Our neighbor to the north is just as caught up in the stadium game as we are.
Cities want them, even in Canada
Paul Olson (“For model cities, look to Canada,” Oct. 10) seems to think our neighboring country lives without professional sports and new stadiums. Apparently, he did not realize Quebec City is building a new arena to lure a National Hockey League team or that Winnipeg went ecstatic when the NHL returned to the city after 15 years. Or that Edmonton is building a new arena for the Oilers and that the Calgary Flames are demanding one to replace their aging present home. Or that the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team is so popular that Canadians who live closer to Minneapolis than Toronto show up at Target Field every year to see them in action against the Twins. Or that even though the Canadian Football League is much cheaper than the National Football League, Winnipeg just built a new football stadium and Hamilton is doing one presently. Or that Major League Soccer is expanding into Canada and into new soccer stadiums in Toronto and Montreal.
It’s true that Canada does not deal with the expensive National Football League with the exception of one game played in Toronto per year and that Major League Baseball and National Basketball Association teams outside Toronto eventually failed and moved stateside. However, to believe that Canadians survive without professional sports is like believing that it doesn’t snow in Minnesota in the winter.
WILLIAM CORY LABOVITCH, South St. Paul
* * *
Concern over tax is anything but phony
Minnesota’s medical technology community is the envy of the country, for the great jobs we create and the improved patient care we deliver. Our high-tech, innovative industry isn’t just vital for patients, it’s a crucial contributor to the economy. The author of a recent commentary (“That sure is some phony outrage over the medical device tax,” Oct. 10) clearly doesn’t understand just how delicate the medical technology ecosystem is.
For companies like Smiths Medical and others, the tax has grave implications. Its consequences are already being seen in cost reductions — and that can mean reduced employment, the outsourcing of jobs away from Minnesota, and additional pressure on research and development budgets. Do we really want to shortchange investments in the cures of tomorrow?
We should be celebrating bipartisan solutions to improve our economy and patient care, not criticizing them. Minnesota’s congressional delegation has been a shining example of how members from both parties can work together to get things done for our great state.
SRINI SESHADRI, president; Smiths Medical
* * *
Here’s another way to honor veterans
In response to an Oct. 10 letter about the effects of the government shutdown on burial with military honors, my condolences to the family of Chuck Lambert.
There is another option to honor our fallen veterans at their funerals and memorial services: The Bell of Honor. This is provided by a volunteer group based in Rochester, and they will travel just about anywhere to bring the “Bell of Honor: Voice of a Grateful Nation” to be “tolled as a sign of respect and honor for Fallen Heroes.” It is available for active military, veterans, police, firefighters, and EMS or “other special occasions worthy of the honor.” To quote its brochure, “the primary mission is to show the utmost respect and honor to the individual and their family.”
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.