I have lived in the county of Cornwall, England, all my life. My father was born near Rochester, Minn. Some of my earliest memories are of my father retuning the TV to get a grainy picture of the "American" football.
It was a bond for me and my dad and continues to be to this day. Minnesota to me was a place so far away it was incomprehensible, but the Vikings gave me that first connection to our great state.
My point is that the Vikings are much more than a football team, and not just to the lovely but rather strange people who paint themselves purple and wear horned hats every Sunday. To me, they are a link to my ancestry, a way of connecting every Sunday in the fall with the place my dad calls home.
When they play, I cheer with you, I shout with you, and no matter where I am in the world, I am Minnesotan.
I know I am not a taxpayer and that I will not foot the bill for this stadium, but I just wanted to say that what the Vikings do for Minnesota is priceless to me.
My son is 7 months old. When I am trying to get him to sleep, I tell stories of how we will stay up until 2 a.m. and watch Minnesota win the Super Bowl. I hope that is more than just a dream.
PHIL JONES, HAYLE, ENGLAND
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Over the weekend, letter carriers and law enforcement personnel in Minneapolis and St. Paul participated in a first-in-the-nation, full-scale exercise as part of the Cities Readiness Initiative.
The role of the Postal Service in this plan is to supplement local health authorities by quickly providing medicine to residents in a major metropolitan area in the event of bioterrorism. This would give the authorities time to set up the mass-dispensing sites that are needed for heavily populated areas.
Contrary to James Lileks' satirical view ("When post office delivers Sunday," May 5), the 37,000 households in the exercise did get something. What they received was the knowledge that, in the event of a national medical emergency like an airborne anthrax attack, not only is there a plan in place, but it works.
In 2001, people died as a result of anthrax. Cities such as Louisville, Boston, Philadelphia and San Diego will take the results of what the letter carriers and their law enforcement escorts did last weekend and adapt it for their cities. A variety of state, local and national agencies have been working with the Postal Service and its employees on this project for quite some time, and we are very proud of the people who, if called upon will be there to respond because we care.
MIKE ZAGAROS, MINNEAPOLIS
The writer belongs to the National Association of Letter Carriers.
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While the story about the feeble secondary market for Minnesota Twins tickets ("Twins no bargain, but tickets are," May 7) was accurate, it missed a key element in the ticket resale business.
It implies that ticket resellers working near Target Field are losing substantial amounts of money. Not so. While a few professional brokers sitting on large amounts of inventory are taking a financial blow, most street resellers manage to break even or turn a small profit on any given night.
Resellers obtain their inventory from season-ticket holders, who have paid the Twins full price and lack the desire to stand outside the ballpark trying to unload their extra tickets. Resellers will offer a fraction of the face value and, in an ugly market, season-ticket holders tend to reluctantly hand them over and absorb the loss. Best case, the reseller finds a buyer and turns a profit. Worst case, he eats the seats and loses his small investment.
Fan Tom Harm did indeed make a good buy when he paid a reseller only $30 each for four Dugout Box tickets bearing a face value of $72. However, the reseller with whom Harm did business likely paid the original owner even less than the $30 he sold them for.
Harm saved money, the reseller made money and the season ticket holder was left wondering how he got himself into this mess in the first place.
JASON GABBERT, LAKEVILLE
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OK, I've had enough. I write on behalf of all chemists asking that you please avoid promotion of science illiteracy by printing articles like "Bar raised for shampoo" (May 5). These shampoo bars are "chemical-free?" They don't add "chemical fragrances?" Please.
We have a favorite song in my world: "You are chemicals! I am chemicals! We are all chemicals, all around the world!" There's not a fragrance in the world that isn't a chemical. Nor is there a shampoo -- or anything, for that matter -- that is "chemical free."
NANCY E. CARPENTER, MORRIS
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Regarding the May 5 letter "Headline word choice was bothersome," which referred to the presentation of an April 29 article about the lack of population growth in Minneapolis and St. Paul: "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City" is the title of a great song, written by Michael Price and Dan Walsh and recorded by the renowned Bobby "Blue" Bland. This city is filled with good people -- hardworking and full of life and character -- and who know their blues!
KATE KETCHAM, MINNEAPOLIS
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.