Sunday Night: When is taxpayers’ money not taxpayers’ money?

By MaryHelen Swanson, editor—


I am concerned with a stadium proposal that would rely on $72 million from electronic pull-tab and electric bingo money. Take it from one who (I’ll admit it) is all too familiar with gambling and how it so easily relieves you of your hard-earned cash, that $72 million is taxpayers’ money.

As little children go to bed with grumbling tummies, as they go off to school without needed supplies, as they sit at home instead of going off to summer rec programs, ask their folks where the money came from to play electronic pull-tabs or bingo? I’ll bet it’s out of the same pocket that their taxes are paid. We are fooling ourselves if we think there is another magical pocket in our pants just for this kind of activity. Gambling money is taxpayers’ money.


There are a number of NB citizens concerned with a recent proposal to build affordable housing on part of the ESSBY land. I have to agree with many who say why not work to fill all the homes left vacant by mortgage foreclosures. I have a lot of questions though.

How do we go about filling those empty homes. What can we do to bring people to North Branch? For months, no years, now the Post Review’s pages have been filled with foreclosure notices. It would seem there are no people left in town. How do we bring them back?

I think a community meeting should be called so the people can bring their ideas about how to rebuild our community. If affordable housing is not the answer, what is?

Making note

The bears are back! For this I use an exclamation point. I was certainly not ready for them, but Monday night my daughter and I heard strange noises outside our home. “Squirrels!” she said, and off we went to get ready for bed.

Then came the loud, familiar noise of the metal garbage cans being knocked over and ransacked. For sure, a big black bear was dining on my bird seed and suet. The storage cans being right next to the house, we got a very good look. I don’t know if that one was solo, but at 2:30 a.m. I looked out the window, having left the yard light on, and saw a huge black mound right below me. A bear was sleeping there, taking a nap after tearing down the bird feeder and consuming all its contents. I tapped the window, it looked up at me as if to say “Aw shucks” and slowly ambled away. But it kept coming back so I got a real good look at it. Funny, but my camera wouldn’t work through two panes of glass in the dark of night taking a photo of a black bear. But trust me – it was a bear.

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