Excuse me? Do the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor R.T. Rybak think that the “commercial spine” of Minneapolis ends at the end of the Nicollet Mall? (“Facelift for Nicollet Mall one step closer,” Sept. 9).

Nicollet Avenue is a major artery, if not THE major artery, of the south side of Minneapolis. By all accounts, one of the biggest blunders of the last century was blocking the thoroughfare by plopping a Kmart in the middle of it.

Why doesn’t anyone seem to think that opening Nicollet at Lake — in our lifetimes — is of utmost importance to businesses, transportation and services? Why is the mall more important?

My council member’s office blames it on Sears (Kmart’s owner), which is apparently holding out for the big bucks, even though the store’s parking lot is almost always near empty. We can spend $30 million to $40 million for a facelift for a dozen blocks downtown, but we can’t get a deal done with Sears?

It is unbelievable how long we have been “talking” about opening Nicollet, and nothing gets done.