Open Forum for week of Dec. 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.

The Special Duty of School Workers

I don’t have a TV, so I’m a bit sheltered when it comes to constant news coverage of the Newtown, Conn. tragedy, but I have been paying attention. And when I read about the details I feel the same ache that I’ve felt with many of the other recent situations, but with one obvious difference…it was an elementary school and I could put myself there.

I heard the news and felt sadness for the families because loss is torturous no matter how it comes, but it wasn’t until I read the stories about the teachers that tears came to my eyes. While chaos ensued, they brought their children close to them, told them they loved them, smiled at them and shielded them. I can see our community in these images and it reminds me just how special we are to the children that walk through our doors.

Teachers, directors, custodians, aides, deans, assistants. Such simple titles for what we are charged with. There are many takeaways from an event like this, but my hope is that in the midst of the day-to-day routines, we stop and take in the wonder that is a child and create a bond with our students. Because in the end, we are doing something greater than teaching academics and running a school, we are providing our children with love–a gift much greater.

Thank you all for every moment you give to our school and our children. You are truly invaluable.

Stefani McAlpine
(Editor’s note: The writer is the instructional leader of Lakes International Language Academy, Forest Lake.)


The Public Good

The Johnson Project for Northland Mall is causing a further division in Forest Lake. It is better to table a project than to begin one in controversy and strife. It is better to build lasting relationships, for local government to partner with its citizens, rather than lord over them.

When local government subjects their constituents’ families to multi-million-dollar debt, the sense of community is forever damaged. All begin to see that the local government has become our master rather than a servant, set up by us and for us, to serve our public good.

Public good is neither found nor served when a project is allowed to begin in a swamp of disdain.  The people of the city will become heirs to its deceit and fail to prosper in direct defiance to the project’s intentions.

It is logical, rational, and just that our community be allowed to vote on the passage of this project. If this project is deemed necessary and worthy, why not let the people decide? For it is true that public good can only be found in the light of honest debate and in the unprejudiced intentions of a just people.

Billy Anderson
Forest Lake