Thursday, August 30, 2007

Nexus Caught Masterabating?

If Nexus wasn't so damn irritating, this situation might even be funny.

Yep. I can almost see the humor in it.... almost.

Nexus: the masterliars, the mastercons, the masterabaters...

Here's the deal... Nexus doesn't qualify as a charity, according to the State of Minnesota Department of Revenue. They don't qualify for property tax exempt status. Period. They have been rejected in Mower County, Crow Wing County, and now also in Mille Lacs County. Denied. Denied. Denied.

So what do these cheeky monkeys do?
They turn right around and
apply for Tax Abatement!
(What part of "no" don't they understand?)

The joke is, they don't qualify for that either. But what a slap in the face to our County Assessor. She understands "no". She said "no" to Nexus. They are ignoring her authority. "Dissing" her. And they are "dissing" all of us too. You included. Because rules don't apply to Nexus. They do what they want and fuck over the rest of us..... I mean - as if they didn't have a conscience??? Horrible.

There's already some information on tax abatement on the Mille Lacs News, which I recommend you read. We anticipated that - even though they promised to leave the state if they didn't get property tax EXEMPTION - they would take a shot at tax abatement. How did we know this?

Because Nexus lies. Nexus won't take no for an answer. Nexus is a bully. Nexus cheats. Nexus is a spoiled child. Wah wah wah. Face it. Nexus sucks.

This multi-million dollar company wants YOU, me, and the family dog to pay taxes - but they think the world owes THEM a living.... Well guess what. We are already paying their high bucker corporate salaries with the taxes we already pay. (Where did you think D'Angelo's annual $267,000 came from?) I say enough already! I'm sick of supporting this For-Profit Non-charity... Who donates to Nexus? Nexus "donates" to itself and claims itself a charity! I don't know if that's even legal. [please read Robbing Peter to Pay Paul on this blog] Why can't they pay their fair share? Nexus wants its cake and eat it too. Nexus wants your cake and eat it too. Nexus wants everybody's cake and eat it too. Nexus wants ALL the cake. And yet, it gives nothing but crumbs back to the community, and that, begrudgingly.



What a bunch of tapeworms.


Personally, I'm indignant at their declaration of entitlement. Like we owe them tax abatement... Dream on! We owe Nexus NOTHING. And what about all of the other businesses in town. Where is THEIR abatement? Why can't I have an abatement? I'm a sweet person. I deserve tax abatement. Yesterday I dropped ten dollars on the floor, picked it back up, and claimed it as a donation. So I should qualify as a charity too, don't you think? Let's all get abatements and none of us pay taxes. That's an idea. Or better yet, let's let Nexus subsidize our lives for a change. Tit for Tat. (no pun intended)
Nexus: The Takers. The Users. The Liars.

WHY?! Folks, they have quite a racket going for themselves and this town has been aiding and abetting for 17 years. Talk about being bamboozled!

Do you think our County Commissioners are going to fall into the Evil Trap that Nexus has set for them and actually be foolish enough to grant their bogus tax abatement? Oh fer chrissake I hope they're smarter than that. Nexus is soooo good at playing people. I know for a fact that they've been working on the Commissioners. (sigh) Maybe we should give our elected officials a call, tell them that if Nexus gets tax abatement, we all should.

Tax abatement is a quick fix that doesn't work in the long run. Oh, I'm sure the lie sounds pretty, sliding off that silver-tongued devil D'Angelo and slithering through City Hall. Don't let him fool you. Don't let anyone fool you anymore. Tax abatement has been coming back to haunt communities who've unfortunately tried using this method to retain businesses. It doesn't work. Who does it hurt? You, me, and the family dog.

Okay. Not the dog. But it hurts us TAXPAYERS! (Including, by the way, the County Commissioners themselves, whom I assume pay taxes. No, the County Commissioners should be as outraged at this vile Nexus corporation as we are. I'm outraged. Aren't you?

Jim D'Angelo was quoted in the other newspaper as saying that if they don't get tax abatement, (drum roll) Nexus will leave the area.
Sound familiar?

Gawd how that man lies.

LEAVE! JUST GO ALREADY!!!!!!!!! Goodbye.... Farewell.... Tschus. Auf weidersehen, Ciao, Au revoir, So long, Sayonara, Adios, Arrivederci, Do Svidanja... FARVEL fer chrissake. Geez. Just GO!

Like a bad guest whose worn out their welcome long before midnight, Nexus won't leave. They actually think we want them here. We don't. D'Angelo must be deluded. At least, he is ignoring the Petition against Nexus. You know, the one that says: WE DON'T WANT NEXUS HERE!

Maybe if they contributed to our community, treated us with some respect, GAVE a little back, didn't leave the lid up and didn't shit on the rug.... AND IF NEXUS WOULD JUST PAY ITS FRICKIN' TAXES...
But Nexus doesn't want to waste any of its over a million dollars in PROFITS on anything as mundane as taxes. Especially with the price of country club dues and green fees these days...
And of course, there's that 10 million dollar facility they are building in a swamp. (Now, is that good business? Building in wetlands?) Maroons.

I'd advise the County Commissioners: Don't EVEN consider tax abatement for Nexus; and I'd tell them not to worry. Nexus won't leave. No. They won't. There's nothing you can do to MAKE them leave. Because.....


Monday, August 27, 2007

40 Days and 40 Nights

I've been praying for a flood. Well, not just a flood exactly, but The Flood. You know, the one that weeds out the bad people... I'm pondering ark designs as we speak. Each day I pray that God will hear my prayer, take notice, comprehend the extent of the need and come to Onamia to do His thing. I should emphasize the severity of the situation by noting that despite all of my prayerage, I'm an Atheist.

Have you looked at this week's poll? (On the panel to your right...) It says "Onamia should be geared towards..." and with one day left to vote, 54% have answered "sex offenders"! Aren't these people TOO STUPID to live??? The poll doesn't even refer to the Mille Lacs Academy. But poll voters chose SEX OFFENDERS over everything else, including families, and better schools. Onamians must really be kinky.

Well, I bring you deviant devils tidings of great joy. There are thousands of hardcore predatory sex offenders that will flock to the area once they learn they are welcomed here. (Some of them who prefer boys will likely get jobs at the academy...) That the town is actually gearing itself towards embracing their needs... Wow. That should certainly liven things up on Saturday nights...

