Open Forum for week of June 20

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.


Editorial Misses Mark

ECM’s recent editorial on a formula for education success offers a misguided and fatal solution. To get kids to at least grade-level reading by third grade, ECM actually advocates that others do the job that parents refuse to do. This never works.

Having the gall to relegate parents as mere “partners in their child’s educational experience,” ECM proposes continued subrogation of children to public schools, volunteer groups, and non-profits. But this is precisely what the cause of the vicious circle of illiteracy has been: uninvolved parents and inefficient allocation of resources used by disinterested third parties.

This model therefore cannot be the solution. It is not about collecting more funds but rather advocating the reversal of the self-centered decisions that parents make to not read with their children daily.

How can it be that parents don’t read with their own children? Are they both “too busy” with sports, shopping, Facebook, and TV? Nowadays it should be easy for parents and their kids to sit and enjoy an online story together, cuddle up with a Kindle, or even read something called a “library book.” Overburdened parents can acquire affordable reading software and games that kids can do on their own.

While public schools can help children in severe cases, the responsibility before third grade must lie squarely on the parent. But what a joy to have it! Sitting down with one’s own child, enjoying a snack, and talking and reading together is a blessing and responsibility that will alleviate illiteracy.

Kelly Wing


Cheering on Track

I am writing to commend the Ranger boys track team and coaching staff for their outstanding achievements at the state track meet. It was a joy to see the team finish in second place led by event champions Cody Walton, Anthony Tyler, Richard Carr and the 4×100-meter relay team.

Under the leadership of Paul Kendrick the team has had much success. However, I know his emphasis is not on winning meets but building winning individuals. For Kendrick, athletics is an avenue to help young men develop their character, physical fitness and work ethic. Forest Lake is fortunate to have him as a teacher and a coach.

Tom Hipkins
Forest Lake


Where’s the Notice?

On May 28, our vehicles were towed from the Northland Mall parking lot in Forest Lake.

We are part of the Metro Transit Rideshare program, therefore we carpool together. I have been parking at this location for almost 10 years, my friend Twyla for 20.

When we arrived back at the mall at 5 p.m. on May 28, our vehicles were not anywhere to be seen.  As it turns out, the lot was being resurfaced. The owner of Northland Mall had our vehicles towed. There was no notice of any kind posted to make us aware that this paving was being done. If there had been any signs or notices posted, we most certainly wouldn’t have parked there.

We called the Forest Lake police to report our cars stolen and were informed by an officer that our cars were towed to St. Paul.

We needed to find transportation back to St. Paul. We both work in St. Paul and just came from there after working our eight-hour jobs. Each of our tow bills was $285.

This is outrageous behavior, not to mention there was no common decency on the mall owner’s part. How hard would it have been to post a notice informing us that we couldn’t park there? How are we to know it’s private property?

Barb Running

  • Eric Langness

    Barb Running – The mall ‘owner’ is the City of Forest Lake.

    • Just Saying

      Barb wrote “How are we to know it’s private property?”

      Kind of says it all – No Personal Responsibility

  • John

    Part of the mall is owned by the city (the portion north of the Dance Factory), part is owned by PACE (Dane Factory and Anytime Fitness), and part is owned by DeSoto (Friar Tuck’s, the theater, etc.). Where exactly were you parked? Are there any signs there? If you were on the city portion, you shouldn’t have had a problem. If it was on either of the other parts, they are private property, but they may have been required to post tow-away and No Parking signs to be legal. If they didn’t, you may have recourse. I left a message for your co-author, but it wasn’t returned.

  • Blake Roberts

    Eric, That portion of the mall site that was resurfaced is not owned by the city.

  • Barb Running

    I was informed the part of the parking lot I was in is privatley owned by Azure Properties. I was parked on the south side – facing Hwy 61 – off to the side of the Credit Union, not in front of the Credit Union. There were no signs saying “Private Property” or “Do not park here because of paving”. There has NEVER been any signs here. Azure Properties responded back to me saying they are not reimbursing me – it’s my problem that I parked there.

    • Jeremy

      If someone parked in your driveway, would you be okay with it?

      Why should Azure Properties have to inform you?

      You should feel blessed that you’ve been able to illegally park for 10-20 years.

  • Jessie


    It’s great that you carpool with another person to downtown St. Paul, there are several parking lots in Forest Lake available for people just like yourself. One is at Running Aces Harness Park, which is closer to the freeway and only a few miles from where you regularly park. I suggest parking there from now on. I understand your frustration, but unfortunately you made the choice to park on private property. If you really have been parking there for 10/20 years, it sounds like you have gotten very lucky thus far. You are not entitled to park wherever you want.