Saturday, March 29, 2008

Your Honorless, I Object!

In this Year of Nexus obsession, every morning (and usually several times during the night) without exception, I wake up thinking about the Public Enemies. It makes me squeamish that I may have actually been nightmaring about Larry or Jerome or Bill or ... geez there's a lot of them... Sometimes I recall the horror movies playing in the theater of my slumber. Most times I just wake up to realize "Shit! It wasn't a dream! THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING!!!! EEEEEEEEEEK!" It is so surreal to think that a year ago I was faced with dilemmas like: Should this be a B Flat or a B Natural??? while publishing music on my non-Nexused hard drive. I don't even LISTEN to music anymore, let alone compose it or or play it. My, how life can change by one decision. Because of a retired barber, a grocer, a couple of laboratory rats, a creepy guy in Arizona, and a couple of religious fanatics, I no longer live the Dream.... I live the Nightmare. God bless America....

So this morning was Onamia city attorney Bob Ruppe's turn. Its kind of like the weather. Today's forecast: rain. Tomorrow's forecast: cloudy. Today's fury: Bob Ruppe. Tomorrow's fury: Partly Steve with scattered Janet. (sigh)

A few weeks ago I told Bob Ruppe that "its not personal, Bob". Again, I need to confess my imperfections. I said this in reference to my posts and videos which show the guy looking rather silly and incompetent, which IN MY OPINION, he is. But I said it thinking of when the mayor told me the same thing... We're screwing you over and wrecking your life, but "its not personal." Perhaps he hasn't watched the videos, because Bob was chipper at the time, not realizing that to me, EVERYTHING is HIGHLY personal! So, I was wrong to say it wasn't. I have to cool it with the sarcasm. My fault.
I have a lot of justification to despise the city attorney. From my perspective, there are many, many reasons he should have advised his clients against the Nexus deal on the Bye/Grosslein property. Minnesota Statute 462.357, the Nuisance Law, Spot Zoning, and of course - the Onamia city ordinances being just a few. Instead of advising the city council on how to best COMPLY and FOLLOW the LAW, this attorney has been actively rewriting city ordinances to CIRCUMVENT the law, causing damage to individual citizens.

If you don't think that a 17% drop in your property value isn't damage, think about how you'd feel going out to sunbathe on your deck with 94 sex offenders watching you from their three-story windows next door. How about the family barbecue where just a few feet away, 94 soccer-playing sex offenders are watching.... committing your 8 year old niece's contour to memory, perhaps for a private moment that night... Think about those sleepless nights, tossing and turning beneath the MLA security lights shining in your windows. And think about your beloved Fido getting shot by the cops because he wandered over the line and bit one of the sex offenders who teased him. No fences allowed, remember?

Bob Ruppe has been working hard to make all of these things a reality in my neighborhood. What's it to him? Its just a $120 per hour JOB. Its not like he has to live here with sex offenders. Its not like HE has to be our neighbor and live with our pain. I question his methods and ethics. For instance, he has been writing new rules without having read the old ones. This became apparent when he failed to give citizens proper notification as prescribed by our local ordinances. And how he can write law to allow juvenile sex offenders into a residential neighborhood when MN Statute forbids it, well, it just blows my mind! At $120 per hour, has the city council been spending your tax dollars unwisely? Thousands of dollars wasted on this lawyer's bad advice? Ya'd think.

The most recent outrage in a long list of outrages is that attorney Bob Ruppe has now taken control of the city government. Not only has he attended most of the city council meetings these past months, (sitting in absentee councilman Jerome Kryzer's seat), he has taken over as if he were the mayor, running the show, refusing to answer citizens' questions at public hearings, directing council members not to answer our questions, and even violating the Open Meeting Law on video tape (!) as if he had regular attorney/client privilege. Nuh-uh. BOB! Government isn't PRIVATE. It is OPEN. TRANSPARENT. (At least it is supposed to be.) of the people, by the people, for the people..... REMEMBER? This ain't Court TV.

