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Southwest Corridor won’t steal green space
The July 7 “Short Takes” commentary on the Southwest light-rail corridor contained so much incendiary misinformation that it needs to be corrected. The writer, a “first time visitor” from the Bay Area in California, was obviously misled by her friends regarding the light-rail route running through the Chain of Lakes and “defacing” the area. The route is going to run through an area that is already a railroad corridor that still has rail tracks and still has trains running on it. It was there long before the Kenilworth Bike Trail was installed, and it is not parkland but rather land owned by the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority.
I repeat: It is not parkland, and has never been parkland.
The bike trail has coexisted quite nicely with the active rail line — separated by a split-rail fence, and should continue to exist quite nicely with the light-rail line. There will be no “trading of urban green space” as the visitor suggests might happen — the rail corridor is already there. The visitors’ friends who gave her this false information should attend some of the public meetings about the corridor. They would find out that the sky is not falling — the Chain of Lakes will not be “defaced” or lost.
JAKE WERNER, St. Louis Park
Trimester divisions? Already in place
Michael Gerson is wrong when he says the U.S. Supreme Court rooted “a nearly unrestricted right to abortion in the right to privacy” and that it “imposed a national settlement at odds with natural sentiment” (“Abortion law, pragmatically speaking,” July 8).
When the court handed down Roe vs. Wade, it did exactly what Gerson suggested — it divided pregnancy into trimesters. During the first trimester, the state could not restrict abortion at all. During the second trimester, the state could take steps to protect the life of the mother (such as requiring abortions to be performed in hospitals). And during the third trimester, the state could take steps to protect the life of the fetus.
It’s not abortion-rights advocates who have spent the last 40 years fighting Roe vs. Wade — it’s abortion opponents who want to ban all abortions regardless of which trimester a pregnancy falls in.
MIKE WALLIS, Mound
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.