I'll tell you why I'm an Atheist. Its not, necessarily that I believe there is no god. I'm just disappointed in Him. Talk about incompetence! Just look at the terrible flooding in southern Minnesota last week. I'm pretty sure God was aiming for Onamia - but missed. (sigh)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Brass Tacks

Do you want to save this town? I mean, really? Or do you just want to use Onamia to put a few bucks in your pocket before you move on? Like a tornado, leaving death and destruction in your wake... Do you actually care about the town, or do you only care about yourself IN THE MOMENT? Because, I can tell you upfront - sex offenders and industrial parks - DUMB IDEAS, that is, if you want to SAVE the town of Onamia. Great ideas if you want to kill the town.

I've been digging around in this unholy muck for four months. And I can't believe some of the stupidity I've witnessed. First of all, people are looking for quick fixes without having long term goals, long range plans. Its the old Tortoise and the Hare story. Changes have to be made, yes. The biggest change must be in WHO is making the changes. Right now the men controlling what happens in this town are self-serving, greedy and short-sighted with junior high mentality. Do you think they have YOUR best interest at heart? Do you think they are doing what's best for Onamia?

Here is one Universal Truth that I hope you'll pull your heads out of your asses so that you can listen and try to understand. Are you ready? Repeat after me:


So, if you have a sex offender institution as a focal point in your small town, you are not going to attract the kind of people that makes a town stable and safe and prosperous. Think about it. No normal, sane person will want to move into an area where their kids will be going to school with sex offenders. PERIOD! Why do you think so many GOOD people have moved away since Nexus arrived in Onamia? I've seen it. Nexus was the beginning of the end then and now. No normal, sane person wants to live with sex offenders.

Let's talk about the school for a minute... Why do you think that Onamia's best and brightest are opting to go to school out of the city? Why go to Milaca or Pierz? Onamia doesn't have a Gifted Program in the highschool. They have SEX OFFENDERS. And of course, since the Mille Lacs Academy also has a program for individuals with low IQs, there you go: the school caters to the bottom of the students' abilities. Not the top. If you want to improve the school, get rid of the SEX OFFENDERS. Invest in the cream floating on top - before it evaporates. You are investing in the Paul Knutsons, the Dustin Hoiums, the Larry Blacks... Let somebody else deal with them - if you love Onamia. And if you want to really improve the school, get a school superintendent who has some committment to QUALITY instead of quantity; one who cares about education more than about money. Its pretty basic, people.

Industry in Onamia? Bad idea. Why? Because you aren't using the specialness that the town has to offer. You are robbing Onamia of it's uniqueness. You want industrial park? Head to Milaca with Heggie's. You want to save the town of Onamia? If you haven't got your heads out of your asses yet, do it now. Repeat after me: AN INDUSTRIAL PARK WILL KILL THE TOWN!

This town isn't set up to "grow". There's no place to grow into. At least that is what I've been hearing. Its a matter of geography and geology. You can't grow east - swamp.... You can't grow north - swamp. You can't grow south - swamp. AND you can't grow west - swamp. WE LIVE IN A SWAMP, PEOPLE! fer chrissake!

So, if physical growth is limited, how do you save the town? Simple. You take your assets and you IMPROVE upon what already exists!

What does Onamia have that other small towns don't have? (I mean, besides a hundred sex offenders...) How about the HOSPITAL? How about ASSISTED LIVING? How about fishing ? recreation? How about Lake Onamia? How about the Rum River? Kathio State Park? the Soo Line Trail? How about its just a few miles to Lake Mille Lacs? And how about LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION?

Its 40 minutes to Brainerd. 40 minutes to Little Falls. An hour to St. Cloud. And about 90 miles to the Twin Cities. I have worked and commuted in each of these cities. I have shopped in each of these cities. Onamia is CENTRALLY LOCATED. But who wants to come to Onamia the way it is now? Even most of the MLA employees know better than to live here.
You have been trying to attract people from these cities to come and work in Onamia, i.e. sex offender facility and upcoming industrial park. You're trying to get them to move here for those jobs. You're building cheap housing for them? Well, folks, if that's what you're thinking, you HAVE IT BACKWARDS! What will save the town is to improve the living conditions here so that people will want to live and work here. You need to have GOOD people in NICE neighborhoods who possibly commute to OTHER PLACES for jobs, but come HOME TO SPEND THEIR MONEY!


Don't think we need more cheap housing. That's stupid. There are already so many places for sale in the area that aren't getting sold. I wish somebody would buy Mark Loch's house so he'd leave town... And Centennial Estates is a joke. Whose idea was that anyway? Mr. Shit-For-Brains, the man of many hats... Wasted such a nice lot right across from the lake. Geez. Ugly, ugly, ugly. If you allow these people (the Onamia City Council, who ARE the current planners) to continue with their ill-conceived... conceptions... you might as well FORGET ABOUT IT!


Do you know what you need to save the town? You need to make it livable. The town needs to be self-contained. That means you need TWO GOOD grocery stores. TWO. Not one poor excuse of a grocery store with rip-off prices and limited selections. And if you can't get two, at least have one good one where prices are reasonable and the quality is decent. I've shopped there for all of these years because of convenience, but since I got mad at the town and shop in Brainerd or St. Cloud, even with the price of gas (which we no longer buy in town either) we SAVE A LOT OF MONEY by shopping out of town.

That's ass backwards. You need to make Onamia the place to shop for all of your family's needs. You need to make the town self-sufficient. And you need friendly service with a smile. (sigh)

You need a LUMBER YARD where you can get quality building supplies. Hardware that isn't outrageously over-priced. A gas station/garage. A feed and farm store. A DENTIST! A variety store with some affordable clothing... A competent pharmacy that doesn't short you on pills or try to poison you with their mistakes.
Aw Geez... When you build your Wal*Mart, will ya please put it on the Crosier property next to the ridiculous supper club (which we DON'T need. Right. More liquor. Keep 'em drunk. Doesn't Officer Bob have enough to keep him busy? Whose dumb idea was that?) Another eating establishment.... I noticed the other day that Scooter's didn't make it and has closed. Is Pizza Plus still operating? So does it make sense to build a supper club in Onamia? It will probably do okay at first while curious locals take a look-see, but I predict it will end up closing like that one just north of town did.... What was it's name again? Then there will be another vacant building to verify: yep, that supper club was a stupid idea....

