Now, the newly arrived “white-nose syndrome” is a “death sentence” to four species of Minnesota bats. Expected cost to the Minnesota farmers: $1.4 billion yearly.
Proposed action? The state Department of Natural Resources promises to ask spelunkers to wipe their feet on special mats to remove fungus spores, and to wash their clothes before entering another cave. And, of course, to do more study (cryptic for “delay action”). This DNR “plan” is guaranteed to fail, as have been all DNR efforts on invasive species in recent years.
Most every invasive continues to slither, creep, swim, waft or hitchhike across Minnesota.
JIM DAVIDSON, St. Paul
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A useful practice, or a safety issue?
The report on scrappers outlined the operations of this humble, useful business (“Scrappers, city compete as volume of trash falls,” Aug. 12). Unfortunately, Minneapolis is attempting to eliminate this competition as its paltry income on scrap collection has fallen (yielding merely $27,000 last year).
The enforcement effort expense of ticketing scrappers surely surpasses any possible income from this venture. The city is shortsighted in looking past the potential prison costs these people, often ex-cons, save by working at gainful employment. It could be spending more time reviewing its other substantial investments, like the stadium fiasco now brewing. These scrappers actually act as “subcontractors” doing city work.
The past several years, we cleaned out and sold our parents’ homes and had good experiences with the scrappers. They were quiet, polite and respectful as they humbly emptied our bins of all they found useful. How about some compassion and support here?
MICHAEL TILLEMANS, Minneapolis
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I feel that the article omitted an issue — the concern for safety.
I had an encounter with two men who were looking for “scrap” on my block. The issue I had was that they were not just looking in the alley, they were looking over my neighbor’s fence into the back yard.
I feel that a quick look into a back yard can easily escalate to a quick turn of a door knob on a garage or house.
We have had several garage break-ins, and we would prefer to not have these people poking around, looking into our back yards. Privacy and safety need to be part of this conversation.
MEL ENG, Minneapolis
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.