Politicians see opening — but what kind?
I find it interesting that Gov. Mark Dayton wants to make sure that all the representations made by the Vikings ownership are truthful and accurate (“The Wilfs get fresh stadium scrutiny,” Aug. 11). I believe we heard that expanding gambling was well-vetted and would certainly provide adequate funding for the state’s share of the new stadium.
We were promised that there were secondary, “blink on” sources provided in the agreement should gambling revenues fall short of projections. These secondary sources were obviously too politically toxic, so we fell back on that tried-and-true source of adding significant new taxes to a product we supposedly abhor. So much for not using general fund revenues.
No matter how you feel about the stadium or the civil penalties handed down to the Vikings ownership in an unrelated case (“N.J. judge says Wilf cheated partners,” Aug. 7), you would be hard-pressed to give our state politicians a pass (no pun intended) for their behavior. Might there be a little face-saving and some shakedown tactics on their part in admonishing the Wilf family as the date for signing the final contract nears? You can decide who has breached the public trust to date.
GARY DREYER, Bloomington
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I would certainly be more comfortable with the stadium deal if the Wilfs stood to lose personal assets should there be a default. They should have “some skin in the game.” And if the “fan licensing fee” remains part of the deal, shame on us.
JANET COLEMAN, St. Paul
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A new scourge, another ineffective response
Bats are too often “batted around” in our feelings, and their crises ignored by most of us. We don’t really want to know about their value to agriculture and the balance of nature — just stay away from these creatures (“New threat to state ag: Bat fungus,” Aug. 10). Indeed, a few of them might be dangerous if you’re bitten and the bat has rabies.
I hope the researchers are successful in combating the crisis and restoring a healthy bat population. Maybe the late Gov. Rudy Perpich was right in advocating that we introduce bat houses to counteract the overabundance of biting mosquitoes in Minnesota — even now with our shortage of monarch butterflies and bees to pollinate our raspberries and other productive crops.
JOHN BISPALA, Minneapolis
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The article reminded me of the history of invasive species in Minnesota: Zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, Dutch elm disease, Asian carp, and a hundred other species not invited to Minnesota.
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