The Forest Lake Times http://forestlaketimes.com The Forest Lake Times covers community news, sports, current events and provides advertising and information for Forest Lake, Minnesota. Fri, 27 Mar 2015 19:32:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Kenneth Karl Knapp http://forestlaketimes.com/2015/03/27/kenneth-karl-knapp/ http://forestlaketimes.com/2015/03/27/kenneth-karl-knapp/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 19:32:24 +0000 http://forestlaketimes.com/?p=62824 Image-17429Kenneth Karl Knapp, 61 of Wahkon, MN passed unexpectedly on March 25, 2015.
He was an independent over the road truck driver and loved his work. He also was a former U.S. Marine.
He was preceded in death by his father Ervin, mother Mabel, brother Ralph, nephew Jeff.
Survived by sisters, Karen (Rich) Larson, Carol Larson, Irene Knapp, Eva (Mike) Sampson; brother David (Mary) Knapp; two aunts; many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A celebration of his life will be held from 5-8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at the Forest Lake American Legion Post 225.

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Jean E. Bottolfson http://forestlaketimes.com/2015/03/27/jean-e-bottolfson/ http://forestlaketimes.com/2015/03/27/jean-e-bottolfson/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 19:29:10 +0000 http://forestlaketimes.com/?p=62821 Image-17421Memorial services will be 11 a.m. Saturday, April 4, 2015 at Becker Baptist Church in Becker for Jean E. Bottolfson, age 83, who passed away Tuesday at her home. Rev. Rob Olsen will officiate. Visitation will be one hour prior to the services at the church. Arrangements have been entrusted to Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home, Becker.
Jean was born Feb. 10, 1932 in Osceola, WI to Melvin and Bessie (Richards) Evenson. She married George Bottolfson on July 9, 1954 in Pine City. They lived in Coon Rapids prior to moving to Becker in 1993. Jean worked as a medical secretary at Methodist Hospital for 19 years. She was a member of Becker Baptist Church. Jean enjoyed knitting, sewing, and writing poetry. She had a good sense of humor and was caring and considerate. Jean volunteered at the food shelf and at church, and sent out care packages to military and people in need.
Survivors include her children, Georgine (Joe) Olson of Marshall, N.C., Jeff of Becker, and Lynette (Randy) Davis of Detroit Lakes; grandchildren, Heather Davis, Heidi Lacy, Katie and Laura Standal; and five great-grandchildren.
Jean was preceded in death by her parents; husband, George; infant son, Gregory Owen; brothers, Donald and Vernon Evenson; and sister, Joyce Kaiser.
In lieu of flowers, Jean’s family encourages a donation by made to the Becker Food Shelf.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the entire staff of Heartland Hospice for the excellent care that was provided to Jean.
Obituary, guest book and video tribute available online at: www.williamsdingmann.com.

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No serious injuries reported after Highway 97 crash http://forestlaketimes.com/2015/03/27/no-serious-injuries-reported-after-highway-97-crash/ http://forestlaketimes.com/2015/03/27/no-serious-injuries-reported-after-highway-97-crash/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:40:22 +0000 http://forestlaketimes.com/?p=62810 IMG_7543

A two vehicle accident that took place at 9:18 a.m. March 27 in Forest Lake appears to have caused no serious injuries to the involved parties.
On the date and time listed above, it is reported by the MN State Patrol that a Honda CR-V traveling eastbound on State Highway 97 was slowing to stop to make a left turn into the Hosanna Lutheran Church parking lot when a Ford Fusion following rear-ended the Honda causing a crash resulting in severe damage to both vehicles. The Fusion was towed from the scene. Road conditions do not appear to be a contributing factor in the crash. This incident is under investigation by the MN State Patrol and more information will be posted as it becomes available.
IMG_7546

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Guarding Seniors From Scams http://forestlaketimes.com/2015/03/27/guarding-seniors-from-scams/ http://forestlaketimes.com/2015/03/27/guarding-seniors-from-scams/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:00:42 +0000 http://forestlaketimes.com/?guid=124264ae1c922040a2a375d437dadc06 Old age should come with a caution label for many reasons. Most of us expect to live longer than our parents or grandparents. And with longer life come difficulties – and sometimes financial predators.

