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Letters to the Editors

Verndale Sun

To the Editor:

If you go to the Wadena County web page and click on agendas, you can find the agenda for the regularly scheduled commissioner meetings.

At a November meeting, I proposed a schedule to talk about and receive suggestions to improve the county, by topic and date.

The goal is to have the county commissioners talk about submitted ideas, with an end game goal of reducing residents’ tax burden.

As of now, Wadena County has one of the highest tax rates in the state.

It would be nice to see the public at some of these meetings. I may still encounter pushback on the scope and number of these work sessions.

A second topic I had on the agenda at that particular meeting was that an unbudgeted spending request in excess of $8,000 would need to appear on the agenda twice before having a board discussion and vote to approve it.

This is common sense. The way it is now, a spending item can show up on the agenda on Friday afternoon and need to be voted on by Tuesday a.m. That is not enough time to do research and make sure the board is informed before spending your money.

Private businesses of any kind cannot operate this way and neither can the county government. The spending process needs to be slowed down.

I did receive pushback on this and felt that I did not have the votes to make a motion. But I will be back with this proposal in the near future...

Murlyn Kreklau

District 4 Commissioner

Independent News Herald

To the Editor:

History gone and


Try this, drive through the remote countryside and try to remember how it used to be. Oh, there used to be a farm site on that corner or a country one-room school house or maybe a country store. So much has changed without any evidence that it was ever there. How many graves without a permanent marker are long forgotten.

Now I stand where I live (Anaheim Hills, California) on the mountainside (hill to some) and look out over the vast empty space and with some areas not being used, I am incapable of imagining what has gone on in these areas before in the past.

My first school in Minnesota was “Daniels 156”. Go to the Sandburg farm east of Bertha (north of Clarissa) in Germania Township and go east to the end, turn right to the end, turn left and follow the road (422nd street) up the hill, the school was on the right. In my first two years we had no electricity, a wood-burning stove for heat and a pump for water with outdoor toilets.

Everyone alive today who attended that school would be over 75 years old. There is no plaque or sign to keep the memory alive.

Do the spirits of the children come and still play ball and tag and sit quietly as the teacher teaches another class/grade their lesson for the day. We don’t know when it started only that it closed in the mid-1950s. We can only imagine the intelligence of a teacher that could teach eight grades at the same time. She not only made us knowledgeable in the three “R’s” but morals and ethics as well.

This is only one acre of forgotten history. Look around. How many other acres have things that have long been forgotten? It would be nice if the county would form a committee to do some research and put some type of plaque up to show that there was something important there at one time.

In my eighty-one years, I have seen a lot of things that were important at the time but are now forever forgotten. Our young people today are missing so much great history involving their own families.

Norm Hagelstrom

Anaheim Hill, CA

Formerly of Bertha

714-488-0380 (text only)

To the Editor:

Dear family around Clarissa,

Since our last update, besides our regular daily activities teaching and translating, we also spent one weekend at a church some two hours away to help them expand their church building. The pastor and his wife were very grateful and appreciative of all that was accomplished by our 25 hard-working students/grandkids.

Then we took them to a water park. Here in the Philippines, it is always hot and humid and our teenagers really enjoyed swimming in the cool and clean water pools (supplied by a natural spring from the mountains). Then that night they sang Christmas songs at the town plaza. They always sing beautifully and surprise the local community. The mayor himself was impressed and so gave each of them a money gift.

Coach Topher and the kids packed our van with Christmas gifts for elementary kids in three Mangyan villages in the mountains. Topher drove the KIA and I drove the Innova and we brought the presents and our students to the village of Tamisan. We were greeted by one of the elders.

Walking around the village of humble huts with grass roofs, bamboo floors and large palm leaves for walls, we invited the kids to the church. The whole village are active Christians and they gather in their church twice a day, early morning and late afternoon. Ours though was a special event.

We taught the kids songs. Then guided by Coach Topher and Melanie the local kids were divided up into age groups where our students taught the various age groups gathered in various sections of their large church. It was great watching our students teaching these little ones about Jesus in a professional manner.

While this was happening some of our students were cooking a substantial soup of fresh vegetables and chicken. This was distributed to the kids after they received their presents of various school supplies. It was a special meal for them.

Then our team drove down to a nearby river and our teenagers thoroughly enjoyed swimming and taking baths, cooling off from the hot and humid weather of the Philippines. I, too, enjoyed it, but not as much since the soles of my tender feet were experiencing a fair amount of pain on the rocky and stony river bed as I was trying to reach the deeper swimming area of the river. My students/grandkids seemed to walk on it as if it were a smooth carpet.

The view was beautiful and so I was trying to enjoy it all while battling the painful walk. Kind of a picture of life in general. As we go through struggles and pain in life, may we not forget all the goodness He also bestows upon us. Psalm 136:1-3.

May you all have a meaningful new year!

Yours in the one who was, who is and who will be,

Kermit and Raquel Titrud

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