New Sign Up Procedure For 2019 Pie Burner Saturday, and Beyond……

Alright….. here’s the deal for the #pieburner2019 sign up.

Are YOU ALL paying attention??

PLEASE Pass this on to whomever you’d like….. PLEASE!!

I don’t want anyone saying “but we didn’t know!!”

In past years I’ve never capped this ride.

Two years ago we had as many as over 70 riders…. way to many in my opinion.

Things just got to spread out.

Last year was 45ish, which was perfect.

So from now on, and for however much longer I plan on putting the work into this ride, the cap will be 50 riders.

A few locals who’ve helped me out with this ride, I will never ask to register. Deal with that fact or not; that’s just the way it’ll be.

I’m still not asking any rider for money.

The donation (ride fee) to the Northeastern St. Louis County Toys for Tots Foundation stays.

It benefits the less fortunate young ones during a stressful time of year.

It’s a very GOOD thing; and you the riders of this event have never let that needy group down.. kudos to each and every one of you past participants!! I can’t thank you enough for your generosity!! 👍🏻👍🏻

***The postcard sign up window will be from September 1st – November 1st.***

After November 1st I will count the postcards I’ve received and make a post on the remaining spots that are left open, or post who’s in and whose not.

The postcards will be dated on the day they are received… and I’ll go from there after 50.

No emails sign ups… SORRY I just will not have time to answer emails between working two jobs, scouting and planning the routes, and everything else that goes into making the Pie Burner Saturday what it has become.

Please understand this fact; it’s just the way it has to be for my own sanity.

I will have to give you ALL the mailing address at a later date… we are currently in the process of becoming homeowners…. so that address WILL FOLLOW as the joyous search for a home gets completed. 🤔😮🤫

As always; fire away with any questions you may have. Did I miss something?

Yes, I realize it’s nearing the end of June…. but this way you all can plan accordingly, tell whomever you’d like to join you on ride day…. to pay attention to sign up and so forth.

I did mull this new sign up process over for quite some time; so this isn’t something I’ve settled upon lightly……. it will be what it will be.

Either you like it, or you will not.

That decision I leave to you.

-Joe

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Back to Biking; The 2018 Pie Burner to Be Exact!!

Almost two weeks out!!

The cold has arrived, hopefully it stays!! A light fresh dusting of the white stuff is on the ground…. things should be forming up after the three nights we’ll below freezing forecasted temps.

Look for some route updates….. soon!!

I pick up my trusty Pugsley from Bikes on Howard tomorrow…. then I ride!!

Here’s looking to a very successful 6th year event!!

For those wondering, the shirt design is done, with an online purchase link soon to follow. If you do order and pay; your shirt will be at Palmer’s Tavern on Saturday’s ride morning!!

Here’s the front in all it’s Cardinal Red glory!!

And the back Sponsorship logos of course.

Yes, I’m Running for a Seat on the Hibbing School Districts School Board.

I’ve been noticeably quiet over the last many months, by design….

Why did I decide to throw my hat in the political fray???

To begin, I’m an upset parent who has seen misstep after misstep by the current and former school board members, with no rectifying solution in site!!

The former superintendent allegedly lied and cheated his way to a raise.  This left the ISD#701 teachers union with NO contract in site. HE PROMISED the teachers “their time would come.” Well, he’s now the former superintendent (good thing), and yet the teachers are still WITHOUT A NEW CONTRACT.

When times were tight, the teachers did what any union and their members do…. tighten things up, and wait until things turn around. With limited financial security of the district, the union members lessened their demands.

The union has compromised, but the school board will not. It’s beyond pathetic the school board doesn’t recognize that the last 400 days without a teachers contract, states that The board by no means values the teachers, and students!

Supposedly, the district is NOT in dire financial straits.  In contrast, there is an 8-12 million dollar surplus. If this is the case, then why isn’t YOUR elected board doing more to deliver our valuable teachers a reasonable contract??

I’m not pretending I know what’s what, but for PetesSake…..… Why is OUR school board refusing to negotiate in good faith with OUR valued teachers?

Furthermore, another issue of utmost importance is mental health assistance for students.