We all know the major difficulty of making sure that your income can keep pace with your cost-of-living increases, especially if your retirement lasts 30-plus years. We often speak about the need to plan and have your portfolio designed to account for that length of time.

But another problem is a bit more disturbing: our aging brain. Studies have shown that as people age they become more focused on maximizing positive emotions and social interactions and more determined to block out negative experiences. Researchers call this socio-emotional selectivity.

More simply, this process means some older people pay more attention to those who make them feel comfortable and content. This often leads seniors to overlook signs of danger they might have clearly noticed when younger. Recent research shows that highly intelligent retirees (even those with no signs of dementia) find it harder to distinguish safe investments from risky ones.

The news constantly discusses money thieves close to elderly victims, whether a family member or a care aide. Those older than 65 are 34% more likely than 40-somethings to have lost money on a scam, according to a recent report from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Investor Education Foundation. 

The Investor Protection Trust (IPT) adds that more than seven million older Americans – one out of every five citizens older than 65 – already fell victim to a financial swindle. Often victims, tricked by an apparently atmosphere of care, allowed the crooks access to a checkbook or personal information that made access to the money easier.

Here are three points to help protect ourselves and our elderly loved ones:

1. Though thieves always preyed on the elderly, such crimes now seem on the rise. In response, many organizations like the IPT established formal programs and publications to educate both seniors and those who love them.

The IPT program, for example, “educates healthcare and legal professionals to recognize when their older clients may be vulnerable to or victims of financial abuse, particularly those patients with mild cognitive impairment, and then to refer these at-risk patients to state securities regulators, local adult protective services professionals” and others.

2. If you’re in your 40s and 50s, you may not realize how quickly your mental processes can decline. You may need now to get your affairs in order, both in terms of estate planning as well as financial planning.

Once your plans are in place, discuss with your partner and financial professionals a stipulated delay before large changes to the plan and estate documents, especially as you age. From here on, always discuss with a trusted advisor big alterations to your financial plans.

3. If you’re a man responsible for dealing with your family’s financial situation, work with a planner who involves you and your spouse.

Even if you can still handle the situation, both you and your partner must understand what the plan entails and the reasoning behind certain decisions. This becomes especially important if you the man die first and your widow then assumes full control over the plan.

Prepare now so that both you and your partner recognize the potential and special financial vulnerabilities of the aging brain.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Dan Crimmins is the co-founder of Crimmins Wealth Management LLC in Woodcliff Lake, N.J. His blog is Roots of Wealth.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Old age should come with a caution label for many reasons. Most of us expect to live longer than our parents or grandparents. And with longer life come difficulties – and sometimes financial predators.

We all know the major difficulty of making sure that your income can keep pace with your cost-of-living increases, especially if your retirement lasts 30-plus years. We often speak about the need to plan and have your portfolio designed to account for that length of time.

But another problem is a bit more disturbing: our aging brain. Studies have shown that as people age they become more focused on maximizing positive emotions and social interactions and more determined to block out negative experiences. Researchers call this socio-emotional selectivity.

More simply, this process means some older people pay more attention to those who make them feel comfortable and content. This often leads seniors to overlook signs of danger they might have clearly noticed when younger. Recent research shows that highly intelligent retirees (even those with no signs of dementia) find it harder to distinguish safe investments from risky ones.

The news constantly discusses money thieves close to elderly victims, whether a family member or a care aide. Those older than 65 are 34% more likely than 40-somethings to have lost money on a scam, according to a recent report from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Investor Education Foundation. 

The Investor Protection Trust (IPT) adds that more than seven million older Americans – one out of every five citizens older than 65 – already fell victim to a financial swindle. Often victims, tricked by an apparently atmosphere of care, allowed the crooks access to a checkbook or personal information that made access to the money easier.

