Open Forum for week of Feb. 14

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.


Money Well-Spent

As a tax-paying Forest Lake resident, I try to stay on top of the goings-on – not because I’m for or against elected officials, but to know what they are doing with my tax dollars.

This lawsuit against the city and our elected officials is very short-sighted and detrimental to the city’s health and long-term wealth.

The city is accused of underhandedly planning and funding the Northland Mall project. I have heard nothing to make me think our mayor, half the City Council, and the EDA have taken advantage of residents.

I believe it is the opposite. They have done everything in the open and held countless meetings on the project and how to tackle the space problem of our city and emergency services.

As for a referendum, this city already had one: the election. Anyone who has done any reading knew what each candidate was bringing to the table. I used their stances on this project as basis for my votes. I believe that’s why Mayor Johnson was re-elected by the majority of residents, which by my figuring was more than the 1000 petition signees.

I believe our mayor takes his job very seriously. He attended the Hardwood Creek Trail proposal meeting just to listen. I like that my mayor and some on the council are concerned with growth and renewal.

This project will fix areas that have long needed upgrades.

I hate taxes and increases, but if this project means I pay a little more, I see this as worth the money.

Kenneth Miller
Forest Lake


Worried About Mine

Each month I read with increasing worry and frustration about the progress of the proposed Zavoral Mine in Scandia.

As a resident of Forest Lake, I have as many concerns as the Scandia folks have expressed at their town meetings. My house is very near Highway 97, which is, of course, the main artery to anywhere.

On any given day, Monday through Friday, the wait to pull out on the Highway going west is dangerous at best, and the wait for the smelly and speeding truck traffic makes it worse.

I am really concerned when the mine is in operation, will we be able to leave our neighborhood for fear of getting hit making the turn left?

How many more dump and belly dump trucks are we expecting in a working day? As a homeowner who sees the decreasing value of her house, what does a working mine in the area do to our values and taxes?

Anyone else have these thoughts?

Jeanne Caine
Forest Lake


Volunteerism Matters

Volunteering, I believe, is essential for the furtherance of a successful democratic nation. We in this great country have the ability to gather coalitions together and stand up for the beliefs we hold near and dear to ourselves. We should all participate in some sort of volunteering organization, such as a non-profit collaborative effort.

To live in a free and equal society, we must be willing to challenge the status quo when needed. You can make a significant change, if you are willing to fight for that change. Mrs. Heidi Link, Psychology and History teacher from Forest Lake Senior High School, cites Mahatma Ghandi’s inspirational quote “be the change you wish to see in the world.”

You can be that change. Don’t live for the status quo; live your life to the fullest potential possible, while helping others in the meantime.

When you volunteer, you stand up for something bigger than just yourself. To fight for that is the reason why the American spirit can be sustained even in the most troubling times in our society.

Maxwell Hall
Forest Lake

  • Sally Swanson

    So true Max, we need more volunteers!!!

  • Matt

    Kenneth – if the city leaders trust you to vote them into office, why do they not trust your judgment on a project of such significance, when tens of millions of tax dollars are at stake? If what you say is true, that the mayor and council were elected because of their stance on a new city hall, would a referendum vote not then result in support for the project? And the great thing is that it would be 100% legal and lawful, and there would be no question that the city did everything according to the letter of the law. Instead, they short-circuited the process. What happens when they decide to do something you don’t personally like, and maneuvered around the law in doing so? This is about following mn state law in respect to projects like these, not about the project itself.

    Jeanne – you live on a state highway. Do you hate it that the state maintains your road much better than city roads, and that your road is likely one of the very first plowed during a snowstorm? You have to take the good with the bad in living on a state road. The mine is trying to do something productive in this depressed economy, and we should support businesses that have jumped through all the environmental regulations required to just use their property how they want to use it to make a living for themselves and their workers. If a little traffic stopped all new projects, we would have no economic activity at all.

  • Maxwell Hall

    I agree Sally!

    I also wanted to say thank you so much for the work you have done for the Forest Lake High School Debate Team!