Open Forum for week of June 5

 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.

Referendum Reaction
Why did it fail? We all support kids and teachers in our communities and understand that infrastructure improvements are necessary over time. But the district went way over the top in what it asked for.

We are still in recovery from the “Great Recession,” and $188 million is a huge trough of money. Despite promises of oversight, bonds of this nature historically lack the oversight promised.

The bond proposed was for 30 years. Most voters fail to realize an additional $170 million would not even go to the district, kids or facilities, but rather to servicing the debt on this bond.

It does seem deceptive when the community is told it is for kids, yet so many things proposed, like a teaching center for teachers, does not really give most voters a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Supporters of this bond should realize it was not just senior citizens and retirees who voted against this bond – no doubt some voted for it.

We should be glad that the common sense and better fiscal judgement of past generations has prevailed in the hearts and minds of those who are still trying to figure out how to send their own kids to college.

John Kavaloski

Majority Rules
Reading the Pioneer Press May 22 edition about voters rejecting the $176 million levy, I gagged while laughing at Rob Raphael’s attributed quote:

“I think there is a general depression that falls over people when one of these fails,” Rapheal said. “We have to work through that a little bit and look at the needs and look at where we go.”

I understand the center of our community’s universe is concentrated in our local school board, but 60 percent of us are not depressed.  Just the opposite.

Henry Votel
Forest Lake

Unsafe Situation
As I write this, I am listening to the incessant noise of an endless parade of large trucks – rear dump, side dump, belly dump – towing heavy construction equipment, all traveling south on Fenway Avenue from Highway 97.

This truck traffic begins as early as 6:15 a.m. and continues until 7 or 8 p.m. every day, including many holidays and Sundays.

Fenway in this area is bordered by residential housing and cross streets on one side and an ice arena and athletic fields on the other, all entertaining young and old people attempting to exit and egress to Fenway.

Most residents of homes along Fenway  are totally fed up with the constant noise and dirt in the air and the obvious dangerous condition posed by this situation, and are totally frustrated by the lack of interest shown by city officials. I have contacted the city’s Public Works Department and a member of the Forest Lake City Council and have not even received the courtesy of a response.

I am aware of the construction taking place in the area, as it has been taking place for 5-plus years as the city expands, but feel that the powers-that-be have lost sight that we too, are citizens and taxpayers, and are entitled to some consideration.

I fully realize that the Forest Lake Times is in no position to alleviate this situation, but I am submitting this letter for purpose of public awareness and the hope that it may light a fire under someone’s derriere.

Jerry Navara
Forest Lake

Convention Intrigue
The events at the recent Republican State Political Convention were pretty strange. You just can’t make up a story this weird.

On Friday the race for U.S. Senate endorsement went into its final stretch with two candidates: Chris Dahlberg, a candidate who pledged to live by the endorsement and support the winner, and Mike McFadden, who pledged from the start to go on to the primary and not honor the endorsement if not successful at the convention.

History was made. Mr. McFadden became the endorsed GOP Senate candidate, although he would not honor the process had he lost.

Saturday comes along and the endorsement race for Governor is on. Again the race for endorsement went into its final stretch with two candidates, only this time Jeff Johnson, who pledged to live by the endorsement and support the winner, triumphed. The loser, Marty Seifert, said outright he was not honoring the process should he lose, and indeed that is what occurred.

Here is the weird part: They cheered and rewarded Mr. McFadden and booed and punished Mr. Seifert for making the very same decision.

The Republicans have once again shown they lack the principles to lead when they make such immature and desperate decisions in choosing candidates. The future for them as a party is bleak.

Max Anderson

Lake Fest Thanks
We want to extend a big thank you to the community for a fun and successful start to Lake Fest last weekend.

We especially want to thank the local businesses and non-profit groups that sponsored events and everyone who helped or participated in this fun celebration for our community. We also extend our gratitude to Dave Sauer, who donated his time for the whole day acting as our emcee at Lakeside Park on Saturday.

Remember that more fun events continue this week. For more information, please visit the festival’s web site at

Thank you again.

Julie Ohman
Lake Fest Committee

  • Max Anderson – I was at the Republican convention this past weekend and you’re misrepresenting the reasons why Marty Seifert was booed. He choose to attend the convention, much alike Mike McFadden in telling delegates he would not support an endorsement but when it became clear that he would not receive the endorsement and Jeff Johnson would he led party leadership to believe that he would withdraw from the race to gain additional speaking time at the podium. At that time he then further abused the power and told ‘his delegates’ they could go home. It was quite apparent that since he was not going to win he would try to make certain no one else would either. Interestingly enough the next vote came back about 95% in support of Jeff Johnson and easily passed the quorum as his plan failed completely. If anything, Marty unified the base against him and support quickly moved in the direction of Jeff Johnson. Although Jeff was my second choice for governor at the convention, he has my full endorsement for the primary and general election.

    Lastly, your analysis of the party falling apart is quite incorrect as well. The convention was quite positive overall and most Republicans unified for the chosen candidates in each of the statewide races including secretary of state, state auditor, attorney general, judicial, US senator and gubernatorial.

    • I would tend to disagree with your complete analysis. The Republicans will spend the summer fighting one another instead of quickly uniting against Dayton, Franken, and the Democrats. This as that the Minnesota Republicans is torn into many factions, potentially challenging the chances of them taking advantage of low voter turnout and disaffection with Obama. The Rochester convention was, in many ways, highly embarrassing. Vitriol over money and egos seem to have gotten in the way of the 13th Commandment.

      • John, with all due respect I didn’t see you or Max Anderson at the convention and am unaware of either of you being Republican delegates. I am one of a handful of people in Forest Lake that have been chosen through the caucus system to attend and I did so. My analysis was from the floor of the convention and as I see it nothing could be more accurate than that perspective. Sending off DFL soundbites is hardly worth noting and has nothing to do with the convention itself.

        Your guess of fighting one another may occur, but it’s nothing to do with the convention that walked away quite unified as far as political conventions go. For what it matters, I’ve watched statewide DFL conventions and they aren’t much different. Some on both sides walk away unified and others don’t. This GOP convention walked away unified with endorsed candidates in a gubernatorial, state auditor, secretary of state, attorney general and judicial races. The US senate race was certainly more controversial and it might be fair to say not completely unified, but to say the convention as a whole was not is an absolute misleading statement.

        • I flatly reject the idea that I must adhere to your analysis of the MNGOP, you being a supposed gatekeeper of the facts. Instead please allow me the personal freedom of being able to choose my own sources. As to DFL talking points, you should be the first to agree that the Republicans have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory previously. We may be of two different Republican generations but I think we could agree that the last two presidential elections were lost due to weak candidates or poor strategy and both in the view of many.

          As to this year our party has been blessed by no longer having to wallow in the gay marriage debate. It’s off the radar seeing that it is now the law of the land. Christians and family values, going further, has also been pushed aside for a zero spending mentality by the likes of the Tea Party zealots. I’m glad your generation can embrace these changes so willingly. Regardless and back to my original point, in fighting and constant internal power struggles does nothing but create chaos. I disagree that it’s a sign of party strength.

          • John – I believe we agree on the last 2 presidential candidates and your brief analysis. As far as the convention, refer to my previous comments as I was there and did not see you in attendance.

  • DJL

    I am confused by this comment “bonds of this nature historically lack the oversight promised”. Is there an audit of the Forest Lake Schools that turned up a discrepancy that I’m not aware of?