Here are three points to help protect ourselves and our elderly loved ones:

1. Though thieves always preyed on the elderly, such crimes now seem on the rise. In response, many organizations like the IPT established formal programs and publications to educate both seniors and those who love them.

The IPT program, for example, “educates healthcare and legal professionals to recognize when their older clients may be vulnerable to or victims of financial abuse, particularly those patients with mild cognitive impairment, and then to refer these at-risk patients to state securities regulators, local adult protective services professionals” and others.

2. If you’re in your 40s and 50s, you may not realize how quickly your mental processes can decline. You may need now to get your affairs in order, both in terms of estate planning as well as financial planning.

Once your plans are in place, discuss with your partner and financial professionals a stipulated delay before large changes to the plan and estate documents, especially as you age. From here on, always discuss with a trusted advisor big alterations to your financial plans.

3. If you’re a man responsible for dealing with your family’s financial situation, work with a planner who involves you and your spouse.

Even if you can still handle the situation, both you and your partner must understand what the plan entails and the reasoning behind certain decisions. This becomes especially important if you the man die first and your widow then assumes full control over the plan.

Prepare now so that both you and your partner recognize the potential and special financial vulnerabilities of the aging brain.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Dan Crimmins is the co-founder of Crimmins Wealth Management LLC in Woodcliff Lake, N.J. His blog is Roots of Wealth.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Obama’s Lame Broker Reform http://forestlaketimes.com/2015/03/27/obamas-lame-broker-reform/ http://forestlaketimes.com/2015/03/27/obamas-lame-broker-reform/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:30:05 +0000 http://forestlaketimes.com/?guid=564c10fc1e735a833c15cbcc0df7e25a President Barack Obama wants to crack down on advisors who get commissions for selling retirement plans. On the surface, his goal seems noble. But it ignores reality, targeting the wrong people and misunderstanding the problem he perceives.

Obama, who I have nothing against, recently endorsed the Department of Labor's controversial proposal to impose fiduciary obligations on brokers and advisors working with retirement plans, insisting that new rules are a needed consumer protection to prevent billions in costs due to bad advice.

During remarks to the AARP, Obama stressed the importance of imposing a cohesive standard mandating that all brokers and advisors providing advice to retirement accounts act in their clients' best interests to guard against conflicted advice that could harm investors.

"The challenge we've got is right now there are no uniform rules of the road that require retirement advisors to act in the best interests of their clients, and that's hurting millions of working and middle-class families," Obama said in his address.

Did it ever dawn on the president that a large percentage of the folks providing assistance to retirement plan participants are also members of the same “middle class?”

During the 2007-09 financial meltdown, where was the consumer concern? Numerous Wall Street stalwarts designed financial products for unwary investors. Some of these firms were actually betting their own assets against the investor. But did any top executive at one of these firms go to jail? No. The leaders of the carnage claimed ignorance.

Insurance companies, for decades have marketed high-cost, high-surrender charges and low-performing annuity products to educators. Where was the outrage over these vehicles, called tax-sheltered annuity accounts, or TSAs? Did anyone ever call fixed annuity providers to task? Apparently, Obama’s plan does not focus on these investment products.

I recall a meeting with an insurance company president some years ago. I asked him why TSAs had such historical low return to savers. His response was, “A 1% savings account is far better than none at all.”

Obama’s proposal seems to rest on the belief that investments always will go up. If they don’t, then the brokers selling them are at fault. “There are a lot of very fine financial advisors out there, but there [are] also financial advisors who receive back-door payments or hidden fees for steering people into bad retirement investments that have high fees and low returns," Obama told the AARP gathering. "So what happens is these payments, these inducements, incentivize the broker to make recommendations that generate the best returns for them, but not necessarily the best returns for you."

