Open Forum for week of May 2

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.


Quite the Vision

Second Amendment supporters recently won a victory in the U.S. Senate against new gun controls. Already proponents of more regulation are slandering those who stand for the freedom to bear arms, whining that the NRA is nothing more than the handmaiden of the arms industry. These big government nannies want to know what our vision of guns in America is.

It’s simple:

A country where I’m willing to register my wife (marriage license), car, boat and dog but not my gun.

A country where anyone who wants a gun can get one as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.  No background checks, no waiting period, no mandatory firearms training–guns should be as common as toothbrushes and about as controversial.

A country where we tear down those “No Guns on Premises” signs and allow citizens to carry guns anywhere, anyplace, anytime including the Minnesota House or Senate or the U.S. House and Senate when they’re in session.

A country where accidental shootings are treated as accidents.  Leaving your gun cabinet unlocked and having a kid accidentally shoot someone with your gun is not a crime.

A country with armed guards in every school.  These guards would have backup because patriotic teachers would have guns, plus 18-year-olds could carry a gun to school to help protect younger students.

A country that understands that it’s guns, not votes, that guarantee our rights. More guns equals more freedom.

Even a liberal should be able to understand it!

Michael Harwell
Forest Lake


At a Crossroads

The City of Wyoming has an obvious street problem. Pothole repairs and temporary asphalt overlays will only improve the driving quality and safety of our roads for the short-term.

Until each street is repaired or reconstructed there will be no long-term solution. Yet for over two decades this practice of a quick, short-term fix has been the extent of our comprehensive street program. Until 2011, it was kick the can down the road and don’t worry, be happy.

Money is just one of the issues the city has with fixing its roads. Political will was the other. Due to the tireless hard work of Mayor Eric Peterson, city staff, Councilmen Roger Elmore, Joe and Steve Zerwas, a responsible, realistic and cost-effective solution is finally at hand.

Their solution: bonding to cover street improvement work, thus avoiding costly individual property assessments. But without a full majority vote of our City Council, Wyoming will fall far short in solving our street problems.

I believe our city is a great place and worth saving, not to be ignored. Street reconstruction bonding is the only realistic, sound approach and it’s also the only way the city can have any chance of catching up on our sizable backlog of repairs.

The City Council meeting at 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 7, will define what Wyoming is to become. Are our best years behind us? Or will our future be bright and unlimited?

Make no mistake, what happens May 7, one way or another, will be historic.

Arnold Lahd


Fix Roads Now

It’s time for our elected members of the Wyoming City Council to back up their campaign promises. As it was when I ran for a council seat, the No. 1 topic of concern has been street repair.

The council has come up with a way to get the most bang for the buck. They can get the most streets possible repaired this year by means of bonding.

Bonding takes a unanimous vote by the council. Failure to get our roads fixed through this measure will cost the city and its residents more. It will also prolong the timetable for completion.

I must remind current members of the council that during your campaigns, you said you would make Wyoming street repair a priority and do so in the most efficient manner. It doesn’t take an economist to figure out that bonding for the initial construction is the most efficient way to get this done.

I’m asking all of you who read this to please contact all of your City Council members and tell them you support the bonding. You can find their contact info at

Mike Soule


Green-light Road Plan

Thirty-five years ago, as the parents of two young children, we searched for a good place to raise them. We picked Wyoming, at that time a small, growing and progressive town.

At present, the City of Wyoming is immersed in a street repair controversy. While few question the need to fix our crumbling streets, the schedule and financing of the necessary repairs have not been agreed upon.

A public hearing scheduled for May 7 will no doubt be well attended and the three options on the table highly debated. The basic facts are the streets need replacement and that will incur costs.

The mayor and a majority of the City Council, after considering all options, have presented a program for timely, systematic repairs. This would involve bonding at the current low interest rates rather than assessments to property owners or depleting the funds now budgeted to the street fund. The rapid and orderly repair possible with the bonding option also minimizes disruption to residents and businesses.

If residents and council members think only in terms of me and my, rather than us and ours, the dysfunction of the past will continue. The problems will not disappear and the costs will only increase. It’s time to think of Wyoming as a community again and act now.

Maureen Wolhaupter