MInnesota has the 4TH worst student to counselor ratio in the United States. This is a travesty. Nationally the average is 481 students to 1 counselor, in Mn. It Is 723 students to 1 counselor.

Minnesota HAS THE 4TH WORST STUDENT/COUNSELOR RATIO in the country!! How embarrassing is that??Some Mn. school districts are dealing with 1,035/1!!!??

I’ve since learned ISD#701 has hired one or two more counselors… but I’m getting vague information. Either way the ratio is still NOT what it should be!!

Some more facts (from the article linked above)…. the American School Counselor Association advocates for 250/1. Far removed from the national average.

In 2016 the Minnesota Legislator worked to address the shortfall.  They approved a 12 million dollar grant program for matching funds, this grant lasts 6 years. Was ISD#701 one of 77 Minnesota districts that applied? If not, do they have any intention of applying in the 6 year timeframe?

Kids Mental Health Issues:

1 in 5 have mental health problems.

43% increase in ADHD.

37% increase in teen depression.

100% increase in suicide rate in kids 10-14 years old.

With the iPads being such a HUGE part of the learning curriculum of this district, the mental health curriculum also needs to be improved……. If a child is struggling with mental illness, how possibly can an iPad help?????

The district has given children “Pandora’s Box” and just left them alone with it!!

That’s wrong on so many levels!!

The district has no foresight in regards to electronic learning.

Medical studies are already indicating the long term detriment of repetitive electronic exposure.

The board demonstrates little to NO knowledge as to how their decisions are damaging our children.

A few examples…. Billy and Johnny talk amongst themselves about drugs during the school day…. they both can look up whatever they want about said drugs once their at home, or anywhere they can connect to WiFi. The same can be said about Suzy and Sally after talking about sex during the school day with their peers. Am I the only one who sees a problem with the districts refusal of implementing more mental health protocols in the 7th – 9th grades and beyond??

In my job as a school bus driver for district ISD#701 via Shubat Transportation, I am witness to the need for expanded mental health care.

Teachers see it first hand. What is the district doing to help the teachers assist their students in getting the help they need??

In reference to this…. 3/22/17 school board meeting.

The three community members who spoke are 100% correct!! Something needs to be done before it’s too late…….. I believe Mr. Finco needs to DO HIS job for a change.

My intent is to bring to the school board the voice of reason and common sense.

I DO NOT have a personal agenda.

I WILL put ALL youth at the fore front of my actions.

In fact, the actions of the current school board members in NO way shape or form represent the needs of the students or teachers!

I’m a firm believer one CAN NOT move forward  without looking to the mistakes of the past.

The goal of the future school board should be to learn from past mistakes, while improving the outlook for the school district.

OUR COMMUNITY’S CHILDREN DESERVE BETTER!!

Another issue I’d like to see done, is job performance evaluations of all ISD#701 administrators, this evaluation should be done by teachers and other staff, these evaluations must be taken into account for future salary increments and continued employment.

Also, the technology department should be given the same evaluations.

With the increase of students with special needs, the class size must be decreased. It is ridiculous that class sizes are close to 30 with at least 2/3 of these students needing more assistance than one teacher can provide…… And if money is short when it’s time to upgrade iPads NO MONIES shall be taken from any school fund that furthers the arts!!

No band fund, no art fund, no drama fund, no knowledge bowl fund… NOTHING!!

If money is short for new iPad purchasing it comes from sports team budgets PERIOD!!

No more taking money from the arts!!

Continuing….. Girls sports need to have the same gym time as boys sports!! In recent years, girls sports have been second to boys.

Also, older school sports kids will practice at later times, while the younger school children in sports will have early practice times.

This is common sense, yet it doesn’t seem to exist in the current scheduling.

I want to change the current trend of the school board.

Personal agendas and close-minded attitudes need to be a thing of the past. The priority MUST BE THE STUDENTS, THE TEACHERS AND THE DISTRICT.

Please DO NOT vote for me….. if you DO NOT want to hear the truth, have people called out for not doing their jobs to the best of their ability, for the salary they receive; or if straight common sense talk makes you uncomfortable

My goal is to have ISD#701 be the POWERHOUSE OF EDUCATION that it once was!!

