Readers Write: (March 16): MNsure, bowling alleys, fragrances, investor relations, downtown parking, parenthood

  • Updated: March 14, 2014 - 5:57 PM

An editorial suggested that MNsure deserves another chance. How many more?

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MNSURE

Give it another chance? I’ve given it several.

I’d love to sign up for health insurance by the March 31 deadline (“MNsure rebounds from its shaky start,” editorial, March 9). I’ve been trying since September. I went on the website, completed information, was told I might qualify for assistance, and was assigned a case number. And told to wait. So I waited. And waited. And waited. In January, I finally heard from Hennepin County Human Services. I sent income verification information and waited some more.

I am precluded from just going on the MNsure website and buying insurance because I have been assigned a case number; the system knows who I am and will not allow me to buy insurance until everything about my case is verified.

So now it appears I will be fined. And I cannot get insurance until next November. I am sure there are many more like me, stuck in the system. I’d like to find out the answer!

Carrie Egan, Richfield

 

BOWLING ALLEYS

They’ll thrive if they seek out ‘social capital’

The March 9 article on bowling (“In the gutter”) missed two points about why Town Hall Lanes is faring better than other alleys. First, the community it advertises to is one with social capital. In the book “End of Work,” Jeremy Rifkin argued that social capital is what is created when strangers come together and form a community. The more social capital people have, the more connected they are with the community. An example from the book was the decline of bowling leagues, an indication in a decline in social capital.

Town Hall branded itself to a community with a lot of social capital — the fans of microbrew beer. In doing so, it found a reliable source of revenue.

Second, beyond cheap, greasy pizza and cheap beer, Town Hall offers a quality restaurant with large windows, creating a light-filled space. The decor and food appeal to bowlers and nonbowlers alike.

For bowling to remain profitable, it will have to rebrand itself for the parts of the community with the most social capital. These are the same people in the community who enjoy making new friends and being around large groups of people.

T.R. Paulson, St. Paul

 

FRAGRANCES

Not all of us can take them — that’s the story

The article about the fragrance company Thymes, featured in the March 9 Business section (“The birth of a scent”), pushed some buttons for me. I can understand that people in the industry have a passion for creativity in the development of new scents. However, many of us are sensitive to scents and would prefer that people not use them and that we not be exposed to scented products such as perfumes, lotions and soaps in public places.

I would appreciate an article focused on the opposite perspective — those who feel accosted by scented products used by others when in an elevator, a restaurant, a meeting, a movie theater and elsewhere. When I enter a store where there is a fragrance counter, I either need to hold my breath and quickly “run the gantlet” of what to me is a toxic area or find a detour around it.

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