So.... look at where the town is going. Is that what you want? Drunks and sex offenders? Kids with learning problems, drug problems... meth labs... High prices... Poor quality... Limited products... Ugly, cheap housing for unskilled laborers... You know something? That's what you're getting. That's what you've got. And perhaps, that's what you deserve.


Go ahead and continue the way you're going.

Yeah... Build the industrial park. Stick in another trailer park or two while you're at it. Cram in as many bars as is legally possible. Why not move the business away from the highway so that nobody can find them? Spend your money on the sex offenders and ignore the bright, promising students in the town. Give Nexus tax abatement so that YOUR taxes will go up and the town will lose the benefit of their tax money. REEEEEEAL SMART, people.

Make sure you ignore the fact that a lot of nice, well-to-do retirement aged folks from the cities would love to live in a charming little town with good health care, a hospital, and close to good fishing. These good people would be good for the community - they're the generous kind that volunteer to help out their neighborhoods..... but they don't want to live with sex offenders. No normal, sane DECENT person does.

But if these retirement-aged good people DID move into the community, they would need people to cater to their needs and desires - i.e. medical and recreational, etc. And that means (drum roll) JOBS. And without the sex offenders to keep people away, THEN GOOD, DECENT NORMAL, SANE PEOPLE would want to live here. The younger crowd would move here for those new jobs, bringing their families to shop in Onamia's good stores (Service with a SMILE), and enroll their bright children in Onamia's superior school....

Need time to think about it?
You don't have it.

If you don't do something RIGHT NOW to stop the building of this horrendously HUGE footprint that Nexus is imposing on Onamia, it will be too late.

Once this is built, it cannot be unbuilt.

Stopping it now will buy the town some time to get it together. This act of desperation - keeping the sex offenders here - is a GIANT MISTAKE. But if you don't stop them, nobody will. It will take more than our little neighborhood over here in Bradbury Township to save your town. It will take YOU and the people of Onamia. Get your heads out of your asses now! (I'm sorry if that offends you.... but you HAVE to get going if you want to save this town!)


Meanwhile.... I'm still looking at the real estate classifieds........ I don't want to live with sex offenders. Does that mean I'm normal and sane? Cool.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Yesterday I attended the Onamia City Council Special Meeting. I've been going to these meetings ever since Onamia invaded Bradbury Township with this Nexus project. As you know, there are four council members: Bill Hill, Bob Mickus, Mark Loch, and Jerome Kryzer, plus Mayor Larry Milton, of course. Not a one of them looks me in the eye, says 'hello', or tries to understand our point of view. Nope. Never has, probably never will. Not a one of them is man enough.

They pretend I'm invisible. I am too unimportant to acknowledge. In fact, they take pains to avoid interacting with me at all. Very disrespectful, especially considering what they are doing to me and my family. But these are arrogant, self-centered men. I don't know if they are 'evil'. It's more that they are just weak and greedy assholes. They probably don't even realize it.

Larry Milton did make brief eye contact a couple of months ago, when he wanted me to know he was directing his comment at me, I guess. I once caught Jerome looking at me, but when our eyes met, he quickly looked away. Hill used to stare at his hands, red-faced in what I hoped was shame. But he got over that. He still doesn't look at me though. Mickus just glares anywhere but directly into my eyes. Loch mostly stares straight ahead, a dull, rather stupid look on his face.

So yesterday, I turned to Poncho and said, "They still can't look me in the eye," at which point Mark Loch IMMEDIATELY made direct eye contact, and let me tell you, if looks could kill, I'd be dead now. This was the proof I needed that while they might not SEE me, they can hear me. (So, of course I used the F word loud enough to hopefully get it on tape - for the record if it do ya). Later, Larry gave me a good 3 second glare. Does this mean things are improving? Somehow, I doubt it.

The mayor and the city council hate me. Don't think I'm naive, Dear Reader; after the mayhem I've been causing, I can see why they do. Now. It's perfectly understandable. But ever so sad, don't you think? It's so junior high... Very childish. Why can't they look me in the eye? Why can't they have an adult conversation with me? How about an ounce of respect? These are men with goals, but without principles.

But I'd like to bring you back to the beginning of this Nexus ordeal. These "city leaders" displayed their contempt for me BEFORE I'd done anything to deserve it. Before I stood up against them to defend myself.


Imagine you're relaxing at home, watching a little Wheel of Fortune when suddenly you hear the back door crash open. Someone's in your house! You react to the commotion by running to your kitchen - where you find a bunch of people, some familiar, some strangers - opening cans of the ugliest pink paint you ever saw. "What are you doing?" you ask in confusion. "Why are you here?" "It was in the paper," one of them states matter o' fact. An older man with a mustache turns to a younger man and smirks. The other winks back. A private joke. But WHAT is the joke?

Meanwhile, another guy has begun to paint your refrigerator pink! You turn to him, horrified. "Stop!" you plead. "I don't want you to paint my refrigerator pink!"

"It's a Done Deal. There's nothing you can do about it," he says with a used car salesman's grin on his friendly face. "Besides," he says, reloading his brush, dripping globs of pink on your clean floor, "I'm going to paint my own refrigerator pink too. So what's your problem?"
"Paint your own damn refrigerator anything you like," you snap. "But leave MINE alone! I'm not into Pepto-Bismal!"

Still unable to believe that this is actually happening, you turn to a woman who is holding a large can of paint for a bald man who is standing on your chair, slathering the pink goo onto your beautiful natural wood cupboards. "Please stop!" But she turns on you with a nasty glare while he paints harder, faster. "I'm just doing my job," she shouts viciously. "Yep. It's nothing personal. Just business," he says to you, solemnly. "Slipped another one by!" he says to her, chuckling. They smile at each other, knowingly. He keeps painting.

Suddenly, you realize that things are REALLY out of control. It seems nothing can stop these people from ruining your kitchen! Your protests are completely for nought. Standing there, you helplessly wonder if they will stop at the doorway or do they intend to paint the entire interior of your house? What a nightmare!
"Okay! I've had enough of this!" you shout, angrily. "This is MY house! I want you to stop your stupid painting and GO AWAY!"

