Kim Crockett

May 22, 2019

Kim Crockett, Vice President, Senior Policy Fellow & General Counsel for The Center of the American Experiment”.  Topic:  “The Janus Effect on Teachers Union”.  Host:  George Mueller
Upcoming Events
5/29/2019  Rebecca Bender, Teacher, former Litigation Attorney, and Author of Still.  Topic:  “Readings from Still, a story of a family’s five generations – from Odessa in Russia to the Dakotas and Minnesota”.  Host: Barry Kelner
6/05/2019  TBA  Host:  Ron Hasselmann
6/12/2019  Craig Randal Johnson, Orchestral Conductor, Pianist, Orchestra Organizer and Piano Teacher:  “Minnehaha Music in Edina:  Growing Musical Artistry and Education by Developing a Symphonic Repertory Orchestra”.  Host:  Victor Kirsch
Dan BiersdorfWe done eating yet?  What time it is?  “It’s Ham & Eggs Time – We’re glad you’re here!”
No Guests
1)  Cliff Erickson visited Jim Ullyot yesterday.  Jim is mentally alert but very weak.
2)  Larry Forsland reintroduced new member Roger Stageberg.  Roger, then receiving coveted ‘Ham & Eggs’ coffee mug – When heard from Back of room “That’ll be an extra $5.00!”   Much laughter! 
3) Dan Biersdorf stated secretary redistributing new Membership Program for review by end of week.  Dan, also, in process setting up Membership Committee.  Anyone with interest, send Dan an Email.
4) Herb Schechter commented on Cliff Erickson’s recent explanation of difference between Wisdom & Knowledge.  For example, is Knowledge a tomato is a fruit, however, Wisdom to know never inserted it into a fruit salad.
Well, Herb had to add to informative discussion via story of fellow CPA stating was ‘scanning checks for proper endorsement”.  Herb, needing clarification what CPA actually doing, looked up word ‘scan’ in Webster.  “Scan’ found to have two definitions:  1) ‘glance over’,  2) ‘scrutinize very carefully’.   Herb confessed, he still doesn’t know that fellow CPA was doing...  Too Funny!
5) Barry Kelner -  As Host of our next meeting on May 29, I want to encourage Members and their guests to make a special effort to hear a fascinating speaker, who happens to be my sister-in-law, Rebecca Bender.  Rebecca, a lawyer and teacher, has published a new book covering the journey of her family from Odessa, Russia, to the Dakotas to the Twin Cities.  Escaping the oppression of czarist Russia, the family faces the challenges of tilling the rocky soil of rural Dakota country, building and living in a sod house in the harshest conditions, keeping their religion in prairie country, and sending a son off to lead a group of men on the beaches of Normandy.   She tells a story of faith, brotherhood, courage, patriotism, and hope. 