Bob Ruppe, IN MY OPINION, is guilty of orchestrating the secretization of our local government. Yes, Virginia, there IS a Secret Government taking place in Onamia, Minnesota. According to Kathleen McCullum, the city clerk, Attorney Ruppe has instructed her to DENY ACCESS to public information. I have personally experienced such denial on several occasions. Recently, when I called the city clerk, (I call her "Damien's Nanny" you know the one with the Rottweiler who would do anything to protect the Anti-Christ), I was told that Bob Ruppe had advised that any questions I had be directed to him.

I called to ask about a public hearing.

City clerk Kathleen McCullum flatly refused to answer. This citizen was directed to make a long distance phone call to a lawyer in St. Michael, Minnesota to find out about a public hearing gravely affecting her life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. (He was out of the office until Wednesday.... but I couldn't reach him all week...)

Geez. I didn't have an opportunity to take part in the Onamia elections. Maybe we should just do away with elections altogether. Each city can hire it's own lawyer to write the town laws and keep information from the public under the attorney/client privilege excuse. What do we need a city council for anyway? I say we don't. They're nothing but trouble. Its not like they represent us or anything. Unfortunately, I don't think they'll give up their room with a view. They need us. They need their public positions to assist them with their private business deals and to help their cronies with their private business deals. Well, if that be the case, maybe they at least could get a better lawyer. I wonder if Bruce Cutler is available...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Minnesota Statute #462.357

There is a Minnesota State Law which prevents zoning juvenile sex offenders into residential neighborhoods. This changes things considerably.

By law, Nexus cannot build a sex offender facility on the 38.81 acres. Don't get mad at me, all you Pronexus. I didn't write the law. But I'm certainly glad it exists. It exists to protect people like you and me. Of course, we told the Onamia city council about 462.357 a long time ago. Since they never listen to us, they went ahead anyway. And now they are in trouble.

The law talks about zoning for residential facilities such as day care or other licensed facilities, but it particularly excludes juvenile sex offender facilities from R1 and R2 districts. We think that the reason that the city council dropped the permitted use ordinance they had written and switched to pursuing conditional use was because they recognized Section 7 of this law. Unfortunately for them, they misinterpretted Section 8 of the law.

Section 7 specifically excludes juvenile sex offender facilities in R1 (single family) zones. In Section 8, it refers back to Section 7, also specifically excluding juvenile sex offender facilities in R2 (multiple familiy) zones. The city council missed that. Or to place the blame where it most belongs - the city attorney missed it. After all, it was his job to sort out the law.

To complicate matters, they misinterpretted the part in Section 8 which says that the governing municipal body can write ordinances to control residential facilities. The city council, disregarding the juvenile sex offender exclusion, apparently took that to mean that they could just write an ordinance specifically to include 94 juvenile sex offenders. Oops. No way Jose'.

The law gives the municipal government the right to RESTRICT the number of (non-sexual offender) residents ... like day care. There is a maximum number of sixteen, by law. Read that again please. 16 MAXIMUM. The law allows the city council to write an ordinance to limit this number. Say they decided that ten residents is plenty. They could write an ordinance to restrict the numbers to 10 maximum. They can smallen it. They can't biggen it...

The Onamia city council apparently thought that they could EXPAND the number from the maximum 16 day care kids to 94 juvenile sex offenders. How could they think such a thing was okay to do? I dunno. You'd have to ask them. In their defense, the law seems to be written in a mystical language - for lawyers. So, I'd have to once again place the blame on theirs. Of course, if the city council had listened to us these past several months, they might not be in the trouble they are in right now. We told them so.... We've spent so much time studying the law, if there was a country which spoke only Legaleeze, we'd at least be able to ask for directions or order lunch and a beer if we happened to vacation there.

