Readers Write: (July 6): The rural landscape, the IRS, the arts, soccer, the culture, liberals, perseverance, pedestrian safety

  • Updated: July 3, 2014 - 5:11 PM

‘Bees at the brink’ is a cautionary tale, as if we should need one.


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Thank you for “Bees at the brink” (June 29). Our rural surroundings have changed since we moved to south-central Minnesota in 1960. Our small farms have mostly disappeared, and our once-vibrant town struggles to stay alive. There was much more variety in the landscape: I remember picking strawberries along Hwy. 169 with my children; we heard and saw meadow larks and pheasants, and clouds of monarch butterflies were a part of every spring and summer. Now what do we have? Corn and soybeans from horizon to horizon; hedgerows with their diversity of plants and animal life gouged out; wetlands drained, and herbicides ensuring that few bee-friendly flowers grow on roadsides and lawns. Our state and federal supports, with their continuing crop insurance programs — even for marginal land — and cutbacks on set-aside acreage such as CRP and CREP help to perpetuate the increasing sterility of our natural environment.

Economic success should not be the only determinant of wealth. We lose too much if it is.

Maria Lindberg, Blue Earth, Minn.


C’mon — the scrutiny was bipartisan

The June 29 editorial (“Get to the bottom of IRS imbroglio”) took a partisan position when it repeatedly neglected to inform that many Democratic and progressive groups also were targeted by the IRS for extra scrutiny when filing for tax-exempt status. In fact, conservative groups were not denied tax-exempt status by the IRS. However, one Democratic group was denied — the Maine chapter of Emerge America.

Where is the outrage from U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen and the Star Tribune Editorial Board over the fact that this group was denied tax-exempt status? Not one word.

This only confirms that the IRS investigation originally was mostly about fundraising and winning elections. Excite the base of the party, and millions of dollars will follow — which currently is helping Republicans win elections against the Tea Party candidates.

Paul Johnson, Elk River



Story raised an issue about payment for art

I’ve been enjoying “Savage Minnesota,” the serialized novel appearing in the Variety section. However, I was really bothered by a line in the June 29 episode — when Marlin refuses to accept money for the publication of his photographs and the narrator sees his choice as “a good, simple answer.”

I hate to be the guy who picks nits, but undervalued work is a big problem for artists and illustrators. Doing work for free is a common request. No one asks a contractor to repair their roof for free, but for artists, many people believe “exposure” is reward enough.

It’s true that most artists choose their careers because they love drawing or design. But quality work requires training, experience and solid workweeks of 40 hours or more. A working artist does as much business administration as art, if not more.

Neal Skorpen, Minneapolis



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