EDITOR’S NOTE: Letters will be accepted for the Open Forum for publication in the next available issue after receipt. Letters may be sent to Forest Lake Times, 880 SW 15th St., Forest Lake, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters should not exceed 250 words and must be signed with the writer’s name, address and telephone number. Deadline is noon Monday. The newspaper reserves the right to edit letters and assure that rules of libel and good taste are not violated.
Unfortunately the way in which the DNR and Forest Lake police dealt with two friendly young deer on Saturday Jan., 14th is what I have come to expect from authorities in our society.
I see this episode as a microcosm for the problems we have in this country. Stupidity seems to be cultivated and then woven into policy which is then carried out knee-jerk reaction style with the use of guns.
This entire situation could have been easily worked out peacefully with all parties involved walking away with respect for one another. The police should have talked to neighbors to find out information about the deer.
The deer could have been tested for disease if that was the big concern of the DNR. Collars could have been removed, information exchanged and everyone would have learned something.
Maybe it’s a lack of good education that is the root cause for our failures, I don’t know.
But I do know that no matter how many people there are with good intentions the ones holding guns seem to be the deciders.
Then they search in their thesaurus to find a more prosaic term for “kill” to publicly announce what they have done.
But there is nothing prosaic about the way this case was handled no matter what terms are used and it leaves many of us discouraged.
About the same time the “dispatching” of the deer by the unnamed officer took place, students of an elementary school were writing down their dreams on large cloud shaped pieces of paper and hanging them on the school’s hallway walls.
It was in remembrance of Martin Luther King.
They all began, “I have a dream that….” and then the students’ sentiments. They were quite moving.
I remember several of them but one is appropriate to this story.
Ahmed wrote, “I have a dream that people will solve problems with their mouths not guns. Violence solves nothing, it just creates more problems.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The writer is a former resident of Forest Lake.)
Where’s the Warden?
I am very saddened by the disregard of common sense which occurred in Forest Lake on January 14.
The two yearlings which were slaughtered near the home of the Carpenter family is a failure of humanity.
I was raised in a Department of Natural Resource (DNR) home. My late father, Gordon Ebel, was one of the early game wardens in the State of Minnesota.
Although these wardens had other duties, they were always considered the guardians of the animals.
My northern Minnesota home was constantly a temporary home for orphaned animals. Fond childhood memories remain of the numerous orphaned fawns, cubs and even a moose calf which were rescued by my dad, ‘The Game Warden’.
It appears that the DNR and local law enforcement have neglected their responsibility to nature. Humans are the invasive species and we must respect nature.
After all, they inhabited the forest long before urban sprawl destroyed their homes.
The two deer with the colorful collars were not a threat to public safety. The DNR, the Forest Lake officer, along with his immediate sergeant should be very ashamed for their actions.
This is an incident where officer discretion fell into the wrong hands.
Perhaps the conservation officer and peace officer could have taken a moment to collaborate and inquire about the deer.
While I do not think wild animals should be considered pets, there were options for the safe placement of the deer.
My sympathy goes out to the Carpenters for this is an incident that will remain with them forever.
A word to the Minnesota Department of Natual Resources: please bring back the game wardens.
Lauri Cutinella (Ebel)
The fawn killings in Forest Lake were not necessary.
The fawns were not aggressive toward people. They were not destroying property.
The Forest Lake Police Department officer could have used common sense and made a simple inquiry in the neighborhood for more information.
They could easily been moved out of area.
But if that happened the officer couldn’t play cowboy and be allowed to shoot animals in a residential area.
The lame excuses by the police and DNR to kill the deer are just that.
What’s next? Killing dogs playing in their own yard because someone complains?
Time to Reform
Legislative leaders from the Minnesota House and Senate have unveiled the agenda for Reform 2.0. The agenda focuses on creating a competitive business climate to foster job growth, high performing education, improved health care and government effectiveness.
The 2012 Session will be one based on reform. Our government will never be able to live within its means if our public systems are not updated.
I believe it is time to restore the confidence of Minnesota job creators and grow the private sector economy.
Reform 2.0 aims to reduce property taxes on commercial and industrial property and encourages growth.
It will also bring much needed common sense and competitiveness to government regulations.
A high performing educational system ensures that Minnesota’s future is a bright one.
As a former teacher, making sure our students receive a quality education is very important to me, and the future of Minnesota’s workforce depends on it. Reform 2.0 includes aggressive strategies to turn around the state’s lowest achieving schools.
It also implements stronger evaluations to help teachers be effective in their classrooms and improve student achievement.
We have proposed a plan to fight nationalization of health care with an array of user-friendly reforms.
One change will privatize some public health care programs, improving payments to doctors and hospitals, and saving the state money.
Another reform will create a Return on Taxpayer Investment Report to determine if taxpayer dollars are effectively being used to meet the goals of particular public health outcomes.
An effective government has the ability to save taxpayers money. In Minnesota, our government is 20 years behind in streamlining government and taxpayers are paying the price.
Our reforms will reduce the size and cost of government, create more transparency for local governments and equalize the pay and benefits of public employees with the private sector.
After traveling my district to meet with business owners, government leaders and citizens, it is clear Minnesota is ready for the reform it needs.
Reform 2.0 is not a Republican agenda. It is Minnesota’s agenda.
Rep. Bob Dettmer
A Good Jobs Plan
I am glad to see Gov. Dayton and Democrats have put together a jobs plan and are making jobs and the economy the top priority of the 2012 legislative session.
They must be listening to us, because that’s the issue on most people’s minds.
The jobs proposal they introduced seems to have good ideas that ought to have bipartisan support. For example, they want to create a tax credit for small businesses to hire unemployed Minnesotans, veterans and recent graduates.
This would allow businesses to start rehiring workers very quickly.
The jobs plan also helps retrain workers in new careers where they may have an easier time getting rehired and at a job with a good wage. This is smart.
The truth is there are a lot of jobs that may not come back after this recession and we need to help Minnesotans get trained for the jobs in the economy of the future.
Hopefully all infrastructure projects in the bonding bill needing steel will be required to use U.S. steel.
It would not only help the economy on Minnesota’s iron range, it would be the patriotic thing to do.
I have real concerns with allowing America’s manufacturing industry and the good paying jobs it provides to disappear as American CEO’s import cheap steel from Communist China, a country I was always told was an enemy when I was growing up.
One can only assume that democracy is only another meaningless phrase to the top 1 percent in this country and they sure won’t let it or anything else interfere with maximizing the bottom line.
I appreciate that Democrats are focusing on the issues that actually matter.
I hope that House District 17 Rep. Bob Barrett, R-Shafer, and District 17 State Sen. Sean Nienow, R-Cambridge, will join them and work to pass a jobs bill that Gov. Dayton can sign instead of focusing on constitutional amendments and other divisive issues that don’t matter to us.
Maybe for once we can put the political games aside and get something accomplished.
The Democrats jobs plan is a good start.