Perhaps its time to return to the days of yesteryear. Its time for Nexus to face the music and either remodel Crosier or find another "home" for their sex offenders. Minnesota Statute 462.357 forbids them from building in our neighborhood. Permitted Use won't work. Conditional Use won't work. Variance won't work. The current zoning won't work. Rezoning won't work. They can't get past this law. Not only have we had our lawyers look into it, we've also alerted our state representative. You know... the one who WRITES the laws... So, Nexus and the city council may finally have met an obstacle they can't get around or slip another one through.
But even if by some miracle, they manage to circumvent 462.357, there are other Minnesota Statutes they will have to address. Spot Zoning. EAW, EIS (environmental). Plus there's problems with the wetlands, the building placement, the water table, the roads, etc. etc. You'd think they'd be bright enough to see the light.

There are now other problems that the city council is facing too, although I'm not sure they're even aware of it yet. A few years ago, they rezoned the Crosier property from Institutional (which is correct) to R2 (which is forbidden for juvenile sex offenders). The Mille Lacs Academy has been improperly zoned for years! Maybe Onamia should get a real Planning Commission and develop a real Comprehensive Municipal Plan - like they were mandated by ordinance to do but neglected to follow through. At a public hearing, Zoning Administrator Mickey Carter admitted that he had no training and was unqualified to perform the duties of Zoning Administrator, adding in his own defense "but they seem to like what I do." Shouldn't he have been the one to bring 462.357 to the city council's attention? Maybe we should consider getting a city government that at least lives in Onamia - even in the winter. During this period of critical zoning issues, THIS zoning administrator as well as Councilman Kryzer have been absent for months.

So what to do? Well, butts were covered in the following fashion: everything was contingent. So if Nexus can't build on the property, it reverts back to the city. If the city can't work it out with Nexus, it reverts back to Steve and Loretta Bye. Everything goes back into place. Peace returns to the days of yesteryear. And somewhere in the distance, if you listen carefully you might hear a hearty "Hiyo Silver, Away!"

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Mess of Injustice

You see it all around you - Injustice. Its everywhere. So much so, that you kind of get used to it; much in the same way you get so deconditioned to that stack of papers on the kitchen counter that you don't even notice its there. You don't even see it anymore. Then one day, you can't find the telephone bill. And suddenly you notice that somewhere on the kitchen countertop, it has been buried in an overwhelming sea of papers, articles, documents, and.... city council minutes. Yikes! What happened? How did all of these papers get here? How did I not notice it? Its the same with Injustice. It grows and builds and takes over your kitchen, even seeps into your livingroom. And then - ye gads! - its time to clean house.

I have a personal problem with Injustice. Always have. I get confused when other people don't. For instance, last night I had a brief and uncomfortable conversation with a lady - about the Onamia city council shenanigans for the benefit of a corporation (NEXUS). She told me that there are no bad people. She offered Hannabelle her sage wisdom:

"You should find the good in people."

"I can't find the good in the city council," I said.
"You should look," she said.
"I have looked. Maybe you should show me. I haven't found any," I said.

Maybe its like trying to find the phone bill in reams of paper on the kitchen counter. I've dug through it and all I find is Injustice. No good. Its disgusting. She didn't help me out either. She just got in her car and left. I don't think she liked me. Its okay. I'm used to being ostracized by now. In fact, whenever I go to a different town where people are actually nice to me, I get a little freaked out. I'm not used to kindness or being treated with respect. I'm from Onamia.

Its been nearly a year since a group of people I don't like or respect (and certainly didn't vote for) decided to dump 94 sex offenders into my neighborhood. We have a basic conceptual disagreement. They believe in sacrificing people for the "good of the community" or "public good". I believe in "individual rights" or "individual Freedom". When you start sacrificing individual liberties, the county is in trouble. What is the "community" but a group of individuals? Protect individuals and you will protect the community. To hurt individuals is to hurt the community.

These people have taken away my rights. Talk about "personal attacks..." I was just minding my own business for about thirty years when suddenly, they forced this terrible situation upon me. When I didn't welcome them into my life with open arms, they quickly became rude, nasty bullies. I've been ridiculed, threatened, yelled at, and sued. People, like that lady, don't like Hannabelle because she's mad and trying to fight back against Injustice that they don't see. The city council benefits from what they're doing (or at least think they do). I suffer. Their selfish actions have caused me harm. Damages... Where is the good?

