Open Forum for week of June 6

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.


Lesson from History

It has been said that the arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice. Try as they might to use tradition to justify their “no” votes on marriage equality, our local legislators were not able to deflect history’s arc from its rendezvous with justice for all.

In the 1857 Dred Scott Decision the United States Supreme Court affirmed the tradition, practiced since biblical times, that certain humans, due to circumstances of birth, are private property and thus could be owned, bought and sold by other humans. It took a catastrophic civil war to change that notion.

In 1896 the Supreme Court affirmed the belief  that some Americans are not quite equal to others and that traditions requiring these less equal citizens to separate themselves onto ‘colored’ train cars and other public accommodations was lawful (Plessey versus Ferguson). This decision set up seven decades of government-sanctioned discrimination known as Jim Crow that haunts us still.

Although my own lawmakers disappointed me by taking stands similar to the Scott and Plessey courts, I am thankful that in 2013 the majority of Minnesota’s legislators understood the lessons of history and voted to remove yet another tradition of discrimination from our statutes.

Gene Janicke
Forest Lake


The Amazing Mr. Conway

Driving up Highway 61 on a hot July evening I looked over and saw a man in a suit and tie standing by the entry to Wyoming Elementary greeting people.

I smiled as I thought, “That sums up Mike Conway to me.” In July, the last place I would think a school person would want to be, yet there he was; very dedicated, high character and with an amazing attitude.

Whatever it takes, that is what Mike has been willing to do.

My wife and I figured that we have had children at Wyoming Elementary for about 15 years straight. We could not be more pleased with the outstanding education and care they have received there. The quality elementary teachers are too many to mention any names. The extra services, from physical education to music, were excellent. We are still in amazement at how Ms. Nicklason could keep so many students respectful and participating when they were suppose to. Thank you to all the staff at Wyoming Elementary.

As Mr. Conway looks to retire I wish Forest Lake could understand what a gift he has been to the community. Thank you, Mr. Conway, for the countless hours, the many costumes, the amazing laugh and the unending energy.

I am sure I speak for countless parents in the area with a huge thank you for all your efforts. May God bless you in your retirement. Enjoy it; you have earned it. You will be missed.

Alan Anderson


Big Trucks, Big Success

Forest Lake Area Schools Childhood Family Education held its first Big Truck Day on Saturday, May 18. Despite the rain, local businesses donated their time, trucks and talents to delight the children with a display of big trucks and demonstrations of what trucks can do.

Forest Lake ECFE would like to publicly thank the businesses who donated trucks and time. We are so grateful to have this type of community support! It is a win for children when local businesses support local schools.

Cheryl Smoczyk
Forest Lake ECFE