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Continued: Readers Write (June 8): Dinkytown, student debt, transit, Vikings stadium, airplane noise, cigarette tax, senior discounts

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  • Last update: June 8, 2013 - 10:15 AM

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Let’s talk about the cost of skyways

So the public may be responsible for the $6.4 million price tag for the skyways built around the new Vikings stadium. Big deal! The public paid $8.5 million for a one-block stretch to connect the Cedar Lake bike trail from Washington Avenue to the West River Road Parkway. This project entailed a bit of asphalt for one city block. I’d say the skyways are a real bargain in relation to one block of asphalt.

RON WERNER, St. Louis Park

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Airlines aren’t very good neighbors

Airplane noise is becoming hard to take. I live in a part of Eagan that up until a few years ago was quiet and peaceful, with just an occasional plane flying over. Gradually planes started flying over our homes more frequently, and have gotten increasingly worse. Some days we have as many as 150 to 200 flights over our home. They’re often low and loud. Yet, we’re told we do not qualify for insulation. It’s ridiculous. If we had moved into a neighborhood that already had noise problems, that would be different. But we were already here. Airlines are businesses that make money while we suffer from the noise, reduced safety and devaluing of our homes.


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A step forward for public health

Thanks to Gov. Mark Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature for a stellar session that funds what Minnesotans care about most: our families. As a former smoker, I was glad to see the $1.60 increase to the cigarette tax because it will help people quit and keep kids from starting. The revenue from the tobacco tax in the first two years is estimated to be $430 million.

While about 5 percent of that might go to the stadium, the rest of the money goes into the general fund and helps pay for all-day kindergarten, the Statewide Health Improvement Program, the Safe Routes to School program, better care for the elderly and disabled, screening for cancers and much more. This budget not only pays for what we value, it saves lives. Because of the tax, we know that more than 47,700 kids won’t start smoking and 36,600 adults will quit, saving Minnesota more than $1 billion in health care costs.

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