Open Forum for week of July 4

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.


Where’s the Support?

I stopped by Friar Tuck’s Fourth of July fundraiser dumpster hot tub party on Saturday.

I was quite shocked and disappointed to see such a small crowd and no city representatives whatsoever.

Everyone enjoys the parade, carnival and fireworks, right? Then why is there little or no support from the City Council or staff to help generate funds for this great event in our community?

Folks, one of the great things about this city is to have such a wonderful fireworks display. Why not wholeheartedly support it? Heck, if it wasn’t for the Legion and a few others like Friar Tuck’s, we wouldn’t have a celebration of our independence at all.

Please step up and help support! Next year we might just have a few bottle rockets to wow the crowd, otherwise.

Signed, Disappointed.

Jim Dufour
Forest Lake


Refreshing Column

A big thank you to Don Heinzman for his great column June 27, “High school trap shooting here to stay.”

Finally an accurate, honest, factual article, instead of the hateful and inaccurate diatribes we most often see written about gun owners, guns and the recreational shooting and hunting sports. How refreshing.

We are fortunate that there is a very fine shooting facility right here in  Forest Lake, (actually in the southwest corner of Wyoming on Higgens Lake) to which I’ve been a member for over 55 years, the Forest Lake Sportsmens Club.

This is a private, shareholders-owned club, but I believe that a suitable accommodation could be worked out with management to allow our school kids to enjoy trap shooting as a school-sponsored sport.

Maybe we could develop an Olympic champion someday.

Let’s do it, I’ll help.

Lee Perrault
Forest Lake


Problem Brewing

We have a big problem out here in Columbus and most of the people to be affected don’t even know it.

Forest Lake Contracting wants 490,000 cubic yards of sand out of the John’s Black Dirt pit. They took 50,000 yards out in 2010 and drove the residents on 189th nuts with all the trucks and noise in their residential area. The last quarter-mile of 189th is in Wyoming.

The Wyoming mayor and Columbus mayor talked and now Wyoming has put a 5-ton load limit on 250th, cutting off access to the pit. Forest Lake Contracting had already withdrawn their permit request. No problem, John’s Black Dirt has a Conditional Use Permit that Columbus claims is untouchable.

Now for the surprise: The residents in the residential area on Vassar Street, Tulane Street (both narrow gravel roads) and 181st are the intended targets for up to 40 big trucks a day.

There will be a meeting for residents July 8. The last time they only notified those within 350 feet of the pit. Residents: Please attend to hear about your future!

I have been told since 1976 that they would only dig a couple more years and then it will be returned to its natural state with ponds. Well, the black dirt is long gone but we can’t stop there. All that sand has to go, too.

My take is that a good number of the Planning Commission and City Council are more concerned for the business community than residents.

Cecile Neihart


Leadership Appreciated

I just wanted to take a few moments and thank Eric Peterson, Wyoming mayor. We live right off of 250th/189th and we are grateful that he stepped up and stopped the potential traffic that could have gone through our neighborhood.

I am disappointed with city of Columbus as they tried bring additional commercial truck traffic through our street.

Eric has done great work in office and I wanted to say thanks. I have never met a more caring, concerned and involved mayor and I am very happy to call him my friend. Too many times we here about how awful our city government is doing, so I wanted to take this time to acknowledge what a great job our city staff and council are doing. Thank you.

What Columbus tried to do is bring in traffic through a residential community where the roads are not designed to handle the kind of traffic or load weights they had in mind. And with there being an alternate route going through their streets, why did they not consider the south access road?

It is nice to hear that not only did Eric go to their meeting and listen but had their residents applauding him for working for the residents of Wyoming.

Xavier Escobedo


An Economics Lesson

Kirsten Kennedy needs a lesson in economic liberty. She wrote the letter slamming Senator Nienow and Representative Barrett for voting against raising your taxes by way over $2 billion.

At some point, taking more of your hard-earned money becomes not about helping poor people and building roads but about an addiction to spending other people’s money and paying back corrupt special interests who feed off government.

The state didn’t need to raise your taxes, but to feed the DFL’s insatiable desire, you will now pay more for Internet downloads. Cigarettes will go up $1.60 a pack, which hurts lower-income people the most. Fees increase on vehicle registrations and licenses; taxes go up for businesses, and now the Minnesota taxpayer is going to pay for the Vikings stadium and the legislature to have a new office building. The majority of the people paying for the stadium will never be able to afford to attend a game.

Chisago County is proud that our legislators can’t be bought off by special interest groups and have the backbone to stand up for the people who are footing the bill.

Dayton and the DFL ran a campaign on taxing the rich. However, of the nearly $3 billion dollars in new taxes, fees and surcharges, only $1 billion comes from the new income tax on the top 1 percent. Instead, everyone pays more under the new tax plan. Why? Because the DFL decided to raise taxes over $2 billion to solve a $600 million budget deficit.

Bruce Spangler


A Time to Reflect

As we celebrate Independence Day, I cannot help but think about what spurred the colonists to revolt against King George III and compare those grievances to what we’ve incurred from our own government.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

Ask yourself if you feel the government acts as if it derives its power from the citizens.

This government has forced mandates on religious institutions. It has used the IRS to target conservative groups with which it disagrees politically. It has mandated we purchase healthcare.  This government has attempted to limit your Second Amendment rights.  This government has listened to and recorded your phone conversations.

Does this sound like a government of, by and for the people?

We are all familiar with the part of our Declaration I cited above. We must also remember the following stanza:

“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

We must remind those we send to Washington that they are there to serve us. We are citizens, not subjects.

Happy Independence Day.

Brad Ziernicki