Let’s see if I have this right. As long as the value of the retirement plan assets increase, it’s good. However, if the plan assets decrease in value the broker or advisor is to blame? Oh, and if, God forbid, the broker or advisor received any payment or compensation, he’s surely guilty of something.

And if our supposedly evil broker sold a 401(k) participant an investment with high fees and commissions, who do you think designed the product for sale in the first place? Not the broker. If an industry-wide defect exists that harms retirement investors, why not fix it from the top down, not the bottom up?

The White House Council of Economic Advisers pegs the cost of conflicted advice on middle-income families at $17 billion per year. The CEA estimates that conflicted advice cuts one percentage point off average annual returns for middle-class savers.

The Labor Department first proposed an expanded fiduciary definition under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, in 2010. But the agency withdrew the proposal the following year amid broad criticism that it would impose onerous restrictions on the industry – and cause financial professionals to abandon retirement investments, leaving low and moderate-income Americans in the lurch.

At its core, the proposed rule would require retirement advisors to make recommendations and investment decisions that are in the best interest of clients, known as the fiduciary obligation. That is a tighter requirement than the suitability standard, which brokers historically have operated under. With suitability, they must reasonably believe an action is in the customer’s best interests.

Trouble is, the division is not so neat. Many brokers are dual registered, meaning they also operate under the fiduciary standard. Large numbers of them have earned the Certified Financial Planner designation, and that mandates that they act as fiduciaries. And the majority of brokers are not working for large firms, and thus do not have house brands of mutual funds to sell.

The proposal does not aim to do away with sales commission, which are how brokers traditionally get paid. But if commissions are the problem, why not outlaw them? Of course, they’re not the problem, but Obama’s logic doesn’t hold up by vilifying them and then giving them a pass.

Several industry trade groups issued statements expressing concern with the rules.

The National Association of Plan Advisors charged that the "White House launched an attack on advisors and so-called 'hidden fees' and 'backdoor payments' by moving forward with a regulation that has its own hidden backdoor effect – keeping many Americans from working with the trusted advisor of their choice, even in the critical decision regarding rollovers from their 401(k) and 403(b) plans."

“People should be protected from unfair and deceptive practices," NAPA Executive Director Brian Graff said in a statement. "But all indications are that this rule will block Americans from working with the financial advisors and investment providers they trust simply because they offer different financial products – like annuities and mutual funds – with different fees."

Kenneth Bentsen, chief executive of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, said: "The new regulation could limit investor choice, cause inconsistencies as different regulators would apply different standards to the same retirement accounts, prohibit access to investor guidance, and raise the costs of saving for retirement."

If a retirement plan participants feel they can go it alone, they are free to make their own choices. The outcome will be a product of luck and their own knowledge. However, if one requires assistance in the selection and management of a diversified retirement portfolio, the advisor must receive fair compensation. This is true for a plumber, electrician, accountant or attorney. If they would rather perform these functions on their own, there’s always Home Depot.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Phillip Q. Shrotman is founder and president of Principal Planning Service, Inc. in Long Beach, Calif. He was a professor in the Business Division at Long Beach City College for over 29 years, where he held the position as Coordinator for Financial Planning and Insurance for the college. He holds a Community College Instructors Credential from the University of California at Los Angeles and a master’s from the University of San Francisco. He also holds the profession designations of General Securities Principal of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Series 7 and 24. He has appeared as a guest on KABC Talk Radio and various television and radio programs.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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President Barack Obama wants to crack down on advisors who get commissions for selling retirement plans. On the surface, his goal seems noble. But it ignores reality, targeting the wrong people and misunderstanding the problem he perceives.

Obama, who I have nothing against, recently endorsed the Department of Labor's controversial proposal to impose fiduciary obligations on brokers and advisors working with retirement plans, insisting that new rules are a needed consumer protection to prevent billions in costs due to bad advice.

During remarks to the AARP, Obama stressed the importance of imposing a cohesive standard mandating that all brokers and advisors providing advice to retirement accounts act in their clients' best interests to guard against conflicted advice that could harm investors.

