Open Forum for July 27, 2017

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, 146 N. Lake St., Suite 125, 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. Letters by the same writer will not be published more than once per calendar month.

Trees, please

What happened to my trees? I returned home July 10 to find that two of my mature trees had been drastically trimmed. If I assume that this was done by the city of a Forest Lake, I would have appreciated some sort of notice of the necessity. There are no power lines or boulevards in this neighborhood, so I wonder about the reason for this action. We are careful to keep our trees and lawn well maintained and would like to know if we have been in violation of some ordinance concerning our property. Has the city published its requirements or any intentions for such “maintenance”? Perhaps this is something The Times could look into in the interest of an informed citizenry.

Jean Laqua
Forest Lake

Thanks, Congressman

Congressman Rick Nolan is to be commended for his understanding of the fact that to fix things and get things done in Congress for the residents of the Minnesota 8th Congressional District, he needs to reach across the aisle in a bipartisan way to work with Republicans and with everybody. That’s why he was named in a national study as one of the 10 most effective members of Congress; that’s out of 435 Representatives!

This is why recently he brought three powerful Republican colleagues to Minnesota’s Iron Range to see first-hand our mining operations and the need to create good paying jobs in 21st Century mining. He also showed them how important it is support tough, rigorous and sound regulations to protect the environment as we create these good paying jobs. Congressman Nolan believes we can do both.

It’s the same bipartisanship effort that led to saving billions of dollars of proposed cuts to retired Teamsters in the Central States Pension Fund. He works hard to protect Social Security, Medicare and pensions people have worked hard their whole lives for.

I’m a retired Teamster and have benefited from Congressman Nolan’s efforts to protect our pension now and seek long-term solutions for the future solvency of them. I’m grateful for his efforts in this area and his leadership in finding a balance that protects the environment and allows mining minerals with state of the art technology.

Gerald Spencer

Dettmer and Legacy

Representative Dettmer defended HF 707, the Legacy Funding Finance bill in the June 29 issue, stating, “this bill received overwhelming bipartisan support in the Legislature and was signed by Gov. Dayton.” It’s important to emphasize that HF 707, rushed through a contentious session to meet a deadline, still makes significant changes from the recommendations of the Clean Water Council and the Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, cutting significant amounts from programs for conservation and clean water.

Representative Dettmer claims he “always understood the importance of taking care of our environment.” A little history is important: HF 707 exists because a far worse bill, HF 888, supported by Representative Dettmer, was thankfully vetoed by Governor Dayton. In a state where we cherish our lakes and streams, monitoring suggests that about 40 percent of Minnesota’s lakes and streams are impaired for conventional pollutants. So much sediment is rushing off our lands and into the Mississippi that the Corp of Engineers is putting together a plan to dredge Lake Pepin (for which in the end of course we all pay). As our lakes, rivers and streams degrade, Representative Dettmer continues to support reductions in clean water and conservation funding.

Representative Dettmer focused on the “no net gain” provision as some sort of positive change. Among other problems with this provision, it thwarts the will of the voters, who passed the Legacy Amendment in 2008, which included funds dedicated in part to the acquisition of land for conservation purposes.

Marty Steitz
Forest Lake