Matt Look won the prize, however, discussing the buffer zone protection for Ramsey's wetlands - i.e., protection of the public asset that protects and sustains the drinking water of all who live in Ramsey - by suggesting that if a buffer zone is to exist around wetlands, where they are which of course is where nature put them without regard to any "right" of "ownership" to curtail nature; then government should for some tortured and obscure reason pay money to land owners because of imagined curtailment by government of imagined "property rights."
Look imagines it a "taking" of imagined "property rights," to sanely buffer wetlands to protect them and to thus protect everyone's groundwater, (and groundwater unlike grass or topsoil does move, with what's under your home today under mine or other's homes tomorrow, or days later, months or years later), and yet Look spoke as if the "right" to use land by current title holders were absolute, unrestricted, and not in fact always subject to collective requirements of proper use so that government holds the right to restrain uses that are improper and socially repugnant, unfair or unwise.
Look spoke as if sound and restrained land use restriction were somehow a "taking" of "landowner rights."
Look was singing Merlin Hunt's perpetual one tune serenade, now given some kind of a council-table imprimatur of rationality, by one on council.
So, this just in, per ABC Newspapers:
Charges filed in East Bethel cockfighting incident
Wednesday, 22 April 2009 - by Eric Hagen
Three men were charged April 20 in Anoka County District Court for their alleged involvement in cockfighting.
According to the criminal complaint, the incident happened at the home of Kou Her, 35, 20239 Jackson St. N.E., East Bethel. He was charged with felonies - promoting animal fighting and permitting premises to be used for animal fighting.
Two other men were charged with a felony count of possession of an animal for animal fighting purposes and one gross misdemeanor charge of attending an animal fight.
The other men charged were Dao Nhia Thao, 53, 8455 Mississippi Blvd., N.W., Coon Rapids, and Neng Thao, 34, of Danville, Ark.
One of the deputies walked to the south of the garage and through a window saw approximately 35 males standing around a two-foot-high circular ring, watching two chickens or roosters fighting, the complaint alleges.
The deputy spotted a man leaving the garage and found out his name was Her and he owned the home. The deputy asked him why he was letting the animals fight, according to the complaint.
Her allegedly told the deputy that the chickens were training and the birds belonged to his friends.
He allegedly told the deputy they let the birds fight because that’s what they do when his friends come over and they did not have anything else to do.
Deputies entered the garage and allegedly had two people separate the two fighting roosters. They saw both roosters had patches of feathers missing and one was very bloody on its head. Blood was spotted in the ring.
Police discovered that there were 11 chickens or roosters inside the garage either in carrying cases, which had ventilation holes, or in pens, according to the complaint.
Another 17 chicks or small roosters were allegedly in a covered pen outside the garage under a heat lamp and more chickens and roosters were found on the property, including two running loose on the lawn and one rooster that had dry blood on its wings and some torn feathers.
More chickens were found in suitcases with breathing holes inside two vehicles that allegedly belonged to Dao Nhia Thao and Neng Thao parked outside the garage.
In a post-Miranda statement following his arrest, Dao Nhia Thao allegedly admitted he had attended the cockfight, but denied knowing that any rooster was in a case inside his car.
He alleged that the car was unlocked and anyone could have put it in there.
Who is Cher Kong? He's one of the cockfighting arrestees, the only one for whom I found an online mug shot, this one. But, animal cruelty - use of land for that, isn't it a "property right?" Shouldn't our Councilmember Look be advocating paying the cockfighting gentlemen money, for curtailment of their land use rights, rather than blandly standing aside and seeing them arrested? Or is consistency a mere hobgoblin of petty minds?
Here is the source of the Cher Kong photo, telling Cher Kong's story:
East Bethel man charged in cockfighting ring - Updated: 9 months ago
An East Bethel man was charged Monday in Anoka County's first cockfighting ring bust in nearly a decade.
Cher Kong, 35, was charged with a felony for running a major cockfighting organization out of his home after authorities raided Kong's home early Saturday morning.
Authorities executed a search warrant Monday at Kong's home. They seized 29 birds and a few other animals.
Humane Society officials say the roosters have dozens of wounds, major feather loss, and homemade sutures done with needle and thread.
Authorities say the birds were bred to fight. The animals were given performance enhancing drugs. Even more disturbing, police say the birds had razor blades attached to their feet.
"This is a bloodsport in the purest form," says Humane Society investigator Keith Streff. "They typically fight to the death and wagers are placed on those birds. There's a lot of suffering and dying in the ring. But if you win the fight, you will die days later due to the injuries and infections that fester after the fight's over."
And this is not just East Bethel's "land use" and "property rights" issue. WE in Ramsey have felt the impact of the animal cruelty rights folks being curtailed within our boundaries, as reported, e.g., here:
Sep 3, 2008 10:51 am US/Central
Suspected Cockfighting Ring Busted In Ramsey
RAMSEY, Minn. (AP) ― Authorities have busted a suspected cockfighting operation in Anoka County and seized more than 100 birds.
The sheriff's office said a caller reported a cock fight in progress Saturday night. Officers who arrived could see, through an open barn door, people gathered around a ring with bloody and injured roosters nearby.
Police seized 102 roosters, hens and chicks as well as fighting paraphernalia, including an electric frying pan, "commonly used to irritate the cocks prior to a fight by dipping the talons in hot oil," according to the criminal complaint.
So, Matt Look, speak up. The ongoing silence while justice cries out that you defend these property rights issues, it is inexcusible.
I have a friend with two outbuildings on his seven acres. Shouldn't Mr. Look and friends be paying him money, because the law does not allow him to make good money from his land by installing a brothel in one of the outbuildings? Doesn't that follow, the property right to use land that way, shipping in a few willing Russian young women, doing business?
Moreover, there are folks with toxic waste on hand. Pay my household money, we are foregoing the cash flow that would follow from allowing them to dump it on homestead land. Pay the neighbors too. They all are also foregoing such a cash flow. So, in lieu of that windfall, compensate each for curtailment -- of "property rights."
Matt, where's our cash? You are holding back.
Don't give it to Merlin Hunt or John Engstrom simply because nature put swamp where they hold title and they thus owe good stewardship of nature's treasure trove to us all.
Give the loot to us, and to every non-brothel operator in City of Ramsey.
Matt took the time to send an extensive email. I shall review it and publish it here, in this update, once I have thought over what he said and a sentence or two in response. One thing I found interesting, Elvig at the meeting pointed out that a few building permits had been pulled, it is not zero traffic in the Ramsey development world, and I have seen stuff going up at the gun club. Wetland buffering requirements were NOT in place when the Gun Club and the Peterson Cornfield on Trott Brook were platted, and people are invited to have a look at what that means, how "protected" that left wetlands when they were not being buffered suitably.
Also, the neighbors of the Peterson Cornfield got screwed on not getting density transition. That was crass but gave Peterson a few more lots to profit off of. It was the old council, (folks that still are present with Elvig and Jeffrey as carryovers), who unanimously voted to abandon the MUSA line and do leapfrog development with Haas-Steffen in minutes characterized as saying just put the pipes in the ground and let people deal with it, and that was the most destructive step - the driving of the coffin nail on what Ramsey had been that attracted its older single family residents - with the 2008 comp plan only death rattles.
One has to wonder whether that old council had unofficial understandings, Peterson's Cornfield and the Gun Club go through, everyone else then has to buffer wetlands - it is the pattern at least, and that suggests either an understanding or an unwillingness among enough folks, the old mayor coming to mind, to treat all animals on Animal Farm equally.
Check back to see what Matt had to say, it will be posted over the weekend if not tomorrow.