Open Forum for week of Sept. 27

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.


Spend, Spend, Spend

Former Senator (kicked out in the 2010 election) Rick Olseen’s quest for the state house after failing as a state senator is a good metaphor for why we can’t afford to have him get back into office.

Rather than running for his old seat and re-using existing resources, expensive campaign signs, web site, letterhead, etc., he has to purchase new materials and spend a ton of money, unnecessarily, to do so.

In four years as a state senator, Olseen turned a $3 million surplus into a $6 billion deficit by spending too much taxpayer money.

A vote for that liberal is a vote to give Gov. Mark Dayton a rubber stamp on his excessive-spending (of your money) appetite. Minnesota and certainly Chisago County can no longer afford it. Minnesota had 10 straight years of budget deficits when liberals were behind the wheel. We’re done with Olseen spinning his wheels in the senate before driving the state’s car into the ditch. Do you think he would behave any differently in the house?

Bob Barrett stands by his pledge with action and the state’s checkbook is in the black because of it.

Gary Kosin
Chisago City


Actions Over Words

Words are only as good as the actions that back them up. No matter what former liberal senator and current house candidate Rick Olseen says, we can judge his actions. He voted to raise the state income tax. He voted to raise taxes on job-creating businesses. He voted to raise property taxes. He voted to spend money even beyond what Minnesota could afford and left Minnesota with a $6.2 billion deficit.

He claims he will invest in our schools but his votes show that he tows the line with urban school interests at the cost of Chisago schools. His web site says he is the hometown voice but his actions show he is loyal to Minneapolis special interests and Gov. Dayton’s spending binges.

Rep. Bob Barrett promised to reduce excessive government spending, keep the state living within its means and not raise taxes. Bob helped turn that deficit into a $1.2 billion surplus. Bob worked to pass laws that tangibly help our schools.

Words mean nothing when your loyalties are to special interests and big-city politicians. Bob Barrett deserves our vote because he kept his word and Chisago County has cut unemployment levels almost in half because of it.

Mark Thelander
North Branch


Not the Place to Be

When farmers in Chisago and Isanti see the campaign pictures of Rick Olseen sitting on his tractor, their hearts are not warmed because it just reminds them of how Olseen and his vote for the Green Acres Law almost cost them the farm.

Some say this is why he is not running for state senate again and has chosen to try to get into the state house instead; he knows he can’t win Isanti County because he stuck it to the farmers there.

Minnesota family farms have good reason to be angry about it, too. The Green Acres law increased taxes on farmers by designating parts of their property as unproductive and therefore subject to higher taxes.

Bob Barrett and Sean Nineow corrected that problem and repealed the law. They are the true friend of the homeowner and the farmer. Democrats want to take more and more of our money and spend it recklessly. Sean and Bob want to make government responsible and return more of your money to you – where it belongs.

When you see that picture of Olseen on his tractor, remember how his Green Acres vote hurt our local farmers and almost cost them the farm.

Trisha Funni
North Branch


No Line Needed

I am sorry that Karen Freed’s God defines marriage based solely upon the heterosexual acts between two people. Is this an 11th commandment I somehow missed? My God teaches me to love, cherish, and obey; not what acts to perform in the bedroom.

I was unaware that the Minnesota constitution expresses God’s doctrine. My constitution permits Karen’s religion the right to perform marriages based upon her beliefs. My constitution permits couples without religious beliefs to marry outside of a church. I do not want my constitution contaminated by Karen Freed’s unforgiving God. This Catholic heterosexual married man votes no.

Mike Carter
Lino Lakes


Doing What it Takes

Like most, I want more from our legislature than divisive finger pointing and gridlock. If we want better results, we should all be taking a hard look at who we believe will best represent this community. If you expect more from elected officials, I strongly recommend you make the time to learn about my candidate for the Minnesota Senate, Julie Bunn.

As a parent, I want leaders who understand that the most important work they do is on issues that impact our next generation. Julie has a record of doing what’s best for kids, ensuring their schools are funded adequately and more uninsured kids have access to preventive health care. She’s done what very few do, crossing party lines when it’s meant doing what’s best for businesses and property owners.

Unlike her opponent, who chooses to avoid controversy and debate, Julie speaks to the need to seek common ground and compromise in finding long-term solutions to pressing concerns. She invites participation and listens with an open mind – something sadly missing in today’s political climate.

Julie has the intellectual honesty, grasp of issues and experience that I expect from a state leader. For that reason, she has earned my vote.

Liz Zeno
Lake Elmo


Leave Box Blank

The amendment to be voted on this November properly titled “Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman” is one of a complicated nature. I am a Republican that strongly believes in free enterprise, a limited and fiscally responsible government and individual liberty.

An argument from the Left is this amendment will continue unfairness toward homosexuals and they deserve the equality of heterosexual married couples. Often they discuss tax advantages or fiscal issues. If homosexual couples were granted a ‘legal married’ or ‘civil union’ status it would further divide those not in a legally committed relationship. ‘Single’ or even ‘widowed’ will remain to be treated unequally amongst the rest. This, to me, does not construct fairness with regard to individual liberty.

Our federal First Amendment reads “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”. Marriage is a religious sacrament first and a legal, binding document second. Having a state constitutional amendment that stands in the way of church decisions does not exhibit a limited government.

