Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A legitimate dilemma.

Susan Mills * Debra Kiel * Gary Willhite * Daniel J. Erdman * Frank Fee * Robin Brekken * Reverend Daniel Wolpert have all filed to run for the position of Crookston School Board Member. But only 3 will ultimately take their seats after the election.

First of all they should all be saluted! It seems to be a thankless job, punctuated by stressful areas including declining enrollments (translate declining budget) at the same time that more variety of services, more technology, pretty much more everything is being demanded. I remember as far back as the 1970's when things were pretty much still on the up-swing, how my Aunt Barb would go on about how frustrating it was to both try to make the best decisions for the school district, and to try to satisfy a barrage of parents calling over issue after issue after issue! This was before computers, when distance learning meant you got on a school bus to get to a remote classroom, when teachers were still in some way the respected controllers of their classroom domains. But now literally EVERYTHING has changed. You can even decide to go to a school in a neighboring town, which provides some losses and some gains for our local school each year.

So how do I as a caring concerned voter make a choice between these candidates? Being liberal or conservative really should have no part in it, Male or Female shouldn't be a deciding factor. I'm sure that each and every one of them care a lot about the school district and the kids that go there, and I wouldn't know how to judge one better or worse on that criteria anyway. Most of them, I believe had a lifetime, or almost a lifetime of understanding the nuances of Crookston and all it's uniqueness. I think that all are parents who have had kids in the School District 593. They all have published phone numbers, and I'm guessing email addresses.

I suppose we could subpoena their dental records to make sure that they're brushing regularly, and find out how often they change oil on their vehicles. Perhaps get some soil samples of their yards to see which ones use Miracle Grow and who uses the cheap imitation knock off. Perhaps a spelling and geography bee, after all they're going to be responsible for our young people excelling in those areas. All in all this is a dilemma. I'm hoping there won't be any more yard signs, or Daughters of the American Veterans debates.

Sadly any winners are going to leave a legacy of budget cuts, staff reductions, and a shrinking economy. Maybe the best thing to do would be to increase the size of the school board to include ANYONE who has the courage to run! I wish you all well in your campaigns, you leave us all with a legitimate dilemma!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


You need a license to drive a car, hunt, practice law or medicine. I just don't get what folks think others will think of them when they spout 1/2 truths and downright lies. Again today in the Crookston Times guestbook someone is trying for their 15 minutes (seconds?) of fame. They identify themselves as Lost, which as it appears seems to be pretty accurate! Here's what they had to say...

Not sure what all the praise about the web site is about. First off the owner and operator of the web site doesn't even live in crookston. This person thinks the town is so great but doesn't live in it, doesn't pay taxes in it, doesn't vote on who runs the town? Lets be real here people, this town has its pros and cons, this city should be rated an 8 on a scale 1-100 and 100 being the best. If we did not have high speed Internet we would be in big trouble...

Lost ( )
Tuesday, Sep 09, 2008 (03:09:05 am CDT)

Dear Lost, Sorry but your comments are not true. I do own property in Crookston, I have paid property taxes in Crookston for over 30 years. And I spend a significant amount of my personal income and my business income in Crookston, and I have employed (since 1994) as many as nine people at a time most all of who live in Crookston. (In the 80's I employed as many as 20 people at a time) OH and I've been a life time church member in Crookston, and belonged to different service organizations over the years in Crookston, but you are right about something, I don't get a change to vote for the candidates who I think could best serve Crookston, so it seems like I get all the pain and none of the satisfaction. So what's your point? If you think I should take my business elsewere would that up your rating of Crookston to a 9 or a 10 out of a 100? Perhaps you can fill in my missing tax dollars. For all it's imperfections, I Love my hometown and I think it's worth working to make it better. I'm sorry you don't feel the same.

And just to clarify one more time, I make no claim that things in our town are perfect, but just as we love our imperfect children, I think it's important that we love our town. Instead of spreading false information, why don't we work together to make this an even better day.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Our goals might be the same but you're not understanding our point of view!