"What an idiot," the mustached man says, rolling his eyes. "Yeah, an IDIOT!" mimics his younger partner. They giggle like schoolboys.

"It's for the good of the community," says the one painting the floor. You notice he's wearing a suit. How peculiar, you think. "We WILL be painting this neighborhood," he says loftily. "We will leave but a small footprint." You notice he's painting himself into a corner. A lot of footprints are in the future.

You feel panic. How can you stop these mad painters? You'd call the cops. Really you would. But you realize that the guy painting your stove in slow lazy strokes IS the cop! Pink paint has drizzled down his shirt like pink ketchup. It makes you recoil in disgust.

"GO AWAY AND LEAVE ME ALONE!" you scream hysterically.

Then they all turn on you. "You blindsided the City!" a banshee screams. "You're an IDIOT, an IDIOT," the younger man spits. "You just don't want a pink kitchen!" someone accuses. "You should die!" "If you don't like it, get out of your house!"

"Oh gawd," you moan. "What have I done to deserve this?"


Sounds crazy, doesn't it? Well, it FEELS crazy. I can't explain why the city council BEGAN with such hostility. It feels so personal. But they've treated all of us in the neighborhood with common disrespect and disregard. At least they treat ALL of us with disdain... Mickus and Loch do refer to us as "the Bradbury Idiots." WHY? Because we don't want to live amongst sex offenders? Sounds pretty SMART to me!

Yes, I've been pretty nasty myself. But I've just been telling it like it is. They've been exposed. Caught in their shennanigans. Of course they are angry. But perhaps they should consider that things could be worse. Some people might talk about more personal things.... like who has cheated on his wife, who has a drinking problem, etc., etc. Stuff like that. I'd rather not get personal. I just want Nexus to go away.
Four months ago, if you had told me that anyone would treat me with such a lack of respect, I would not have believed you. I was a college professor before I retired. Now I'm referred to as a "Bradbury Idiot" while they steamroll me. Real grown up stuff, huh. Are my feelings hurt? I could buck up and say, "Nah! Consider the source." But EVERYTHING about this Nexus thing has hurt.

But don't worry. Hannabelle can HANDLE it! Four months ago, if you had told me that I could be this nasty, I would not have believed you. Moi? Certainment pas. But I kind of feel like, you know, I'm just warming up... Who knows? Maybe Hannabelle is a lot like Carrie - at the prom.

Monday, August 20, 2007

What Do You Call 100 Dead Lawyers....

There is an article in the Mille Lacs News this week that talks about a rumor that if Nexus doesn't get property tax exemption, they will sue the county. I doubt that they will. They don't have any grounds. Besides, Jim D'Angelo has said that if they don't get property tax exemption, Nexus will be leaving the state of Minnesota. I'd say to him, if he is a man of his word, that is, "Have a nice trip. Don't forget to write..."

But speaking of grounds for law suits, the property owners in the area surrounding the Bye/Grosslein hay field have plenty of reasons to sue - almost a million dollars of them - in the form of LOST PROPERTY VALUES. That's a lot of grounds when you add them up. Of course, if Nexus moves out of the area, this is a moot point. End of discussion. Life goes back to normal. But if D'Angelo builds on the 38 acres, well, Wow-ee-oh-boy! Just think about what's going to hit the fan!

The question is, who is responsible for our losses? Who do we sue?

I should preface all of this by telling you that we in the Neighborhood have already spoken to four real estate appraisers. There have been no tidings of great joy for us. Its all because of this sex offender facility. An appraiser I spoke with actually physically cringed when I explained our situation. He made a face, shook his head and looked at me with such sympathy, it scared me. "Is it THAT bad?" I asked. "Worse than you think," he said sadly. His wife, a realtor herself, added sardonically, "You won't have to worry about lost property values though. You won't be able to sell it." (Isn't that what I've been saying?) Nobody wants to live by them.

Obviously, it isn't our fault. We don't want the sex offenders next door. Didn't ask for this. Yet, we will incur huge financial damages.

Who should we sue to recover our losses?

Well, first there is Nexus. After all, it is their institution which is the cause of our dilema. This corporation could certainly afford to cover our damages. But then again, they aren't even willing to fulfill their tax obligation. They've shown no concern for our well-being so far. I doubt if they will reimburse us for the damages they cause. But they could...

The Mille Lacs Academy takes in well over $22,000 per day in county taxpayer money for the sex offenders. This non-profit company makes over a million dollars in profits per year. And need I remind you that Nexus had a budget of 38 million dollars last year? And for being such Big-Buckers, they only spend a small drop in the community Bucket; a lousy two hundred thousand, ( far less than CEO D'Angelo's sweet salary...) The question is, will Nexus own up to their responsibility? I don't see it coming. They have the funds to hire fancy corporate lawyers, whereas we are just your average joes, trying to keep our heads above water. Still, if push comes to shove (and Nexus is already a proven pusher), what choice do we have? We have to defend ourselves, don't we?

Next we have the City of Onamia, the entity responsible for choosing the faulty location and facilitating the bum deal which is the cause of our dilema. Certainly there is no question that the city should reimburse us for damages. But can they? I mean, do they have the nearly one million dollars to pay the affected property owners? The individuals responsible are: Mayor Larry Milton, Bill Hill Jr., Mark Loch, Bob Mickus, and Jerome Kryzer. City clerk Kathleen McCullum has also done her share in this "project". Can the land owners also sue these individuals who caused the drastic drop in property values? I don't know. I certainly hope that it never gets to the point where I have to find out.

Of course, WE might have grounds to sue not only Mille Lacs County, but ALL of the counties where the sex offenders originally came from. These juveniles are not OUR problem. Why should we lose our property values because some teenager in Scott County molested a toddler? WE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT! So why should we be penalized? Would you stand idly by while somebody screwed you out of maybe $50,000? $80,000? (I'd be hollering over a buck ninety eight, just out of principle...) Maybe if all of us sued all of the counties who have dumped their problems in OUR community, someone would say "Enough is enough!"

I was reading an Internet message board the other day about this stuff. People from all over the country were discussing their own damaged property values due to their local sex offenders. One guy in New Hampshire had been trying to sell his house for a year without success. After dropping the asking price down to the rock-bottom-get-this-white-elephant-unloaded range, he finally received an offer. It was $75,000 LESS than minimum! There was ONE sex offender in his neighborhood. We are expecting 94.

