Archive for July, 2012
I really look forward to the 300 word letters to the editor this week supporting Second Choice Two Names and her band of clapping seals barking for another sardine. Reading these letters is better than any laxative known to mankind. Just the anticipation of reading them has my bowels churning. I can picture the letter from Sandy Two-Names or Waldo the liberal Wimp now.
My children graduated from Hudson High School with an excellent education. BFD, any kid picking their nose with the right index finger graduates from Hudson High School. It’s more of an accomplishment if you don’t. Do you think your kid did something on a grand scale that other kids around the country have not done. Because of the quality education they received they went on to college. Getting into college is about as much of challenge as graduating from high school except you have to pick your nose using the other index finger. Everybody has been to college. The bartender, the waitress, the guy cleaning your plugged up toilet have all gone to college. Your kid is no different or special because they went to the Hudson Schools. Nine will get you ten that your kid has a body part pierced that make me faint thinking about the pain of the ring getting caught in the towel while drying off after a shower. I will also bet they have a tattoo scrawled across their ass that say says “Love Machine” Read More→
…………….. In order to avoid laying off several doughnut makers at the Freedom Station.
Well it looks like the Wizards of Smart have outdone themselves.Â Not only did the idiots on the Hudson School Board purchase a moldy old dog track for $8.25 Million that wasn’t zoned correctly, but now we find out that the bridge going over Albert St. (directly across from the moldy old track) is consider FUNCTIONALLY OBSOLETE.Â Yes, the bridge that the school board wants to send several thousand more cars across per day PLUS tractor trailers and buses, is in need of repair even WITHOUT the additonal traffic.Â Gee, do you think they might have checked that before making the offer?
From Wikipedia-Â Â ”Functionally obsolete” means that the design of a bridge is not suitable for its current use, such as lack of safety shoulders or the inability to handle current traffic volume, speed, size, or weight.
There was a very insightful letter to the editor this week from 16 year old Landon Carter about adult bullying.Â Here is some of what Landon had to say in the Hudson Star Observer-
I am tired of reading disrespectful and rude letters. If you have the courage to publicly bully someone else by publishing it into a paper where everyone can read it, I don’t see why you can’t go up to them and personally say it to their face.
From the point of view of a teenager, I have to say that I am very disappointed by the amount of disrespectful letters I have been reading, and cannot express how badly they reflect on our community.
I can’t even imagine what it is like to open up a newspaper to find horrible things written about you. Instead of preaching the kids of today to not bully one another, take the time to do the same. Think about what your kids will say if they see their parents bullying other adults.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves Landon.Â Thanks for pointing out the adult bullying taking place by the likes of letter writers Jerry German, Tom Brinsko, Kevin Whiteley, Mary Beth Loribecki Mataya, Diane Radle and Mark Kaisersatt.Â We are also appalled at their constant name calling and lack of facts.Â We hope that your letter will help them chart a new courseÂ to start using constructive dialogue.
On Wednesday evenings the Home and Garden channel (HGTV) presents a show called Property Brothers. The crux of the show is about two brothers, one a real estate agent and the other a carpenter, helping couples fulfill housing dreams. Before making their wishes come true the brothers show the buyers a house that contains their dreams. The price of the showcase house, however, is entirely out of the couple’s price range. The brothers solve the problem by showing houses in need of repair and with some handy carpentry work plus new furniture the dream becomes reality. First they take the chosen house and give the couple a virtual tour with fancy graphics and animation to show what it will look like after the renovations. For a little drama the buyers always get cold feet and nearly back away from the proposal.
Imagine for a second the buyers looking at a piece of property badly needing repair. The house has been on the market for a lengthy period of time. The brothers convince the couple that even though the tax rolls assess the property at $500,000 they should pay $800,000. The buyers sitting in front of the virtual machine ooh and aah over the future look of their new home. But when it comes to signing on the dotted line, the couple has second thoughts. What should the property brothers do to convince their buyers to pull the trigger?