"The challenge we've got is right now there are no uniform rules of the road that require retirement advisors to act in the best interests of their clients, and that's hurting millions of working and middle-class families," Obama said in his address.

Did it ever dawn on the president that a large percentage of the folks providing assistance to retirement plan participants are also members of the same “middle class?”

During the 2007-09 financial meltdown, where was the consumer concern? Numerous Wall Street stalwarts designed financial products for unwary investors. Some of these firms were actually betting their own assets against the investor. But did any top executive at one of these firms go to jail? No. The leaders of the carnage claimed ignorance.

Insurance companies, for decades have marketed high-cost, high-surrender charges and low-performing annuity products to educators. Where was the outrage over these vehicles, called tax-sheltered annuity accounts, or TSAs? Did anyone ever call fixed annuity providers to task? Apparently, Obama’s plan does not focus on these investment products.

I recall a meeting with an insurance company president some years ago. I asked him why TSAs had such historical low return to savers. His response was, “A 1% savings account is far better than none at all.”

Obama’s proposal seems to rest on the belief that investments always will go up. If they don’t, then the brokers selling them are at fault. “There are a lot of very fine financial advisors out there, but there [are] also financial advisors who receive back-door payments or hidden fees for steering people into bad retirement investments that have high fees and low returns," Obama told the AARP gathering. "So what happens is these payments, these inducements, incentivize the broker to make recommendations that generate the best returns for them, but not necessarily the best returns for you."

Let’s see if I have this right. As long as the value of the retirement plan assets increase, it’s good. However, if the plan assets decrease in value the broker or advisor is to blame? Oh, and if, God forbid, the broker or advisor received any payment or compensation, he’s surely guilty of something.

And if our supposedly evil broker sold a 401(k) participant an investment with high fees and commissions, who do you think designed the product for sale in the first place? Not the broker. If an industry-wide defect exists that harms retirement investors, why not fix it from the top down, not the bottom up?

The White House Council of Economic Advisers pegs the cost of conflicted advice on middle-income families at $17 billion per year. The CEA estimates that conflicted advice cuts one percentage point off average annual returns for middle-class savers.

The Labor Department first proposed an expanded fiduciary definition under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, in 2010. But the agency withdrew the proposal the following year amid broad criticism that it would impose onerous restrictions on the industry – and cause financial professionals to abandon retirement investments, leaving low and moderate-income Americans in the lurch.

At its core, the proposed rule would require retirement advisors to make recommendations and investment decisions that are in the best interest of clients, known as the fiduciary obligation. That is a tighter requirement than the suitability standard, which brokers historically have operated under. With suitability, they must reasonably believe an action is in the customer’s best interests.

Trouble is, the division is not so neat. Many brokers are dual registered, meaning they also operate under the fiduciary standard. Large numbers of them have earned the Certified Financial Planner designation, and that mandates that they act as fiduciaries. And the majority of brokers are not working for large firms, and thus do not have house brands of mutual funds to sell.

The proposal does not aim to do away with sales commission, which are how brokers traditionally get paid. But if commissions are the problem, why not outlaw them? Of course, they’re not the problem, but Obama’s logic doesn’t hold up by vilifying them and then giving them a pass.

Several industry trade groups issued statements expressing concern with the rules.

The National Association of Plan Advisors charged that the "White House launched an attack on advisors and so-called 'hidden fees' and 'backdoor payments' by moving forward with a regulation that has its own hidden backdoor effect – keeping many Americans from working with the trusted advisor of their choice, even in the critical decision regarding rollovers from their 401(k) and 403(b) plans."

“People should be protected from unfair and deceptive practices," NAPA Executive Director Brian Graff said in a statement. "But all indications are that this rule will block Americans from working with the financial advisors and investment providers they trust simply because they offer different financial products – like annuities and mutual funds – with different fees."

