Sports facilities are not the only indicator of economic activity — others were there first.
Regarding the June 15 article touting the revitalizing effect of two new sports facilities (“On Minneapolis’ west and east sides, change is the game”): On the west side of Minneapolis, businesses and housing were flourishing while baseball was still being played at the Metrodome. The one resident interviewed moved to the location before the ballpark was in the offing.
On the east side of Minneapolis, development was happening well ahead of any prospect of a new stadium: The American Academy of Neurology, the Aloft hotel, and numerous condominiums and apartments long preceded a new downtown football stadium. In fact, many of them went up as the team was still looking at the Arden Hills location. Yes, the Star Tribune finally sold its land, something developers have been after for a long time, because it could get a premium from speculators hoping to cash in on the stadium.
Stadiums and professional sports do not create economic opportunity; they are a sign that times have been good, or at least that’s what they should represent. More often these days, they are political pipe dreams and publicity stunts.
What’s probably been the major catalyst for change in downtown Minneapolis? Something that’s a much better public investment than stadiums, and should have been the headline: Better transit.
Sam Catanzaro, Minneapolis
In praise of parents, no matter their gender
The image of the Robergelunds with their son, Joe, is very powerful (“First-time fathers,” June 15). As a 40-year-old, conservative, Christian male, my initial instinct is to cringe when seeing a homosexual couple raising a child. I don’t apologize for that; it’s been groomed into our culture since well before I was born. But I too am, ahem, evolving. The more I look at the photo, my antiquated views fade until all I see is a loving family. Well done, guys.
Ryan Sheahan, Minneapolis
Access is still costly for some, so let’s do more
Great news: Most Minnesotans now have health care insurance (“95% in state are now insured,” June 12, and “ACA is paying off with access for all,” June 15). The not-so-great news is that many of those will still be unable to go to the doctor because of high copays and high deductibles. Many of those with new health care coverage will still be getting their health care via the emergency room because they cannot afford the copay to visit the doctor’s office and they know they cannot be refused care at the ER. Many will still be unable to afford their prescription medications, again due to the high copays. Many of the 95 percent will struggle just to pay the premium for their new health care coverage. Many were unable to get help with the premium because they work for companies like Wal-Mart, which offer them coverage but at outrageous cost compared with what they are paid.
Nobody should get free health care, but all should have access to health care. It’s time we seriously look at a single-payer-type health care. One where everybody pays an affordable premium. One where everybody can see a doctor when ill. One where a person does not need to go to the ER for care better handled in the doctor’s office. Let’s put medical decisionmaking back in the hands of doctors — not the insurance companies.
The Affordable Care Act is a start, but we must not stop there. We must fine-tune and make it work for everybody. We cannot continue to have Americans dying because they cannot afford care. It’s not the American way.
Deborah L. Mathiowetz, Eagan
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.