Following Rebecca’s talk and reading excerpts from her book, Still, she will be available to sign copies of her book for anyone interested.
Todays Speaker
George Mueller introduced today’s speaker Kim Crockett.  With literature (Spring Issue of “Thinking Minnesota” & multi page flyer titled “Can Edina’s Schools Be Saved?” distributed to table tops, Kim began presentation with slide titled:  “Janus Rights:  Public Employee Freedom and Government Unions”.
Statements heard & topics discussed follow:
-1st Amendment Rights as Public Employees is what going to talk about today.
-Teachers (& others) won right to collectively bargain in MN in 1971, and strike in 1973.
-Government Unions have politically spent $1.53B between 1997 and 2018.  $181M in just MN. 
-Teachers today never voted for Education Minnesota, NEA or AFT.  Union comes with the job as an exclusive agent.
-Education Minnesota has yearly revenue of $50M
-With Unions moving further and further to left ‘blatantly’ using money for politics.  Where Teachers union dues go described.
-Forced Union dues violate 1st Amendment.  Court decision, dues must be freely given.
-MN government is more afraid of Unions than interest in upholding employee Janus Rights.  What are we doing about it?  We’re educating teachers.
-Here, the ‘Gender Bread Person philosophy of teaching (Identity, Expression, Attraction, Sex) discussed.  A statement made that CA basically considers this teaching as porn. 
-Example of “white privilege” where white teacher told to dumb down physics to enable all students to learn.  Story:  teacher said no & sued for back fees.
-A Janas Rights video was shown.  Visit:
Teachers are leaving the classroom today because they lost authority.  Unions are undermining them.  What is your role?  Educate & Lead!
Q & A
Q –What can substitute Unions do to assist teachers?
A – Let teachers have empowerment.
(SCRIBE Note 1 of 2 - Here: several members (rudely?) started table conversation interrupting others trying to hear Kim Crockett.   She simply said:  “Gentlemen, I’m talking”.  Civilized decorum prevailed) 
Q – I like US, I like MN & I like Edina!  Saying, still have to pay taxes. What’s the difference between teachers paying dues and me paying taxes?
A – Teachers Union isn’t government and doesn’t have power to tax.  Many states don’t allow collective bargaining - Teachers in those states doing just as well as in MN.  Teachers don’t want to teach “gender-bread lessons” – they want to teach to read, write and do math! 
Q/Comment – Seeing adverse effect of political spending.  What some don’t like is political decisions made (referring to Union spending).
A – Yes, they don’t take care of business.   (Q/Comments/A – long and complex friends)
Q -  (1 of 3) Union or Education Minnesota, who determines were political decisions go?  (2 of 3) Some subjects have lens on what/how taught.  Comment?  (3 of 3) you familiar with pamphlet by ‘Katherine Kerstan’ re Edina Public HS?
A – (1 of 3)  Alliance for MN, prior gov Dayton’s wife organized network. Well run.  (2 of 3) Lens thing, difference between Edina & other schools is focusing on colors of skin, gender, etc. and is not supposed to matter.  (3 of 3-pharaphrased by Q asker himself)  “She responded that Ms. Kerstan worked with her and she was familiar with the document.  She then went on to say. That she thought the document was fairly accurate in its depiction of the school programs and the numbers of kids being pulled from the school because of it.” 
Only segment Scribe recorded from A- (3 of 3) was:  “can’t walk around caring bag of white guilt”
Q/Comment -  I have problem with what said today.  As retired teacher in Minneapolis system, joined the Union. I’ve not seen what you’ve talked about today.  Dialog commentary continued...
(SCRIBE Note 2 of 2 - Today’s speaker approached argumentative with member (right to speak during Q & A) returning multiple interruptions directly into microphone – a tool seemingly lost during presentation)
A – Let me tell you about black teacher in St Paul.  One day, principle says can’t help.  Quotas mentioned as couldn’t get justice.  Lengthy complex response continued
Although some members experienced difficulty hearing largely under amplified presentation today, aspects heard were of high interest and relevancy.
Much applause! 
Dan Biersdorf presented Kim Crockett with the coveted Ham & Eggs coffee mug.
Thank you Roger O‘Daniel for assistance with slide presentations.

Ron Jensen


                   Weekly Report


                         May 15, 2019


Upcoming Events


5/22/2019 Kim Crockett, Vice President, Senior Policy Fellow & General Counsel for The Center of the American Experiment”. Top: “The Janus Effect on Teachers Union”. Host: George Mueller

05/29/2019 Rebecca Bender, Teacher, former Litigation Attorney, and Author of Still. Topic: "Readings from Still, a story of a family's five generations - from Odessa in Russia to the Dakotas and Minnesota". Host: Barry Kelner.


