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