This sight has been lost for years with the current school board.

The time has come for needed change, OUR children deserve it!!

Thank You!!

-Joe Sacco

The 2017 Pie Burner Put To Bed….

The Sunday before the ride, trail conditions were perfect!! Come the Friday before the ride it was 44 degrees and raining!!??

Mother threw a monkey wrench at us; but the ride still went off without a hitch. Saturday mornings temperatures were perfect, mid teens…… with only a high of 28ish.

Studded tires were the buzz word of the day; certain sections of the trail were like a skating rink. Multiple riders went down multiple times; with only one having to pull out after 6ish miles. He’s alright, but bruised up good.

56 riders showed up; and the event got some long overdue local love from the Hibbing Daily Tribune, thanks Mr. Tony Potter!!

With this events growth, look for some changes to come for the 2018 version of the Pie Burner. I’m thinking of having two groups of riders leaving at different times, but arriving back at Palmers within an hour of each other. More on that in the coming months.

When we reached the halfway point, half the riders gladly headed back to Palmers Tavern and waiting for the rest of us to finish up the long route. All the long route riders returned between 3:30 – 4:00 pm.

Eating, drinking and ride giveaways were handled in time; and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

A huge shout-out to my family, again!! You guys rock!!

Also a shout-out to the volunteers, without you this ride would not be what it is!!

And to all the sponsors….. I DO NOT have words for how much your generosity helps this event thrive…. THANK YOU!! Especially Surly Bikes!!

And to Sandy and Brooke; and staff at Palmers Tavern your willingness to work with me and go above and beyond is greatly appreciated!!

Then today I was made of aware of a nice “kudos” write up by fellow fatbiker Sheri Schrock of Cohasset, Mn. In the Hibbing Daily Tribune. Sheri was the nice lady who was pedaling the sweet Otso Voytek on ride day.

Sheri on ride day…..

Thank you for the kind words Sheri, and by those words….. we know what we’re doing, is being done the correct way!!

Here’s a few shots (out of a few 1,000 photos) thanks Zack….. of the day

We’ll see you in 2018!!

Crust Riding…..

I got out this morning to give the new DT Swiss 350 it’s maiden run between school routes.

Our snowpack has been depleted a lot….. but the crust riding is awesome… as usual this time of year.

I still say riding the crust wherever you’d like through the woods, is better than any illegal substance I may, or may not have, taken part in over the year’s!! 😉

ISD #701…. What Do I Think??

​In light of yesterday’s (July 6th 2016), “breaking news” story in the HDT.

I’ve been fielding a lot of “what do you think” questions. 
Really, who am i, but a concerned parent and community member?

My opinion is no more important than yours, or anyone else’s. 

I am however someone who has felt the school district has mishandled multiple situations, that should have garnered quick and easy decisions.
See RIGHT and WRONG here!! 
I’m also  someone whose been unafraid to stand up and voice my feelings in a public manner. All be damned if you DO NOT like it!!

I haven’t been so publicly vocal to gain friends, or make enemies… although I’ve been told I’ve gathered people on both sides!! 😉 😉

I simply DO NOT care what anyone thinks of me!!
Yet again, I’ve been vocal because it’s NOT about me…..  However, it is the right thing to do. … for my children, your children and the community’s children. 

Despite popular belief, by certain individuals… I DO NOT live in Colorado… I DO NOT know everything, and I AM a very active member of this community!! 

Ok, Ok, Ok…..

Well, since I’ve been asked……. 😉 😉 😉 

I’m disappointed in the fact this teacher was given an opportunity to resign at all!! The school board should’ve continued with a termination; whereas that record of termination would stick to his record like glue; and warn other school districts of his deviant behavior towards young girl’s. Is this another male teacher/administrator that I have to follow their job search?? So be it!! 

With that said….. 
I’m not privy to any of the behind the scenes information; but the district probably had their reasons to proceed in this manner. Maybe saving themselves from a long drawn out court battle? Maybe a year’s wages, and three year’s health coverage was a deal compared to the alternative for us the tax payers?

It does not make it right, and I’m giving the district the benefit of the doubt here…. something (if you’ve been following along),  i have not done in the past!!