Why not hire an appraiser to inflate the numbers. The next scene shows the property brothers excitedly walking towards the buyers waving a document in their hands. “I have great news”, the real estate brother says. “ We just had the property appraised and it is truly a steal. The appraisal puts the value of the house at $1.6 million or twice what you are paying for it.”
Of course the brothers do not disclose that the appraisal is based on renovations costing double the $800,000 purchase price. Furthermore, they forgot to mention the inspection report showing an infestation of termites. Read More→
……………. Very very unlikely.
In a blistering letter to the Hudson Star Observer this week, school board member Sandy Gehrke took issue with Minnesota attorney Mick Waldspurger.Â Here is some of what she wrote-
“It would have been nice if our “fair” press, the Hudson Star-Observer, had contacted me before printing Attorney Waldspurger’s alleged “findings.” I would have told them that I admitted to only one supposedly improper action. I called an acquaintance who is also a school district employee. The biased article in last week’s Star-Observer could have been written by the board’s attorney. This is a she-said-she-said situation with no neutral judge.
I was not told I was going to be publicly lynched on July 10. It appeared that other board members knew I was to be skewered, but I did not. I did not prepare a defense since I didn’t know I was going to be tried, convicted and punished by the school attorney who acted as investigator, judge and jury. Independent investigation? You decide. The superintendent said to me after the board’s inappropriate action, “Sandy, now that this is behind us I hope you can learn to trust the administration and the board.” The message? We slapped you good, now get on board and play nice.”
Mrs. Gehrke went on to say this-
“I have been on the board for three months. President Tom Holland has told me that I represent all of the people and the St. Croix Meadows referendum passed so I need to support it. The board attorney told me that even though I oppose an action, once the board adopts a position I must publicly get behind it. I told them no, they will not take away my First Amendment right to free speech. They are unhappy with me. That’s the real reason for the shocking surprise public lynching.
Contrary to Waldspurger’s misstatement that they can remove me from the board, the only people who can do that are the voters. Waldspurger needs a refresher course in Wisconsin law. I have 33 more meetings. I intend to be prepared, informed and respectful. I expect the same from the board members and the administration.”
Kudos to Sandy for sticking up for herself against Tom Holland, Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten, Mick Waldspurger and HSO “reporter” Meg Heaton.Â And it seems like Mick Waldspurger had better brush up on Wisconsin law before he travels across the border again…..
Board member Lynn Robson visited the dog track before the referendum and yet, made no formal presentation to the public on its true condition. What was the purpose of her visit if she would not disclose her findings? Was it to give an honest assessment of the property to aid in the decision to purchase the property? Or was the visit for personal curiosity since she and her husband own commercial property in the area.
Doug Stohlberg plans to institute a new letter to the editor policy that limits commentary to 300 words and allows for no questioning, what he dubs as personal attacks, on organizations or people. What is the purpose of his policy? Is it to enlighten the public on different opinions and facts missed by the paper? Three hundred words hardly seem adequate to make a logical argument. Or is the policy to protect organizations and people that tell a less than honest story? What is the purpose of civility if it only masks the truth?
What is the purpose of a reporter like Meg Heaton? Is she charged with digging for the truth or just parrot what Eggebraaten and company tell her? What was her purpose for not interviewing either Sandy Gehrke or April Simmons? Is she plainly inept as a reporter, in which case what is the purpose for the paper employing her? Or does she have no intention of ever giving another side other than one that shines the most favorable light on the Superintendent and school board regardless of the facts. What then would be the purpose of reading her drivel? What purpose does it serve to give the Eggebraaten her own column in the paper? Something the paper affords to no other individual.
People act with purpose. What do the actions of Eggebraaten, the school board and the paper say about their purpose?
A complaint was filed with the Hudson School Board against Minneapolis attorney Mick Waldspurger and NO ACTION was taken! Can you believe that a complaint of this nature was completely shunned by board president Tom Holland and suerintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten? Who made the decision not to move forward? These are some serious allegations against Mr. Waldspurger and it is a disservice to the entire community that Holland and Eggebraaten did NOTHING. Here is what they received via email-
President Holland, Supt. Bowen-Eggebratten, and others,
I am writing this letter anonymously out of fear of retribution by the school administration, school board or their Minneapolis law firm. However I do expect this letter to be considered a document subject to the state open records law. Please distribute to the school board members.
