Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Prevent Crime: Give to Beggars (Update)

What to do about beggars in Richfield who claim they would prefer to beg than steal? Tracy from Anti-Strib notes that those two options surely cannot be the only two (if, in fact, the guy is just making easy, tax-free money).

I posted several links in my previous post... two included a list of charities in the Richfield area. Of course, the alternative that Tracy suggested was a four letter word... and I don't mean off-color.

This morning, I received an e-mail message from the City of Richfield:
Your first e-mail was forwarded to the City Council, the City Manager and Public Safety Director on September 24. I will forward this one to those individuals today.

The City Council discussed this issue at last night's City Council Meeting. The meeting should be linked to our website ( later this afternoon so you can watch it (Channel 16, click on view programming). Also, the council meeting will be rebroadcast on Richfield's Cable Channel 16 beginning Sat, at 3 p.m., Sunday at 5 p.m. and Wed. at 7 p.m.

If you have any additional questions, you may want to contact the Richfield Public Safety Director, Dan Scott at 612-861-9810 or

As of yet, I don't see anything in the City Council Agendas and Minutes, however we all know the pace at which bureaucracy and government move. For better and for worse.

I'll check later today... maybe I'll update this post with a link to the video. Checking the agenda, nothing obvious shows up. I'll try to read it when I have a moment.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

BWCA Idiocy and Mayhem: Update

Only a few days since this post, but traffic is way up and some punk suggests I'm going to get a civil lawsuit.

You remember the stalwarts of Ely, don't you? Take some time to refresh yourself with the story... visit the links in my previous post.

The group included Barney Lakner / Barney James Lakner (37), Jay Olson / Jay Andrew Olson (19), Zachary Barton / Zachary Ross Barton (19), Travis Erzar / Travis John Erzar (20), Casey Fenske / Casey James Fenske (19), and an unnamed 16 year old boy (check the criminal complaint, he's MU... and according to interviews with these jackasses, MU talks tough for a little kid of 16).

Ready? Then let's look at some of the charges:
* Zachary Ross Barton, 19, charged with three felony counts of terroristic threats, six felony counts of harassment and one misdemeanor count each of reckless discharge of a firearm and underage consumption.

* Travis John Erzar, 20, charged with three felony counts of terroristic threats, six felony counts of harassment and one misdemeanor count of underage consumption.

* Casey James Fenske, 19, charged with four felony counts of terroristic threats, six felony counts of harassment, one felony count of criminal damage to property, and misdemeanor counts of reckless discharge of a firearm and underage consumption.

* Barney James Lakner, 37, charged with four felony counts of terroristic threats, 11 felony counts of harassment, two felony counts of possession of firearms, two gross misdemeanor counts of theft, and one misdemeanor count each of transporting an uncased firearm, reckless discharge of a firearm and possession and use of fireworks.

* Jay Andrew Olson, 19, charged with four felony counts of terroristic threats, 12 felony counts of harassment, two felony counts of criminal damage to property, two gross misdemeanor counts of theft, one gross misdemeanor count of possession of stolen property, and one misdemeanor count each of reckless discharge of a firearm and underage consumption.
(Emphasis mine.)

Hmmm. If I was charged with terrorizing and shooting mayhem in the Boundary Waters, the last thing I would be concerned with is some guy with a blog who is quoting the news, slinging insults, and speculating that he hits on young men after giving them beer.

Not only that:
...the Ontario Provincial Police also are investigating the incident. It’s unclear whether Canadian charges will be brought for violations of Canadian firearms laws.
Federal charges and potential charges from another country, too?

Not only that:
Items authorities recovered from the suspects’ two boats included a high-powered, semi-automatic assault-style rifle with three 30-round clips, a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, a .22 caliber rifle, a .22 caliber pistol, ammunition, spent shell casings, fireworks residue, beer and items stolen from one campsite.
(Emphasis mine.)

What was it that Olson kid said?
According to the Star-Tribune, [Olson] told investigators that the men "kind of pushed it, yeah. We should have stopped."
Clearly the brains of the operation.

Just a little "fun" as Barton apparently said... you know, because they simply wanted to "stir things up a bit".

The man old enough to buy beer, Lakner (who apparently has such poor taste that he drinks Pabst), was in such a mood for cute fun:
Lakner was wearing a knit hat with fake dreadlocks attached to it. [Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy Jim] Hoberg had known Lakner for over 20 years, but did not recognize him at first.

During the pat-search, Hoberg noticed Lakner was wearing a .45 caliber semi-automatic side arm and had another bullet clip on his belt.
Just a reminder in case you didn't look at the original story (or didn't see this in the Duluth News Tribune), the criminal complaint stated that these fine young boys (at least one of which wears a dopey expression on his face) and a grown man (with a desire to get young men buzzed cheap beer and take them out to skinny-dip) yelled at some campers hiding in the woods and threatened to kill one camper and rape the camper's daughter.

Ah, their parents should be so proud.
As the officers continued arrest procedures, they heard the second boat approaching and instructed the first three suspects to remain silent.

