Readers Write: (Aug. 4): Minneapolis, political pay, McDonald's, insecticides, dogs, homelessness

  • Updated: August 3, 2014 - 6:00 PM

Seeing things through the eyes of visitors makes this clear.

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Despite the rising heat, bikers, runners, and walkers still enjoyed the Lake Calhoun trails on Monday morning.] MONICA HERNDON monica.herndon@startribune.com Minneapolis, MN 07/21/14 ORG XMIT: MIN1407211021471939

Photo: MONICA HERNDON • Star Tribune,

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Two dear friends from New York City, Nancy and Harley, were recently here for a five-day visit. On several early mornings, they rented Nice Ride green bikes and we all rode around Calhoun, Isles, Harriet and Cedar lakes. The Kenilworth trail was their favorite, with its three separate paths, one for walkers and two for bikers, that later wind out into the prairie trail lined with tall grasses and fragrant wildflowers. They couldn’t believe the courteous bikers who gently called out “on your left” when they needed to pass, then even said “thank you.” We walked through the Rose Garden near Lake Harriet, where Nancy sampled the scent of at least a dozen roses. We spent an hour exploring Birchbark Books. We dined at Cave Vin and Mill Valley Kitchen. After a few days here, Harley announced that he was going to buy a Minneapolis T-shirt to wear in New York. And when anyone would ask “why Minneapolis?” he would say, “Let me tell you about Minneapolis.”

JUDY BELL, Minneapolis

POLITICAL PAY

Few leaders seem to get that it’s ‘service’

Kudos to Savage’s mayor and City Council members, and Burnsville’s as well. Apparently, these cities have two of the very few local city governments that understand the meaning of the phrase “public service.” A July 27 article on local mayoral compensation (“Pay raises vary widely among cities”) shows why there should be term limits on all elected government positions. Public service always seems to turn into “entitlement” expectations.

One mayor laments: “I’ve been out in the middle of the night” responding to calls as a reason for a pay raise. He didn’t realize this could happen before he ran for office? Another mayor states he needed a raise to offset the “huge financial hit” his family suffered as a result of his becoming mayor. What? If it’s such a huge burden, why doesn’t he just resign the post?

Do these people not research the compensation before they run for office? (Sadly, our state and federal governments are no better.) These positions were never intended for an individual to make a living off of. Insert term limits on all local, state and federal positions, and you’ll stop this entitlement thinking once and for all.

Bill Corrigan Jr., Spring Lake Park

LABOR ABUSES

Is ruling just the start for McDonald’s?

I’m thrilled with the National Labor Relations Board decision on McDonald’s (“Ruling: McDonald’s liable for workers,” July 30). It’s long overdue that the corporation and its executives are held accountable for the impacts of the abuses they drive. I hope this provides a precedent not only to hold the corporation liable for abuses to workers, but also for its role driving our nation’s epidemic of obesity and diet-related disease.

For examples of how this can happen, we need look no further than what happened to the tobacco industry. If I were a McDonald’s shareholder, I’d be getting pretty nervous right now.

Kevin Chavis, Minneapolis

INSECTICIDES

Shouldn’t maker bear the burden of proof?

I have trouble with statements to the effect that science has not established a proven link between one thing and another. Defenders of neonicotinoids use such logic to justify the heavy use of these insecticides all over the planet, despite much evidence that they harm honeybees (“Bees at the brink: Battle seeks our hearts, minds,” July 27). But neither has the absence of such harm been proved. Is there no burden of proof on the manufacturers of products that may have significant environmental impacts?

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