Dan Biersdorf – President Biersdorf opened the meeting a bit early in order to conduct a vote of members on a number of membership issues that have been under discussion over recent weeks. The questions and related votes of the members present were:

1. Should members be assigned one day per year to be responsible for providing a speaker? Vote: 19 Yes, 7 No

  1. Should we use alternative programs for speakers? Vote:17 Yes, 11 No

  2. Should we offer a“shared”membership?Vote:8Yes,17No

  3. Should inactive members be allowed to attend at their

    discretion? Vote: 11 Yes, 15 No

  4. Should individuals who have never been a member be encouraged to attend H & E on their own without being a guest of a member? Vote: 16 Yes, 6 No

  5. How much should these individuals be charged


A. Materially more than the guest charge (say $25)? Vote: 1 yes
B. Slightly more than the guest charge ( say $20)? Vote: 8 Yes
C. Same as the guest charge? Vote: 3 yes

  1. Should members be expected to bring a guest once a month? Vote: 3 Yes, 17 No

  2. Should members be expected to sponsor a new member once a year? Vote: 10 Yes, 13 No

Announcements: The summer party has been rescheduled to June 19 due to scheduling conflicts at Edina CC. There will be no morning meeting that day.

Introduction of Guests:

Norm Gabrick, Guest of Dave Porter

Lloyd Petri Guest of Victor Kirsch

Expanding Our Knowledge:

Cliff Erickson took the podium to explain that his interest in words that are sometimes or often incorrectly used in substitution for each other led him to do some research on the terms Wisdom and Knowledge. He explained that knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, and that wisdom is knowing not to use it in a fruit salad. He then challenged the members to do a little research on their own and bring similar pairings for our edification.

Guest Speaker:

Ron Anderson, Edina City Council


Victor Kirsch introduced our speaker, Ron Anderson, recently elected to his first term on the Edina City Council. Ron Anderson is a retired realtor. Ron provided us with an overview of real estate development in the City of Edina.

In the period from 2008 to 2018, the city issued 821 single family home building permits. During this period the market value of property increased $525,794,600. Edina resembles a new suburban community rather than an aging first ring suburb. It is the challenge to the city government to continue to maintain the community as a desirable place to live that will continue to draw people to it.

Problem with first ring suburbs.... they get old. The buyers of properties today may not be the same as they were 30 years ago. Properties age and become less desirable. People move further out. Sprawl is increased. First ring suburbs can become like the inner city, and have in many areas of the country.

Since 2018, the majority of the development has been multi-story mixed use properties. Mixed use almost always means the the ground level is commercial use. The city has adopted the use of “inclusionary zoning” as more and more mixed use properties are proposed. Inclusionary zoning means that a portion of the housing units are required to be “affordable”. Affordable is defined based on a percentage of average median income or “AMI”. Anderson explained that in buildings of 20 units or more...

-20% of units must be affordable at 60% of AMI for 20 years -10% of units must be affordable at 50% of AMI
-a developer may opt out of the affordable requirement at a cost

of $100,000 per unit
-If the units are ownership modeled, they must remain

affordable for 30 years.

Tax Increment Financing (“TIF”) is being used to help finance thew construction of much of the affordable housing in Edina. TIF creates a

gap in tax revenue during the TIF period that must be covered by taxes on non-TIF properties.

Anderson went on to explain that the Council and city officials are continually challenged in their decisions by issues of ethics and understanding of values.

Ethical Decision Making:
There are actions that are lawful but not ethical
There are actions that are ethical that may violate the law.

The foundation for decisions by elected officials: Values Values of a public servant:

-Not only what we consider personally -Values associated with our role -Values of constituents/community -Institutional values

-Collective goods for which we beer special responsibility (police. Fire, roads, water etc)

Due to the late start, the general question forum was dispensed with. Mike Casserly, Substitute Scribe

Cliff Erickson

May 8, 2019
 Member Cliff Erickson:  “The 42-Minute Subway to Anywhere on Earth”. 
Upcoming Events
5/15/2019  Ron Anderson, Edina City Council Member.  Topic: “Overview of Edina Development, with Clarification of TIF Concerns and some Misunderstandings About Affordable Housing”. Host: Victor Kirsch
5/22/2019  Kim Crockett, Vice President, Senior Policy Fellow & General Counsel for The Center of the American Experiment”.  Top:  “The Janus Effect on Teachers Union”.  Host:  George Mueller
Dan BiersdorfCan I have everyone attention?   What time it is?  “It’s Ham & Eggs Time – We’re glad you’re here!”

