Open Forum for week of Nov. 14

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.

A Tough Talk

This is what I learned from the Democrats over the last week:

– Local Republicans are racists for comparing the atrocity of slavery with the atrocity of abortion.

– Governor Dayton believes that a pro football team in Washington D.C. is racist because of its team nickname.

– Country music singer Carrie Underwood is racist just because she mocked the horrible implementation of Obamacare during the Country Music Awards.

My daughter, who is really working hard to understand government and politics, came to me extremely confused and asked me why these people think this way, but didn’t also condemn a comparison made of a Minnesota Republican candidate for governor, Jeff Johnson, to a mass murderer which happened last week.

My daughter is very smart. She also remembered from this past summer that a Democrat state representative from St. Louis Park, Ryan Winkler, called U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (who is black) an “uncle Tom” because Winkler didn’t like a decision that he made.

She asked me if calling an African-American Supreme Court justice an “uncle Tom” is racist. I told her it was racist and that, sadly, some people leave out facts when they write letters or editorials in local papers. Some only include facts that support their political viewpoint so that those reading will hate a certain group of people.

What a terrible conversation to have with a daughter.

Jim Lentz


Student Impressed

Many high school students would agree that a guest speaker in a business class means a free period to sleep or surf the internet on their phones.

Tracey Simonson, a Certified Financial Planner for Focus Financial – The Simonson Group, with more than 28 years of experience, is unlike most speakers. She is kind, interesting, and energetic, and – Shh, don’t tell our parents – she hands out candy.

As a senior at Forest Lake Area High School, I am taking college preparatory courses to prepare for my life ahead.  Al Anderson’s personal money management course, I think, is very important for any high school student’s future, because it teaches practical financial planning and money management skills for everyday life. Tracey has come to our class to speak on two occasions, and on both she has impressed me with her knowledge and skills regarding the financial world. She has educated us about investing, budgeting and financial planning, and has offered us tools to help keep us financially stable for our future.

I find it incredibly refreshing to see a woman who has succeeded in a male-dominated occupation, has built a prosperous business, and who still takes the time to come and speak to a bunch of teenagers about money.

Those of us in Forest Lake High School’s business courses would like to give a huge thank you to Tracey for being such an inspiring speaker and teaching us skills that will benefit us for the rest of our lives. Thank you.

Aryn Ritchie
Forest Lake


Dangerous Proposal

I still grieve the death of a very young relative who’d been assaulted and murdered by a sex offender. I know firsthand the devastation a sex crime like that can leave for a family and community.

That’s why I was shocked, dismayed and angered to hear Governor Dayton supports releasing a sex offender from the state program that houses nearly incurable offenders.

Thankfully our state attorney general is fighting the Dayton administration on this so to prevent the release of a dangerous criminal. I sincerely hope she succeeds.

The man in question has committed 60 rapes. Sixty! Documents show he still has fantasies about sex crimes. This man has recent writings showing that he objectifies women as nothing more than anatomical sex parts. Documents show that he mixes his fantasies with his actual crimes.

This man is sick to the core, and doesn’t belong in any Minnesota community, free to destroy lives.

This on top of the recent news of the Dayton administration’s plans to move sex offenders from this same program into a neighboring community in Isanti County, right next door to a city park, in a neighborhood with hundreds of vulnerable children. These are convicted criminals who are detained in this sex offender program because psychiatrists have determined they can’t stop themselves from repeating their crimes.

Please contact the governor’s office to say that you think he should put our safety first.

Governor Dayton is wrong and I hope to God he doesn’t prove to be dead wrong.

Barbara Grams


No Welcome Mat

I am convinced that the salvage auto auction will not be welcomed in Columbus. So far we have knocked on the doors of approximately 90 residents and nearly every one resoundingly opposes it, and all but a couple signed a petition against it. If, for some reason, it winds up here, it certainly will not be welcome.

Also, I wish to ask our local governmental unit to seriously analyze the current rezoning proposal west of Lake Drive. I am a believer in local government, however, I think our officials should be obligated – if not legally, at least morally – to treat all city residents equally and fairly. I find it hard to understand how they can even consider rezoning to shift the transition area from industrial to residential from one property to an area that is already developed residentially, while full-well knowing that they will ruin lives and property values of the people on the receiving end.

The people that now own the problem knew it existed when they acquired their property. I believe the problem should be dealt with as it exists and where it exists in an honest and fair manner. There should be a solution that would be fair to all the residents.

Our city shouldn’t consider it okay or find it necessary to ruin the lives of its residents in order to create and develop industrial property.

Perry Wagamon


Name Game

People using English in the naming of products are sometimes prone to using words that sound good, yet are not entirely appropriate. Take the Korean export, Kia. When I was in the service, those initials stood for “killed in action.” On the other hand an American auto, a Buick, is named Rendezvous, a French word. According to Webster a rendezvous is a place for meetings. This is a fairly large auto and it looks as if there is enough room in the back, so perhaps the name is not inappropriate. Meetings in the rear of automobiles are not unknown in this country.

Sometimes English pronunciation is a problem for me. I remember hearing Charlie Rose on TV and thinking he was talking about employment on either side of the Mason/Dixon Line. I thought he was talking about north and south careers, when in fact he was talking about the Koreas.

Minnesota English has been described as perfect; North Carolina is not mentioned. Have you noticed how many people with English accents are on TV and radio? I guess many have migrated here so they, too, will speak perfect English.

Minnesotans also use words that are not understood elsewhere. My favorite is “binder,” otherwise known as a rubber band.

Another word, “carney” is used to describe a slightly unsavory person who works for a traveling show. These people strive to project sincerity as they try to sell something bright, cheap and glittery to us yokels. I understand one is working in the White House.

Tom Obst


Look Deeper

On Oct. 29 there was a program in our community about the Safe and Supportive School Act, otherwise referred to as the “anti-bullying bill”.

The program included beautiful music and a wonderful meditation. The author of the bill, Sen. Scott Dibble, was one of the several speakers. Heck, how could anybody be against a bill supposedly designed to protect children?

Well, I am, along with many others. First off, people who do not support this bill are not for bullying. I’ve read the bill (HR826) and I am working on the report from Governor Dayton’s appointed task force. As a parent I am very concerned about the purpose and content of this anti-bullying bill.

Rep. Bob Dettmer, who just by chance found out about the evening program, suggested a website that was really helpful: Please take the time to visit the website and watch the video, because this bill will profoundly affect all children in Minnesota.

We are Minnesota nice, but we shouldn’t be Minnesota naïve.

Mary Stolz
Forest Lake

  • Foodonastick

    Ironic that Mr. Lentz wrote “Some only include facts that support their political viewpoint so that those reading will hate a certain group of people” considering that on his first point the GOP the FL times on Nov 6th published “The Chisago County Republican Party is very sorry that something so clearly improper (either intended or in poor taste) ever made it to our page. Postings like this are not representative of our party. We are a party that believes in Freedom for all Americans regardless of race or religion. It is after all where the Republican Party came from in its origins, the anti-slavery movement.”

    He goes on to say “Governor Dayton believes that a pro football team in Washington D.C. is racist because of its team nickname”

    What Gov. Dayton said in the Minneapolis Tribune on Nov 8 is “I believe the name should be changed,” Dayton said at a news conference earlier in the day, calling the team’s name “racist” and “offensive.”

    Saying a name is racist is a far cry from calling “a pro football team in Washington DC” racist

    He is correct when he says “Some only include facts that support their political viewpoint so that those reading will hate a certain group of people”
    or in this case, maybe someone is making up facts