A fiscally responsible government that allows for the greatest amount of free enterprise is one that has equality in individual liberty. I urge you to stand against voting for this amendment. We should demand our elected officials, rather than dictating their morality on the church, create equality through tax code and other fiscal statute.

Lastly, I’m certainly not standing with the liberals either…so my vote will be left blank.

Eric Langness
Forest Lake


All Means All

Of the thousands of words I have read, and the many thousands yet to come regarding the marriage amendment, I keep coming back to just one word – ‘all’ – as in, “…with liberty and justice for all.”

As I read the arguments of those in favor of limiting the freedom to marry, I just can’t get past that pesky word ‘all’. You remember, “…all men (and women, one would hope) are created equal.”

Far be it from me to question the Biblical scholarship or the legal knowledge of pro-amendment advocates, but I always thought that ‘all’ included, well, everyone. You know, like, “All Americans are equal before the law.”

So when I vote in November I will keep in mind that in my Minnesota ‘all’ means ‘all,’ and I will vote ‘No!’

Gene Janicke
Forest Lake


Righting the Ship

The county unemployment rate just came out and the great news is it went down to 5.8 percent from 6.2 percent in July.

The employment numbers for the last two years should be contrasted with same months’ numbers for 2006-2010 because they demonstrate the incompetence of Rick Olseen during the four years he was State Senator; 1,018 people were unemployed the August prior to him getting elected (August 2006) and this increased to 2,422 the August prior to him being booted out (August 2010).

The unemployment rate more than doubled during his tenure and the number of unemployed increased 240 percent.

In the last two years the legislature implemented reforms that have effectively reversed the awful economic impact of Olseen’s final two years in office. Rep. Bob Barrett deserves some credit for this improvement in jobs for the middle class. Bob has shown he cares about the state economy and excessive government spending because a good economy results in good jobs.

Making Minnesota a great place to live, work and raise families is what Bob Barrett is all about. Finally, some good news!

Jason Carroll
North Branch


Learning Life Lessons

Just a comment as a spectator of the Stillwater/Forest Lake football game on Friday.

Forest Lake may have lost the game but they never lost their spirit and continued play with class.

My thanks to the team and the coach that instills these two important attributes in these young men.

Roger Anderson
St. Paul


Enough Negativity

Having read Mr. Tschida’s letter in the Sept. 13 Times, I agree enough is enough – enough of Dick Tschida and his group that constantly has something negative to say about most every progressive idea.

Dick always talks of return on investment. Kids that have gone through FLAAA programs number a minimum of 50,000 and maybe as high as 75,000 over 62 years. I think that’s a far bigger “return on investment” than can be measured in dollars.

If FLAAA helped teach them leadership, sportsmanship, teamwork, and hopefully to become better community members through volunteering, we are proud of our “return on investment.”

How about Mr. Tschida’s comments of net fund balance of over $1,000,000 for FLAAA? You want to make a quick $500,000, Dick? How about you give us $500,000 in cash and we give you the net fund balance? Seems a no-brainer if you’re sure of your numbers.

As to the financial audit you think we should have, we pay over $10,000 anually to have our books audited by a CPA firm as mandated by the state.

Dick, enough is enough, which is why most people now turn a deaf ear to you and your followers. Help us teach kids to not find fault with everything, but make corrective suggestions, volunteer, and build community amenities instead of using negative attacks and twisted numbers.

FLAAA is not a business, it’s a charity. Are churches, Youth Service Bureau, Red Cross, etc. required to make money or are they going to be your next targets to rant about?

Larry Porter
Forest Lake Area Athletic Association Board of Directors


Grateful Golfers

The Pat Cheyne Memorial Golf Event organizing committee would like to offer heartfelt thanks to our sponsors, volunteers and hosts of the fourth-annual golf outing benefiting the Forest Lake Area Community Scholarship Foundation (

Nearly 80 businesses and individuals offered major underwriting support, hole sponsoring and door prizes. A cadre of volunteers assisted with set-up, games and contests on the course, silent auctions and raffles. Special thanks goes to student volunteers from Forest Lake Area Senior High School.

Kudos to the staff of Forest Hills Golf Club for their assistance and cooperation on the links, in the clubhouse and the dining room. You welcomed us and treated our golfers and dinner guests with warmth and courtesy.

As a result of the tournament, over $6,000 was raised and 12 more 2013 Forest Lake graduates will receive scholarship funding next spring. We promise the 2013 tourney, with your help, will deliver even more in the way of fun and funding.

Join us next year on Saturday, Sept. 14 for the fifth-annual Pat Cheyne Memorial Golf Tournament at Forest Hills Golf Club.

Roger Cheyne
Pat Cheyne Memorial Golf Event Committee


Throw It Back

I am wondering why the city is backing the Your Boat Club marina proposal that is extremely more expensive to the user and brings a constant flow of “transients” to our lake.

There is a $10,000 fee the first year for transient club members and it is $300 higher than the White Bear Boat Works proposal for slip rental. Your Boat Club will also only provide 12 rental slips beyond the 12 for its business.

I was under the impression that one of the reasons for the marina was to allow off-lake residents access to the lake. It would also appear that the other services that White Bear Boat Works provides were not part of the equation.

I believe the city has lost their aim. I, for one, do not want 24 new boaters cruising on our lake daily. Especially those who have no investment in their equipment, nor this community, and are also unfamiliar with our waters. I would strongly suggest this be revisited.

Dan Scholl
Forest Lake