Open Forum for week of March 7

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 Time

I was pleased to read the article that MnDOT is considering adding an additional lane in each direction to 35W. The morning and evening traffic reports often describe the stop and go conditions as ‘usual’ or ‘typical’. If there is any traffic congestion during rush-hour, it will be found on 35W.

I challenge the need to make these added lanes toll lanes for single occupancy drivers. There are many reasons why some can’t carpool: Additional riders are not permitted in company vehicles. Some people don’t work typical hours. Some need their cars to travel or make sales calls. Construction and maintenance vehicles are loaded with equipment. These people are then penalized an ‘up to $8’ charge to use the highway lane that their taxes and their employers’ taxes have built.

There is a quote saying congestion on I-394 is not as bad as it was before the MnPASS lane was added. It doesn’t take much thinking that if you go from three lanes to four lanes congestion will be reduced. Overall traffic flow will be increased  further if that fourth lane is not a MnPASS lane.

If the MnPASS system was abolished, monies that go to electronic signs, transponders, maintenance and staffing the MnPASS offices could be channeled in a more positive manner to better use. Drivers would see a better traffic flow, reduced travel time and have better fuel economy as well as less pollution from cars sitting in stopped traffic.

Harold Schardin


Mixed Message

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 a 5-7 minute pro-life speech on abortion, infanticide or euthanasia.

Our Forest Lake Chapter will be holding the 23rd annual contest on Friday, April 5 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


On Our Doorstep

I’ve written several letters to the editor lately regarding same-sex marriage and its negative impact on children and society. I’ve brought forward legitimate studies and valid concerns about this issue.

Why? Because it is right on our doorstep here in Minnesota. The Legislature is moving forward to pass a same-sex marriage law right now in this current session.

When chatting with friends and relatives and the issue comes up I find them parroting information that they heard during the election from Vote No commercials. No one has a realistic view about the impact of same-sex marriage.

Please take the time to really investigate this issue at

Also, on March 7 from 2-5 p.m. at the State Capitol there is a Minnesota for Marriage lobby day and rally.

Mary Stolz
Forest Lake


Small Price to Pay

I am not surprised to read that Rep. Bob Barrett/Campaign was fined $1,000 for distributing a campaign flier with false information about Rick Olseen in the most recent election, a small price to pay for using false information to ensure a self-serving politician remains in elected office.

This event has shown Rep. Barrett to be an unprincipled elected representative that will do anything to get re-elected. His excuses of “making an honest mistake” in my opinion negates any remorse shown for his dishonesty and lack of Christian values.

I know Barrett’s supporters will come to his aid, that will only illustrate the lack of public expectations for decent and honest government. Using deceit to get elected to office is morally wrong and should not be rewarded or defended.

Shame on Rep. Barrett, he should resign immediately.

Max Anderson

  • Wendy Root

    I personally believe the time for Mary Stolz’s continuous fear-mongering about same-sex marriage in the Forest Lake Times needs to end. Haven’t you published enough messages from the same person on the same subject for the audience of the Times to “get the message?”

    I believe the generic studies she touts as the future of marriage equality to be filled with fear and ignorance. Let the people decide (once again!) what they want in this state, and leave the religious, fear-based posturing behind. Canada legalized same-sex marriage in 2004, and I am certain, 9 years later, that the country has not sunk into some immoral chasm, and they are an example of what can be done when the Government relieves itself of dictating what we can and cannot do in our personal lives.

    Allowing people to receive benefits granted to all couples, regardless of what they do in their bedroom, will be good for the children those couples support. No matter what studies you claim to support your issue, the over-riding result is clear: supporting FAMILIES supports our CHILDREN. If you have a problem with the definition of “family” in this analogy, then we are having two different arguments, and those arguments do not belong in CIVIL law. What kind of person believes other people are “less than” simply because of moral beliefs? Oh, I know… a bigot.

    It’s time for the old-school, small-minded “holier than thou” to settle down and look inside their own families and communities (many of which have productive, community-supporting gay family members) and realize that supportive, positive environments are what our future generations need. Who those generations love is not for us to scrutinize.

    • Eric Langness

      Don’t count on it passing in the wording you’d like an amendment to read either. I was one that voted “blank” (essentially a no vote) because I believe it should not be in the constitution regardless of how it is written. I’m not alone and that’s why your version of the amendment would fail just like last years did.

  • Phil Fishman

    Mr. Anderson-

    I must have missed your letter to the editor in 2010 when House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher was fined $9,000 and the DFL party was fined $15,000 for campaign impropieties. I can only assume that your expecatation for a “decent and honest government” goes both ways. I also don’t recall you asking that she “resign immediately”. Perhaps you missed it because of your partisan blinders.

  • Phil Fishman

    Mr. Schardin-

    You make a good point with regards to commuting in the north metro. Up here, we are the proverbial “red headed step child with freckles” when it comes to money spent on roads and transit. The north and east metro always loses when it comes to transit funding. The money almost always goes to the inner cities, west an south. As a group, we need to convey to our respective legislators that we have subsidized everyone else enough. In short, it’s our turn and let’s stop wasting tons of money on boondoggles like light rail.