Kenneth Bentsen, chief executive of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, said: "The new regulation could limit investor choice, cause inconsistencies as different regulators would apply different standards to the same retirement accounts, prohibit access to investor guidance, and raise the costs of saving for retirement."

If a retirement plan participants feel they can go it alone, they are free to make their own choices. The outcome will be a product of luck and their own knowledge. However, if one requires assistance in the selection and management of a diversified retirement portfolio, the advisor must receive fair compensation. This is true for a plumber, electrician, accountant or attorney. If they would rather perform these functions on their own, there’s always Home Depot.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Phillip Q. Shrotman is founder and president of Principal Planning Service, Inc. in Long Beach, Calif. He was a professor in the Business Division at Long Beach City College for over 29 years, where he held the position as Coordinator for Financial Planning and Insurance for the college. He holds a Community College Instructors Credential from the University of California at Los Angeles and a master’s from the University of San Francisco. He also holds the profession designations of General Securities Principal of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Series 7 and 24. He has appeared as a guest on KABC Talk Radio and various television and radio programs.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Finding the faces lost in Vietnam http://forestlaketimes.com/2015/03/27/finding-the-faces-lost-in-vietnam/ http://forestlaketimes.com/2015/03/27/finding-the-faces-lost-in-vietnam/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 12:20:06 +0000 http://forestlaketimes.com/?p=62733 Submitted photo The 1,071 soldiers from Minnesota who died in Vietnam are among the 58,282 names on The Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C. Faces Never Forgotten campaign is collecting the stories of 15 Minnesotans not yet cataloged.

Submitted photo
The 1,071 soldiers from Minnesota who died in Vietnam are among the 58,282 names on The Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C. Faces Never Forgotten campaign is collecting the stories of 15 Minnesotans not yet cataloged.

Sam Schaust

Murphy News Service

Minnesota is on track to join the ranks of four other states in memorializing those who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.

The Faces Never Forgotten campaign began as a Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund project and has gained traction with Americans nationwide. The campaign set out to find a photo and a short biography for each of the 58,282 names carved on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

Through extensive research, the memorial fund has taken the stockpile of names from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and broken them down by casualty date and military branch, then by hometown for each man and woman. The collection can be seen online at http://www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces. All of the photos and stories will also be included in the Vietnam Veterans Wall Education Center, to be built next to the wall later this decade.

Minnesota has been extraordinarily cooperative in bringing humanity to these heroic names, said Andrew Johnson, a volunteer for the memorial fund and National Newspaper Association board member.

“It began with at least 1,071 names needing photos, and right now it is down to only 15,” he said.

Wyoming was the first state to complete its list, followed by New Mexico and then North and South Dakota. States with larger populations still have hundreds of unknown identities, although similar Midwest states, like Wisconsin (with 64 names to go), are further from their goal than Minnesota.

“On Feb. 23, we passed the 40,000 mark,” said George DeCastro, program coordinator of Faces Never Forgotten. “We get a lot of response from newspaper clippings. Between mail, email and website submissions, up to 10 to 15 photos are given each day.”

The memorial fund is aiming to uncover as many of the pictures and stories behind the names by Memorial Day this year. However, DeCastro hopes to ultimately have the project finished before the planned education center across the street from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is built in 2019.

“When the center is built, you will be able to browse those profiles,” DeCastro said. Veterans will be forever on display within the construct of the new underground education center.

The 15 Minnesotans still be sought are Leroy E. Peterson and Eugene M. Rick, of Coon Rapids; Donald J. Jacobsen, of Montevideo; Allen J. Ritter and Melvin Stockdale, of Moorhead; Lawrence H. Harris, of Wilmar; Gerald J. Johnson, of Round Lake; Kenneth J. Honek, of East Grand Forks; Joseph S. Herron and Bruce D. Olson, of St. Paul; and five from Minneapolis, Richard V. Blackburn, David W. Erickson, Dennis W. Ferguson, William G. Moncrief and Richard W. Smith.

