Readers Write: (April 2): Super Bowl bid, campaign finance, overpopulation, Southwest LRT, bike trails

  • Updated: April 1, 2014 - 6:47 PM

How about a Super Bowl bid with a social conscience?

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SUPER BOWL BID

Let’s get one thing more for the money

Pity the long-suffering Star Tribune Editorial Board, having to put up with the “anti-stadium crowd” and our “tiresome reprise of arguments ignoring the benefits of major league status.” (“Is Super Bowl worth the effort? No doubt,” April 1.) Tell you what. I will happily support our bid for the Super Bowl if we sweeten the pot even more: Add a fund for brain autopsies on players upon their deaths to better understand the prevalence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Along with the tax breaks for billionaires, we will learn the true “cost of doing business with the NFL.”

Brian Malloy, Minneapolis

 

CAMPAIGN FINANCE

Disclosure can only be good for democracy

Why are organizations that fund political messages opposed to being identified? (“Dayton adds his voice to push for campaign cash disclosure,” March 31.) Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life says that such identification would inhibit its “ability to engage in grass-roots issue advocacy.” But it’s not really a grass-roots thing if an organization is driving it, is it? Just because that organization is hiding? The National Rifle Association says that disclosing campaign ad sponsorship threatens freedom of speech. Really? I don’t see why that group couldn’t say whatever it likes, as long as its name was included in the ad — just as my name appears at the end of this letter.

Maneuvers to prevent the association between a message and its sponsor undermine the democratic process because they deprive voters of important information. In addition, such efforts smack of underhanded cowardice.

Jeff Naylor, Minneapolis

 

OVERPOPULATION

Freedom ultimately leads to wise decisions

The question posed to conservatives in the April 1 Letter of the Day regarding the intersection of birth control, government mandates and overpopulation deserves an answer.

The letter writer asks what plan we have for either limiting population growth or providing for the material and spiritual needs of billions more human beings. The plan is simple. Live and let live. Let people pursue their own values and leave them responsible for the consequences of their actions. If we summon the courage to trust our neighbors, we will find they enjoy life as much as we do. They want to eat safe food, drink clean water and enjoy the bounty of creation. Motivated by such desires, we each work to produce not only what we need to survive but higher values required to thrive.

Freedom is the best form of population control. The Property and Environment Research Center concludes that “market-enhancing economic institutions lower fertility rates.” In other words, a free and prosperous people choose to bear fewer children.

Compelling a handful of conscientious objectors to provide birth control for employees will not save the planet. Even if it somehow could, such mandates violate individual rights. Leaving people free to pursue their own interests will foster self-interested judgments, like buying contraception with money earned. Under freedom, prosperity rises and fertility rates fall.

Walter Hudson, Albertville

• • •

One hopes that businesses that want to opt out of supplying birth-control options for women will also want to opt out of supplying erectile dysfunction options for men.

Joyce Gross, St. Louis Park

 

SOUTHWEST LRT

Those who need it most aren’t out on the town

I’d like to get people thinking about who might really benefit from the Southwest light-rail line. Several readers have commented in these pages about a need for a train to move “young professionals” between Uptown and downtown for plays, movies, nightclubs, bars, restaurants and sporting events. The intent of the line is not as an “entertainment train,” so that those who can afford a night life do not have to pay for parking, take a taxi or bus, or walk. The planned route for the train will move people to higher-paying jobs in light industry or the service sector in the suburbs.

The people benefiting from the train moving through downtown and north Minneapolis, many without other transportation options, are not those who contact the governor to complain about trains running behind their houses. Rather, these people — some with more than one job — are thrilled to be able to catch a train, close to their residence, that will take them to a living-wage job.

Leah Stich, Minneapolis

 

BIKE COMMUTING

Build it, they’ll come — year-round, if it’s clear

Someone once wrote “if you build it, they will come,” and with bike lanes and trails it is apparent that Twin Citians are embracing the bike life. In that spirit, I embarked on year-round bike commuting from south Minneapolis to my job in northeast Minneapolis this past year. It’s 6 miles each way, with bike lanes available most of the way. The city has made an effort to include biking in the commuting mix, and the bike lanes are helpful.

With that said, I can’t recommend year-round biking. Why? The bike lanes, and the safety cushion they provide, disappear when it snows.

Does it have to be this way? Clearly, no. Just look at how city, county and state leaders can move mountains to give billionaire owners publicly financed stadiums but seem unable to provide basic services like snow removal consistently and uniformly. It’s too bad, because with just a little effort, this really could be a year-round bikable community.

Jay Armstrong, Minneapolis

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