"It's amazing the number of people who will tell me, my editor or someone on the Messenger staff that they don't read the Messenger. And yet, they are often the first to let us know when we don't get something right or they don't agree with what we've written."
Kevin Anderson, Publisher of the Mille Lacs Messenger - from When the paper doesn't come - 11/19/08
WOW! Mr. Anderson goes on in his editorial to say: "This column is more directed to the nearly 10,000 readers of the Mille Lacs Messenger than to the naysayers of its newsworthiness."
hmmm. I, for one, am a naysayer. I've been critical of the local newspaper ever since I began reading it when the local government, acting as an agent for Nexus, a private multi-million dollar corporation, invaded Bradbury Township and went all Fascist on us. Did the nearly 10,000 Mess readers have an opportunity to read about how the local government changed the ordinances which previously protected property owner rights? Nope. Not in the Mess. Did they read about how the public was lied to about things such as safety records, escapes, how much money is made and how little spent by Nexus in our county, or how Nexus thrives off of taxpayer dollars? Nope. Not in the Mess. (There was some information on tax abatement and such, however there was a lot of misinformation which was never corrected... A lot.)
What exactly did the Mess tell their nearly 10,000 readers about the Onamia government writing, changing, amending, and/or ignoring laws - in order to allow 94 convicted sex offenders next to day care, children, elderly widows, and vulnerable adults? To be fair, (and I always try), there was one article written by editor Brett Larson which mentioned that we are the "sacrificial lambs." He acknowledged that we don't have the power of the vote. I wish he would have been stronger. It wasn't enough to counter the paper's huge slant in favor of the poor troubled boys, the abused children, the nerdy kids. (i.e. convicted sex offenders who have "caused harm"...) We naysayers - those of us who lost our rights to protect our properties - were raked over the coals by the Mess, with their reporting of our "fear and ignorance - fear and ignorance - fear and ignorance" about the "children... children... children... child... children... child... children." And about us, they said: they fear public speaking more than death...........
They withheld tons of Nexus facts from their 10,000 readers. It was obvious whose side the Mess was on. One can only speculate why. Could it be that they "feared" losing advertisers who - not knowing the facts -supported Nexus? I don't know. Did the publisher of this newspaper respond to a conflict of interest regarding his brother-in-law profitting off a land deal? The brother-in-law happens to be a good friend of Mayor Larry Milton... who is portrayed in the Mess NOT as the bully he is, but as a wise and oftentimes cute and rambunctious maverick... (How endearing...) His friend, the Mess publisher's brother-in-law sold land to another pal who plans to build a supper club which, of course needs a liquor license. Is that why the paper pushed having the sex offenders in our backyard and not the brother-in-laws? You can't, after all, have a liquor license within a certain footage of a correctional facility. Nexus is a correctional facility. Its better to put the sex offenders next to children and little old ladies who are at risk? You better believe that when it comes to these kind of shennanigans, I am the first to say "NAY!"
So yeah. I'm one of the naysayers. I'm the naysayer who is being sued for calling former Nexus CEO Jim D'Angelo "Poopsie" and for questioning scape-goat expert Peter D. Freeman's ethics while I tried to defend the civil rights of my neighbors and protect my 85 year old mom from 94 sex offenders. Oh Hannabelle is such a bad, bad person... Didn't you ever wonder why I felt the need to start my own on-line newspaper and blog? I wanted the People to hear the Truth. Didn't happen. The Mess didn't print the Truth and now it's nearly 10,000 uninformed readers have gone merrily about their lives - reading about "dowsing", grade school band concerts, and pigs stuck in sewers. There wasn't anything about the improper zoning classification of Nexus by Zoning Guy Mickey Carter - or about him disregarding old zoning laws, wrongfully approving placing a commercial institution in a residential area, however this week in the Mess, there is quite a bit about him talking about automobile tires and their rims... What would have happened if these nearly 10,000 readers had known how local government was screwing local citizens with their sex offenders? What if they had been educated about the situation - the conflicts of interests - that Nexus has been here throughout the town's deterioration - that most of the employees don't even live in Mille Lacs county? There's so much that wasn't reported. So much that was misreported. What if they had read that Nexus lies about the number of escapes and violent episodes of the "poor troubled boys" in this unlocked correctional facility? Maybe there wouldn't be another new supper club built to follow in Sodbuster's footsteps.
We'll never know.
But that's "old news" now, isn't it? Hannabelle - get over it! Except that I am left to live with the traffic, the noise, and the "boys" are coming. I feel the scars of being civically violated by my own government and wronged by my fellow citizens who were misinformed, even the betrayal of people I considered longtime friends. I've become used to being treated badly by members of my own community. Scape-goated. Ostracized. Attacked. Now, I even EXPECT to be treated horribly! I live with the daily reminder of the Power of the Press.
Hey - did you read about Councilman Jerome Kryzer and how he spends his winters in Arizona instead of attending Onamia city council meetings? Nope. Not in the Mess. Is that why he was re-elected? Because nearly 10,000 people didn't ever hear about Kryzer's snow-birding? Or how about the mayor's health? Ever hear about how Mayor Larry Milton has been battling cancer? Nope. Not in the Mess. Is he fit for office? (Was he ever?)He ran unopposed and was re-elected by less than 300 voters. Were they informed about how good old Larry forfeited citizens' rights in order to cut the multi-million dollar sex offender business a great deal? To give the company with the over 38 million dollar annual budget free taxes for 15 years? Did the voters know that he threatened citizens who opposed Nexus? Not in the Mess. Now he wants to build an industrial park. Maybe in YOUR neighborhood. (Ours is full-up with sex offenders). THAT was in the Mess... Industrial park. We need an industrial park like a fish needs a bicycle.
Prior to the election, the Mille Lacs Messenger didn't spend much time informing their nearly 10,000 readers about candidates, especially local ones who can change our lives forever.
Mr. Anderson says in his latest op-ed article: "The attitude of, "I don't read that rag," is a cover for not admitting that we are the news source for the Mille Lacs community. We have been the source for nearly 100 years and I suspect no matter how we deliver the news - through newsprint, our web site or whatever technology is available in the future - we will be a news agency for years to come."
A cover for not admitting???? What IS that? My naysaying response: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Can you spell D-E-L-U-S-I-O-N-A-L?
People want a decent local newspaper... a professional one they can trust. Sure. There's room for cute, personal stories. There is no excuse for withholding the real news though - events and decisions which can alter your lives forever.
*Note: When I confronted Mayor Larry Milton about us being sold down the river for a liquor license, he confirmed it but added "There's more to it than just that." So don't sue ME. Sue HIM. Thank you.