To the person on who said: I feel sad about the I love Crookston web page in that those types who claim there's nothing wrong in Crookston seemingly have driven their point home, namely, there's nothing wrong. Funny thing is, as these gray haired types look around, they see their cohorts, going into nursing homes or more time at the doctor's office, or getting fat, etc. Thus the justified longing for the "good old days" such as what the I love Crookston web page is all about, going back to the 1950's and 60's.

Thanks for your post and PLEASE LET ME CLARIFY SOMETHING! I (the site owner) and others have NEVER make the claim that there's NOTHING wrong with out town. We'd be the first to admit that there are many things that need improving, changing, fixing, perking up, and challenging! What I'm unhappy about is the method that folks are using. Nothing more. I acknowledge there are MANY problems, but let's decide that this is a pretty good place to live, and roll up our sleeves and get to work making it an even better place.

NOT WALLOWING in the muck! Find the sunshine. If you're religious, get more involved in your church. If you're not (which by the way, I will support you all the way to hell on!) (PLEASE IT WAS A JOKE!) then find another way to help FIX what you don't like. There's lots of service organizations, there's fraternal groups who do wonderful things! There's just plain local citizens or families that do many things that make an incredible difference. And there's neighborhood groups that get involved. I'm sure ANYONE of them would welcome you, and if not START YOUR OWN.

I stand by my words. This is a great town, it's full of great people and honorable businesses. Let's make it an even better place! But let's do it by working together not flinging poo at each other. What you see on TV isn't real, this is real, this is real life, let's make it better...TOGETHER!

BTW was NOT intented to be a walk down memory lane, it's just that so many folks sent in PAST memories, that we made a separate section of those happy times. If you notice, the top section is the RIGHT NOW, CURRENT feeling that folks have about our town. And as an aside, most of the folks who sent in something on the current section are NOT Grey of hair, and won't be for a long time! Why not identify yourself? Or at least tell us where you are from, where you are living now and what your connection to Crookston is? Let's make the town stronger, not break it apart.

My Name is John Reitmeier and I love my hometown and I'm not afraid to say it to anyone!

Lions and Tigers and Bears OH MY!!

So whoever has has created a site where folks can go and post nasty remarks and then smugly sit back and wait for the responses. Well how wonderful! Again they're HIDING behind the shield that they perceive to be "the Internet" but don't realize how fragile and full of holes that shield is. So let's take a look at someone who calls themselves, "I'm Not John Reitmeier" claims.

So Here it pieces with my answers.

by I'm Not John Reitmeier on Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:36 am

John Reitmeier, author of and creator of I Love Crookston and I Hate Crookston, and also the sole individual who permits or censors comments on all three sites, seems to be very opinionated.

Yes I am opinionated! Thank you for noticing. It's training I got all the way back to Washington School in Crookston, and then continued right up to today! I think it's great that folks have strong opinions about everything and it's a shame that more people don't voice their opinions. I don't think you'll find anything in my blog or any other things I've written or said to the contrary. If you do find something I assure you it was written in haste, something that I and most everyone else seem to experience now and then. The fact that you somehow think that I "permits or censors" comments on my websites is correct. Get your own website and you can do the same! You seem to think that someone who OWNS something shouldn't be able to control it. Can I paint my feeling on the side of your house? Probably not, yet you think you should be able to do the digital equivalent on my web/house.

Skip over to yet another web page he’s created, and you’ll find Mr. Reitmeier proudly characterized as a “Storyteller” and as “the REAL DEAL!” a “attraction in himself!” In reading through John’s personal blog, at it doesn’t take long before you realize that he prides himself on hunting down, a.k.a. investigating everyone who posts on the Crookston Daily Times Guestbook.

WOW it's pretty obvious you didn't read it very carefully. You'll see that those are quotes from some pretty significant sources. To give you a little background, I've been in the media, mostly as a radio announcer, interviewer, and commentator, (even a news director at a Las Vegas station) for over 3 decades. In Grand Forks I'm still working at the VERY same station that I first was employed at (KNOX 1310 8:35 each weekday morning) AND working with the VERY FIRST morning man (Jim Bollman) that I every worked with. It seems that there are some who at least put up with my opinions and comments. As opposed to you who thinks you're hiding. I make my living, get free travel, hotels, guides, food, and other luxuries AROUND the world, I get invited on media trips to places like Israel and Palestine and Turkey, big game hunts, international fishing trips, and opening season bird hunts by brushing shoulders with people who value my reporting skills, and pretty much think I'm a nice guy and someone of value to promote their cause. Now you're dissing me because I use my best marketing skills to cultivate those relationships?

