Letter writers opine on several topics

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 editor.forestlaketimes@ecm-inc.com. 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.

Dog Duty Absent!

I am continually amazed at the number of irresponsible dog owners we have in this city.

When I walk my dogs by the Central Learning Center and the two other schools on SW 4th Street, and the playing fields and playgrounds behind the schools, I am dismayed that people walking their dogs can’t take along a plastic bag and pick up after their dogs.

I’m sure all of the children from the schools that step in such disgusting messes and then have to wear those shoes in school and be taunted and embarrassed frequently thank you!

Please do a very simple thing and pick up after your pets.

J. Steffen
Forest Lake

Thanks, Hallberg!

On Saturday, Jan. 28th Hallberg Marine in Wyoming had its annual customer appreciation celebration.

On the invitation was a request that customers bring a food donation to be donated to a local food shelf.  Community Helping Hand was the recipient of that collection.

Hundreds of pounds of food were collected and dropped off at our food shelf.

I would like to give my sincere thanks to Gene Hallberg and family, the staff at Hallberg Marine, and the hundreds of Hallberg Marine guests for this more than generous donation.

Jennifer Carr
Food Shelf Coordinator,
Community Helping Hand
Forest Lake

Moved to Comment

It’s time to put away discussion on the two deer that were killed several weeks ago, but after reading a letter by Rich Jabas, in last week’s Forest Lake Times, I couldn’t resist writing.

I couldn’t determine whether Jabas’ outrage was caused by the comments from the public expressing their dismay with the manner in which the situation was handled or the fixation with women’s underwear.

This discussion has centered on whether the deer should have been destroyed. Minnesota derives a significant percentage of its economy from hunting license sales and hunters expenditures. Protecting our deer herd is therefore critical, so the answer is probably yes.

The larger question becomes one of responsibility and judgment.

We aren’t talking about an armed standoff or even a rabid animal or a wild animal that posed a clear and present danger to the public. We’re talking about several animals that were clearly not an immediate threat to bolt off into the wilderness and decimate the central Minnesota deer herd.

It seems this situation should have been handled in a more responsible manner that would not result in what has become public outrage.

When someone applies for employment as a CO or a police officer, they are asking for a job in which they have a responsibility for enforcing the letter and intent of the law. Often, the situations they deal with are dangerous, and consequently each situation is governed by the circumstances of each incident.

How many people believe that even given the legal authority to do so, entering someone’s property without notice at 7 in the morning to shoot two animals that clearly weren’t about to escape was the responsible decision.

Salo clearly handed this responsibility off because he didn’t want to take the heat that was going to result from the way it was handled.

Forest Lake Police Capt. Greg Weiss evidently is under the impression that being given a badge places you beyond criticism. His whole attitude came across as pure arrogance at the suggestion that anyone would question his decision in what was clearly not a critical or emergency situation.

I’m very happy I don’t live in Forest Lake. The Forest Lakes Police Department is an effective and classy organization and I commend them for their commitment and their great duty to the public.

However, if I were a Forest Lake taxpayer I’d be interested in knowing why I should be paying an officer to do a job the DNR is already being paid to do. Forget the lame excuse by Salo and Weiss that “we often work together.”

This is clearly a case of CYA on the part of the DNR and lousy police judgment.

If I were a Forest Lake taxpayer, I think I’d be lobbying the city council to establish guidelines governing the use or misuse of the fine officers on the department.

David Berg

More Than Fishing

It’s a shame Fishapalooza has been canceled. My friends and I have always made this a weekend event. We travel from northwest Iowa and spend the weekend in Forest Lake.

For us, it wasn’t at all about the fishing, but, more the fun we had in meeting and socializing with all the new people we met. We can catch plenty of fish right here for much less money.

As a promoter of fund-raisers for a non-profit agency, I certainly understand where Mr. Woods is coming from. There are many “man hours” that go into organizing and pulling off such an event.

However, I feel that Mr. Woods has missed the mark this time. Winter events typically do not profit as much income as summer events.

I would suggest looking at the current expenditures and see if there are items that could be donated. If not, then I would look at costs that could be eliminated, including prizes that are purchased.

I can’t see how this is a “break even” event with 3300 entries. One option could be  raising entry fees by $5. That would generate an additional $16,500.00. For most fishing enthusiasts, the additional $5 would not have chased us away.

I believe Mr. Woods has missed the bigger picture than simply making money. It would be interesting to see the economic impact of the local retailers, restaurants, bait shops, license sales, motels etc. as a result of this event.

I know one weekend won’t “make or break” the local retailers, but the lost income will be noticed.

Again, it’s a shame to see such a fun and well organized event go to the wayside. I for one will miss it!

Thank you, Mr. Woods, for the enjoyment you and your team have provided to so many people, with such a well organized event. It will be missed.

Steven Lavoie
Sibley, IA

Dettmer’s Rules

Special rules for a select person never works.

District 52A Rep. Bob Dettmer, R-Fores Lake, has spent his career in politics attempting to pass bad legislation. His legislative attempts seem to focus on specific group or persons he wants special rules for.

I am wondering if Dettmer has a friend or relative that will benefit from this legislation as not many recently released veterans are going to start a road construction business requiring many hundreds of thousands of dollars or millions in start up capital.

Our veterans deserve a hand when returning from service and this can be done in many ways other than passing bad laws to reward a pal or the very few.

A  good start would be paying them a decent wage while in the service. Many enlisted service members with families qualify for food stamps and welfare because we don’t compensate them fairly.

Giving employers a tax benefit to employ veterans would make more sense and cover all veterans leaving the service.

Gov. Mark Dayton wants to encourage businesses this year with a $3,000 tax credit every time they hire a veteran or an unemployed person. This is a program designed to help tens of thousands of people that need a hand up.

It’s time for Dettmer to work on legislation for all Minnesotans, not just the chosen few.

Max Anderson