Open Forum for week of March 28

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.


What a Weekend

After attending the Lion’s waffle breakfast at Robert’s Floral and Garden Shop on Saturday, I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to say thank you to a community that cares.

Looking around there were many longtime Forest Lake residents and some very new ones (one 10 days old) and everyone was smiling and sharing stories. Boy Scouts served and a string ensemble from the high school played relaxing music. There were so many wonderful people it was hard to leave the event. (The waffles were great, too.) It was a gathering of our city leaders and our citizens. It was a picture of a community that works together and cares about one another.

Following that event on Sunday was a breakfast at the American Legion to support our veterans, a program to honor our Vietnam veterans in the afternoon, an Easter event at the VFW and capping off with a very successful Easter egg hunt for hundreds of children at the sports arena.

I, for one, am grateful to be living in the Forest Lake community. Hats off to the Lions and all our service groups for all the good that they do.

Karen Morehead
Forest Lake


Down the Rabbit Hole

Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann has largely been out of the public eye since last November’s elections, apparently using this time to meet with constituents. Good for her.

She recently resurfaced to give a speech at a conservative gathering and I wondered what she would say, having had time to reflect on her constituent meetings and the grave challenges the country faces.

Perhaps Rep. Bachmann would offer a bold economic plan for reducing unemployment, outline ways to increase the flexibility of states like Minnesota in spending federal health care dollars, or even suggest a radical overhaul of her former employer, the IRS?

Nope. Her speech was a familiar mix of sound and fury that was perhaps most notable for its criticism of the President’s lavish lifestyle, which includes having a White House employee walk his dog rather than doing it himself. After the dog-walking comment, I half expected Bachmann to also argue that the Obamas clean the White House themselves rather than pay someone to do it.

For Republicans focused on issues like reducing the debt and immigration reform, Bachmann’s comments likely elicited eye-rolling or worse.

For Minnesotans bored by the workmanlike performance of our other elected officials (e.g., Reps. Kline, McCollum, Paulsen, Senators Franken and Klobuchar), who somehow manage to do their jobs without arguing the President should walk his own dog, Bachmann’s speech was another trip down the rabbit hole.

Welcome back, Rep. Bachmann!

Michael Harwell
Forest Lake


An Easter Plea

Please, before buying that cute, fuzzy, little Easter pet, know what you are getting into. Pets must be purchased responsibly, not impulsively.

First learn what that animal needs to be healthy and happy. What are its characteristics? Can you honestly provide a proper, permanent home?

Rabbits and guinea pigs live 5–8 years or more. Both require a large cage and daily attention and affection. These are not easy-care, low-maintenance, low-cost pets.

Not all rabbits and guinea pigs are as cuddly as they look. Many of the animals displayed for pre-Easter sales come from pet-mill-type breeders.  Respiratory ailments, diarrhea, lice/mite infestations are not uncommon.  Are you willing to pay for veterinary care if your pet becomes sick?

Animal shelters dread the calls that start soon after Easter. “Will you take this rabbit (or guinea pig)? The kids are bored of it.”…“We don’t have time for it.”…“It’s not as cute or fun as it used to be.”…“It smells.”

Learn before you buy.  If you are not sure you have the time, money, interest and commitment – don’t buy!

Vicki Palmer Nielsen