However, Lakner continually talked louder, according to the complaint, apparently trying to alert the second boat of their situation. Ely Police Officer Chad Hood began to escort Lakner to a squad car about 50 yards away, but Lakner persisted shouting to the point that Hood had to wrestle him to the ground and cover his mouth.
Lakner apparently doesn't mind tangling with a cop from the Northern stretch of Minnesota in the wee hours. I'm telling you, this guy has issues.
In all, Deputy Hoberg and Agent Elkins talked to at least 80 people regarding the case.

If convicted, penalties for each count of aiding and abetting terroristic threats, harassment and firearms possession is five years incarceration, or a $10,000 fine, or both. Theft penalties include one year incarceration, a $3,000 fine, or both. Reckless discharge of a firearm, transporting an uncased firearm, and possession and use of fireworks all have penalties of 90 days incarceration, a $1,000 fine, or both.
(Emphasis mine.)

I'm not saying... I'm just saying.
The five were summoned to make their initial appearance in Lake County District Court on Oct. 1.
I get to update this story in next month, too! Maybe I'll quote the criminal complaint and provide some of the language these boys admit to making.

I think my blogging might pick up a little over the next two weeks. Just a hunch.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Prevent Crime in Richfield: Give to Beggars

I got home early today... whoo-hoo. However, the drive home lead me to this sight.
That isn't exactly what I saw. (This picture comes from my return visit.) He actually opened up a cigar pack, unwrapped what must have been a cheap cigar, light it up, and puffed away. He also had a bottle of iced tea on the ground and some other stuff.

For reference:
The Portland exit from Crosstown.

Off the top of my head, I know at least three families within 1.5 miles of this spot. I've been driving through this area for well over twenty years. This year marks the only year I've seen so-called beggars on that patch... and so far I think I'm only up to four.

Perhaps I've seen them before and forgotten about them. I don't know. All the same I really don't want them there anyway. Especially when they have a sign like this one.
"I'd rather beg - than robb - God bless"

Written out poorly, with the word rob misspelled, and a good old God bless thrown in for good measure.

Really? That's your message??? Fine... I've got a message.

So, I drove down to the Richfield Police Department, which wasn't as far away as I thought. I wasn't hopeful that they would do much, or be able to do much. That's why I made a return trip with my handy camera.

Within about an hour I was back at the on ramp... there he was, cigarless this time. Thanks for posing, Scruffy.

For crying out loud, Richfield... get rid of these guys.

City of Richfield

Richfield Mayor and City Council

Richfield City Hall
6700 Portland Avenue
Richfield, MN 55423
(612) 861-9700
(612) 861-9749 (fax)

Richfield Public Safety Department
(612) 861-9800

Charity Guide: Richfield


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

How Do You Rack Up 79 Criminal Charges at the Boundary Waters?

I'm guessing it is just like getting to Carnegie Hall. (Practice.)

Big story in the Strib... I heard about it on Garage Logic today while taking a quick break from work.

Apparently, back in early August a group of guys got drunk on some Pabst up in the Boundary Waters, acted like complete jackasses, yelled and swore at some campers, fired guns, launched some fireworks, and threatened to rape or even kill members of a family.

Christ, and folks in the South get tarred as jackasses. Folks, geography doesn't fence this stuff in.

One family's daughter claims these folks were less than civil:
At one point, Marina Koller told authorities, one of the men said, "Maybe if you make us s'mores for an hour, we won't ... kill you!"[The men said] they were going to kill me and rape us all, in very graphic terms,"
The group included Barney James Lakner (37), Jay Andrew Olson (19), Zachary R. Barton (19), Travis J. Erzar (20), Casey J. Fenske (19), and an unnamed 16 year old boy.

Lakner looks more like a 48 year old sex offender... just take a look:
Barney J. Lakner... jackass
Okay, he's probably not a sex offender... we hope he's not a sex offender. I suspect he a least fell out of the dumb-shit tree (and hit some of the biggest branches on the way down).

A 37 year old guy drinking, boating, shooting, and threatening rape along with a bunch of guys barely old enough to be legally termed "men"... and a minor. I suspect this Lakner guy has some BIG issues. If I were one of the parents of any of these other punk-ass, dork-faced, no-account, good-for-nothing, dim-bulb, one beer away from date-rape jackasses I would (after playing a little chin music) want to speak with Mr. Lakner regarding the relationship he may (or may not) have with my son.

According the the Strib story:
Two of the men skinny-dipped.
Yeah, I'm fine with my body... I don't mind being naked if there is a reason... but I can't really see the need to go get naked with a man roughly 20 years older than me. What's more, I really see no reason to strip off and swim with boys roughly 20 years younger than me.

However, maybe one of the guys was this prize winning genius:
Jay A. Olson... moron

...and if he was, I might just disown the moron. (I might also expect that some 37 year old guy convinced him to strip down and swim.)

According to the Star-Tribune, he told investigators that the men "kind of pushed it, yeah. We should have stopped."

Wow! The kid's got a great future as a Monday morning quarterback.

Going back to the creepy-looking Lakner, he had an interesting time back in Spring of 2004... look at this:
Illegal Snowmobilers Apprehended in BWCAW

During a snowmobile patrol on Saturday, March 6, Forest Service law enforcement officers apprehended five men who were illegally snowmobiling on Crooked Lake, north of Ely, inside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).


