The City of Hastings government is refusing to take accountability for the services they provide. On Sept. 22 it was found that a portion of the city water supply was contaminated with E. coli and residents were instructed to take precaution such as boiling water prior to consumption. These precautions were in place until Sept. 24 at which point the water was deemed safe for human consumption. Residents were then told to flush water systems prior to use to ensure that contamination was no longer present.
On June 9, 2018, the meeting room at the American Legion Post 47 was dedicated and named The Hastings 5 Gold Room in honor of the five Hastings men that were members of the First Special Service Force. These men went to defend this great country in World War II. Their names are familiar to most people in Hastings: S/Sgt. John Hankes, Tech-4 Francis Brooke, Tech-4 Dale Hamilton, Tech-4 George Hild and 2nd Lt. James Moore who was killed in action.
As a former human rights commissioner in Red Wing, former board member for Minnesota Erosion Control Association and public speaker on pro-life issues, I find the cartoon characterization that we have a shipwreck in D.C. since the election offensive at the least. Ad nauseum. Our president, Donald Trump, has built the best economy of our lifetimes. Serving all people of color. If you want a job, you can have a job, with benefits. Lowest unemployment in the black and Hispanic communities.
Several interested citizens have formed a committee titled Heritage Park Committee. We desire to preserve and develop vacant lots located on the Mississippi River between Artspace River Lofts and the river, near the Trestle Bridge. Heritage Park would enhance what is already on the levee. Our vision: This extraordinarily beautiful site on the great Mississippi River in Hastings will become a place to honor — through art and celebration — our diverse heritage and bountiful natural beauty.
It's been gratifying to see the progress our society has made to be more inclusive of people with disabilities. I expect opportunities for employment, independent living and community involvement to continue to increase. There are many reasons for this, but one that's worth noting is the role of direct-support professionals. These are caring people who work hard to assist individuals with disabilities to achieve their goals. They make their lives better in many ways. ProAct employs more than 100 direct support professionals across its six locations.
When mayors get together they typically talk about "nuts and bolts" like infrastructure and budgets, not opioid abuse. Yet, opioid abuse affects so many cities, even our beloved Hastings. Hastings Police Department doesn't track opiate-related incidents separately. Instead they track overall drug activity. Based on their reported calls for service featuring drug activity to total calls for service, in 2015, 33 percent of total calls pertained to drug activity. In 2016, it was 32 percent. For 2017, 44 percent. The 2018 figure is 47 percent at the time of this writing.
The United Way of Hastings has been the Heart of Hastings since the agency was established in 1964. At the time, the founders wanted one organization in the community that would do all the fundraising, limiting the times community members and businesses were asked to donate to various causes. Volunteers canvassed the community and knocked on doors once a year to raise funds for UWH. Then, community members gathered to decide the greatest needs in the community and distribute the funds raised by UWH to community organizations that would provide direct services.
Pet peeves drive me bonkers. One of my pet peeves, which seems to have become standard practice, is to not call me back. This is after the person has said I would get a callback. It's even more irritating coming from a businessperson. I get it. Other people value their time more than mine. They don't want to be bothered with setting up a system to follow through. Even worse, they don't mind when they don't keep their word.
The United Way of Hastings is the HEART of Hastings raising and donating money locally for over 50 years. The programs funded by UWH are all local agencies and programs — supporting education, health and financial empowerment. Food 4 Kids is a program of the United Way of Hastings in partnership with 360 Communities and ISD 200. Some children in Hastings don't have enough to eat. Weekends without school meals can be especially tough. Food 4 Kids provides bags of kid-friendly food for the weekend.
My friends and I would like to thank the tall kind gentleman who paid for our lunch June 23 at Yuan's Buffet on Vermillion Street in Hastings. The waitress tried to describe him to us after he paid our bill and left the restaurant.