The Star Tribune's editorial about the St. Anthony City Council's rejection of the proposed Islamic center puts the issues in the proper context ("Is anti-Muslim bias St. Anthony's issue?" June 20).
I attended the community input sessions and was shocked to hear such fear-driven, hurtful language at a public meeting. I am glad that the Muslim community is standing in defense of freedom of religion. St. Anthony leaders need to check with leaders of surrounding cities to learn how much they appreciate the presence of the Muslim community.
I would not be so surprised if this had been a remote area. But for this kind of unwarranted attack to occur right in the heart of the metro area is worrisome. I spend part of my time conducting cultural presentations and interfaith dialogue. This experience tells me that there is still a lot of work to be done in building bridges of understanding.
St. Anthony has a great opportunity to benefit from a vibrant community that would bring added value and resources for growth. The issue is not over yet, and I hope that city leaders realize their mistake and embrace diversity. We are only asking for fairness and justice.
ABDISALAM ADAM, FRIDLEY
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Walter Mondale and Arne Carlson argue that Minnesota voters should reject the voter ID amendment ("A costly (and partisan) fix for a problem we don't have," June 21). The majority of Minnesotans recently polled favor the amendment because it ensures that a vote by an eligible voter is not canceled out by an individual not eligible to vote. Minnesota voters do not want felons or individuals who are not U.S. citizens voting in our elections.
Everyone age 18 or older has been asked to show ID when paying by check or credit card, applying for employment or ordering a drink. Realistically, only an extremely small number of voting age individuals do not have some form of ID.
Last, there is an obligation on the part of each voter to assist with the election process. Ensuring that only people who are eligible to vote is one of those obligations. Being required to show some form of ID is part of that obligation.
JEFF COLYER, WAYZATA
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Your newspaper often refers to former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson. Does "former" refer to governor or Republican?
JACK SCHUTZ, COLUMBIA HEIGHTS
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No matter the issue, we are repeatedly told that President Obama controlled Congress for the first two years of his administration. The facts are that Sen. Al Franken (60th Democratic vote) took office in July 2009, and Sen. Scott Brown (Republican) took office in February 2010 after the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy (Democrat).
Since control of the Senate demands 60 votes and the Republicans seem to have made a pact to defeat whatever Obama proposes, the president's "control" lasted seven months.
Obama's critics spin information with abandon, but facts are facts. It behooves the American electorate to examine what they read, see and hear. Our country needs educated voters.
PATRICIA A. HARTLAUB, NEW BRIGHTON
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I am astounded that Lee Schafer's June 21 Business section column did not once mention that those local government workers he derides provide significant value to their communities well beyond spending their paychecks ("The myth of local government austerity").
He equates the fees and taxes used for their wages to taking money from one person and giving it to another. In other words, our dedicated police officers and firemen are simply drinking at the public trough and providing nothing in return.
Those local folks hired to maintain our streets and parks, to enforce local health and safety regulations, and to carry out any number of other necessary and locally designed and implemented services are merely impeding the private-sector job creators in their never-ending quest to make life better for all of us.
OK, Mr. Schafer: The next time you have to wait an additional 30 minutes for police or fire to respond to your call, remember all the private-sector jobs you've created. The next time a child drowns at an unattended beach or is hurt at an unsupervised playground, take solace in your lower taxes.
The next time you wait two more weeks to get a noisy manhole cover repaired or a dangerous pothole filled, understand that those municipal workers weren't adding any value anyway. And when you next stand in line for an additional 10 minutes to get your vehicle tabs renewed or title transferred, you do so willingly (and quietly) because you helped rid us of 5 percent of local workers.
AL CLELAND, MOUNDS VIEW