 Distinguished Guests
Jennifer Swenson guest of Dick Swenson
Bonnie Curtin guest of Dick Swenson
Jim Butler guest of Dan Biersdorf
Announcements   Dan Biersdorf had 2 Announcements:
  1.  Summer Party will be during the evening of Wednesday June 26.  No regular morning meeting June 26.  Of several options, members voted a buffet served hamburger and/or chicken breast sandwich.  Cost, minus entertainment, will be around $26 per person.
  2. Membership Program
-Needing more commitment from our members, each member will be assigned a date for getting a speaker.
-The Membership Committee will discuss and work with members.
-Goals & ideas were discussed -Perhaps even video presentations and follow up discussions would be considered.
-Dan will re-circulate comments per what he heard today.

Todays Speaker
Ham & Eggs own Poet Laureate Cliff Erickson opened with some memories and then provided a detailed scientific (tongue in cheek) description how to create a “42 minute subway to anywhere on earth”!   Honest Friends, he did! 
Last week Leslie Sharpe described a recent 50 year reunion at alma mater, Harvard.  Well, friends, I too attended my 50 year reunion at Harvard, however so long ago I can’t remember when. Sometime near the end of the cretaceous period I believe.  A last remaining Triclops was hoping around at the time.  Was probably leftovers from our banquet that did him in, never to be seen on earth again.
Continuing, I recall 2 phrases that have stood the test of time, although today perhaps different meanings:  “pulling an all-nighter” today’s means didn’t have to get up all night!  Also, the phrase “got a little action” today means prune juice is working.  Much Laughter!
Here Cliff dove head first into detailed discoveries of Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Robert Hooke and others.  While not sparing members the specifics of their discoveries, we also heard detailed mathematic relationships of parameters involved.  The principles building to support the ‘how’ of the 42 minute subway to anywhere on earth.
The dynamics of a feather and lead ball reaching the ground at same time without air discussed.  The acceleration factors and speeds attained due to gravity, with formulas, were not neglected.  The weight of an object above the surface of the earth formula is much different that it’s weight below the surface – for example, were you to dig a hole to and thru the center of the earth, and then tested. 
As the object would fall toward the center of the earth, its speed would approach 17,000 miles per hour.  At the center, the object would have zero weight having equal masses of earth now on each side.  As the object continues to speed toward the opposite side of the earth, it would slow to a final stop reaching the surface.
Well, that bit of fact out of the way, Cliff now stated the only thing left required was ‘a bug’.   A bug that would eat rock!  All you have to do, is get a bunch of these critters, aim them straight down and let em go.   A hole to the opposite side of the globe would occur.
A this point a voice from back of room bellers:   “There are problems with this hole thing!” (for one, the center of the earth is molten)  to which Cliff returned “you let little picky problems get in your way, you’ll never get anywhere!”   Much Laughter!
What a treasure Ham & Eggs has with it’s Poet Laureate and now Story Teller, Cliff Erickson.
Much applause!
Thank you Dale Borgeson for photography, included in weekly Newsletter distributions..

Ron Jensen

Marilyn Sharpe

May 1, 2019
Marilyn Sharpe:  Parent, Educator, Author, Consultant and Congregational Coach, presenting “Abundant Aging: Growing Whole, Not Old”.  Host: Leslie Sharpe
Upcoming Events
5/08/2019  Member Cliff Erickson:  “The 42-Minute Subway to Anywhere on Earth”.
5/15/2019  Ron Anderson, Edina City Council Member.  Host: Victor Kirsch
5/22/2019  Kim Crockett, Vice President, Senior Policy Fellow & General Counsel for The Center of the American Experiment”.  Top:  “The Janus Effect on Teachers Union”,  Host:  George Mueller
Dan BiersdorfCan anybody tell me what time it is?  “It’s Ham & Eggs Time – We’re glad you’re here!”
New Member
Larry Forsland introduced Club new member, Roger Stageberg.  Roger is brother of Mark Stageberg and been a club guest in the past.  Roger gave brief over of himself, stating from Ore MN, (between Hibbing and International Falls).  Told members he’d made promise as soon as retired from legal career, would join Ham & Eggs.  Well, Roger retired yesterday!  Besides now a Ham & Eggs member, he’s also beginning a new career, Assistant Pastor at a Minneapolis church.  Before giving up the microphone, Roger Stageberg told a story how, in younger days, brother Mark Stageberg shot himself in the foot.

