Letters to the editor for Dec. 1

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Thanks to Hastings police for Citizens' Academy

To the editor,

I just completed the six-week Hastings Police Department Citizens' Academy classes. Not only do I have a new, profound respect for the officers of Hastings, but now I have some insight of what the Police Department and the officers do for us daily.

It is utterly remarkable what these men and women do for us. I received an absolutely free, mind-boggling education regarding our community. This type of an outreach contains extremely valuable information for the residents of this city; I cannot stress enough how important it is that these classes continue. This is such a positive program for our community.

Each class was more inspiring than the previous class; every officer did an outstanding job with their presentation. I have been telling everyone I know they need to attend the Citizen's Academy classes.

I want to thank our chief, Bryan Schafer, and all the officers involved for taking their time to conduct these classes. I want to acknowledge each officer for their professionalism and expertise. I now have a better understanding of the numerous facets of law enforcement. Each officer has given me an immeasurable gift and I thank you.

I want to recognize and give a special thanks to detective Matt Hedrick; he did an incredible job organizing this program. When I initially applied for the program, I had no idea what all was involved. What an unexpected surprise, a fabulous job done by all.

Russ Rohloff

Hastings

Keep the wreath white

To the editor,

The Hastings Fire Department has again placed a large wreath on the fire station with all white lights; the wreath will stay in place from Thanksgiving to Jan. 1. For every preventable structure fire within the response area of the Hastings Fire Department, a white bulb will be replaced by a red bulb, and our goal is to have all white lights remaining on the wreath at the end of the holiday season.

We, unfortunately, have already placed one red bulb in the wreath, which signifies one cooking-related fire on Thanksgiving. Cooking still remains at the top for fire causes throughout the year and especially during the holidays. Please remember to stay in the kitchen while cooking, especially if you are frying, grilling or broiling. Use a timer if you are simmering, baking or roasting, to remind you to check regularly, and always use the appropriate sized pan.

Please make this a safe holiday season for you, your family and your guests.

John Townsend

Hastings Assistant Fire and EMS Director

Consider joining school facility review committee

Dear Community Members,

In the months of January, February and March, the Hastings School District will be reviewing information pertaining to our facilities district wide. In the winter of 2009, I volunteered to be on a similar committee, comprised mainly of community members, with some representation from school district administrators and school board members. The process allowed community members to ask in-depth questions about funding, long term needs, on-going maintenance and the life expectancy of some of the infrastructure of our facilities. In addition, this experience allowed community members to give feedback to district maintenance staff, administrators, school board members and WOLD architects and engineers.

It was from this process that a list was prioritized for the district to focus on reinvesting in our facilities. In the fall of 2009, due to the fact that our district was proactive in discussing and planning for our facility needs, the Hastings School District was the No. 1 school district in the State of Minnesota to be awarded a 0 percent interest loan from the federal government. Our community approved this loan and we were then able to immediately go to our priority list and reinvest in some of our parking lots, windows, roofs and tuckpointing projects.

It is now time to go through that same process again, and I am hoping that you would consider volunteering to be on this important committee just like I did back in 2009. The committee will begin meeting in January and will look to meet six to eight times between January and April. The meetings will be held in the evenings and will typically last about 90 minutes. This committee is a great way to give back to your community. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Superintendent Tim Collins at tcollins@hastings.k12.mn.us or 651-480-7001.

Thank you for your consideration.

Russ Rohloff

Hastings School Board Member