During the July 10, 2012 meeting of the Hudson Board of Education attorney Michael Waldspurger reported on his findings and recommendations regarding actions taken by board member Sandy Gherke. Waldspurger made two statements that are false on their face. In doing so, Waldspurger, as an expert in Wisconsin school district law and governance, knowingly made a false statement or acted with reckless disregard for the truth by making defamatory statements with the intent of harming Gherke’s public image.
Waldspurger used a circular logic to impute intentional deception by Gherke, saying that since she was intelligent, and since she had previously been present when information about the assignment of a particular job assignment to a particular individual had been conveyed, that Gherke’s alleged statement later that she did not know who had been assigned that job assignment must have been an intentional false statement with malicious intent. No room was left by Waldspurger for Gherke to be both intelligent and honest.
By this same logic Waldspurger is clearly guilty of defamation. Waldspurger graduated from a Wisconsin law school and is a member of the Wisconsin bar. By his own telling during the meeting, he has extensive experience in school board law and has represented dozens of school boards. Listening to Waldspurger’s description of his qualifications left little doubt that he considered himself an expert in Wisconsin school board law.
FALSE STATEMENT #1: Waldspurger stated (at 2hr:19m:16s on the video recording of the meeting) that the highest level of action for the other board members to take would be removal of Gherke from the board. The Hudson Patch website reported that “Waldspurger told the board that removing Gehrke from the board was the most harsh action it could take, but he didn’t believe Gehrke’s actions warranted removal.”
As an expert in Wisconsin school district governance, Waldspurger could be reasonably expected to know, as do millions of Wisconsin citizens, that Wisconsin law makes no provision for the removal of an elected school board member except through the recall process. To use the phrase he used in attacking Gherke, Waldspurger “clearly knew or should have known” that Wisconsin school boards do not have this power. In his defense, Waldspurger could have been confused about the state in which Hudson is located, since Hudson is very close to Minnesota. Minnesota statutes on school governance provide that “The board may remove, for proper cause, any member or officer of the board and fill the vacancy; but such removal must be by a concurrent vote of at least four members, at a meeting of whose time, place, and object the charged member has been duly notified, with the reasons for such proposed removal and after an opportunity to be heard in defense against the removal.” Wisconsin law makes no provision for removal of a school board member by the other members, whether for proper cause or any other reason.
Minnesota law is silent on how a school board should proceed to remove, “for proper cause”, an attorney humiliated by publicly and blatantly making false and defamatory statements. Perhaps a simple majority vote would suffice. Or maybe a public disavowal of the false statements by the board that hired him to represent them. This disavowal could serve to provide those board members some defense against future litigation arising out to the false and damaging statements. The attorney would then be on his own, or “hung out” by himself.
In a letter to the Hudson Star Observer this week, April Simmons openly disputed the “facts” as presented by taxpayer funded attorney Mick Waldspurger.Â Apparently Mr. Waldspurger took great liberty in presenting his side of the story against Ms. Simmons in what led to her termination.Â Of course Ms. Simmons was summarily dismissedÂ from her “guest” teacher position by Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten a short 4 days after her husband spoke at a Hudson Plan Commission meeting advocating that the Plan Commission vote no on the dog track rezoning issue.Â A mere coincidence?Â I think not.Â Here is a little of what Ms. Simmons had to say-
“There are many corrections that need to be made from Meg Heaton’s article Complaints against Ahlin unfounded on page 4A in last week’s newspaper.
In the section of the article Heaton is referring to me, April Simmons, as she is writing about what was said by the school district appointed attorney.
His facts were incorrect as are hers and they need to be set straight.”
And she finished up with this-
“I thought it was a reporter’s job to get both sides of the story before writing an article. I thought newspapers were supposed to be neutral and report both viewpoints.
Tom Holland spoke at the last board meeting about not making personal attacks when discussing the issues. The thing is this situation is extremely personal to me. Also, Waldspurger encouraged the school to file defamation suits against those who are making false claims.
