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My shop was mentioned by name in the Star Tribune, which brought unwelcome publicity and also concern from clients and friends. In this economy, businesses are fragile and this sort of negative publicity does not help.
A neighbor was quoted in the online version of the story saying the shooting was “typical for an urban neighborhood” and, “some weekends it’s louder than others.” This does not accurately describe my neighborhood, which is quiet, safe and filled with hardworking citizens. We need to be careful how we talk about our neighborhoods.
I want to assure all my clients and friends that Eddy’s Barber Shop will continue. I have been serving this community for 43 years and hope to continue to do so for many years. Come on back.
EDWARD WITHERS JR., Minneapolis
Refusal of health grant is cause for dismay
Imagine my dismay when I read the Aug. 2 headline, “Anoka County just says no to $1M state health grant.” As a county resident and public health professional, I am deeply troubled by the decision of two commissioners to turn down Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) funds that encourage residents to fight the physical and financial burdens of obesity and tobacco use.
The SHIP program is an effort to “make the healthy choice the easy choice.” In a world where healthy choices are not easy for many families because of demands on time, income levels, and other environmental factors, we need all the help we can get. It is a shame to know that families in every other county in the state will get that help, while my own family and neighbors will not.
SHIP is based on what works to promote health. A visit to the Anoka County SHIP web page cites significant changes attributable to SHIP, including school districts and in-home child care offering more nutritious food and more frequent physical activity, and 17 housing complexes adopting smoke-free environments.
Investing in healthy policies is neither a waste nor a political misstep — it is a no-brainer. I expect my local officials to capitalize on such an opportunity, not to turn it down for all the wrong reasons.
LEE ANN MORTENSON, Coon Rapids
Some historical context to assess the response
If I remember correctly, in October 2004, then-U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton was ridiculed for closing his Washington, D.C., office because of vague terrorist threat information. He did exactly what the State Department is currently doing in closing American embassies because of vague intercepted terrorism chatter. In 2004, government agencies including Homeland Security and NSA said there wasn’t enough specific information to warrant a government office shutdown. Back then, however, there wasn’t a secret surveillance issue that the government was involved in and trying to justify. It seems quite convenient for the NSA that Al-Qaida is cooperating with the government to raise the threat issue.
BRUCE FISHER, St. louis Park
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.