Open Forum for week of Sept. 12

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.


Farewell, Old Friend

I am sad to see the passing of an old friend, Earl Lellman. He made a big change in my life.

I worked for him at the Times for two years in the ’50s. My job was to sell advertising on Main Street. This was not an easy job because many of the businessmen were of a different political persuasion than Earl. I heard a lot about this.

There was never a moment, though, that I was not proud to work for, and to represent, the Forest Lake Times.

Earl was a tough editor. First of all, he must have been tough on himself. Instead of taking the easy way – dropping by after a meeting to pick up the clerk’s sketchy notes – Earl always covered city council and school board meetings by being there. His reporting was always accurate. His editorial comments were always provocative. The Times under his leadership proved again what a force a community newspaper can be.

He was recognized among his colleagues for his work, in both Minnesota and the nation. When I was there, we won a big prize in the annual awards of the National Newspaper Association.

Earl was a model for me. When I became an editor, I always had Earl in the back of my mind. He will still be there.

Thank you, Earl Lellman, my model, mentor and old friend.

Robert M. Shaw


Freedom at Stake

The Obama administration’s contraception/abortifacient/sterilization mandate will be enforced against non-profit religious schools, charities and health care providers on Jan 1, 2014. It doesn’t matter whether one is Lutheran, Baptist, Muslim or of no religious affiliation.

This blatant assault on religious freedom by our own government jeopardizes and erodes the freedom of all Americans.

The Health Care Conscience Rights Act (HR 940, S 1204), if passed in this next legislative session, would protect Americans and prevent the government from forcing persons to violate their religious and moral beliefs when purchasing or providing healthcare coverage.

This unprecedented attack by the government on religious freedom is simply wrong.  Now is the time to act.  It will take just a few minutes to contact your elected officials in Congress and urge them to support the Health Care Conscience Rights Act.

The contact information is as follows:

– Senator Amy Klobuchar, 202-224-3244,

– Senator Al Franken, 202-224-5641,

– Representative Michele Bachmann, 202-225-2331,

Mary Stolz
Forest Lake