Open Forum writers recognize good deeds

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 [email protected] 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.

It’s About People

I would like to thank my neighbor who came over with his tractor after the February 28 snow and ice storm and plowed out a good share of my long, steep driveway. It’s the kindness of folks like you and others in Cranberry Heights that make me glad I moved to Forest Lake in 2005.

I know that due to an unfortunate incident or two, there are presently some folks who may question the joy of living in this area, and I acknowledge their frustrations.

Our community, however, has a lot of wonderful residents. In our neighborhood we have come together through births, deaths, medical issues, children playing together, and neighborhood potlucks. Romances and long term friendships have sprung up out of this community.

Often times, one never realizes how much their kind actions have touched another. Trust me, this neighbor’s simple good deed made a huge difference in my week.

This is a wonderful place to live, and it all begins with the people.

Dawn Babin
Forest Lake


The Engelmann family, Christie (Brink), Jason and Hannah, would like to thank everyone for your support of the Engelmann benefit on February 24th in Rochester.

Christie and I were overwhelmed by both the amount of people who were in attendance and by the number of monetary donations, as well as raffle, auction and bake sale donations.

It was truly an amazing night and one we will never forget.

We appreciate your ongoing thoughts and prayers for Christie’s recovery. Our family is blessed and we cannot thank you enough.

Jason Engelmann

Clash of Values

Society’s values must surely appear contradictory to young people. On the one hand, we are protecting the environment with restrictions on the capture of certain birds and animals and on the other, allowing the destruction of human life with legalized abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

High school juniors and seniors — if you were given five minutes to explain why human life deserves protection, what would you say?

Our local MCCL (Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life) Pro-Life Oratory Contest offers a unique opportunity to share your thoughts. This competition is open to high school juniors and seniors who research, write and present five to seven pro-life speech on abortion, infanticide or euthanasia.

Our Forest Lake chapter will be holding the 22nd annual contest on Friday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the choir room, 545, at Forest Lake High School.

For application information, call 651-464-5260.

Diane L. Paffel
Forest Lake

False Claims

I’ve been a Minnesota resident for almost 60 years, the 8th district for over 30.

I too was at Congressman Cravaack’s district office in North Branch when a small group of shabby “protesters” showed up with poorly made, confusing and misspelled signs (New Hamshire?).

Like the other Occupy protests around the district, Cravaack supporters far outnumbered the protesters. In our case it was about 2-1 for Chip.

I suggested to one that their entire premise that Chip doesn’t live in the district was entirely false and got no response. Chip owns his home in North Branch, pays property taxes to Chisago County and income taxes to Minnesota.

Mr. Walz claims he has seen no activity at Chip’s house. Does Mr. Walz live next door or is he admitting to stalking?

The fact is, when the Congressman flies home from D.C. Friday evening, he spends the night, If Saturday morning, he drops off his suitcase and goes about constituent business, often overnighting elsewhere because the district is so large.

Chip is considered one of the most accessible representatives in Congress.

I asked Mr. Walz if he had protested Oberstar for not living in Minnesota. His answer was rude and had nothing to do with my question, but everything to do with his own hypocrisy.

There are so many false claims in the Walz letter it would require a further letter-to-the-editor or two to respond.

Scott Martin

Petty Attacks

I was disappointed to read the letter from Robert Walz of North Branch. Mr. Walz didn’t identify (nor did the paper) himself as holding a position with the Chisago County DFL Party.

It is unfortunate that Mr. Walz engaged in an inaccurate personal attack on our Congressman, Chip Cravaack.

It is indisputable that Chip Cravaack has been the most visible Congressman in the 8th District in recent memory. Every week, I hear of another event Cravaack is hosting — whether it’s a town hall meeting (he’s held 22 of them in a year!), business visit, or other event, Cravaack seems to be everywhere.

Let’s not forget that the 8th District is one of the largest in the area — over 27,000 square miles. It seems DFL party official Robert Walz expects Congressman Cravaack to be mayor of North Branch and be here all the time.

The reality is, Cravaack needs to represent the entire district — we are lucky to call one of our own, Congressman. I’ve always found Cravaack’s staff to be friendly and helpful (they’ve held over 200 mobile offices throughout the district).

Please keep up the good work, Congressman Cravaack — and don’t let the petty attacks from DFL party officials distract you.

Jim Lunde