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Letters to the Editor kr

Aitkin is welcoming

After residing in Aitkin for the past five years, I believe the time is ripe for me to share a small taste of my appreciation of our community.

All things considered, I find Aitkin to be a very peaceful and gentle place to live. As citizens, we enjoy the tranquility that comes only by knowing and respecting our neighbors. In fact, Aitkin is just the right size to put us all on a first-name basis and I know far more people here than I did when I lived in cities a hundred times more populous. In fact, I can’t count the number of times that total strangers have stopped to ask if they could assist me in some way or another, although I only look distressed most of the time. No doubt the consideration of others has made my life easier and safer and kindness is so habitual around here that it defines who we are. I claim that Aitkin is “Minnesota nice” on steroids.

Despite its limited size, our community has many of the amenities one could only expect from a much larger municipality. I don’t need to go any further than downtown in order to buy my groceries, enjoy fine dining, take in a new release movie, send a bouquet of flowers, shop for antiques and fashionable clothing, bank, take the neighbor’s kids bowling, pig out at the farmers market and the list goes on and on. It has been 20 years since I was licensed to drive, but life in Aitkin is within walking distance. In fact, I gratefully spend more than 90% of my disposable income within four blocks of my well-furnished home in Aitkin Manor. My needs are less here and I’m left wanting for nothing.

Needless to say, we would be well served to do better in providing for our public schools and a local Taco Bell sounds like a great idea to me. But as you know, we are blessed with a first-rate hospital, honest and efficient local governance, vibrant community organizations, comprehensive social services, places of worship for many diverse faiths, a fine local library, a newspaper to call our own and thousands of beautiful ancient trees.

I belong here in Aitkin and I’m better for it. This community invited me in to live here five years ago. Ever since, I’ve taken advantage of many opportunities to integrate ever deeper into the Aitkin experience, to grow into part of what goes on around here.

Obviously in this regard, I owe my success to, you have become such a fundamental factor of my life. And with you, I look forward to the possibilities of what comes next.

Keith Amante, Aitkin

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