Don’t worry, I’m not getting soft!!

Read on to see that fact!! 😉

With this teacher gone, the safety of the students will be vastly improved!! 

I think this quote says a lot about what a little perverted predator of young girls this teacher is….. 

“Considering the circumstances surrounding the school district as well as being a head coach, I decided to seek career opportunities that better align with my family and best interests in mind.”

You mean to tell me, by you sending pictures of your genitalia to young high school girls, buying them alcohol, and smoking marijuana with these same young high school aged girls, these actions didn’t voluntarily put you in this situation?? I find it scary that you DO NOT see, that YOU are/were part of the problem!! 

You self-centered arrogant little man…. I’d have more respect for you, if you’d have stood up, like a man, and admitted your mistakes with a strong backbone. Instead you choose to hide behind some preconceived statement!!??!! 

Both you and your wife have already brought shame to your family…. to a once fine school district, (that is/was trying to recover from another deviant perverts behavior) and to the community as a whole!!
I could care less about you two as adults!! You’ve made your own bed, now sleep in it!! 

I feel for your children!! To be a child in this day and age, and have your parents do something so STUPID for the whole community to witness, plus and above all else, their peers??
I’m sorry kids!! 

Why is it, I feel the need to apologize for other adults lack of morality and proper judgment?? 

It’s a sad sad retrospective of the society we live in today!! 

Which brings me to….. Ha Ha 

School board chair John Berklich…the community, and Fleming’s victims are still waiting for an apology from you, and the school board…. pertaining to Mr. Fleming’s PROVEN… let me say that again John…. PROVEN misconduct!!

Did you really think I’d miss an opportunity to call you out as an ignorant coward??
Do the right thing John!! 
Your silence is showing your lack of a spine!!

Your lack of the willingness to do what is RIGHT!!

Do you even listen to your fellow board member’s and their opinions; or is your “incestuial knowledge” so deeply rooted in your being that you know nothing else?? 

Also, for concerned community members, concerned parents, and just for the purpose of complete and total transparency; I think the school board’s determination on discipline of the four other ISD #701 employees that were under investigation, should be made public. 

Of course sensitive information does not need to be released, but saying something publicly would go a long way with the community.

 
Lastly, thank you Mr. Johnson for standing up for our communities children, saying enough of this perverted behavior already!! 

Thank you also to Mr. Clover, Mr. Vincent and Ms. Nyberg; I do not envy the frustration and ignorance dealing with the other three board members twice a month must be like.
As always, these are MY thoughts and words, and MINE alone!

My name is Joe Sacco 

The 2nd 70° day in April

This was my riding partner on 4/16/2016.

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Her brother did not want to join us. Think 12 year old boys, and you’ll understand. 😉
This young girl is scary strong in her head, and for her small size put the hurt on me for 8 of our almost 10 mile ride along the paved Carey Lake trail.

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Drink stop

Pretty impressive for only having put on a few winter miles.

She did ask about our upcoming Mesabi Trail Tour ride, in the beginning of August. “Dad, I want to up my miles for the tour!”
I told her the plan is to start from the house again this year, and make our way to the finish in Grand Rapids, Mn. around 40-48 miles from our garage door. She smiled, and said “sounds about right.” LOL
Then she asked about the Fiddlin’ Fifty
Gravel ride August 27th just north of Chisholm, Mn.
“What happens if I can’t do the whole thing?” “Will I be able to turn around and go back?”
I replied, it doesn’t work that way, but I’m sure we could call Mom, and she could come pick you up. Which in return, she replied….. “I think I wanna try doing it all.”
Very well, but you’ll need to prepare yourself accordingly. “I can do it Dad!!”
Then we arrived at Carey Lake, where it turned into playtime, as it should.

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And of course there had to be some playing around with the last couple piles of the white stuff….

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Bob the snowman!! LOL

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Then I was told…. “Dad, I’m ready to go home.”

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Here’s where she hit her wall, just shy of 8.5 miles. The head wind did her in.
For her young age, she’s pretty impressive, both in strength of mind and her little body!! 
Then we made our way home, and relaxed by the 1st fire of the new year.