? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Boys Will Be Boys Doesn’t Include Choking?!

According to this Dakota County Criminal Complaint, a Hastings man was arrested for strangling and punching his younger brother in the face. From what I know about brothers fighting, this seems fairly normal and could be considered ‘boys will be boys’ depending on the unknown age of the younger brother.

From the complaint:

On April 12, 2013, at approximately 11:30 p.m., Hastings police officers were dispatched to a residence on 6th Street West in the City of Hastings, Dakota County, Minnesota, on the report of an assault. The call reported that it sounded like a young male was screaming for help.

Upon arrival in the area, officers observed two males walking east from the location and they were able to identify one of the males as Bryce Tyrese Nixon, date of birth 7-10-93, hereinafter referred to as Defendant. Defendant stated he was watching his little brother at the house when his little brother got out of hand so he held him down and left the residence to cool down. The second individual was identified as Tyler Lee Bowers, date of birth 6-17-92, who had an outstanding warrant and was taken into custody on that.

Defendant gave a more detailed statement but he continued to deny that he had struck his younger brother or done anything other than hold him down. He stated that his younger brother had pushed him in the chest and then he got on top of him to calm him down.

Officers then spoke with the younger brother who reported that Defendant told him to move from where he was sitting watching TV and when the younger brother refused, Defendant pushed him onto the floor and then grabbed him by the feet, dragging him from the living room towards the bedroom. The younger brother began to struggle, Defendant dropped on top of him and punched him three times in the face with a closed fist. Defendant then continued dragging his younger brother into the bedroom where he used both is hands to choke his younger brother for a period of two to four seconds. The younger brother said that he had lost the ability to breathe because his airway had been restricted during the time he was being choked. Officers were able to observe swelling on the victim’s left eye and marks on his neck.

Being that I am an only child and never had experiences like this with a sibling, I can only rely on the stories of others many of whom recount similar situations during fights with male siblings. While this certainly may be an on-going issue that is more one-sided than not, do you think this is simply a normal occurrence in the house with the siblings routinely fighting? Did you fight with your siblings in a physical manner? Would you have ever called the police about neighbors’ kids fighting?

Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Should All Lights Be Right Turn on Red?

A couple of red traffic lights against a blue sky originally uploaded by Horia Varlan

According to a recent SunThisweek Letter to the Editor from a Burnsville resident, the lack of a modern traffic signal coupled with a sign forbidding right turns on red has created a situation where lengthy delays for no good reason are frequent. One has to wonder whether most, if not all, traffic signals should be upgraded and have right turn restrictions eliminated.

From the Letter to the Editor:

Isn’t it time to rethink the no-right-turn sign at the foot of the southbound exit of I-35E as it controls traffic entering County Road 42?


Currently, I estimate that one out of every five drivers disregards the no-right-turn sign and I can completely understand their frustration after waiting, in some instances, as long as a minute and a half, while no westbound cars are even visible at this intersection.

How many times are you sitting at a light about to turn right and realize you’re forbidden to do so by the tiny little sign that mocks you as no traffic approaches? This is often the case at many lights in the state, especially those that ignore or simply do not support detection of cars at an intersection with no cross traffic. It’s not only frustrating but increasingly irrelevant now that we have the ability and, in many cases, the built-in support for smart signals which simply are not doing their jobs. For once I agree with a Letter to the Editor writer entirely. This, and most other SOTR signals, need to be reevaluated for right turns on red and have the smart technology installed or utilized as intended.

What do you think about this one? Do you agree that forbidden right turns on red is generally useless? How often do you see people ignore the tiny signs suggesting they do otherwise? Do you think more often than not signals should be detecting cross traffic presence and changing the light to alleviate stacked traffic in the other direction? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear what you have to say.