Celebrate the class of 2020, but remember the class of 2026

To the Editor:

I have watched the preparations to celebrate the class of 2020. I have read and listened to people mourn what the class has missed. I can say honestly that I am not feeling badly for the class of 2020. Pine City is doing  a great job of making it special for the graduates.

I get it. It is not the way anyone would have ever pictured their senior  year ending. But senior year is the unofficial passage into adulthood. What better way to enter adulthood then by being an adult?  Adult decisions needed to be made and consequences accepted.

I think the class of 2020 is doing great. They know they are loved and are being celebrated.

My sympathy is profound and reserved for the 6th graders. This is their last year of childhood. This time next year they will be hormone infused 7th graders with all the angst that comes with that. They have missed their last grandparents’ day, field day, their last field trip, and signing each others tee shirts; all last rites of childhood. Their farewell to the elementary school was a drive by pick up of their belongings. It is the class of 2026 that I mourn for. I think they will enter 7th grade perhaps a bit older, maybe a bit wiser.

I hope they use the wisdom well. But mostly I hope they play outside all summer.

Elisa Mill

Pine City

Janssen’s memory will live on

To the Editor:

Thank you for the editorial you wrote about my father, Paul Janssen. You captured him well – he was a contrarian. It is true that, “He could be charming. He could be prickly.” And “...he did truly want the best for the town.” He was proud of Pine City and loved serving it as an elected official to the school board, city council and as mayor, and was never afraid to debate an issue. He taught us kids to stand up for what we believe in even if it meant we were standing alone. I am proud of the contributions he made to others in our hometown, including his lifesaving effort of Mickey Miller in 1973, his advocacy for small businesses and steel projects like the fence around the fur trader on the Snake River. He was proud of them too.

Pine City lost a dedicated public servant last month when my dad passed away. Though I miss him, I know his memory will live on and appreciate the Pine City Pioneer honoring him.  

Vicki Janssen

Pine City

We should not promote liquor in Pine City

To the Editor:

I am responding to the recent article in our local newspaper concerning liquor sales. What is our lovely Pine City promoting?  We moved to Pine City three years ago as we had fallen in love with the town. I am so saddened by this.

This is my major frustration, as printed in our local Pine City Pioneer this week:  “Liquor store sales up. “ Voyageur Bottle Shop liquor store reported a huge increase in customers and sales in April. There were 978 more customers who came to the shop this April 2020 compared to April 2019. Sales were up $58,263 in April 2020.

This is crazy. Not only is our city contributing to potential alcoholism which kills and destroys families, but in the meantime we are limited in saying good bye to a loved one at a funeral, going to church, and eating in restaurants. This does not make any sense at all to me.

I can’t believe we are the only ones frustrated by this. We need to stand up as Americans for right and wrong and have some common sense. If we truly cared about the lost of life during the coronavirus epidemic we would not promote liquor. Minnesota facts:

• There were an estimated 1,745 alcohol-related deaths each year between 2013 and 2017, compared to 1,127 alcohol-related deaths each year during 2001 to 2005.

• Men are more likely to die from alcohol-related causes than women. In 2016, 66% of alcohol-related deaths were among men.

• Deaths caused directly by alcohol use increased significantly over the past 16 years.

• 100% alcohol-attributable deaths increased by 102% between 2000 and 2016.

• The rate of alcohol-attributable deaths increases with age, with the largest increase over time seen among those 50 years and older.

Thank you for your time, God be with you and your family.

Gwen Gordon

Pine City

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