Readers’ Views

Support appreciated

To the Editor:

The Martin County Historical Society has created a historic calendar since 2005 as an annual fundraiser. Thanks to the support of the business and professional community of Martin County in purchasing advertising, coupled with the design and layout expertise of Designing Signs, Inc., this project has again proven successful with the recent printing of our 2019 calendar that is currently available. The support of everyone involved in making this project a success is greatly appreciated.

Lenny Tvedten,

executive director

Martin County Historical Society

Not so affordable

To the Editor:

As an elderly retired person, and since I have Medicare, I haven’t given much thought about health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

I have noticed that since the Act, the cost of my Medicare supplement/advantage/cost insurance has increased from $0 to $10 to $50 to $75 to $145 to $220 per month, and that is on top of what I pay for Medicare insurance. I thought this was pretty bad until my son told me he pays $716.67 per month and his company pays $1,666.67 per month for his insurance under the Affordable Care Act. His policy has a family deductible of $8,000 before it pays 80 percent.

Even though the Affordable Care Act might have provided some people with insurance, they can’t afford to use it because of the high deductibles. No wonder why some people pay the fine instead of buying the “Affordable” (not) insurance.

It makes one wonder what the medical bills would be if doctors and hospitals didn’t have to code each and everything done, given, used, administered, etc. I think the whole mess of paper work required by insurance companies and/or the government is costing us dearly. Doctors and nurses have to spend too much time with paperwork and then have limited time to spend with patients. It’s best just to not get sick or hurt.

Michael Lundgreen


CREST marks 20 years

To the Editor:

CREST in Martin County joins hundreds of volunteer caregiving organizations across the nation in celebrating the month of November as National Family Caregivers Month.

For more than 20 years, CREST has been providing free services such as live at home services, caregiver support services and volunteer opportunities in the communities of Martin County to those with chronic care issues. CREST is one of several hundred organizations around the country that offers vital assistance through its leadership as part of the care continuum in the community.

Locally, CREST serves 140 people currently enrolled in the program, including about 50 individuals who participate in caregiver support groups. Thanks to support from more than 95 active volunteers, CREST care receivers have access to a variety of support including trips to the grocery story, help with light housekeeping, friendly visits, yard work and minor repairs around the house.

“CREST has been a lifesaver for me as they take me where I need to go, but they also remove my snow that needs to be shoveled,” says care receiver Kathy Karstedt. “I feel it’s very important for CREST to keep going, not only for myself, but also for others in the same situation I’m in.”

CREST was launched in 1998 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Today, hundreds of volunteer hours and volunteer miles have been donated to people in need. The national movement is based on a value system of volunteerism boasting volunteer caregivers who have contributed years of dedicated service. Some of the relationships created through volunteer caregiving go back 10 to 12 years.

The mission is not rooted in medical or personal care, but rather neighborly deeds like changing a light bulb or doing some friendly visiting — all at no cost to the needy recipient. In 1998, CREST was a pioneering response to the impending Silver Tsunami. We are quietly going about our mission, and we do this because donors in the community know that we augment critical services that ensure independent living.

The National Volunteer Caregiving Network ( represents independent chapters of volunteer caregiving throughout the United States, from Hawaii to Boston to Florida to Oregon. For more information, contact CREST at (507) 235-3833 or visit to volunteer, donate or inquire about services.

Rob Stauter