All five individuals charged in this case are residents, or former residents, of Ely, including: Barney J. Lakner, 34; David R. Marttila, 40; Thomas N. Edman, 40; Mark E. Merhar, 38; and Thomas M. Gardiepy, 35. An investigation is ongoing into other possible related violations.
My Spider-Sense tells me this Lakner fellow might have one or two other black marks on his record. Call it a hunch.

The Ely Echo suggests looking them up now and again for updates and a follow-up story.

The Lake County, MN website has an out-of-date press release regarding Lakner and Olson... perhaps they might step up to the plate with new information in the next week.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Jerk on a Bike

I nearly killed a guy while driving to work today. Biker moron. Actually, that’s a bike moron. I’ve never seen a motorcycle moron… plenty of bike morons, though. Especially, in Highland.

While approaching an intersection with stop lights a bus stopped in the far right lane… probably picking folks up. I’ve got the green light… which means the cross traffic has a red light. Even my boy knows that a red light means stop. (He says it all the time.)

Since its Highland, I’m not running fast… the neighborhood pretty much maxes out at 30 MPH. Not only that, I’ve got an effing bus blocking my view from anyone on the curb, so I'm careful. This guy comes out of no where. (They always do.) He didn’t peek around the bus… the damn fool rode his bike past the bus and then looked. However, he didn’t stop. Ever. Effing stunod keeps going and waves at me, apparently to let me know he saw me.

Great! You saw me… so why did you keep going? What if I hadn’t seen you? You wouldn’t stop a two-thousand pound bullet, jackass. Do I need some bike moron’s death on my conscious? Hell no. Do the neighborhood a favor and get the Hell out of here.

I rolled down the window and yelled,
“What in the flaming hootie-hoo is all that about!”
I should have said, “I hope you get cancer of the eyes!” Not that I’d actually wish that on anyone.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Lucky to Suffer a Tantrum

Apparently, I'm not prepared. Our flag has not flown outside the house since the pole warped with the tightening screw. (Apparently, the flag etiquette regarding leaving it outside at night and in the rain is more for protecting cheap-ass flagpoles than the flag.)

We've been meaning to fix it or replace it... but we've left that chore sit for some time.

Maybe this will encourage me and the wife to take care of that.

Then again, we really don't feel inclined... not because of a lack of patriotism (or some overwhelming sense of lefty-patriotism, or as it is more commonly described: moonbat activism). We're just looking for a house.

Maybe that's not a good enough excuse. I know if we fixed the set-up, the boy would love to put it out and take it down each day.

Speaking of which, the wife says he engaged the dreaded "Sass Mode"... with the "Obnoxious Behavior Mode" around the same time he experienced a "Leaky Diaper / Runny Poo" fault.

The wife is sick... and she was late. Needless to say she didn't enjoy the attitide (and actions) the boy threw her way. She needed to vent. Perhaps I should have let her vent a little longer, but all I could think was: "A number of folks don't have the luxury of dealing with an obnoxious, sassy, pain-in-the-ass toddler anymore."

That's not to say the boy should get his way. That's not to say we should let him act out. That's not to say he shouldn't be punish. I just figured it might give her pause for thought and not be so rattled.

She's still sick. Now she's at home where she doesn't need to talk (she's losing her voice). She can dress very comfortably. She can drink as much water and eat as much hot soup as possible. She can also get hopped on sinus medication.

Hopefully she'll feel better tonight... and the boy will have improved his attitude.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Here Comes Autumn

Not more than a week ago I smelled Fall in the air. For some reason August played cool, which felt wonderful. Now, we're getting some more heat, but it will feel like Fall again soon enough.

I love autumn. Somehow it smells like school and new books and old friends. It represents the end of baseball and the beginning of football. (For that alone, Fall makes me think of George Carlin and HBO comedy specials.) Often enough, it led to a new Rush album and a new season of television (and with it, sweeps).

I remember one particular fall in high school (probably my senior year) where our football team played an away game. A downpour of rain hit after we changed from our marching band uniforms... my leather jacket took a beating from mother nature. The rain was really only the first step... after that, it developed quite a lot of character. I still have it, but my arms are a little longer. (According to my doctor's visit this morning I'm certainly not as scrawny as I was back then.)

Symbolicly, autumn preceeds death... the fall of man leading to the cold and sterile winter. (Got that from one of my great high school teachers... Melchoir.) My family might see that symbolism realized as one of my uncles is not in great health. That's all speculation, of course, and hopefully he'll be around for a long time. However, it's just a reminder that my older relatives will eventually go and he is no exception.

The more and more I see my uncle (and, I need to visit him soon), he reminds me more of my grandfather. My uncle's face seems round like my grandfather. He grins like my grandfather. A few years ago at a family reunion our big picture turned out great... and my uncle didn't so much grin as beam. Maybe he's just a funny old guy now. I still remember him with a cigar from all of the old family holidays when I was but a curmudgeon in training... like Thanksgiving in the fall.

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