"Maybe the new facility will help some of those boys," the lady said.
"Its not about the boys," I said. Its not okay to sacrifice the lives of individual citizens for a bunch of sex offenders so that a few people will benefit financially. But you know what? Its not okay to sacrifice even one individual needlessly. Not only are we being sacrificed needlessly, we are being sacrificed as a matter of convenience. Its all about money, of course.

NEXUS doesn't have to move. They once had plans to renovate Crosier. But why not spend $14 million dollars of the taxpayers' money to build a fancy new facility? What else are they going to do with your tax money? There were alternatives. They didn't have to ruin our lives to stay in Onamia. But when there is so much money involved, they don't have to listen, they don't have to compromise, they don't have to be respectful, and they don't have to be reasonable. They can take whatever they want, including our individual rights. No. Sorry. I don't see "the good" in any of this. The city council? They can show you the money. They can't show me the "good."

So why is that lady, who claims to "see both sides" of the situation so blind to the Injustice at hand? I dunno. Maybe she hasn't lost her own phone bill yet. When she does, she'll be amazed at the mess of Injustice on her own countertop.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Game Over. They Lose.

I'm declaring VICTORY in the D'Angelo/Freeman Defamation law suit.
And that makes me a happy panda.
I guess nobody really "enjoys" getting sued. However, I must admit that I actually had fun with the defamation stuff. I've learned so much, and its all been very interesting. I've worked with three lawyers this past year (My Dream Team) and must confess (but don't tell anybody) that I've grown fond of each of them. Yeah, yeah.... I know. Everybody gives lawyers a bad rap. But to tell you the truth (and I always do), my lawyers turned out to be really decent guys.
I don't mean to brag, but I'm proud of myself for standing up to D'Angelo and Freeman and calling their bluff. The last time I saw D'Angelo, he said, "I think you'll find its not worth it." He was referring to my not backing down after he told me to. Ha! Believe me - its been well worth it ... to have defeated Poopsie, (even if by default). I've always stood behind everything I've written. I am here not to defame anybody but to TELL THE TRUTH - as a matter of principle. And obviously the Truth didn't paint a flattering picture of the former CEO of NEXUS. Of course, that's his own fault. He couldn't prove his case because everything I said about him is true. Hannabelle has prevailed.
I never wrote much about the Peter Freeman part of the case - basically because it was just so ridiculous. Actually, the lawsuit reminded me a bit of Susie and Joanie back in 1974 Duluth. I lived on the Air Force base while my father was in service there. I also attended college at UMD as a music major (except for one quarter where I changed my major to Industrial Arts, in order to learn woodworking, which I deemed very important knowledge.) I hung out at the men's barracks with my friends (once hiding in a closet during a surprise inspection!), played pool at the Officers' and NCO clubs, and partied at Park Point before it became a real park. It was a fun time in my life. We lived nextdoor to a General named Canon. (I'm not making this up.) Anyway, I went out bar-hopping with his daughter and her friend one night. Not my style, I'm afraid. They were nice enough girls, but definite gigglers. Surfing through life on the surface... Seriously, these girls couldn't go to the ladies' room by themselves. "Come WITH me," Joanie pleaded in babytalk, pulling at our hands. "PULEEEZ!" Finally, all three of us ended up in the bathroom where the two girls chattered excitedly about the cute boys at the bar. I remained friendly after that night, but never went out with them again. I'm the kind of gal who does my talking at the table, and I like to pee alone. (Always sitting down, of course. That's a private joke. Don't worry about it.)
I cannot comment on why D'Angelo included Freeman on his bogus defamation law suit. I can just tell you that it made me think of Susie and Joanie back in 1974.
Anyway, its over now. They certainly would have filed in court by now if they thought they had a case. I'm just sad that I will miss the opportunity to see Victor Lund, their lawyer, stand up in front of a judge and shout: Your Honor! She called my client POOPSIE!
That was something I'd looked forward to.