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March 24, 2011     Tri-County News
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March 24, 2011
 

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. I IIliliili t p ,". ! l Thursday, March 24, 20i 1 age z : 1 EL .... Letter to the Editor Jill Pettier : i "Slices of Life" : Watklns thanks Dean Ordahl W We the citizens of Watkins and ator Scott Neuman has authored :i~~ Union mentality hits close to home the Watkins city council would Senate Bill #87 to the Health and There's union talk in the hall- caught them yesterday huddled in like to thank Representative Dean Human Services Committee to Urdahl for all his help in setting up deal with this issue in the Senate. ways. I hear them, in the bath- the garage.) They cry out for col- room, whispering about represen- lective bargaining in their sleep. and sponsoring house Bill HF19. It has now been coauthored by tation and responsibility (before During their waking hours, I dis- He was instrumental in getting State Senator Michelle Fischbach. our contingent of citizens into the This Bill deals with this same issue they leave without flushing), miss them with a two-word direc- They're utilizing terms like due tive, "Time out!" (I am still the hearing and letting us know the in the Senate. The chairman of the process and fairness (while refus- boss, at least as far as I can tell.) procedures for us to testify to the Health and Human Services Com- ing to take their turn sitting in the If they are allowed the luxury of House and Human Services Com- mittee is Senator David Hahn. back seat of the minivan). They negotiation, my advantage as rule- mittee. The Bill did pass through Please contact these people and believe they are entitled to griev- wielding, bedtime-enforcing, car- the committee and now goes on to tell them that you would appreci- ance procedures, arbitration and rot-pushing queen of the house the Senate. This Bill involves the ate their support on this issue, safe working conditions (although ends. equalization in reimbursement Dennis Lochthe floor is obstructed with their Today they take activities to a by the State of Minnesota for the Watkins city councilman own dirty laundry), newlevel of insubordination. They Hilltop Nursing Home. State Sen- They want equality and aremarch on the front lawn, demand- threatening to vote on the matter, ing overtime compensation for 'llllltOp' '-'" - bill' moves forward Who do they think they are? homework completed at home as You can understand my appre- this is not within the parameters By]ean Doran Matua, Editor hension, not to mention all-out - of a regular school day. (Cry me a Hilltop Care Center is one of Health and Human Services terror. As a mother I- can't allow river.) They rally on the front steps several medical facilities owned (HHS) Finance Committee on it. If my kids unionize, they will threatening to stage a sit-in and and operated in central Minnesota Feb. 22. Annette Schroeder gain the right to provide input work stoppage until their stipula- by Paynesville Area Health Care (Nursing Director at Hilltop), Bev and influence regarding regular tions are met. (Little do they know System (PAHCS). The long-term Mueller (PAHCS Administrator of household issues. How crazy is it's almost time for supper.) care nursing home has earned a long-term and acute care), and that? I sendmy husband to call them high standing in the industry, in Dennis Loch (Watkins council- They want to make their own in to eat. the community, and among its man) all testified for the bill. rules, but not their beds, and that's My mediator returns with a patients and their families. There The correlatingbillinthe Senate only the beginning of the debacle, message. They want to know if I seems to be no question that is S.F. 87 and it is co-authored From bods we'll move to a myriad can go to the store to buy poster Hilltop provides excellent care and by Senators Scott Newman andof demands and regulation elim- board so they can make signs to is integral to Watkins in particular Michelle Fischbach. The Senate ination. (My throat is tight here, I support their cause. and to the broader community. HHS hearing was Monday, March am trying to keep mylunch down.) This makes me laugh. So itwas asurpriseinDecember 21. Schroeder and Mueller testi- If they are allowed to congre- I decide to make my own sign. when PAHCS announced that it fled for the Senate version of the gate, converse and disseminate On it, I print two words: "Mom was looking into options for the bill as did Kathleen Tschumperlin information, they will obliterate Quits." future of Hilltop that include the (Watkins councilwoman) and mealtimes. Cheetos will replace I walk out the frtmt door wav- possibility of selling it or even Fr. Richard Gross of Watkins. carrots at the dinner table. Ice ing my declaration in front of their closing it. A "busload" of others from cream will be a breakfast staple, faces and they stand on the steps The financial reality is that Watkins attended both hearings. Broccoli will be but a dim mem- with mbuths agape. "Morns can't Hilltop is losing about $300,000 The result of both the Houseory. Possession of asparagus will quit," they tell me. each year, primarily because and the Senate hearings is the become a