If I follow that advice I should be suing the school district and the newspaper!”
See the full letter here-
Doug Stohlberg at the Hudson Red-Star Observer has a new policy about letters to the editor. Doug decided it was time to protect the liars, the ignorant, and the stupid from being attacked by people pointing out the fact that some people are liars, ignorant, or stupid, which pretty much sums up the Hudson School Board minus one member that was recently lynched in Frau Second Choice Two-Names kangaroo court.
In order to protect the liars, the ignorant, and the stupid Stohlberg is limiting letters to 300 words and no honestly attacking someone or something as a liar, ignorant, or stupid. Of course 300 words is about the size of the intellectual vocabulary of the people writing something stupid in support of Eggebraaten and her band of puppets minus one that got lynched. I mean how smart can you be to believe the dog track has an appraised value of $16 million. How many words do you need to tell people to stop telling the truth, I mean bullying.
This week’s letters was a highlight reel. School District Administrative Secretary Diane Radle brags about working for twenty-six years in the district’s administration under three different superintendents. Talk about getting a lesson in ethics or should I say unethicals. She goes on to say that she has worked nearly a third of her life for the Hudson School District. Okay I may not be the smartest bird, but if you have worked for 26 years and that is a one third of your life then that means you are 78 years old. Either you really age well or you are stupid when it comes to math. Also it is far fetched to believe a government worker, non-worker sucking off the taxpayers would pass up the opportunity to retire and suck more from the taxpayers while laying in bed or whatever a 78 year old woman does. You know the only difference between a government worker, non-worker and retired government worker, non-worker? The time of day they get out of bed on the week days. Man I crack myself up.
Diane goes on to say the community passed the referendum and the city should rezone it. Diane, have read the so-called appraisal that your boss more than likely scripted? Did you read the rap sheet on the dude doing the appraisal? Assuming your reading skills are better than your math skills How would people vote if they knew the truth? Only the ignorant and the stupid would vote for a pack of bullshit.
By the way did you write your letter on taxpayer time? Read More→
People voting in the majority apparently could not reason that a run down piece of property for sale in the middle of an economic depression should be exchanged at a price far lower than what the school district did. They also could not reason the fact that the taxing entity, the city of Hudson, had the property valued for taxation purposes $3 million beneath what Eggebraaten is willing to pay for it. Then, many in the majority, including reporters at the Hudson Star-Observer and Hudson Patch, swallowed hook, line and sinker for a trumped up appraisal done by a felon that valued the property at twice the bid price and three times what the city of Hudson listed it on the books.
Furthermore in attempt to make the case about the greatness of Hudson schools, the district sends out a mailer highlighting their test scores and the proficiency of the students. Did it ever occur to people if the students in the district are accomplishing such greatness under the current environment, then why do they need more Space for Learning? Looking at test scores available on the state’s Department of Instruction site shows in fact the ACT scores in Hudson have varied little from the 23 range over the last decade despite additional spending and building expansions.
In 1959 the average class size in the country was 33 students, a figure that would surely brings cries of horror today. My wife teaches at a private school where she has thirty elementary students in class, whish is typical of the school. Yet, the school consistently produces national merit scholars and students, including our children, receiving hefty scholarships from major colleges and universities. Using the logic of Eggebraaten and the educrat mind set, the children attending this school and similar private facilities would be dumber than a box of rocks. Of course space does not teach or set the curriculum. And for most in our society education comes from government schools. Read More→
……………………. An extremely uncomfortable sensation within the gut due to anxiety and fear of the unknown.
Many questions have arisen from the dog track debacle.Â Why are Lynn and Dave Robson so involved in pushing for this piece of property?Â Why was Lynn Robson the only school board member to visit the facility prior to the referendum?Â Why was the mold issue never revealed to the public prior to the vote?Â Why did the distict hire a 5 time convicted felon Paul J. Daley to do the appraisal?Â Why did the appraisal come in DOUBLE the purchase price, giving the sellers NO TAX LIABILITY?
