Minneapolis has a history of regretting what it tears down. Time to stop that.
In Dinkytown, let’s remember the past
Decades of development have driven small family-owned businesses like House of Hanson, Gray’s Drug, Ace Hardware, the Needle Doctor and Nelson’s Office Supply out of the Dinkytown area of Minneapolis. Now, Target is proposing to build a mini “TargetExpress” there to provide the goods and services these businesses once provided. Also, the City Council is considering a proposal to destroy more small businesses to allow the construction of a boutique hotel. Thankfully, the Heritage Commission has vetoed the proposal, but the council could still override that recommendation.
Minneapolis has a history of knocking down buildings considered unimportant and later ruing these decisions, among these the entire Gateway District, the Metropolitan Building and many others. Now, I’m not saying the buildings on SE. 4th Street are architectural marvels, but with the destruction of the old Marshall-U High and with the hundreds of new luxury rental units that have appeared in the area seemingly overnight, the character of Dinkytown and the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood already has been changed forever. It would be a shame to lose the little slice of history the remaining buildings and businesses in Dinkytown represent. And if we ever lose Al’s Breakfast, I fear a revolution!
RACHEL FANG, St. Paul
TARGET AND MNSURE
A bottom-line culture contrast
The Jan. 23 front page features two misfortunes, one in the free-enterprise sector and one in the public sector — “besieged Target” lays off employees, and MNsure’s “flaws run deep.”
Free-enterprise financial remedies require generation of incremental revenue by competitive advantage, productivity improvements and/or cost reductions. Failure to vigilantly do so forces contraction or liquidation. Public-sector financial remedies are, essentially, levied revenues — and rarely are based on cost reduction or productivity improvement.
One sector is perpetually challenged to increase the value of goods and services; improve operating efficiency, and grow stakeholders’ return on investment. The other is perpetually challenged to politically explain uncompromising growth — without consideration of operating efficiencies or return on investment to stakeholders.
In one sector, the bottom line determines survival.
In the other sector, the bottom line is irrelevant.
Guess which sector is which?
GENE DELAUNE, New Brighton
A top facility would have easier parking
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