Readers’ Views

Time for care for all

To the Editor:

Here are three health care-related stories from people who live in Fairmont:

Recently one friend’s physician gave him a month’s supply of Invokana (a type of diabetes medication) to try. When he went to get the next month’s prescription, his co-pay cost was $180.

The next story is also about a person with diabetes. He usually purchased (and needs) a three-month quantity of the drugs Humalog and Lantus. His cost: $200. Overnight, the co-pay cost doubled to $40.

Finally, a friend went to an appointment at the Mayo Clinic for serious digestive issues. The doctor prescribed Anucort HC. His insurance refused to cover the cost of the medicine. My friend paid $300.

Health Care for All Minnesota (HCAMN) is a statewide grassroots organization with one goal: to stop the cruel and senseless financial burdens placed on people daily by the current health care system as exemplified in these stories. HCAMN members work to support legislation that will put people over company profits. No insurance company will dictate arbitrary price increases. HCAMN supports universal health care coverage for everyone with no “co-pays” and no “deductibles.”

Monthly meetings of the Martin County chapter of HCAMN are held at 7 p.m. the first Monday of each month at the Fairmont library. The next meeting is March 5.

Peter Engstrom


Support appreciated

To the Editor:

Recently, I sent letters formally thanking GKN in Armstrong, Redi-Haul Trailers in Fairmont and Avery Weigh Tronix in Fairmont for the partnerships they have created with us (Fairmont Area Schools). These local industries donate valuable resources for our Welding Academy. GKN and Redi-Haul donate scrap metal. Avery Weigh-Tronix donates man hours for mentorships. These resources have been put to great use in developing skills in our Introduction to Welding class, Careers in Welding class and our College in the School class that awards concurrent credits with Riverland Community College and high school credit for those taking the course.

These donations have directly impacted over 100 students in the past year. The students impacted have enrolled in our Regular School Welding, Saturday School Welding and Summer School Welding Academies. The students use the metal donated to practice flat position welds, t-joint welds, lap-joint welds, butt-joint welds and overhead welds. The mentoring helps the students get a real world perspective of what they would encounter on the job.

Approximately 15 percent of students in grades 9-12 that we train will either enter the welding workforce after graduation or go on and attend an 18-month training program at a post-secondary institution for welding.

It’s because of continued partnerships with area manufacturers that we’re able to have such a successful welding academy. We look forward to continued success in the future and are always looking for more partnerships.

On behalf of the students and administration, I thank you for your support.

Robert Bonin

Fairmont Area Schools

Welding Academy instructor

Board deserves praise

To the Editor:

Fairmont Area Schools will join school districts throughout the state in saluting their local education leaders during Minnesota’s annual School Board Recognition Week, Feb. 19-23. I personally want to salute and thank our school board members: Rufus Rodriguez, president (serving 4th year); Nicole Green, vice-president (serving 6th year); Julie Laue, treasurer (serving 17th year); Del Ellis, clerk (serving 3rd year); Dan Brookens director (serving 10th year); and Danielle Schutz, director (serving 4th year).

This commemorative week is designed to recognize the many contributions made by school board members, and I believe the Fairmont Area School Board is second to none in providing leadership and direction for our district. They help oversee our district’s $17,000 budget, which funds education programs for 1,700 students. Their personnel decisions affect over 300 teachers, administrators and support staff. They are some of the most dedicated, knowledgeable and caring people with whom I’ve had the privilege to work.

In the past two years, our board has made a strong effort to give our students a greater voice by holding monthly student breakfast meetings at the high school, and lunch sessions with student groups at both the high school and the elementary. Board members also attend meetings with building staff to ensure they have an opportunity to share their input and concerns. In addition to attending two school board meetings a month, board members serve on multiple committees that demand time both during and outside the work day. Our full board has successfully completed several workshops through the Minnesota School Boards Association to help them gain additional knowledge about education and their responsibilities as a school board member. The list of ways in which they serve our schools could go on and on. In short, our school board’s dedication to this calling is exemplary and we are so very fortunate to have them advocating for and supporting education in Fairmont.

Joseph E. Brown Sr.,


Fairmont Area School

Thanks, community

To the Editor:

For the first time in Fairmont Dollars for Scholars history (that any of us on the board can recall, anyway), we had to postpone our fundraising dinner due to inclement weather. “Inclement” seems so tame to describe our 16-inch snowfall. Yet despite the one-week delay, we had such a great turnout on a clear but cold night for our chicken dinner fundraiser on Jan. 29.

Thank you to the community for your continued support of our organization and our students. Thank you also to: the 31 Fairmont seniors who helped served the meal; Pizza Ranch’s Lisa DeBoer and Lori Stubbe for the great food and smooth setup for our service; the Knights of Columbus for hosting and specifically to Jack Newville and Ray Rosa; First Farmers and Merchants Bank, Fairmont Sentinel, Fairmont Photo Press, KFMC/KSUM and area churches for helping publicize the event; and Thrivent for additional financial support.

Thank you also to our anonymous donor who covered the meal for the students serving, and to the board for helping make the evening run smoothly and their involvement throughout the year in helping provide financial support for area students pursuing post-high school studies.

Liz Wheeler,

executive secretary

Fairmont Dollars for Scholars