Tag Archives: John Kriesel

Props to Republican legislators for bill that allows full range of consumer fireworks

I’m thrilled to see that consumer fireworks might be coming back to Minnesota. In yesterday’s Strib,  Fireworks bill survives committee test:

The bill, sponsored by Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, would allow the sale and use of the full range of consumer fireworks, including aerial rockets and firecrackers. Currently, the state only allows the sale and use of ground-based items such as small fountains, sparklers and snakes.

Sen. Michael Jungbauer, R-East Bethel, is the author in the Senate.

Griff Wigley and Larry WigleyOne of my cranky dad’s passions was his love of fireworks, one of the few things that that he loved to do with me and my brother. He’d buy $100 or more of fireworks every year, and this was back in the late 50s when that would buy an arsenal.

Black CatsHe showed us how to blow up sandcastles and cardboard houses; how to launch tennis balls high in the air by putting them on top of lead pipes and lighting a cherry bomb underneath; how orange juice cans were great to use with regular black cats; how to launch cherry bombs into the air with a slingshot. He loved that we loved it and I cherish those memories.

Cherry BombsWhen Minneapolis Tribune columnist Cedric Adams successfully led a campaign to ban fireworks in the state, he was not deterred. He and many fellow Munsingwear employees would place an annual fireworks order with the interstate truck drivers. They’d purchase them down south and bring them back for distribution at the loading docks. ‘Civil disobedience’ he called it.

I know the dangers of fireworks firsthand. When I was 13, some buddies and I climbed to the top of an empty barn silo to drop Black Cats mid-air for the big echo effect. I had about 20 of them stuffed in my front shirt pocket and when the fuse died out on one that I was ready to throw, I put it back in my shirt pocket so that I could harvest its powder later.  It exploded in my pocket which set off a couple more went off.  I was sure my left nipple was blown off but fortunately, the burns were just below it. I borrowed a shirt from a friend and hid the injury from my parents for about a week.  A real memory-maker. There are many benefits to hiring a personal injury attorney when you’ve been injured in a car accident, especially if your injuries are serious. (See Craig Kelley & Faultless)

Follow Krisel and Jungbauer on Twitter. And see this KARE-11 clip from this morning, Fireworks bill moves forward at Minnesota Capitol:

An Iraqi war vet to watch: Representative-elect John Kriesel steps up to serve again

I’d never heard of John Kriesel until I read this story in yesterday’s Star Tribune: In the final analysis, he is one happy warrior. But his spirit and character as portrayed in the article and the Strib endorsement make him seem like the kind of legislator we desperately need right now… and therefore, one I wanted to draw attention to for Veteran’s Day 2010.

John KrieselHe was part of the wave of Republicans — in the state and the nation — who reclaimed majorities from Democrats. But for Kriesel, who used to work in a Minneapolis ink factory and joined the Minnesota Army National Guard at age 17, the win wasn’t about party ties.

"In the military it didn’t matter what party you’re from or where you lived, what your background was or any of that. Whenever they gave us a mission we worked together to get it done," he said. "And that’s what we need at the Capitol. Ultimately, that’s why I decided to run for office."

… "I was a knucklehead growing up," Kriesel said. "I have a little bit of knucklehead still left in me, but it was this incident that opened my eyes. And when I woke up at Walter Reed [Army Medical Center] that was truly the first day of my new life, and for some strange reason I’m happier now than I have ever been in my entire life."

The Star Tribune Editorial Board endorsed him and wrote:

The Editorial Board’s conversation with political newcomer John Kriesel, Republican contender for the open House seat in the Cottage Grove area, may have been the most uplifting hour spent with any candidate this year.

… Kriesel is something special. A gifted communicator who works as a marketing contractor for the Minnesota National Guard, he exudes commitment to public service and compassion for the vulnerable. He’s resistant to tax increases, but just as resistant to cutting the government services that help people succeed. He sees no reason why the sense of common purpose he helped create in his military unit can’t be generated among legislators to solve state problems. More of his spirit is needed at the Capitol.

See Kriesel’s website and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.  The sidebar of the latter says:

PUTTING PEOPLE BEFORE POLITICS. It’s not an "R" thing or a "D" thing…it’s a people thing.

His book: Still Standing: The Story of SSG John Kriesel.

Still Standing