misdemeanor. "Neither can kids," I reply. of inequity in state reimburse- same: the bills will be laid over for Grown-ups will not be allowed "Now come in. Supper's ready and ment. Hilltop is located in Meeker possible inclusion in the respec- access to the TVremote. The living the carrots are getting cold." County, which ranks in the mid-. tive omnibus bills. The next step room will transform into a floor Later we will explore the topic of level for reimbursement (based would be comparing the Househockey arena; the sunroom set math homework followed by tooth- on the logic that costs are lower and Senate versions and negoti- aside for wrestling. Toilet flushing brushing and completion of bed- in "rural" Minnesota). Being less ating changes to make them the will be even less optional than it is time routines at a regular hour. I than a quarter mile from Stearns same before passing them out of now. survived another day as Mom Exec- County (where reimbursement committee and to the House and It is unfortunate, this union utive Officer. I can always think rates are $18-35 per bed per day Senate floors for a vote. mentality. They are preparing to about quitting tomorrow. higher), one can safely assume Rep. Hosch indicated the House undo years of my own personal Jill Pertler, award-winning syn- that costs at Hilltop are similar to vote could be "within the next organization and rule-abidance, dicated columnist and author of thosein nearby facilities. Employee couple of weeks." He will identify all in the name of rights and enti- "The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to recruitment, training, payand ben- the key players in the negotiations, tlement. They are threatening Self-Syndication" is collecting fans efits; utilities and maintenance; and these individuals are those to a strike - on bedtimes, curfews, on Facebook on her Slices of Life medical and housekeeping sup- whom letters of support should be chores, science projects and read- page. E-mail her at pertmn@qwest. plies- that quarter-mile difference written. One major hurdle Hosch ing requirements, net;, or visit her website at http:// doesn't necessarily make costs low- identified is the fact that the HHS They have been trying to come marketing-by-design home mchsi. eratHilltop. committee must cut $1.86 billion together to hold a meeting., (I corn~. Enter Minn. Rep. Dean Hrdahl from the omnibus bill it will pres- on the scene. He authored a enttotheHouseforvote, andH.F.19 ~.tO~, House bill, H.F. 19, to increase re- will add some cost to the state. ~ ~0~ imbursement for nursing care fa- The Tri-CountyNews is following ~---- ~. ~" cilities when they are geographi- both bills, and will post updates on J J,,"",b. ~, ' cally close to higher-reimbursing our website as they are available. ~ ~ !] $ tl , counties. Rep. Larry Hosch joined You'll find links there to House and ~ /~ Js~, .,0 ,~ .~.n,? /~,~ f) /,f; ~, tl~,~,...,* *i . .*,.~'a'n I ] IIe v g N I " the bill as co-author. The bill re- Senate sites where you can read the "'.~-'- ; ~ * z-, -,-, ~,~ - V.,,~ . ceived a hearing before the House bills, andfollow their progress. ~ / tl ,p% ,=,s . i 11 _ .,"._ . .-V( ! I i! // >/ / I/ I/_ _ I_.. i/,.../ 7 / It :-"t' / -- /= ~, # m ,t., www.tricou ntynews. M N 2 p.m. Mondays POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the Tri-County News, RO.' Box 220, Kimball MN 55353. The Tri-County News (USPS 639-i 180) is entered at the Post Office, Kimball, Minnesota 55353, as Periodi- cals. It is punished Thursdays by the TH-County News, Inc., RO. Box 220, Kimball MN 55353, Stearns County. LOCATION: Our office is at 70 Main Street South in downtown Kimball Weekday office hours are Monday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Tuesday through Fri- day'9 a.m.-2 p.m. Our telephone and fax number is (320) 3t)8-5000. E-mail can be addressed to . Our Web site is . We also have a drop site at Ert[ Hardware Hank in downtown Watkins. DEADLINE: 2 p.m. Monday. RATES: Subscription rates are S36/year ($26 for age 62 and older) in Minnesota; $46/year (S36 for se- niors) elsewhere in the U.S. Single copy price is 75 cents. STAFF: Jean Doran Matua, Editor and PuNisher Sue Hughes: Creative Designer Maxine Doran: Admin. Associate Marguerite Laabs: Photographer Marlene A. 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RECYCLING: The Tri-County News is printed with soy inks on re- cycled paper whenever possible. We encourage recycling. COPYRIGHT: ALl content-herein is the property of the Tri-County News and is protected by U.S. copyright taw; content may not be reproduced without our written prior consent. We are proud to be a member of: Minnesota Newspaper Assoc. Kimball Area Chamber Kimball Area Historical Society Stearns County Press Assoc. 2011 MNAAd Contest first-place winner; 2010 MNAAward for Best Website; 2010 MNA Award for Best Self-Promotion Ad; 2010 MNA Award for Best Color Ad; 2010 MNAAward for Best News Photo; 2009 MNA Award for Best Self-Promotion Ad; 2008 MNA Award for Best Advertise- ment; 2008 Award for Portrait and Personality Photography; 2007 MNA Award for Advertising Excellence; 2007 MNA Award, Best Information Graphic; 2006 MNA Award, Classified Adver- tising; 2004 MNA Award, Advertising Excellence; 2000 MNA Award, Best Local News Story. 2011, Tri-County News