Mark Stageberg exclaimed he was called “quick on the trigger, slow on the draw Mark” for a while afterward.   Much Laughter! 
Distinguished Guests
Mary Remakel guest of Bob Remakel
Faith Wisland guest of Richard Wisland
Bonnie Curtin guest of Dick Swenson
Announcements   Dan Biersdorf had 3 Announcements:
  1.  A revised Membership program will distributed shortly.  Dan invited members to return comments after reviewing.
  2. Members, please send Dan your considerations as to who should be the next Club President.
  3. Looking for Spring Party ideas and a date.  If have wants or thoughts, please contact Dan Biersdorf.
Introduction & Presentation
Leslie Sharpe opened today’s speaker introduction commenting he was currently learning music and his long time liking of song “Some Enchanted Evening” from “South Pacific”.  Weaving story into his Harvard days and telling of when he stepped on toe of blue eyed blond!  Then: ‘wanna dance’!
Today, she’s head of ‘Marilyn Sharpe Ministries’
Marilyn Sharpe, whenever speak, I like to light a candle.  What a gift to talk to you today on topic of “Abundant Aging, Growing Whole, Not Old”.
Of multiple stories and messages well received, several abbreviated follow:
-Who was your role model?   My Grandmother Agnes story told.  She had a heart split wide open to the world.
-Story of grandfather, of Hagstrom Brothers suits, St Paul, told.
-Mount Olivet Joyce Paterson story and Marilyn’s passion for Lutheran Social Services (23 years) told.  ‘Abundant Aging’ is a term Mount Olivet uses for many of services. 
-Gloria story “Don’t try to be who they think you should be, be who you are!”
-Critique of Ham & Eggs, 1st Good Food, 2nd Awesome Speakers, but best thing is the ‘Table Talk’. 
-“We get to grow whole, not just old”
-“Keep mind & heart open to things the world needs you to do”
Here Marilyn Sharpe invited members at each table to tell others about their most influential person.

Then, breaking hearty discussions, asks: “Who would you want to share your story with?  What gets you up in the morning?”    HERE, that always sassy voice from back bellars:  “You wouldn’t wanna know!”  Much laughter! 

Approaching conclusion of superb presentation, Marilyn connects opening comments with:  I’ve loved living: “Some Enchanted Evening”
-Very last, the ‘lobster story’.   The creature has to break open it’s shell, exposing itself to all before it can grow again and live”.   AMEN  
Significant lasting applause
Q & A
Q -  Should we do crazy things?
A – Absolutely Yes!
Q -  Brothers play games, but they don’t share time with others.  Recommendation?
A – Awesome comment & Question!   Investing time, talent & treasures is critically important.
Q -  Comment on what happens when seniors get involved with kids. 
A – Absolutely, Be Playful.  Comment heard from youngster recently: “She doesn’t give me a grade.  She just makes me feel good!’  
Q -  I could use some advice.  I have two terrible gifts:  Servitude and Discernment.  Both get me in trouble! 
A – I’ve been there.  My suggestion, re getting into trouble, Go for it! 
Q/Comment  -  Yesterday at memorial service for phenomenal individual and, until shortly ago, Club Member Joe Langer.  One of his many philosophies:  “giving back is what you pay for getting to live here...”
A – Volunteering is rent we pay for living.  Pay It Forward!
More significant membership recognition & applause followed
Thank you Dale Borgeson for photography. - included in weekly Newsletter emailed distribuutions.

Ron Jensen