Open Forum for week of Nov. 1

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.


Where Credit is Due

It’s gratifying that healthcare accountability in Minnesota is finally getting some of the attention it deserves.

The Greater Minnesota Healthcare Coalition has been advocating for legislative action on this topic for over eight years, and they have released a report which analyzes and documents their findings.

The title of the report is “Who Was Minding the Store.”

All taxpayers should be concerned with this issue, as more than $3 billion per year is spent on state-funded and HMO-managed healthcare in Minnesota.

Very little happens in politics unless groups of dedicated advocates push for action on a specific topic.

This is certainly the case when it comes to healthcare reform. The evidence that is contained in the aforementioned GMHCC report shows millions of dollars per year in waste and likely abuse of Medicaid dollars in the state. Many of you have seen the reports on TV and in the major newspapers in the Twin Cities and Duluth about the federal investigation that was launched by Congress dealing with the problems in Minnesota’s Medicaid program. These actions were a direct result of the work and pressure brought to bear by the GMHCC’s program.

It would be a big step backward for the work done on this topic by a non-profit organization to be used as a political tool, thereby losing focus on the problem itself.

The good news is that some action has taken place, but much more still needs to be done.

To read the report, see the Seven County Senior Federation or the GMHCC websites.

Betty Stoffel
North Branch


Tips, Praise, for ISD 831

I am a junior at Forest Lake High School. I think the article on how we are losing kids in our district is very interesting.

I believe that our district should start more elementary schools in teaching kids a language at a younger age. I am in Spanish now. I think it would have been so much easier to learn a second language at an earlier age than trying to learn one now.

Starting earlier would make kids want to keep learning a second language, instead of struggling with it and realizing that they do not want to continue because it is too difficult.

The science field is one of my favorites in school. I think that they have done a great job teaching science since elementary school. I would not change a thing in the way they are teaching the science classes.

I believe giving parents an option to enroll their kids in a school with a second language will bring more interest and more kids into our district.

Megan Parenteau
Forest Lake



I would like to sincerely express my thanks and appreciation to the people who do the work to keep the City of Wyoming running.

Unlike other departments, Jason and his crew, with little money and short of help and equipment, do a fine job and are unfailingly helpful and polite.

I spoke to Jason about mowing our ditch along Chisago 22. He did a good job explaining that he did not have the manpower, money or equipment to do it, and the county would not do it. So I mow it to make the city look better.

My hat is off to these men for the great job they do, and I wave to them when they go by!

Dean C. Stevens


Informed Citizens

Mr. Lellman, as we have never met or spoke, I would not recognize you if I saw you. With that said, I wonder where you get your information and why you persist in bashing my character and labeling me and those who share some of my views with your off-the-wall comments?

Have you ever taken the time to exchange views with any taxpayer/citizen who doesn’t agree with you? As a retired journalist you must be aware of the saying, “the truth is never negative,” negativity is in the eye of the beholder. The information I bring forward is always factual. As in the past, I am willing to share my support documents with anyone who asks.

I have in the past, and will continue in the future, hold elected officials accountable for their actions while pursuing total transparency. An elected official has a responsibility to due diligence in the decision-making process and a fiduciary responsibility to those he represents. If that means “holding their feet to the fire,” so be it.

Rather than bashing and labeling those who share my views, you could exit the “spin zone” and go back to Journalism 101 where factual reporting is primary and the reader is given the respect and opportunity to determine the value and accuracy of the information. We all need to be “informed citizens.”

Dick Tschida
Forest Lake