“We want to humanize them by showing where they grew up, getting a story from their parents or who they went to prom with … pretty much anything,” said Reed Anfinson, a Benson newspaper publisher and member of the National Newspaper Association. “Hopefully, someone will recognize some of these remaining names and at least put us in touch with their family.”

To submit a photo and accompanying biography for any one of these names, contact DeCastro at 202-393-0090, ext. 128, or gdecastro@vvmf.org. Submissions can also be made at vvmf.org/how-to-submit.

Vietnam Veterans Day

In honor of Vietnam Veterans Day on March 29, the Forest Lake American Legion Post 225 (355 West Broadway) will host a ceremony honoring the veterans at 2 p.m. this Sunday. The free event is open to the public, and guest speakers include U.S. Congressman Tom Emmer and Washington County Attorney Pete Orput, himself a Vietnam veteran. Orput will discuss the different way in which Vietnam veterans were treated when the came home, as opposed to the way other returning soldiers were treated.

For more information on the event, contact Diane Finneman at dfinnemann@msn.com or 651-464-4721.

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Students creating, sharing projects – a winning approach http://forestlaketimes.com/2015/03/27/students-creating-sharing-projects-a-winning-approach/ http://forestlaketimes.com/2015/03/27/students-creating-sharing-projects-a-winning-approach/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 12:13:15 +0000 http://forestlaketimes.com/?p=62689 For five hours on Saturday, March 14, I was mesmerized. Students taught me about a range of history subjects as I helped judge websites they produced for Minnesota History Day.

Both research and experience show that what some people call “project-based learning” is a winning approach.

Joe Nathan

Joe Nathan

Minnesota History Day allows students to create posters, presentations, research papers and websites on a topic – this year it is “Leadership and Legacy in History.” I was in the group at Harding High School in St. Paul that helped judge students’ websites, which covered an amazing array of subjects, such as IRA hunger strikers, Lee Lue (perhaps the first Hmong fighter pilot), Dorothea Dix, Henry Ford, Ray Kroc and McDonald’s, the Girl Scouts and several more. Other websites covered subjects ranging from John Dillinger, labor journalism, Motown, Nelson Mandela and Oskar Schindler. What impressed me over and over was how much the students told us they learned, the creativity they brought to creation of the websites and the depth of information their websites conveyed.

Minnesota History Day coordinator Tim Hoogland of the Minnesota Historical Society told me: “Tens of thousands of Minnesota public and private school students, all over the state, participate. The numbers and the enthusiasm are growing.” Regional competitions similar to the one in St. Paul are being held throughout the state.

Hoogland and his colleagues are heroes. They understand that having students work on projects is a great way to generate enthusiasm, interest and, yes, learning.

Researchers have studied the project-based approach and found many benefits. It’s active. It’s focused. Working on a project they helped select engages students rather than allowing them to be passive listeners of a lecture.

A group funded by Star Wars creator George Lucas found the following: “Studies comparing learning outcomes for students taught via project-based learning versus traditional instruction show that when implemented well, PBL increases long-term retention of content, helps students perform as well as or better than traditional learners in high-stakes tests, improves problem-solving and collaboration skills, and improves students’ attitudes towards learning.” (Read more about that at bit.ly/1gF4wLM.)

Other research on project-based learning reached similar conclusions. One of the best research studies found similar results and added another point. Some youngsters who have not done well with traditional approaches are “pleasant surprises” when given the opportunity to work on a project that they helped create. (A review of that research is available online at bit.ly/1AEkEFC.)

To view some of the Minnesota History Day projects that have won national awards, visit bit.ly/1CuUeMZ. For more information about Minnesota History Day and the people who help make it happen throughout the state, go to bit.ly/1AEtEun.

Every minute of every school day can’t be devoted to projects. But projects like those promoted by Minnesota History Day appear to be one of the really well-researched, good ideas in education.
Thanks to the Minnesota Historical Society for being active promoters of active learning. Thanks also to Hoogland and his colleagues, who’ve taken a good idea and carried it out very well. And finally, thanks to Minnesota history teachers, who promote and encourage students to participate.

