Readers Write: (Jan. 28): Lt. governor, Dinkytown, oil trains, potholes, State of the Union, cartoons, Souhan

  • Updated: January 27, 2014 - 6:11 PM

The governor can pick a woman as his running mate, but that doesn’t make her equal.

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LT. GOVERNOR

Gender balance is about more than perception

Gov. Mark Dayton has expressed a need for gender balance when picking a running mate to succeed Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon, who is not seeking a second term.

Let’s face it: The two top spots are far from equal.

Putting a male at the top of the ticket with all the power, staff and authority while inserting a female beside him with no staff, no real job description and no budget is not gender balance.

Balancing the ticket, so to speak, has been the norm for 32 years in Minnesota. Doing the same thing over and over again is the definition of insanity.

Either the Legislature should assign actual responsibilities to the office of lieutenant governor along with a funding stream attached, or the office should be eliminated.

Let’s quit kidding ourselves into thinking that putting a woman there balances gender.

BETTY FOLLIARD, Minneapolis

 

The writer is a former state representative who represented Hopkins, Minnetonka and St. Louis Park for three terms.

 

DINKYTOWN

Change happens with or without developers

Recent letters would lead people to believe that developers have driven small, family-owned businesses out of Dinkytown. Correlation is not the same as cause and effect. This simplistic view ignores the complexity of operating a business in a constantly changing retail landscape.

Dinkytown is constantly changing. More than a century ago, there was a blacksmith, but streetcars and autos replaced horses, and the blacksmith disappeared. A couple of decades ago, there was a Musicland, and five years ago, a Hollywood Video. Now music and movies are downloaded or streamed, and very few record or video stores operate in the Twin Cities. Many stores and restaurants have come and gone. This is not a new phenomena driven by developers. Nor is it exclusive to Dinkytown.

Rarely is it one factor that leads to a business closing its doors. Competition from the Internet and big-box stores; minimal advertising budgets; lack of parking; loss of lease, and changes in consumer demands are among the challenges small businesses face. Some businesses survive, adding Internet sales, changing inventory, or moving to a more advantageous or cheaper location. Others, unable to overcome the lack of revenue, make the sad decision to close.

TAMMY HENRY, Minneapolis

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