Finally, there is the seller of the 38 acres - the man who is solely responsible for our situation. He's an odd duck. Although I knew his dad, the first time I talked to the seller was last fall. He actually telephoned me right before the last election, campaigning for the Bush side. (Hmmm. Talk about telephone harassment!) Yes, he was a man on a mission. Anyway, while trying to convince me to vote his way, (Cold Day in Hell), we had quite a political discussion. He actually (and I'm not making this up, I mean, who could???) told me that out in California, they are teaching homosexuality in the schools. No kidding. He believes that! He was very concerned that the democrats are promoting homosexuality, and if they won the election, our Onamia school would follow in California's footsteps; begin instructing our students on how to be a homosexual... and pretty soon all of our kids will turn gay. Nevermind the homophobia. Is this kind of thinking even rational?

Like I said, I'm not making this up. (If you know him, you're probably nodding your head right now.) He went on to rant about the gay marriage issue and brought in the Bible to support his viewpoint. Although we discussed at length, I eventually realized that any attempt to reason with this stubborn, sick individual was a lost cause. I said my farewell, wrote him off as a fanatical Door Knob and went back to watching bull riding with my family. Yes. We are PBR fans.

Who would ever in a million years think that just a few months later, this delusional homophobic Door Knob would welcome 94 sex offenders, many of them homosexuals who may have themselves been convicted of molesting innocent little boys - into his own neighborhood??? so that they can frollick in his dad's woods like 4 H-ers??? Be honest. Don't you think this is the strangest thing you've ever heard? It's pretty close to the top of my Weird Shit List. I've been puzzling about this for months. How could THIS nut be the one stealing my happiness? It's just crazy!

This religiously obsessive, homophobic oddball says "Its not about the money," although he probably didn't complain too much about selling the 38 acres for far more than fair market value, (nor did I hear he offered to donate the land for those leaf-raking boys who are so well behaved in church). This situation is so bizarre! But I kind of have to laugh - granted with perhaps a wee bit too much high-pitched hysteria than would normally be deemed appropriate - when I think about what he's done. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. What in the world was he thinking???

This dweeb still resides on his parents' old farmstead. With the proximity of his home to the Nexus site, HE HAS CAUSED HIS OWN PROPERTY VALUE TO DROP BY 17% ON HIS OWN HOUSE AND ALL OF HIS REMAINING LAND!!!

Call me cold-hearted, if you must. But this sort of tickles me. At least there is some semblance of poetic justice in this. The joke's on him. I mean, if Nexus stays and we are forced to enter the realm of court rooms and lengthy, expensive legal battles, who is this Ding-Dong going to sue for the loss of his property values?


Question: What do you call 100 dead lawyers at the bottom of Lake Onamia?

Answer: Just the beginning.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Guess What's Going On!

What do you want to talk about today? Property values? Public corruption? Taxes again? Sounds a little dull....
I know! Let's play a game! It's called,
"Guess What's Going On."

Round 1.

Here are your clues:

Steve Bye owned 38 acres in Bradbury Township. Even though he didn't live on the land, (or even in the same township) and there were no buildings on the property, (not even a dog house), Steve was able to claim the 38 acres as Homesteaded on his property taxes. What he paid in property taxes for that land didn't amount to a hill of beans. Only a load or two of gravel. Nobody paid much attention.

About seven years ago, Steve sold the property to his sister Avis and her husband Marvin Grosslein. They live in Massachusetts. When you sell your homesteaded property in Mille Lacs County, you have thirty days to report the sale to the county assessor. There was no report of this sale, therefore no change in the property's status. However, the Grossleins are indeed acknowledged as the owners of the property in the public records. Steve is listed as the taxpayer for the land.

Oddly enough, the Grossleins claim to share the same address as Steve. As if they actually live with him in Onamia. They don't. They have lived in Massachusetts for a long, long time. In fact, they claim Homestead in Massachusetts. They also claim Homestead in Minnesota. Legally, you can only claim ONE, not both. (You can't be in more than one place at the same time.) Non-homestead taxes amount to more than a couple of loads of gravel. Even more than a hill of beans. A lot more.

An error? An oversight?

Avis Grosslein told me herself, "My brother may not have gone to college, but he knows what he's doing." Maybe he does.

Now it's up to you to:

Guess What's Going On!


Round 2.

Here are your clues:

a. The City of Onamia has entered into a contract to puchase the Bye/Grosslein property for $150,000, three times the estimated market value. The mayor's signature is on the purchase agreement. He was authorized by the city council to pay Steve Bye $1,000 in earnest money. The mayor paid Steve $5,000.

b. The mayor has many buddies. One of them was the only one to bid on 8 acres of city property which was for sale under the stipulation that he build on it within two years. He purchased the 8 acres for about $2,000. That's around $250 per acre. (Steve Bye got approximately $3,900 per acre for his...) Three extra lots were thrown into the deal. Although the mayor's friend never built on the property, and although the two years weren't up yet, and although the land should have reverted back to the city, and although the matter had been brought up and tabled at a city council meeting never to reappear again - the mayor's friend sold the land for around $75,000 less than two years after he paid only $2,000 for it. Yes, from $250 per acre to over $9,000 per acre in less than two years.

c. Another one of the mayor's buddies wanted to sell his land to a guy who wanted to build a new supper club. This property adjoins the Crosier property where the new Nexus facility was slated to be built (before D'Angelo decided there was too much traffic noise in that location and abruptly chose the Grosslein property instead.) That's convenient for the mayor's bud because the new supper club will need a liquor license. This wouldn't normally be a problem - because the city (the mayor) controls liquor licensing in the city limits. One hitch though... The law prohibits having a liquor license within 1000 feet of a correctional institution. No problem. An easy way to circumvent this law might be to move the correctional institution into a residential neighborhood in another township instead, thus allowing your friend to sell his land to the supper club guy who no longer has to worry about getting his liquor license.

d. Yesterday I heard that there's been a brand new black SUV parked at the mayor's house. I wonder if its his...

Guess What's Going On!


Round 3.

