Apology extended for misinformation

To the Editor:

I’m glad I allowed for the possibility of being wrong when I suggested in my Oct. 3 letter that Gerald Dix was not from Houston County. I didn’t check around enough and really blew it. Accusing someone of lying without sufficient evidence is serious stuff and for that I am truly sorry.

I also apologize to the many dedicated, knowledgeable, fact-checking citizens who have been working hard to protect Houston County from the introduction of frac sand mining. My laziness may have reflected badly on them.

But the issue isn’t really about who’s an outsider and who’s a  home boy. The issue is whether we want Houston County to remain the beautiful, bucolic place it is today or whether we want to turn it into some sort of industrial park.

I’ve since learned that Mr. Dix has 171 acres over in Union Township, and I’m worried that he might be thinking about doing some frac sand mining. If that’s true, his neighbors should be worried, too.

Board of Commissioners Chairman, Jack Miller, says frac sand mining is “inevitable” even though the study committee has yet to complete its work. So, if the handful of people who want to profit from this destructive practice eventually do get their way, I hope they come to realize and appreciate what a huge favor the rest of us will have granted to them.

While these few may profit handsomely from scraping away the trees and tearing down the bluffs, the rest of us will be left behind to literally eat their dust – dust that the Minnesota Department of Health says can cause silicosis, emphysema, tuberculosis and lung cancer.

We’ll have to cope with heavy truck traffic at all hours of the day, much more frequent road repairs, serious threats to our aquifer and to our physical health.

The good times for this “one percent” will be short-lived, but much of the damage they leave behind will last forever.

In his Oct. 10 letter, Mr. Dix asked me; “Why was it necessary to bring outsiders (who brought nothing of value) to a meeting concerning mining in Houston County?”

The few folks from Winona who showed up for the meeting brought the perspective and experience of people who have been living with the nightmare of frac sand mining for a while now and who simply wanted to help Houston County avoid making the same mistake.


Mike Fields
Winnebago Township, MN