Readers Write: (July 21): Entertainment venues, border crisis, pensions, Sen. Al Franken, mental health, Jesse Ventura, cancer care

  • Updated: July 18, 2014 - 6:15 PM

The zoo is a good experience, but the Twin Cities area could support more.

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Having recently enjoyed The Hold Steady’s concert at the Minnesota Zoo, I had an idea for the Twin Cities metro area that would allow for more of these types of events. What if we had an outdoor concert venue similar to those found in Chicago (Ravinia Festival) or outside of Boston (Tanglewood)? My wife and I had the opportunity to picnic on the grounds of Tanglewood while enjoying the sounds of the Boston Symphony Orchestra on a summer evening. The show was followed by fireworks, and it was in a beautiful setting. With two world-class orchestras in our Twin Cities; “A Prairie Home Companion” and “Wits” from public radio; perhaps a show by the Guthrie, and a number of musical acts, we’d have the makings of a beautiful outdoor venue where families could picnic on the lawn or sit in the amphitheater seating area. I’m not sure where this could be built, but it should be accessible via mass transit, making it an attractive option for everyone. I believe it would further our reputation as a desirable location to live and help attract new residents to our area.

Jonathan Beck, Minneapolis


Compassion is easy. Now do what’s hard.

As I watch the invasion on our southwest border unfold and hear the voices saying “these are children; we need to take care of them,” I can’t help but draw a parallel to the prolife movement.

Prolifers condemn abortion. But until those people raise their hands to take responsibility for the unborn, unwanted children, they will not be successful. Until they say “we will raise these children, for the rest of their lives,” they have no standing.

The same goes for those who want to allow undocumented children to come into our country. Those who believe we should open our borders to the underprivileged should get in line to take care of those children for the rest of their lives.

Put your money where your mouth is or shut up and sit down.

Peter Doblinger, Mound



Alternatives may not be so great, either

In the article “State pensions still need reform, group says” (July 17), the Center of the American Experiment describes state unfunded liabilities as “a ticking fiscal time bomb,” while the deputy director of Minnesota’s Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement calls the concerns a “nonissue” — the 2010 reforms are shoring up the balance sheet. I’m not sure who is right, but there is no doubt that the real agenda of the Center of the American Experiment is ideological — it wants the state to replace public pensions with 401(k)-like plans in the future.

Did the people at this organization sleep through the recent financial debacle, when many 401(k) savings were wiped out, leaving those dependent upon them devastated? Or does their allegiance to Wall Street and the free market make them indifferent to the suffering of real people whose retirement security would depend upon volatile markets?

Such plans could work fine for the rich, but what about the middle class and the poor?

George Muellner, Plymouth



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