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Montevideo American-News - Montevideo, MN
  • Letters to the Editor, Thursday, June 5

  • The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers. Letters regarding current local and national news items are encouraged. All letters are subject to editing for length and style. Letters containing potentially libelous or obscene statements will not be published. Letters must contain name, address and phone numb...
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  • The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers. Letters regarding current local and national news items are encouraged. All letters are subject to editing for length and style. Letters containing potentially libelous or obscene statements will not be published. Letters must contain name, address and phone number for verification and in case of questions. E-mail letters to:  jjones@montenews.com Letters may also be mailed to:  Editor, Montevideo Publishing, P.O. Box 99, Montevideo, MN 56265
     
    Sad news to report
    We are sorry to report that another year has passed, the Minnesota State Legislature has adjourned, and we still do not have a bonding bill for a Veterans Home.
     
    Our committee met with Sen Koenen, Rep Falk and two members of the House Capital Investment Committee on February 20.  They support our position, but are also trying to come up with alternative methods to support veterans nursing care.  None of the members on our committee supported their ideas and we relayed that to Sen Koenen and Rep Falk.
     
    The Dept of Veterans Affairs has allocated 1058 beds for Minnesota. Once federal funding for the Minneapolis Home of 100 beds is received and completed they will not bond for addition veterans nursing homes. There will then be 168 beds available for construction and Montevideo has requested to construct a 90 bed facility.
     
    The committee has contacted our federal Senate and House members to work to get the needed federal funding for the Minneapolis Veterans Home so we can continue to pursue the State Legislature for bonding dollars.  They have indicated support, but it all takes time.
     
    Without the support of the City of Montevideo, the Montevideo MIDC, MCDC, EDA, Chippewa, Lac Qui Parle, Swift and Yellow Medicine County, Townships, local financial institutions, American Legion, VFW, and individuals we could have not raised five million for this project.  We on behalf of our Veterans, thank you for this support.
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    We will continue to pursue this project and ask that you continue to talk with both State and Federal elected officials to work in support of the Montevideo Veterans Home.  We ask for your continued support and thank you for your past support.  God Bless our Veterans and those who are serving.
    —Veterans Committee; Marv Garbe, Debra Lee Fader, Dennis Anderson, Tim Kolhei, Jim Curtiss, Tom Anderson, Marv Dehne, Steve Jones and Angie Steinbach         
                              Montevideo
     
    A look at Pioneerland
    Recently, I attended a library meeting in the Pioneerland region; also in attendance were librarians, commissioners, media people, and other ordinary citizens. Mark Ranum, head of Pioneerland and Plum Creek Library systems (over 50 local libraries in southwest Minnesota) traveled to this meeting from his home in the St. Paul/Minneapolis metropolitan area. At this meeting I learned the following:
     
    1. Librarians and other library employees were told that any opposition to Pioneerland policies would be considered “insubordinate.”
     
    Mr. Ranum, as head of the system, will decide who and what is or is not “insubordinate.” As most any employee knows, “insubordination” is very often given as a reason for immediate firing, often with loss of all benefits accrued, and little or no chance to find other work.
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    2. According to Mr. Ranum, local persons, including library workers, commissioners, library board members and the general public will be allowed no effective “say” or contribution regarding who is hired to work at, or be in charge of, any local library. Hiring decisions will be made by Pioneerland hierarchy alone, although local people (under certain circumstances and within certain limits defined by Pioneerland) “may” be “allowed some input.” It was made quite clear that no local “input” would influence a Pioneerland decision on who would work in any local library.
     
    3. Mr. Ranum stated quite forcefully that any book (or any library item) that has not been “checked out” in five years must be removed immediately from library shelves, no matter what. Mr. Ranum made it very clear that the purpose of libraries under his control is to provide readers/users with desirable current popular items, and that the library is no longer a “storehouse of knowledge” or place to do research. I was informed by Mr. Ranum that Pioneerland libraries are not ”academic” libraries; they are there mainly to provide the people with “wanted items,” and Pioneerland policies and procedures would determine what “wanted items” are.
     
    4. Mr. Ranum also stated that it was his firm opinion (and Pioneerland policy) that a college or graduate library degree and accredited professional study/training were not as important in his (Pioneerland¹s) hiring process or philosophy as “other meaningful experience.”
     
    What is or is not “other meaningful experience” in the hiring and promotion policy will, of course, be decided by the Pioneerland hierarchy.
     
    I found these statements very interesting and enlightening. I believe that Mr. Ranum’s very clear, strong statements indicate exactly and accurately Pioneerland¹s attitudes and policies concerning local people and local libraries.
                          —Nancy Altain    
    Page 4 of 4 -                                Clara City

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