After all these questions and others, I am left with the feeling that the Dog Track Referendum may not even be legal after all.Â This faulty appraisal, which was NOT for the existing property but was only AFTER major renovations were completed, was used as the cornerstone in district presentations, letters to the editor AND the two mailings that went out districtwide.
In a letter to the editor prior to the referendum, school board member Mark Kaisersatt had this to say about the value of the track “The dog track site has been recently appraised at twice the amount the Hudson School District has agreed to pay for it.”Â We now know that this appraisal, done by a 5 time felon, was purposely overvalued as to include MAJOR REVOVATIONS!Â Did Mr. Kaisersatt say this in his letter?Â Of course not!
In the mailing pieces that went out prior to the referendum the school administration (Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten) touted the value of the property at the top of the list of reasons to purchase this property.Â “Appraised at $16.8 million”Â Did this flyer mention that the appraisal was not “as is” but was only AFTER the taxpayers had paid to fix it up?
No one can honestly say that the Hudson School Board and District Administration were honest with the taxpayers about the value of this property.Â The voters were MISLED by the propaganda which stated a value of $16.8 Million.Â A court of law would probably find that the whole referendum was passed on a faulty premise.Â All of the major players in this debacle (board president Tom Holland, superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten and newspaper editor Doug Stohlberg) should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this misinformation to stand.Â They all knew better and purposely LIED to the public.
Hudson School Board member Lynn Robson has a difficult time understanding her conflict of interest in the St. Croix Meadows purchase by the school district.Â Although numerous people in the city attest to the existence of such, she snubbed a resident for questioning her motive at a board meeting, and subsequently lied by manipulating the truth about owning a glut of commercial property within a few blocks.Â Her husband, Dave Robson, under various entities such as Ban Tara Holdings, owns numerous properties in the Ban Tara development (northwest corner of Carmichael and Hanley all the way north to Stageline Rd.)Â As a married couple in Wisconsin, she reaps the benefit of sharing in his ownership.Â She also manages the properties through her company, Commercial Management.
Not only is there great potential for the property value to rise if 1/3 of the remaining vacant commercial property is sold in Hudson (St. Croix Meadows), but also the tremendous opportunity exists for the traffic count to increase on Carmichael going to and from the school (if built on SCM).Â If that isn’t already enough, then Dave Robson represented St. Croix Meadows when presenting to the city council financial information relative to the commercial property and tax projections.Â How can they look themselves in the mirror and NOT see a conflict of interest?
According to the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, “The board member should be cognizant and abstain from discussing matters or voting when appropriate”.Â Or, did she violate this from Wisconsin Law – Codes of ethics for local government officials, employees and candidates?Â “19.59(1)(c)2:Â 2. Use his or her office or position in a way that produces or assists in the production of a substantial benefit, direct or indirect, for the official, one or more members of the official’s immediate family either separately or together, or an organization with which the official is associated.”
Had Lynn Robson made such statements about not owning that property under oath, it may have constituted perjury under Wisconsin statute 946.31.Â Many Wisconsin School Board policies outline opportunities to preclude such questionable actions.Â Â Here is an example:Â “No board member may use his or her office to produce a substantial direct or indirect benefit for the school board member or members of his or her immediate family. http://www.parkview.k12.wi.us/SchoolBoard/Policies/100Series/165Ethics-Conflicts.pdf
She presents herself as a highly educated and savvy individual; surely she knows better!
After watching the Mick Waldspurger show a few weeks ago, I started to wonder who he really represents.Â It appears to me that when a board member that agrees with Supt. Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten runs into legal problems then Waldspurger DEFENDS them but when another board member that the superintendent doesn’t like has an issue, then Waldspurger PROSECUTES that board member.Â Mick Waldspurger has spent many years in this district defending the board members every time a question about ethics has arisen.Â Now when Sandy Gehrke, who disagrees with the direction of the superintendent and the rest of the board, gets called into question, then Waldspurger hangs her out to dry in a public venue.
