Thumbs up to Carlton County childcare providers Heather Falk and Judy Sanda for being persistant and taking a stand. When it seemed like the unionization of daycare was a sure thing – even though nearly every child care provider in Carlton County opposes it – this daycare duo gathered signatures for a petition and set about educating the Pine Journal and its readers about this complicated issue. Not opposed to unions in general, these two Cloquet residents likened the proposed union to buying a car without knowing the model, cost or loan terms. Union organizers say they can’t provide answers until the union is formed and providers decide what they want it to do and how much it will cost. That story ran in the Pine Journal Sept. 1 and other media outlets picked up on it.
The result of all this media attention was a hearing at the Minnesota House of Representatives last Thursday, during which both daycare union supporters and daycare providers opposed to the union were allowed to speak. Gov. Dayton – who has been asked to sign an executive order recognizing said union – called the hearing a publicity stunt and didn’t attend. Here’s the kicker though. While his staff members were formerly mum on the subject except to say they were “researching” the union request, Dayton told Minnesota Public Radio that he won’t issue an executive order that immediately puts the daycare providers into a union. Instead he’s considering allowing the Bureau of Mediation Services to oversee a vote by the daycare providers.
While it’s not “mission accomplished,” it does go to show that people really can make their voices heard if they work hard enough. Watch the Pine Journal for more news about this ongoing issue.
Thumbs up AND down to Congressman Chip Cravaack and his staff for trying to hold a “Congress on Your Corner” event at the Cloquet Walmart store Wednesday. Thumbs up for the idea; thumbs down for the execution. Since no one actually arranged the event in advance, they were turned down at the door by Walmart. As well, actually advertising the event even a day in advance would also have given folks who really want to talk to their Congressman a chance to make arrangements to get there. Seems like an easy way to say you held a meeting, while avoiding any really hard-ball questions.
Thumbs up to the 23 women and 18 men who applied for the Blandin Community Leadership Program. Thank you. Not only are you willing to spend eight days of your life becoming a more effective community leader, you also saved Cloquet the embarrassment of possibly becoming the first rural Minnesota community to NOT have enough applicants to fill up the 24-person roster for the free training.
Thumbs down to the person who was spotted throwing two kittens out their car window at the Esko exit from Interstate 35. Thank goodness some kind-hearted soul – someone with a soul, in fact – saw you do it and rescued the kittens, who are currently being lodged at the Friends of Animals Humane Society shelter in Cloquet. Think of it, how difficult would it have been for that (fill in the blank here) who threw the kittens out the window to drive the extra six or seven miles to Cloquet?