Open Forum for week of June 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.

Bring Bond Back
It is disappointing that the bond failed. Good schools and up-to-date facilities will attract new families to Forest Lake. (School ranking and reputation are top reasons why families settle where they do.)

Over time our property values would increase as new schools make Forest Lake a more desirable place to live. More new families also mean more support for the local economy, so there are sound business reasons to support the bond, as well.

Additionally, we believe the community has an obligation to support its children and keep them safe. This means spending the money necessary to increase security at our schools.

We hope those who feel the bond is too much of a burden will think about what sort of investments are necessary over time to build a vibrant and growing community.

Let’s bring the bond bill back this fall, and let’s pass it this time.

Christie Gove Berg, Peter Berg
Forest Lake

Living Within Means

I would thank the teachers of District 831 for their hard work.

With that said, I did not see a 6-8 percent raise; I was laid off in 2009 from a career of almost 14 years for 11 months, chewing up my severance before I could find employment or draw unemployment, and finding a job that pays half of what I was making and getting only a 1 percent raise in three years.

The career job was 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Have a great summer.

My new employment is a 55-hour-a-week job with 12-hour days and a 45-minute commute, but I do it to survive.

The housing market boomed and busted in my 16 years of living here. The value of my home went up and down, but property taxes go up and up, never down.

And the school district every two years wants/needs more money; the children need it.

The school district purchased a sports arena. Had to have it. It will save a lot of money, but the new federal mandate for Freon for ice arenas – Who is going to pay for that update?

I’m a veteran. I did selfless service. I have been deployed to Guatemala and provided security for schools being built by Army Corps engineers. Amazing what those teachers could do on limited resources.

I feel it is not affordable to live here. I cannot work any harder than I am. I live within my budget.

Tim Harshman

Fenway Traffic
I am responding to and supporting the “Unsafe Situation” letter of June 5, written by Jerry Navara of Forest Lake, concerning the traffic on Fenway Avenue south of Highway 97.

While the amount of heavy truck traffic will probably only increase due to city expansion, it is in my 17 years of observation that the real problem is the speed that is allowed on this quarter-mile-or-so stretch of city street. Since the annexation, Fenway is a city street, yet the speed has always been 45 mph posted, and closer to 60 mph actual. Note that even Highway 61 has a reduced speed of 40 mph in town. Also note that Fenway going south becomes a dirt road.

Another serious safety concern along Fenway that compounds the risk of accidents is the gap in the paved walkway. That gap stretches from approximately 202nd Street to 199th Street. This forces walkers and bicyclists to use Fenway. Walking or biking or pushing a stroller in the tall grass is not an option. A walkway here would also connect the Headwaters Development with the Fenway fields.

For safety, now that there are playgrounds, fields and a hockey arena, and therefore much more foot traffic along Fenway, this 45 mph should be reduced to 35 mph or less. In the meantime, police should monitor Fenway.

Louis Trudeau
Forest Lake

Heads Over Hearts
Maybe the three School Board seats available in November should be filled with candidates who think not with their hearts but with their brains. Board President Rapheal in his state of depression had the audacity to name-drop the Sandy Hook shooting.

The incumbents should be given a trophy and sent out in the business sector for an education.

Now I am going out to buy a new car. Financed over 30 years, it’s only 7 cents a day.

Thomas Lynch
Forest Lake