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Garbage Pickup, the Fiscal Cliff and Police Academy: Feedback Friday

The most thoughtful, moving, controversial or just plain funny comments from around the west metro between Dec. 28 and Jan. 3.

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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Residents Learn About Law Enforcement Through Police Academy

Beginning Jan. 29, every Tuesday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. the Golden Valley Police Department will host the Citizen's Police Academy where residents can learn about SWAT teams, canine units, crime analysis and more.

Patch user Carolyn Kaehr attended the academy a few years ago and loved it:

This is SO worthwhile; I was in the Academy several years ago and gained a lot from the experience. I respect all that the G.V. police officers do to make this community as safe as possible. Complete the application and get ready to be educated and inspired !!!

Should Richfield Go to a Single Garbage Hauler System?

The potential for the City of Richfield to initiate a city-wide garbage collection plan has got lots of residents talking. While the item isn't currently on the city council's agenda, it has looked at the issue before and will likely again.
Patch asked readers if they would support a single garbage and recycling hauler system, with many wanting to keep the system as is.

A reader only identifying himself as John said:

I see no reason to change. I left one company because I got it cheaper at another. Who will really benefit from going to one carrier?

Jill wrote:

DO NOT MESS WITH FAIR BUSINESS TRADE AND COMPETITION.

But, Greg Mangold laid out reasons the city should go to a single collector:

Good things happen when there are less garbage trucks on the roads resulting from a competive biddng process to select one hauler:

1. Cost savings for citizens. The city of Maplewood realized an average savings of 50% per household on the solid waste collection portion of the city's households garbage collection bill, during the first year of its contract with the selected bidder. Their was no increase in rates for the second year.

2. According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation one fully loaded garbage truck has the same impact on a street as 1,000 car trips. If weather conditions and other vehicles are the main factors for roadwear, as some suggest, why does Richfield have a four-ton per axle weight limit for its streets? It stands to reason that the city would save money on road repair.

3. Less trucks means less of these vehicles competing with children walking to school on the street in the early morning darkness.

4. If 19 truck trips are not too many on "garbage day," what number of trips would be too many?"

Paulsen Votes No on the Fiscal Cliff Deal

The vote on the so-called fiscal cliff generated a lot of comments. Representative Erik Paulsen voted against the bill, promoting several comments about problems in Washington.

Loretta Holscher said:

Just more self interest. Makes me sick - Paulsen is just another cog in the dysfunctional wheel called Congress. Is anyone ready to step up to the plate and make tough decisions? Excuses, excuses.....

More than 100 DVDs have gone missing from the shelves of the library, and an investigation is being conducted to find out whether someone is stealing them, as there are no security devices currently installed.

The conversation in our comment stream questioned why the library has mainstream movies to begin with. Willow put it this way:

I am saddened by these apparent thefts too as we LOVE our St. Michael library and hate to think of that going on there. On the otherhand, why IS the library stocking movies? We've rented them there before but it's never crossed my mind to question that. It's certainly not a traditional item to have in a library. Library = books.

Hope they can figure out what's going on a put an end to it!

Kathy Gleason added:

I agree, this is not Redbox....this is the library! There's no need to have high priced, bought, entertainment dvd's on the shelf.....free or not. Should be educational videos only, they'd still be there, I'm sure.

Vote for Edina's 2012 Person of the Year

Hundreds of Patch readers weighed in during the inaugural Person of the Year competition on Edina Patch, which ultimately saw Edina High School graduate and documentarian Alec Fischer take home the title. Support poured in for all of the nominees, with locals expressing gratitude for their contributions to the community.

Reader Maggie Conway felt Alec Fischer was deserving of the title:

Alec is an inspiring young man, who I'm proud to vote for! He's exactly the kind of person who I'm trying to raise my boys to be like. Before he even made Minnesota Nice?, he was actively volunteering in schools in Edina, and serving as a role model and mentor for his peers. Regardless of whether he actually wins, he's definitely Edina's Person of the Year in my household!

Meanwhile, Barbara La Valleur sang the praises of both Fischer and retiring Parks and Recreation Director John Keprios:

I'd love to vote for both Alec and John. Both have inspired me. And, I'm casting my vote for John Keprios whose decades of service to our City exemplifies an extraordinary citizen. As a member of the Edina Art Center Board, I have seen John in action making a difference for our community. With his retirement this week, I'd say it is perfect timing to honor John as Edina's Person of the Year.

Obituary: Jerry Stiele

Jerry Stiele, who co-owned and operated Hopkins Auto Body for over 50 years, passed away Dec. 26.

On Facebook, Norman Teigen recalled how good Stiele’s business was.

I was a customer at Hopkins Auto Body. I was an insurance claims adjuster. I was very pleased with the quality of the work done on the several occasions where body work was required for my vehicles. I attended the anniversary of the business last summer and noted how the many visitors on that occasion commented on Mr. Stiele's professionalism and courtesy. I cannot say that I knew Mr. Stiele personally but I do know that his professional and personal reputation were very high in this community and that he will be missed.

Fiscal Cliff: Rep. John Kline Explains "Yes" Vote

In the House vote on the "fiscal cliff" deal, Rep. John Kline was the only Minnesota Republican to vote yes. He released a statement to explain the reasons for his vote.

John Galt was not impressed:

Lots of tough talk coming from a guy who voted with the Democrats. John, how does a man of your age and supposed wisdom hold on to such baseless hope? Personally, I hope the people of the district have the good sense to send you packing.

And you have the stones to call this the largest tax CUT in history? Only in Washingtonspeak is this a tax cut. From your website:

"WASHINGTON – Congressman John Kline issued the following statement today after the House passed bipartisan legislation which includes the largest tax cut in American history:"

Are tax rates now much greater than they were on 12/31/2012? Of course they are, and you voted for it, along with TRILLIONS in new deficit spending, which is the real problem anyway. I will be supporting your opponent next time around, maybe even in the general if it means you're out.

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