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Open Forum: Shellum always tried to improve the fields

Steve Shellum retired on Thursday. I don’t know exactly what Steve’s official title was, but he was the guy in charge of taking care of the Brainerd High School athletic fields. Anyone who has ever attended a Brainerd High School outdoor athletic event could see the value of Steve’s work. Our fields were always in great condition which made life easier for all of us who worked with him.

As a longtime coach, I have heard many “horror” stories from other schools about the lack of communication between coaches and field maintenance personnel. Because of Steve, we never had those problems here in Brainerd. To the best of my knowledge, Steve has never turned down a single coach’s request to make a playing field better.

We all remember the familiar sight of Steve, on this Ford tractor, mowing the lower site. I personally remember many things like in the late 70s, Steve driving a sandpoint by hand so we could have water at the baseball diamond. I also remember numerous opposing coaches say, “We can’t do that on our field because we don’t have your maintenance guy,” meaning Steve. I’m glad they didn’t have him and I am very pleased that we have Brandon Beach to take his place.

I want to wish Steve a very long and happy retirement.

Lowell Scearcy


Concerned about our lawmakers

I have, as many people do, some great concerns about the people serving us in St. Paul. I went to the Day on the Hill with some state employees a couple of weeks ago. I worked for the state for many years in four different facilities, so I have been around for a while. My first concern is always cuts to services. To go along with that why are cuts not made in St. Paul, where there are an over abundance of staff. Cuts should not be coming from the people doing the “real work” in “real Minnesota.” When we met with legislators, they could not answer our questions with a straight answer. Example, why are you not bringing a bill forward on the veterans home in this area. Mr. Gazelka did not even have the right information. We cannot just put veterans in a regular nursing home without them losing everything. He wants state employees to take a pay cut but he himself will not take one. Mr. LeMieur is another one. My question to him was “Do you get insurance? Yes. Full paid insurance? Yes.” I wonder why? Other state employees that work part time don’t get full paid insurance. Shouldn’t legislators know the business before they are in St. Paul “taking care of our business.” I am extremely concerned about the people we serve are not going to be served. What will happen to them then? Please consider educating yourselves and speaking out as to what is happening in this state that we call home.

Carol Rose