Here are your clues:

One sex offender in the neighborhood can drop property values up to 17% and make the property nearly impossible to sell because most people don't want to live near a sex offender. The city of Onamia has cursed us with 94 or more sex offenders. We have no figures to estimate the loss in our property values, but we might assume that if one sex offender is bad, 94 might be 94 times as bad.... But we'll use the 17% figure.

If your property was worth $300,000 before the sex offenders, it will drop to $249,000, a loss of $51,000.

If your property was worth $400,000 before the sex offenders, it will drop to $332,000, a loss of $68,000.

If your property was worth $500,000 before the sex offenders, it will drop to $415,000, a loss of $85,000.

But who would want to buy property next to 94 sex offenders?

One of the mayor's buddies has been looking for a place to build a trailer park. He and the mayor have been spotted driving around our neighborhood, even pulling into people's private driveways and into their yards to take a look around.

Why would they do that?

Guess What's Going On!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Out Damn Spot!

I almost hate to ask this, but... has anyone noticed that I am not a writer? Oh, I basically know my way around the keyboard and I don't begin each post with "It was a dark and stormy night" (although it WAS a dark and stormy night LAST night, so I could probably get away with that one this morning.) No, I don't claim to be a writer. My folks weren't English professors and my sister wasn't an English major. Perhaps I chose to express myself in music because word-writing wasn't my forte, (but more like my mezzo-piano). My grammar sometimes sucks. I'm not clever or eloquent in self-expression despite the mandatory Freshman Creative Writing 101 I took back in 1973. I have, for some reason forgotten how to spell 90. (Is it ninety or is it ninty?) I get my "its" and "it's" mixed up, (but unlike Mr. Clinton, at least I generally know how to define the "it" we're talking about.) Threading words together is quite humbling, but I do the best I can. Its (it's) true that my "pen" may not be "mightier than the sword," (although every now and then my keyboard kicks ass!)

And that's good because right now, there's plenty of ass that needs kicking.

Last night I received a comment from somebody who calls themself "Tired of the Whining." And after my flippant reply to the comment, in which I acknowledged (if not defended) my whinage, I thought perhaps he has a point. Maybe I'm coming across all wrong. Hannabelle is not usually a whiner. In my last post, I did whine that other people have Happy Blogs when I'm stuck writing about the horrible situation facing my neighborhood. Poor me. Yep. I guess you could get Tired of the Whining. Of course, when you change your name to Fed Up With The Whining, you don't have to come back and read my blog now, do ya? On the other hand, I'm trapped here. I can't "switch" channels and make it all go away. Despite my objections, the sex offenders are still coming. (No pun intended).

Personally, this has been the most emotional time of my entire life. Why? you ask. Why don't you just "get over it" and accept your fate? you ask. Why don't you quit your whining and get on with your life? you ask.

Because I am me. I'm not one of those who voted for Bush because "he's a Godly man". In fact, I didn't vote for Bush at all. I hate what he's done to this country. I despise how We, the People have changed in the past few years. Not only are our Constitutional rights being snatched away, one by one, by our own government, the People themselves are tossing them away as if we're riding on a float, our rights are beads and this is Mardi Gras in New Orleans! This Onamia Takeover is a fine example of what you can expect from now on, folks. Unless you get your own blog... I stand in defiance of what is wrong. As should we all. Either stand, or just roll over and die. Its your choice.

Perhaps this Homeland Security deal isn't an international thing. Just look over your shoulder and smile at your Big Brother.

Whether or not the pud-pullers move in, my life in Onamia is over. I realized that on April 18. I don't want to stay in this community any more. Too many ishy people. But circumstances also prevent me from leaving. Besides, with the sex offenders on their way, my property values will drop tremendously (if I could even find a buyer). How will I be able to replace my home? Why SHOULD I?

Okay. I do get emotional. Wouldn't you? Maybe not. But, I'm not actually whining, and I apologize if it sounds like I am. I wish I was a better wordsmith.

How about an analogy? Let's talk about dogs for a minute. I love dogs. Go ahead and compare Hannabelle to a dog. I'd be honored.

Dog #1. Have you ever heard your new puppy whining because he is scared of The Cat, who has puffed herself up to look big and mean? Hannabelle is not afraid of big puffy cats.

Dog #2. Have you ever seen a waggy-tail dog express submission to their master by whining, squatting and peeing? Get real. Hannabelle squats and pees for no one.

Dog #3. Some dogs whine desperately while begging for treats. Hannabelle whines not. And stick your treats where the sun don't shine.

Dog #4. Now, if a dog gets his leg caught in a trap, not only does he whine in agony, he might actually snap and bite. We're getting warmer. Hannabelle is trapped and in pain.

Dog #5. But, for a moment, think about how a guard dog (perhaps a Doberman) reacts to an intruder who is trying to infiltrate the "estate". Does she whine? No. She barks and barks and barks! If the intruder doesn't heed the warning, she growls and snarls, bares her teeth. If the intruder is smart, he'll back off in a hurry and go elsewhere to steal. This dog protects the property against any would-be thieves. And she is relentless in her cause.

So, if I have come across as a whining, squatting, peeing pup, I take full responsibility as an amature writer who isn't very gifted with words. When I get a comment from someone who calls themself "Tired of the Barking, Growling, Snarling, Teeth-baring, and Biting", I will be pleased to note the improvement of my writing skills. (Or should that be: improvement in my writing skills. Damn.)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Doomed if You Do, Doomed if You Don't