Apparently this is not the first time that the joker Mick Waldspurger has performed this circus act.Â In Farmington, MN he publicly lynched board member Tim Burke as well.Â It was a very similar type of situation.Â Mr. Burke was at odds with the administration and they set him up, just like Sandy Gehrke was set up.
Granted a lot of questions remain in the Hudson School District’s obsession with the dog track. Eggebraaten and company have hung a dark veil around the whole process. Perhaps it is innocent, but the dots on the paper seem to draw a troublesome picture. What do we know?
Lynn Robson was the only school board member to visit the facility prior to the referendum vote in April. One may assume Eggebraaten also made an on site inspection. The condition of the building at the dog track has mold, water damage, and in a general state of disrepair. It is not the picture the school district sold to the public. Why did Robson stay silent about the condition of the track? According to sources she and her husband own commercial property in the area. Taking the dog track off the commercial rolls could potentially benefit their interests.
Why did the school district hire a swindler to appraise the property? Who made the recommendation to hire the swindler? How can any rationale person believe that a dog track sitting idle for more than a decade and assessed by the city at $5 million is magically appraised for $16 million or double what the school district is willing to pay for it. Isn’t it convenient that the difference between the $16 million appraisal and the school district bid can be considered a gift for tax purposes.
Inquiring minds want to know.
The new letter to the editor policy instituted by the Hudson Star-Obsever and the pathetic journalism, if you can call it by such a name, by Meg Heaton concerning the dog track appraisal and the involvement of a felon in the process should make it clear that the local paper is another arm of Eggebraaten’s Propaganda Ministry. The paper even gives Eggebraaten her own column. THe Hudson School district controls the press in this town. As Jefferson would have stated, Doug Stohlberg and company at the Hudson Star-Observer have no regard for the truth and invent items needed to protect Master Eggebraaten and her six dancing puppets on the school board. I might add that Mike Foley at the Hudson Patch is no better. He also parrots what the school district tells him.
“The most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public papers… [A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of newswriters who, without any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers. This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a newspaper.” –Thomas Jefferson to G. K. van Hogendorp, Oct. 13, 1785. (*) ME 5:181, Papers 8:632
I do wonder why the Superintendent needed to hire a full time communications consultant Tracy Two-Names. With the paper in her pocket. Eggebraaten could have had the decency to save the taxpayers $90,000 in compensation that Tracy Two-Names collects.
You have to wonder what Stohlberg and Heaton receive for their services.
Since the Hudson school board wants to refocus on grades & education, let’s give a generous “F” grade to Hudson Star Observer reporter Meg Heaton for failing to report the facts on the felon appraiser who contributed the majority of the work to the St. Croix Meadows dogtrack appraisal.Â These were the facts:
1)Â Â Â Â Â The felon appraiser’s name was Paul J. Daley (not John Daley) and considering the plethora of factual paperwork set in front of them, coupled with the court documents that HSO ordered, you would think she could at least get that one straight…it is a simple copy and paste function.Â It was likely her way of diverting attention away from the truth.
2)Â Â Â Â Â Paul J. Daley had 5 (that’s five) FELONY convictions of Theft by Swindle according to court documents because he was caught stealing over $140,000 from his employer.
3)Â Â Â Â Â Daley was sentenced to 54 months of prison at Minnesota’s St. Cloud facility.
4)Â Â Â Â Â Since the conviction, Daley continues to misbehave and has multiple records, including gross misdemeanor & misdemeanors which have extended his probation.Â Naughty boy he is!
5)Â Â Â Â Â The check from the Hudson School District went directly to Daley’s office in Prior Lake, NOT White’s office in Eau Claire.
6)Â Â Â Â Â The appraisal was more than DOUBLE the purchase price but why should that surprise us?Â A clause in the purchase agreement for St. Croix Meadows allows the seller to GIFT the difference to the buyer…how convenient!!
These facts go directly to the credibility of the appraisal.Â Even the FBI will tell you a string of coincidences like this suggest shady business dealings and increase the potential for white collar crime.Â Maybe it’s time for the HSO reporter to go back to school and take some ethics classes on balanced and truthful reporting.