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A Fatal Crash, Sexting and Light Rail Taxes: Feedback Friday

The most thoughtful, moving, controversial or just plain funny comments from around the west metro between Nov. 30 and Dec. 6.

Each week, Patch users contribute numerous insights, opinions and observations. The following is a collection of the most thoughtful, moving, controversial or just plain funny comments that appeared on Patch sites in Eden Prairie, Edina, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Richfield, Shakopee, Plymouth, St. Louis Park and St. Michael. Click on the headline to read the full story and join in the conversation.

(The comments below are not meant to reflect the opinions of Patch or its staff.)

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Bottineau Survey Shows Light Rail Support

Members from the Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council initiated an unscientific survey of Golden Valley residents to learn more about local feelings for Bottineau.

Here's what Patch user Bill Wilcox had to say about the survey:

The survey means nothing. The group that funded it even admits that it's not scientific, and the group has an obvious bias. Taking this to actually be a representative sample of Golden Valley residents' opinions makes as much sense as taking a poll from Foxnews.com or MSNBC.com and pretending that it's representative of the general population. 

Sexting Scandal Hits Edina's Middle Schools

A Valley View Middle School student was apparently the victim of some unwanted attention from her classmates after a sexting incident swept through both of Edina's middle schools earlier this month.

Susan Brott, director of communications and community engagement with Edina Public Schools, confirmed the parent of a Valley View student called the school around Nov. 13 with concerns about an inappropriate message her student sent to another student. The parent reportedly said the message had been forwarded to other students and was possibly posted online.

Reader David F said he would have liked to have seen the school district use the incident as a chance to educate students on the dangers of technology:

It is unfortunate that the Edina schools didn't use this as a 'teachable moment' to educate students that there are consequences of making bad decisions with electronic media and social networking. My student at South View middle school did not have any 'educational moment' on this from the school although I did talk to him in very frant terms about this. What was the resolution to this matter? Under state law sexting can be a felony. The schools need to understand this may need the involvement of law enforcement. It would be nice to get a communication from the Edina schools as to the resolution and prevention measures. This is hopefully, but unlikely, a one time incident and should be an 'educational moment' for Edina Public School administrators.

Since the shooting, Wright County Sheriff's Office has been helping Cold Spring and Stearns County law enforcement by covering some patrol shifts. Although the incident happened in Stearns County, it hit closer to home for St. Michael and Albertville as a caravan of police cars went through the community when escorting Tom Decker's body back to Cold Spring, and as local law enforcement were on their way to his funeral.

Wendy Kokon said:

very sad....

it was an awesome sight on 94 this morning watching all the law enforcement vehicles lined up for miles with their lights on heading up the freeway to attend the funeral. It gave me the chills and brought tears to my eyes. I send prayers to Officer Deckers family, coworkers, community and friends. To all law enforcement.....Thanks for your service!

When Elbows Attack? Police Say Assault Left Lumps the Size of Ping Pong Balls
A St. Louis Park man with previous assault convictions was charged with striking a man repeatedly in the face with his elbows, leaving Ping-Pong ball-sized lumps.

Debra said:

Let's see, an alcoholic with 5 convictions of assault and no telling how many times someone was too afraid to report your physical abuse... James Anker Anderson, sing this song very slowly........ 99 years in jail to go 99 years in jail You take one down and pass HIM around It's 98 years in jail to go.

Holiday Favorites: A List of Beloved Christmas Movies

With the holiday season in full swing, classic favorites such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and It's A Wonderful Life are hitting the airwaves. A Patch contributor listed some of her favorite Christmas movies, which included A Charlie Brown Christmas and Polar Express.

But, Jake Rappe said he values one film above all others: 

There can be only one, it all begins and ends with A Christmas Story.

Man Identified in Fatal Crash with Minnetonka Police Squad Car

The Minnetonka police cruiser was traveling westbound on Excelsior Blvd. on an emergency call, with lights and sirens activated, when a car was broadsided in the intersection of Woodland Road. Sean Kian, 52, died at the scene of the crash.

WR had a sad tale to tell about that night:

I live a few houses from the intersection. I work at home. I watch police and citizens speeding in the area every day. I listen to sirens all day long. I witness the excessive speed at which nearly everyone travels in this area. Every day I think that the excessive speeds are going to kill someone. Last night I heard the sirens and within seconds I heard the "thunk" that ended in a man's death. The were no screeching brakes, just "thunk." There clearly was not even time for anyone to react. I watched as this heinous scene unfolded in my neighbor's front yard through the night. It's time to start issuing speeding tickets and it's time for the police to slow down.

MikeT said this crash raises big concerns:

A serious question has to be raised about the Mtka police policy around high speed non emergency runs. I used to live in the Mtka Mills area and remember hearing police cars w sirens driving unsafe speeds at least a couple times a day on Mtka Blvd. I cant imagine that in all of these instances was there an emergency that justified putting other lives in danger.

Does Light Rail Need Its Own Tax?

Whether an increased sales tax or a new taxing jurisdiction, advocates say a reliable funding stream could insulate transit from political winds.

Matt Flory had this to say:

I think public transit is a public good that benefits more than the people who ride it. When someone chooses to ride instead of drive their cars, congestion is reduced for people who are still using the roads. The need for parking in downtown is also reduced.

There are likely public and private investments (business, housing, transportation) which will follow station planning. Did Pizza Luce in hopkins just happen to locate adjacent to a future Blake Road LRT stop?

Because these purposes are public, I don't see why the revenues cannot be. Bonding dollars are used for state infrastructure and backing bonds with "taxes" isn't particularly wise (see recent stories about Vikings stadium gambling shortfalls).

I vote No, but not because LRT isn't getting "enough". Taxes won't be sufficient and benefits are much broader than any individual group of taxpayers.

Police: Shakopee Teens Seen Burglarizing Home

Witnesses called police after they saw two boys carrying a television from a house. When confronted, the boys had dropped the television and tried to hide.

Matt Lehman applauded the observant neighbors:

This is a perfect example of how the residents watching out for one another, being the eyes and ears for police, make our city better. Neighborhood watch is the best value for the money to make Shakopee safer. As a City Council Member, I commend these citizens for stepping up and watching out for the larger neighborhood, nice job!!!

Parent's Talk: Minneapolis Child Shooting Brings Up Questions

In the wake of a tragic accident in which a 2-year-old died from being shot by his 4-year-old brother, many concerns and questions come to mind for parents.

David F talked about the use of gun locks in household where guns are available:

Somebody should do a survey of how many people use gun locks and in particular households with children. When people tell me they own guns I always ask them if they have gun locks and few do. I talked to a former MN police chief who told me how many police officers get shot at gun ranges because they think their weapons are not loaded. He invented a simple gun lock that goes in the barrel of a gun so you can easily see if the gun is locked.


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