His methods include contacting sites such as to see if he can track the email directly to the owner, and if that doesn’t work, he gets on the phone and starts calling seeking further information on the person posting the Crookston Daily Times Guestbook. Astute or creepy? Apparently one either behaves themself on the CDT Guestbook or watch out! John may get, or shall we say, out you!

MY METHODS? MY METHODS? WOW that's beyond laughable. I was trying to show the typical internet user who might not be exposed to how full of holes the internet is, just how easy it is to do some research. As far as contacting networksolutions, I talk to them EVERY DAY about business as we have over 200 client websites hosted with them, and several ecommerce sites, but I didn't contact them about this, ALL I did was go to and click on the WHOIS button and put in a domain name and clicked SUBMIT. It's really easy, you should try it yourself. You can find out a LOT about a web site, OR an email address. By the way, the person who claimed to be Jan Chrom and their email are booth SPOOFED.

It's free and open to ANYONE. So I would hardly call that subversive. As to the particular entry in the Crookston Times Guestbook that I was making the example about, you'll see that the person said some nice things about me and I was looking for them to thank them. See that's what we do in a civil society. You should try it sometime it gives you a good feeling in that place in your chest where your heart lies! AS for "behaving yourself on the CDTGB," I can't imagine why you think I'm somehow policing the place. I'm sure the editorial staff at the Times would heartily disagree with you! There have been thousands of posts there and I've only responded to the ones that either make reference to me, my websites or are (in my opinion) unfairly attaching the good name of our town. I think that's an open option for me to do, if not, please show me where the Times is asking us not to do that.

You might even expect a phone call from him, if he can find you.
What might you think is really going on here? Think about it. What is it John Reitmeier is really trying to achieve? I would say his goal is to, single handily, shut down the CDT Guestbook. How so? Well if you use your real email address and real name, John will be in contact with you (no kidding). And if you don’t, and you post anonymously, both the editor of the Times and Reitmeier, Lori Wagner (her opinion counts too) and their supportive group, have all said you’re a coward.

SEE now you're doing the old political thing, trying to drag more people into the issue than is either relevant or accurate. Now you've even included Mike (Times Editor) in the mix. By the way were you missing the day in grammar school when we learned that 4 items don't count as "both?" I can only speak for me, and I stand on what I have said. Hiding behind the internet and shouting out things as are said there is bordering on immoral. As to what the others have said, you'll have to take that up with them. I don't think, have never though, nor have I ever suggested that the Guestbook should be taken down. Your paranoia runs deep grasshopper!

However just read through the of and do you come away feeling John Reitmeier is a nurturer, a uplifting positive in his soul type, or does he seem denigrating, or as if he belittles others? You decide.

WOW thanks for the compliment! If you can't see the humor in what I post, and if you can't see the fun in the wordology that I use, then go for the criticism if it makes you happy! Cause that's my goal, I want to live in a happy world. If I have to get my shoes a little dirty to head towards that goal then I think it's worth it. Why do you just want to muck about all the time. There really is sunshine and warmth all around, open your heart and your mind to it!

Oh, and ask yourself why so many posted on CDT guestbook that should be avoided. Why? So there be no forum where uncensored comments might be posted in Crookston or that centrists views not be heard.

Gee, now you'r claiming that you're a centrist? With words like you use? Why don't you identify yourself so we can have a legitimate back and forth discussion about the pros and cons of living here? That is your beef right? That you don't think this is a very good place to live and you're upset when others disagree with you? But if we had an actual meeting, a live in the flesh forum, would you come? Would you speak your mind? Or do you want to keep hiding in the shadows and slinging mud when good hearted, well meaning people try to uplift and make this an even better place? My name is John Reitmeier and I'm proud of the city that I live in and I'm not going to be silent about it anymore!