Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 9/6

The Crew of the USS Minnesota
Ship Motto: 'From the North, Power'
Photo courtesy of Lifetouch Photography

Dear Friends,

The issue on everyone's mind this week has been Syria, and below you can read the statement I released regarding my position on this important issue. I joined the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers in celebrating their 60th anniversary of honoring traditional agricultural practices in our area. I also met with Frazee's oldest veteran, Gordon Sanders, as well as the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and UPS. Tomorrow in Norfolk, VA, the USS Minnesota will be commissioned as the last of the Block II Virginia-class submarines.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson

Minnesota 7th District

Statement on Syria

What's going on in Syria is deplorable, but at this point, I don't see how U.S. military action will accomplish anything toward ending the turmoil over there or helping the people of Syria which is my main concern. Along with my constituents, I am opposed to intervention.  I am willing to listen to the President and others, but I haven't heard anything at this point that will change my mind.

Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion

Pictured above are folks I met with during the thresher event. I also had breakfast with Amon Baer (LAKE PARK) of Mendelson Egg Company (pictured bottom right).

In 1940, a few threshermen in western Minnesota decided to relive the good ol' days and thresh their crops using the traditional method of steam. They continued this tradition once a year, and in 1954 the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion (WMSTR) met formally for the first time and invited their friends and family.

This week I joined the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion in celebrating their 60th anniversary. At the event, WMSTR hosts hundreds of thresher demonstrations and exhibits across 210 acres of land. Included at the show were stationary gas and steam engines of all different sizes, and steam trains gave free rides all day. Visitors were able to participate in square dancing, visit the ice cream stand, observe a blacksmith shop, take a ride on the merry go round, and more! This was a great event that paid respect to the history of agriculture in western Minnesota, and I was proud to see folks honoring that strong tradition.

Frazee’s Oldest Veteran

Gordon Sanders (FRAZEE)

I stopped by to meet with Gordon, Frazee’s oldest living member of VFW Post #4077. Gordon was a former Post Commander and served in the Navy during World War II on a fuel tanker in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. Before and after WWII, Gordon was a businessman in Frazee. He also served as Becker County Commissioner.

USS Minnesota

One of the Navy’s newest attack submarines will be commissioned tomorrow at the Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia. The United States Ship Minnesota (SSN 783) will be the last of the Block II Virginia-class submarines, which use advanced technology for firepower and stealth. Construction began in February of 2008 and the USS Minnesota was finished on budget and nearly a year ahead of schedule. Captain John W. Fancher, USN, will assume command during the Minnesota’s commissioning on Saturday.  The USS Minneapolis-St. Paul submarine was decommissioned five years ago, and the last naval shipped named after the North Star State was decommissioned back in 1921. Minnesota has always been a strong supporter of our military forces, and I am proud to see our state honored in this way.

Click here to see a video of the USS Minnesota in action during sea trials

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

Rosie Morgan (RED LAKE), Dorothy Roof (FERTILE), Robianne Schultz (PERHAM), Julie Pahlen (ROSEAU), Patti Swanson (HALLOCK), Warren Larson (THIEF RIVER FALLS), Matt Schafer (MN ACS Office in Mendota Heights), and Dr. Patel (THIEF RIVER FALLS)

On Thursday, I met with members and volunteers of the American Cancer Society, Sanford Medical Center, and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in Thief River Falls. I heard many touching stories of people who have been served very well by palliative care providers. Palliative care is led by a team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who provide an extra layer of support appropriate at any age and any stage of a serious illness. Effective use of palliative care can improve illness, quality of care, and can even reduce costs. Many rural communities do not have access to these services because there are not enough providers and care is fragmented.

This Week in American History

The Revolutionary War came to an official close when representatives of the United States, Great Britain, Spain, and France signed the Treaty of Paris on September 3rd, 1783. By signing this treaty, Great Britain formally recognized the independence of the thirteen American colonies and the United States became a free nation. Boundaries were also drawn out causing the U.S. to double in size. The new boundaries stretched from Florida north to the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Coast west to the Mississippi River. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay were the chief negotiators of the Treaty of Paris on behalf of the United States, and Congress ratified the treaty four months later.

Shyanne LeBeau (RAYMOND)
2013 Congressional Art Competition