Joe Nathan, formerly a Minnesota public school teacher, administrator and PTA president, directs the Center for School Change. Reactions are welcome at joe@centerforschoolchange.org.

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Roberts Family Funeral Home offers DNA extraction http://forestlaketimes.com/2015/03/27/roberts-family-funeral-home-offers-dna-extraction/ http://forestlaketimes.com/2015/03/27/roberts-family-funeral-home-offers-dna-extraction/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 11:04:01 +0000 http://forestlaketimes.com/?p=62710 logo-300x117-choice

 

Roberts Family Funeral Home in Forest Lake is now offering a service that will help families protect their future generations. The funeral home has partnered with DNA Memorial, a DNA services company that has developed proprietary method of extracting DNA from a non-invasive cheek swab or hair sample for indefinite room temperature storage. DNA is a human genetic record that provides medical and genealogical information which has proven valuable for a myriad of reasons.
DNA samples contribute to diagnosing medical conditions as well as determining disease risk and prevention measures for children and future generations to come. It also assists in learning about one’s ancestors, finding relatives of adoptees and discovering from which relatives certain traits were inherited.
“All medical and genealogical DNA is destroyed during the cremation process, and it is costly to disinter once a person is buried,” Roberts Family Funeral Home Managing Partner Kelly Roberts said in a press release. “It should be our responsibility to offer families the last chance to collect their deceased loved one’s DNA. We are proud to be the first funeral home in Minnesota to do so.”
For more information about DNA collection and storing, visit or call Kelly Roberts at 651-464-4422 or DNA Memorial’s website www.dnamemorial.ca.

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Learn to speak Swedish at Gammelgården Museum http://forestlaketimes.com/2015/03/27/learn-to-speak-swedish-at-gammelgarden-museum/ http://forestlaketimes.com/2015/03/27/learn-to-speak-swedish-at-gammelgarden-museum/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 11:00:24 +0000 http://forestlaketimes.com/?p=62704 welcome-to-gammelgarden

Swedish classes will be held at the Gammelgården Museum in Scandia for six weeks beginning April 13 and running through May 18. The classes will be taught by native Swedish speaker Signe Fluegel.
Classes will have strong focus on grammar and reading comprehension, conversation skills, and will also feature discussions of history, travel and cultural Swedish events, politics, and media events of today.
The beginning class for students with no prior knowledge of Swedish language will be Monday evenings from 5 to 6 p.m. Intermediate class will run Monday evenings from 6 to 7 p.m. Advanced class will happen Monday evenings from 7 to 8 p.m.
Reservations are required and can be made by calling 651-433-5053. The cost to take the classes is $60 and includes all materials. Visit http://goo.gl/nVILTu for more information.

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Jeanne “Miss Jeanine” C. Hinton http://forestlaketimes.com/2015/03/26/jeanne-miss-jeanine-c-hinton/ http://forestlaketimes.com/2015/03/26/jeanne-miss-jeanine-c-hinton/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 19:50:08 +0000 http://forestlaketimes.com/?p=62801 Retired MN School of Cosmetology Instructor

Image-17413Jeanne Hinton, age 74 of Forest Lake, passed away March 23, 2015.
Preceded in death by parents,  Clarence and Adeline Berg and brother, Gerald Berg.
Deeply missed by sons, John (Kim) Hinton, Ronald (Marie) Hinton and Michael (Sandy) Hinton; grandchildren, Ashley, Amber, Abbey, Kyle, Kayla and Hannah Hinton; sister, Pat (Denny) Dahl; sister-in-law, Dottie Berg; four nieces and three nephews.
A celebration of Jeanne’s life will be held 11 a.m. Friday, April 10th at Eagle Brook Church – White Bear Lake, 2401 East Buffalo St., White Bear Lake with a gathering of family and friends beginning at 10 a.m.

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