I'm missing a couple of hecklers here. Does anyone know when Local Yocal is getting out of rehab? How long is Leland in jail for this time?
I'm crabby this morning. I've been spending my "summer vacation" writing about how I'm spending my summer vacation. I read some other people's blogs the other day. Somebody is going to the emerald green forests of Canada to experience joyfullness. Someone else is packing for an exciting adventure in Australia. Happy blogs. I'd be thrilled to just spend some time sitting by the pond, but I'm stuck with sex offenders. And, of course, there's that factor of being ostracized daily. Its nice to be loved...
I like to think I can take criticism (but may be a tad self-deluded in that regard), however the intensity of the Hannabelle-bashing is starting to piss me off.
You probably know by now that I don't want the sex offenders moving into my neighborhood. How does that make me a bad person? If you look around the country, you'll find that people like me are definitely in the majority. I am not unique. Jim D'Angelo is correct when he says that nobody wants to live by them. Yet, some of the Onamians claim that they would love to have them next door, which would be cool except THEY AREN'T FOLLOWING THROUGH! Please... take them.
So I'm the villain for speaking out against this dirty deal, huh? I sit here minding my own business for thirty years and the minute I complain about 94 sex offenders in my face, in my space, and small town bullies who are trying to intimidate me into being some sort of frightened, cooperative yes-sir-no-sir-3-bags-full-sir sheep - somehow I become the town pariah. Go figure. (Tell me again. Why is everyone "jumping ship" and the town is dying?)
Its perfectly okay for Steve and Loretta Bye to facilitate the sale of the 38 acre Grosslein property for $150,000, over THREE TIMES the estimated market value [oh my god! She's not going to start picking on the BYES, is she? They're such nice people! Very religious. Oh yes, such wonderful neighbors. Oh my god! I think she IS going to pick on them! Oh no! But they are the town heroes! Mr. D'Angelo praised them highly and everyone clapped for them. I read it in the paper. Steve SAID it wasn't about the money! He wanted to save the town. And give those boys a place to frollick. Oh that awful Hannabelle! How can she be so mean? The town will never stand for it! She'll alienate the entire community if she starts picking on that nice old couple.] while lowering property values in the neighborhood by as much as 17% with the building of that facility - and assuring that our properties will be practically unsaleable...
...Unless, perhaps there are some shrewd businessguys in town who might want to take advantage of our dire straits, buy our now worthless properties for cheap cheap cheap and then make a fortune putting double-wides and housing developments on the land we used to call "home".
[I just hate trailers and double-wides, don't you? You betcha I do. No matter what you do, there's just no charm to them. But I heard they were looking to build an industrial park there, I mean, after they get rid of those people over there. Yeah, the greedy bastards! ....Who said that? Who was that?]
I don't know if they are trying to drive people out of the neighborhood. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but that WOULD explain why there's a blind guy whose been driving around our neighborhood, casing our homes, trespassing on people's private property, looking for a place to fly his kite while he's waiting for his disability check to arrive in the mail. [ Ohhhh. Now is that the same man who was trying to buy property next to Nexus? Yes, right next door. And he claimed he wanted to live there? Yes, he said he'd rather build a house in that area there Swamp??? rather than live in his fancy lake home on Mille Lacs. But I thought Hannabelle said that nobody wants to live next to that institution. That's true, but he tried to buy the land right BEFORE the proposed location was announced. .....
..... You don't think he knew about it in advance, do you? And that maybe he was planning to buy the land.... and turn around and sell it to Nexus for three times it's value? Yes. I'm not sure. How would I know? But if he's blind, how can he be driving around? I was wondering that myself. THERE HE IS AGAIN! Who IS that?]
But I'm not going to pick on the Byes - at this time. [Whew! What a relief! They are SUCH nice people! Very religious, you know.] A good friend of mine said, "THREE TIMES what it is worth? Who could blame them! I'd certainly sell for that price.... of course, I wouldn't be stupid enough to stay in the same town!"
Yeah, we had a good laugh about that. But seriously, if we did to the Byes what they did to us, you'd better believe there would be a loud, angry mob coming at us with torches and pitchforks [and extra-large crosses! Oh YOU! teeheehee] "How could you DO that to such a nice old couple, putting sex offenders right next to them!" they'd cry.
But that just goes to show that sometimes you can't win, no matter what. Perhaps if I pretended to be a Christian, Leland and Howdy Doody and John D. and Local Yocal would be defending me instead of defaming me?
[What does she mean? Who is pretending to be a Christian? Shhh. Just ignore her.]
Nah. Rock and a hard place...
It looks like I'm doomed if I do, doomed if I don't.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Thank you!

I'd like to thank you -

dear readers who have expressed so much support for Hannabelle's blog - the Bradbury Buzzz, and also for the Mille Lacs News (which is continuing to grow and might someday be a 'real' online newspaper covering more than sex offenders and dirty politicians.)

I also need to ask you for some help.

It's concerning Tax Abatement. Although Nexus will most surely be (once again) denied property tax exemption, there is talk that they are working on a Tax Abatement deal where they might be awarded the privilege of operating their business in our town TAX FREE for TEN YEARS!!! (How does that make the other businesses in town - the tax paying ones, feel? Wouldn't YOU like a tax abatement too?)

Now, if you've been reading the Mille Lacs News as well as this blog, (see "Robbing Peter to Pay Paul") you know that Nexus has a talent for getting its own way and manipulating things to its own advantage. And for some incomprehensible reason, the town leaders apparently can't seem to find a use for the $125,000 (thereabouts) money Nexus would pay in property taxes to the city each year. (I don't know about you, but could find lots of uses!)

It looks like our generous city leaders just might grant D'Angelo and company a free pass, regardless of how such a large amount of property tax money (over $300,000 total per year) could not only greatly benefit the city and the county, but LOWER YOUR TAXES!

That just doesn't seem fair.

I know that I'll no doubt be busy doing my homework on this tax abatement issue, but I'd sure appreciate some help with it. (Hannabelle's a-tired.) If any of you dear readers are well-versed in this area of tax abatement or TIF tax stuff (Onamia has recently hired lawyers with TIF specialization... hmmm...) or have some insights on this subject, could you please email information to; (and we can sort it out over there). Any letters to the editor can remain anonymous (we understand your concerns about risk, knowing how the Onamia Mafia operates....) but information must be accurate and easily verified.

Anyway, I wouldn't ask if it weren't so important. I'm afraid that Jim and Larry are going to try to "slip another one by" us. Har, har.

But this time, we also need to contact our county commissioners, (our representatives!) who, as we know, have been receiving a lot of pressure from Nexus to give them a free ride. Their telephone numbers are available on the Mille Lacs County website, as well as on the contact page of the Mille Lacs News.

Thanks for your help on this urgent matter. If we don't head 'em off at the pass now, it may soon be A Done Deal There's Nothing You Can Do About.

Tell your friends. Nexus doesn't qualify for a free lunch. They are a multi-million dollar corporation with 38 million dollars per year to play with, and over a million dollars in PROFITS just last year. In fact, adding only four more sex offenders could pay their property taxes for a year. (And there's plenty available...)

Remember: They stay, they pay!


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul.

Has everyone read the stuff on the Mille Lacs News Online about the Nexus property tax disputes? If you haven't, you should.

