Martell to the Rescue

In European history there was a Martel who is credited with saving Europe from an alien invasion. If the contents of this wonderful letter-to-the-editor one of his descendents may be living in Duluth (only with two l’s) .

If the debt the Duluth school district wants to foist upon its residents wasn’t so large (nearly half a billion dollars over 20 years) and the consequences for kids wasn’t so serious (with the losses of Central High School, neighborhood schools, teachers and programs), the saintly terms the News Tribune Opinion page used to describe the incumbent School Board members would be almost laughable.

The Sept. 13 Our View editorial – “Toss ’em out? Not so fast” – was biased and unfair to the opposition.

Incumbents Ann Wasson and Nancy Nilsen, in particular, may have solid citizen credentials, but that doesn’t mean they deserve re-election. Wasson and Nilsen would’ve supported building schools on the moon to get what they wanted. Nilsen wanted the preservation of Denfeld; Wasson wanted a new East High School, where Greyhound tradition could continue to flourish. Both saw the millions the red plan would pump into their pet projects as guarantees east and west would have high schools into perpetuity. Beautiful Central? Who cares?

The editorial implied because some challengers weren’t seeking endorsements from the usual power cliques, or were having a hard time juggling daily responsibilities with campaigning, they were not quite legitimate.

The News Tribune put itself on a very high pedestal of judgment. But its reporting has been less than stellar. Just look at the dearth of information about Plan B:?interviewing 10 people at random and chances are not a single one will have a clue about the alternative to the red plan – if they’ve heard of it at all.

Concerned residents worked hard and even put considerable amounts of their own money on the line to give voters, who were denied a vote on the red plan, a voice in the process. The News Tribune should have given them better coverage.

Loren Martell


I give the DNT a lot of grief, just as Mr. Martell has over its coverage of the controversy. That’s not to suggest that they haven’t covered it. I’ve got a lot of clippings in folders that show its been written about it. What I can’t criticize them for is their willingness to let readers beat them up over their coverage and editorial positions. Good luck finding such criticism in the Proctor Journal or some other weekly owned and operated by the same family. (Of course such papers hardly exist any more. Forum Communications and its ilk have bought most of them up.)

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