A chat about opinion page and other boozey things

When my wife and I went up to the Mt. Royal Bottle Shop to pick up four bottles of wine for the Duluth-Superior Symphony fundraiser next week I saw Mike Miernicki manning the till. I used to substitute teach for Mike and now he’s on the School Board. He recommended some wine and I reminded him that I wanted to have a cup of coffee with him sometime.

He told me that the young fellow who was working with was a Marshall School Graduate and told me he was a bright kid as he explained how to ring up the case discount I got for adding another eight bottles for my own consumption. I told the youngster that I knew Mike had a soft heart when it came to bright students. I also added that unlike other teachers Mike knew how to use a cash register. Then I joked that Mike might not like today’s Duluth News Trib opinion page. He said he hadn’t read it yet and I mentioned the letter to the editor which I told him I could have written. Mike (Mern to his friends) asked what it said and I told him it said that the members of the Board who weren’t Art Johnston should……. Mike finished my sentence – resign. Yup, I admitted.

Here’s a sample:

When you allow a for-profit corporation to sell a plan with inaccurate, misleading and sophist arguments, and you refuse to examine the alternatives or listen to an opposing view because that view is branded as dissension instead of a responsible and reasonable alternative, when the effort is more about vilifying the opposition than dialoguing with them, then we get what we got. The taxpayers in the district were blindfolded to the details of the process. What did these buildings get us that we didn’t have? Nothing!

Mike won’t be quitting and he shouldn’t. (I hope the ones the letter writer should have singled out will face the voters next fall) He’ll have to deal with the near impossible task of ironing out a lot of public distrust. I don’t think the newly announced good will community meetings that are to be scheduled in January will help much.

I also told him I really appreciated the new Steve Lindstrom cartoon today even though I was sure Mike wouldn’t find it helpful. He asked what it was about. I told him he’d have to check his own paper. I can’t show it either. I wish the Trib put them on routinely.

About the author