Oct 18, 2014

The Answers

10/14/2014 I sent the following email to the seven candidates for Little Canada city council:
“I manage a Little Canada-based blog, http://savagelake.blogspot.com/, that mostly comments on the city, county, and state activities that affect Savage Lake. In the past, the city council has been marginally supportive of lake shore residents; allowing the Watershed District to lower our lake level to the point that invasive plant species took over the surface of the lake, allowing Roseville School District to dump vehicle cleaning chemicals into the lake killing off most of the lake's life, ignoring Gopher Electronics' parking lot runoff and the freeway ramp runoff that practically filled the northeast end of the lake's west side with sediment, and ignoring the MNDOT freeway design that filled the southeast end of the lake with even more sediment. I'd like to ask all of the Little Canada city council candidates the following question and post your responses on the Savage Lake blogsite:
"Savage Lake has received fairly brutal treatment from the Ramsey County Watershed District, the DNR, MNDOT, and our city government. What would you do to help lakeshore residents to protect and improve this disrespected natural resource?"

The answers were as follows (in the order received):

From: Kevin Keenan [mailto:kkeenan123@comcast.net]
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2014 3:03 PM
Subject: Little Canada City Council Question

Thomas - I definitely share your frustration. Myself and my brother own lakeshore on Gervais lake and we have many times had to deal with the same issues. We have had a ton of problems with the lake levels. I love to use and enjoy the lake as I know most of your neighbors do. You can be assured that if I'm elected any topic regarding lake (water) quality that comes directly to me or comes from city staff will have my full attention. I know Bev Scalze personally and I would insure she is part of the solution along with MNDOT, the DNR,  and Ramsey Watershed. I am a 45 year resident of LC and I will be a voice for my fellow neighbors. I am a Captain on the Little Canada Fire Department and I have been serving our community for 20 years in that capacity and look forward to digging in my heals even more if elected on Nov. 4th.

Thanks for the opportunity! 
Kevin Keenan

From: Christian Torkelson [mailto:christian.torkelson@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2014 3:13 PM
Subject: Re: Little Canada City Council Question

Thanks Thomas for sending me this email.

I have more to write on this issue, and will work on putting together a full response within the next few days.

But the long and short of it in quick response form is this:
The first problem was putting a highway through a lake, the second was doing it poorly from a sound design and drainage perspective, and the third problem is that I think a lot of folks have simply written the lake off at this point.

I think the biggest thing homeowners on the lake want to see (I spoke with a resident on Lake Shore Ave who helps out with the local Boy/Cub Scouts Troop) is keeping pollutants out of it, and making sure the levels don't continue to drop. After that we can look to addressing sound barrier issues and invasive species removal.

I have some friends at the U of M who have earned or are pursuing degrees in the environmental sciences and natural resources management areas. I know that we could bring in some top notch students to evaluate the Lake and present their findings and recommendations for action with little to no cost. I'm inclined to pursue that path if we aren't seeing concrete recommendations from folks at the Soil and Water Conservation Board. Incidentally I'd be curious to know what your experiences have been in working with those folks?

Finally we can leverage our State Senator and State Representative. I've had the opportunity to spend a lot of time working with Rep. Isaacson at the State House, I know he would be receptive to carrying the ball forward on this with folks at the DNR and elsewhere (MNPCA perhaps?) I'd bet Sen. Scalze would as well. And as much as I hate to say it, often times its easy to ignore the Joe Six Packs out there, but not so much sitting House or Senate member, and that is why we need to use them. I'd bet they might be able shake something loose that you or I might not.

Finally I'd hope that we could overcome maybe some apathy folks have toward the lake. I think simply getting folks (outside of the immediate vicinity) to care about it again will be the biggest challenge. As a council member you can expect me to push a perspective that considers keeping a clean environment and working on any remediation measures to fix problems that we have caused. I think a clean healthy environment promotes neighborhood health and also does good things for local property values.

From: Rocky Waite [mailto:rock2651@comcast.net]
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2014 3:54 PM
Subject: Re: Little Canada City Council Question

I will keep doing what I have been doing.  I have gotten the DNR and DOT out to Savage Lake and it will be dredged this Fall.  I will work on the Southeast area next.  I have met with  the DNR regarding the historical lake levels and I am waiting for a decision at this time.  I have been working on improving Savage Lake for many years and will continue until it is deemed to be a "Lake " again.

Rocky Waite

From: Jeff Hdflooring [mailto:handdflooringinc@yahoo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2014 10:25 PM
Subject: Re: Little Canada City Council Question

My name is Jeff Heikke and I am an advocate for clean water ways and lakes within our city. I live on a water way that connects Gervais Mills park and lake Gervais"I see on a daily bases the sediment oils and other contaminants that stream through and into beautiful Lake Gervais. As for Savage Lake I would start by eliminating the contaminated run off into the lake. Via storm drains rain gardens Etc, I would also like to see us strengthen our city ordinances regarding our water ways and construction practices around them. Finally lets get some environmental minds together and come up with some long term viable solutions to get the lake quality back to where it should be. I am smart enough to know that I know very little in this field, But I am willing to listen, learn and do what is best for the lake. In turn doing what is best for Little Canada. No Little Canada resident should feel less importarrt. than another just like no Little Canada issues should be addressed with less urgency based on its complexity. I cannot guarantee a fast solution but I will guarantee my full efforts until the problem is solved.

Thank you
Jeff Heikke

From: Andrew Henderson [mailto:hendersonforcitycouncil@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2014 4:12 PM
Subject: Re: Little Canada City Council Question
Mr. Day,

I apologize for the late reply. I have had to give a few lectures at different Universities throughout the state this week. Please except my apology.

My answer to this is pretty simple; If elected you and your neighbors will be my bosses. My core belief is that people are in charge of the government, and I fully intend to remain true to that belief. I would work as hard as possible to achieve the goals that you and community have set for me. As you have the right to petition your government for a redress of grievances, this seems like a major one to me.

As a person that values the environment, I understand your concern. I want what is best for the city and the people that reside here. It seems like it would be pretty easy, expectable by community standards, and just plain common sense to create an ordnance against dumping chemicals into wetlands and bodies of water if one does not exist or if there is a loophole in state law. If there is already an ordnance or law in existence on this issue, it should have a higher priority in enforcement.

Thank you for the question, I hope it gave you a better understanding of my view on this issue.

Andrew J Henderson

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