Open Forum for week of Aug. 1

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.


Taking Responsibility

Last winter our furnace died. Of course, being responsible homeowners, we had to purchase a new one.

We have always told our children that replacing worn-out items is part of being a homeowner. We know that improving our home is a direct benefit to us.

Like any other home improvement, road improvements will also increase our property value and will be a direct benefit to us. Should we have asked our neighbors to chip in on the furnace? Of course not; it is our responsibility.

Then why is it fair to ask everyone to pay for our road improvements? For this reason, we are voting “no” on the Aug. 27 bond referendum, even though our street is one of the first to be improved.

Besides asking everyone else to pay for something that will greatly benefit us, there are other reasons why these bonds are a bad idea. Everyone knows about credit limits. The more purchases you put on your credit cards the harder it is to get additional credit, even when you genuinely need it.  These bonds are like that. And if you are looking for an example of what happens when a city goes into debt, just look at North Branch or Detroit.

There are other ways to pay for road improvements. Your “no” vote on Aug. 27 will tell the council to start looking into them.

Marsha Stevens


100 Rings of Respect

I have reflected often over the past 30 years about the men who shepherded our small community through the decades following World War II. It was a wonderful place to call home.

I imagine those leaders as trees who formed the rich forest that provided for us and sheltered us.

I try to match the heroes and hooligans with the trees and their characteristics. So many have fallen in recent years, leaving only a handful of cottonwoods, with soft centers and shallow roots, to block out the light and cast shadows on everything that would keep us a vibrant, progressive community.

Fortunately for the Great Forest, we have many young, maturing trees that are filling the voids left by my heroes and heroines.

One hundred years ago this past week a tiny seed fell from a great white pine and seeded itself on the shore of “The lake where eagles go to die.” His tap root grew deep into the soul of the forest floor and his trunk soared straight and tall while he counseled, cajoled, cheered, and, when necessary, criticized from his vantage point above the forest.

His words were always as gentle as the needles of the pine but they carried more power than any sword. His vision for our community and schools was progressive and enlightened.

His love for this community has seen him still contributing to the Times with commentary in his 10th decade.

Earl Lellman: award-winning publisher, editor, journalist, husband. Father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend. Happy 100th birthday.

Corbett Johnson
Forest Lake


Happy Campers

Greetings from Camp!  As the summer festivities are winding down, we at Camps of Courage & Friendship want to thank the Forest Lake FFA chapter for all of their support through corn drives and fundraising events.

Thanks to your generous donations, every year thousands of kids with disabilities are able to enjoy a week at camp participating in activities they would not normally be able to do. This year, 13 kids attended camp from the Forest Lake area and many will return next year.  Our summer camps invite the kids to go fishing, swimming, tubing on the lake, and much more!  The kids’ smiles light up the camp as they find joy in new experiences.  Many of the kids come annually and the week spent at camp is their favorite week of the year.

The FFA’s donations support the formation of lifelong memories and friendships. The staff and campers at Camps of Courage & Friendship thank you.

Allison Christensen
Camps of Courage & Friendship

  • Different point of view

    In response to Marsha Stevens’ letter to the editor – Presumably your furnace heats only your home, not your neighbors or the homes of others in the city. Therefore, your furnace benefits only you and your family. However, unless you only drive on the road in front of your house, I would guess that you are also using the roads throughout the city to get to work, to school, for shopping, etc, so why shouldn’t you be responsible for paying for a share of the other roads in the city? As someone who lives on a busy street (it wasn’t busy when we moved here) that is used by residents of the city, surrounding communities, county and beyond on a regular basis as a short cut, and for years has been the route used by gravel trucks and belly dump trucks and the like who are hauling sand, gravel, etc., to projects thoughout the area, I totally disagree that only the residents on a road should bear the assessment when a road needs to be repaired. The heavy use has caused our road to deteriorate far more quickly than if it had only local traffic or was used only by the residents on the street. Repairing it would not be a direct benefit only to me and my neighbors but a benefit to everyone who uses it. It would actually be a detriment to me because a better road would increase traffic. If people were piping heat from your home to heat their homes, I’m guessing it would cause your furnace to break down very quickly. Would you still feel that it is only your responsibiltiy to pay for a new furnace or would you feel that maybe they should pitch in to help pay for it since it heated their homes too?

  • Arnold Lahd

    Marsha Stevens, if you’ve lived in Wyoming any length of time then you know we’ve paid special assessments for sewer and water improvements, not just for streets done before 1993. I can afford to write a check for any amount, be it a new water tower, streets, sewer expansion, etc. I’m glad you can as well and seem willing to do so. As to the vote N-O, do your homework from around the nation. Politicians especially local ones aren’t keen on dropping one-time tax bills on individual property owners. That’s why, under the Wyoming street assessment policy, not one single street in residential neighborhoods have been undertaken since 1992. Good communities have fallen into decay for no other reason then political lack of will to financially devastate others.

    A better plan, best, is sell your Wyoming home now, before the street work commences, a.k.a. street assessments (user fee) and you’re scot free. You’re out before the assestmdent levy every arrives in your mailbox. That’s the discussion going on in my Wyoming Neighborhood, as in how fast can we, the neighbors, get out before the future collapse. This if the June 27th vote should fail.