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.

Do better job

The article “Council hears more on street work for 2015” reminded me of the letter to the editor published only a couple of days before last year’s referendum. That letter contained false and misleading statements which may have influenced many voters.

It was published so close to the election, there was no opportunity to refute the misleading statements.

I hope the Wyoming City Council does a better job this time of educating the public about the long-term benefits of funding street maintenance through issuance of bonds, rather through individual tax assessment.

Richard Freeman

Lake concerns

I just want to let you know how much our family enjoys taking our pontoon on Forest Lake.

We have come across a few issues that I feel need to be addressed and a couple are regarding safety and following the laws of boating.

Recently we went out for a leisurely ride and came across two kids, maybe 12 years old, horsing around on jet skis. They were hanging off the sides, riding single handed and spinning around in fast circles. We were just waiting for someone to get hurt; they were close to hitting each other quite a few times.

I know there are rules to follow when riding jet skis, and I really think that if you are going to ride a jet ski, you should have to abide by the laws of the lake.

The next thing we saw was a person pulling two little kids in a tube on a jet ski without a spotter. Again just because you live on the lake doesn’t exclude you from the safety laws of the water.

Also does the no-wake zone apply only to people dropping boats in or to everyone including the ones who live on the lake as well?

Last but not least is there are a whole lot of jet skis on the lake located by the boat landing blocking all sides of the docks, which makes it really hard to put your boat in or to get around them to get your boat out of the water. We asked if they could move over to a side not located by the boat landing area so others could get by and all this started was an argument.

If you have read you boating instruction manual, you should know the rules of the water.

Thank you for taking your time to read my letter.

Cindy Koran
North Branch

Frac-sand nightmare

Here’s where my nightmare begins. I recently returned from Tioga, North Dakota, where I worked two years in the oil fields. I came back to North Branch to enjoy a safe and quiet life.

With property values returning and jobs more plentiful, things were looking good until I heard the city wants to put a silica sand trans-load station in my backyard.

Hasn’t anyone here learned of the hazards? Are the citizens of Chisago County prepared to pay for roads that crumble under the weight of hundreds of semis hauling frac-sand? I can’t afford a 30 percent depreciation on my home as a result of this type of development in my neighborhood.

Abrasive blasting with sands containing crystalline silica can cause serious fatal respiratory disease. If I am dreaming, then it is a nightmare.

There will be hundreds of trucks loaded with silica sand driving day and night on roads that look more like geysers of Yellowstone. Then there are the hundreds of trains hauling silica sand. Residual piles of silica sand everywhere, along the roads, on the train tracks, emitting silica dust.

A by-product of frac sand mining, silica dust is a known human carcinogen. Silica dust blows off mine sites and off trucks and trains transporting frac-sand, creating an emission known as “fugitive dust.” Efforts can be taken to reduce the amount of fugitive dust that enters the air, but it is still likely to enter the lungs.

Seventy-five people died of silicosis in Wisconsin between 1996-2005. Most of these victims were mining and manufacturing workers. This demographic could change as more citizens are exposed to higher levels of silica dust outside the workplace.

One of the ways to prevent silicosis is to avoid sources of silica dust. This will be nearly impossible for families whose homes and communities are increasingly surrounded by frac-sand mines and mine transportation routes that emit silica dust.

I did not move to North Branch to live next to a frac-sand development. Did you?

Nick Tappe
North Branch

Backs Abeler

Like most in my generation, I am reluctant to engage myself in the political process. In this era of big money interests and emotionally charged rhetoric, it’s incredibly difficult to find a candidate that I can actually trust as a person.

This August, however, I will be voting for the first time in my life – for Jim Abeler.

If we cannot get past the political games and address the problems that threaten our nation, I am afraid that I do not have much hope for our future. The U.S. Senate seat up for grabs in the 2014 election is an important opportunity to send someone who can bring people together and actually work to solve problems.

After getting to know Jim Abeler personally, I am convinced that he needs to be our choice. I know of nobody else who can respect and connect with others who are different quite like Jim can.

A prime example is when he was able to work with Gov. Mark Dayton to secure the largest tax cut in the history of Minnesota, despite fundamental disagreements on countless other issues.

This willingness to respect people as human beings is what is missing in Washington. Please help make a real difference and vote for Abeler in the Republican primary on Tuesday, Aug. 12.

Brandon Becker