Now, normally I'm not the kind of gal who enjoys a rip-roaring discussion about taxes. (Yawn). But I find the Nexus situation quite fascinating - worthy of a Grisham novel for sure, should he be interested... It's a tale of intrigue with a wonderful, complex plot.

Let's begin with this: The Mille Lacs Messenger (the official newspaper) reported on more than one occassion, that Nexus is Property Tax Exempt.


This is false information, which they have yet to correct in their paper, leaving everyone who reads that crap to keep on believing that crap. They are misleading us, to say the very least. (Is there some sort of conspiracy, Mr. Grisham?)

If you haven't read the Mille Lacs News (oh for shame!), I'll try to summarize the situation for you. For years, Nexus has been seeking Property Tax Exemption. And they keep getting turned down because they don't qualify under the laws in Minnesota. "So what?" you say... Well, I say "what".

The bottom line is: If Nexus had to pay property taxes on their new 10 million dollar facility, they'd kick back (Oh my! Did I say "kick back"?) well over $300,000 per year into the community. Onamia would receive over $100,000 per year, AND YOUR TAXES WOULD GO DOWN! (Check it out on the Mille Lacs News Property Taxes page or research it yourself if you don't believe them.)

Why doesn't anybody want you to know this?

Why have they continued to mislead you? Always follow the money. I can understand Nexus' motivation. By not paying their property taxes, they would save a heck of a lot of money. But who, besides Nexus, benefits if they don't pay their property taxes? You and I certainly don't benefit. In fact, you and I are already supporting Nexus with our own tax dollars. Its our tax dollars which already subsidize Nexus. (That's how they exist... They live off of us. Kind of parasitic when you think about it.) Why would Mayor Larry Milton and the Onamia City Council continue to lie and mislead the People while pushing for that huge tax exemption for Nexus, especially when that money could benefit the town? It makes no sense... (Enter Mr. Grisham on THAT bit of intrigue...)

If you'll read the letters from the senior appraiser at the Minnesota Department of Revenue, (public information which is available for viewing on the Mille Lacs News Online) you'll find the answers as to WHY Nexus does not qualify for property tax exemption. And here the plot thickens.

Me, Myself, and I

Nexus has split itself into two companies: Nexus Corporation and Nexus Diversified Community Services. Doesn't that sound swell... "Community Services..." Indeed! Both of these branches have the same CEO (Jim D'Angelo), the same CFO (Alan Norby), the same Board of Directors, and the same address at corporate headquarters (in Golden Valley, MN). hmmm...

Part of the property tax exemption requirements for a non-profit organization include CONTRIBUTIONS. Now get this:

Nexus Diversified Community Services donated over $300,000 to Nexus Corporation, and then Nexus Corporation turned around and donated over a million dollars to Nexus Community Services.


But they got caught... Property tax exemption denied, denied, denied.

Nexus' excuse? Nobody else would donate to them.... Check it out. It's true.

Financial masturbation...

Think of it like this: You take fifty cents out of your left pocket and move it into your right pocket. Then you take a dollar out of your right pocket and move it into your left. Then you say: "Look at me! I made a buck and a half today in contributions!"

Does that work for you? I doesn't work for me. It stinks a little, don't you agree? Smells a little "off". What would happen to Joe Citizen if he gave his wife a large "donation" and then tried to write it off on his taxes? Wouldn't they call that (drum roll....) "Tax Fraud"?

Don't ask me. I'm not financially savvy enough to figure out the ins and outs of any such complex, big-money scheme. I'm just a simple country gal. But if one examines some of the available information, one can't help but speculate.

Just think of those fine folks down at "corporate" shuffling all that money from pocket to pocket. They have a 38 million dollar per year budget to play with. Yes, 38 million. AND for a non-profit organization, they sure make huge profits. Over a million dollars in profits last year (that they reported...) Out of all of the juvenile sex offender treatment programs in Minnesota, Nexus is one of, if not THE most expensive. (Another reason they don't qualify for property tax exemption, according to the Minnesota Revenue, is that they charge too much for their "services".)

And think of how convenient it is if one of their pockets makes a little too much profit to continue to be defined as "non-profit". A simple solution: Just move the money to the other pocket for awhile and call it a "contribution".

Now do you see why I'm calling on Grisham? Maybe it's simply a case for the Attorney General or the IRS, but this story has all the makings of a great book or movie. (I just loved the Rainmaker). I'd cast John Lithgow as D'Angelo... I've never met Norby, but I'd cast Malkovich in that role... They both play such good villains.

Now here is an interesting idea... A little "side trip". The senior appraiser at the Minnesota Revenue, (the one Mille Lacs Academy's new Executive Administrator Paul Smith asked all of the employees to call and express your support that Nexus receive property tax exemption), has also indicated that Nexus does not qualify as a CHARITY. hmmm.

Nexus does not qualify as a charity? Wow.

Yet, both Nexus Corporation and Nexus Diversified Community Services (which, I don't need to remind you, is the same pair of pants) are listed on the Minnesota Attorney General's website as a "charity", and those misleading self-contributions are listed as if they were real donations.... from real donators.... Holy Moly! Maybe someone should look into this! Perhaps Nexus is bamboozling more than just the fine folken of Mille Lacs County.

Maybe they don't qualify for ANY tax exemption.

Could the Nexus Corporation be using those poor, troubled boys in some sort of a scheme to make a fortune for D'Angelo and his corporate cronies?

I know that the good employees at the Mille Lacs Academy (and this is said without sarcasm, by the way), are dedicated to the work that they do, and really care about the teenagers they are trying to help. I admire them for that. (They should get paid more too.) But what about Janet Benway, the elite chairperson of the Nexus Board of Directors?

"Janet Benway, CLU, ChFC, CFP, is a senior financial advisor for American Express Financial Advisors in Wayzata, Minnesota. Janet's expertise in financial planning allows her to help her clients achieve their financial objectives, prudently and thoughtfully, through a long-term financial planning relationship."

I got that from the Nexus website, if anyone is wondering.

Sounds like the Chairperson of the Board knows a lot about money. I wonder how much she knows (or cares) about juvenile sex offenders. But one thing is clear.

These financial wizards at Nexus no doubt know a lot when it comes to playing "pocket pool".