The economic troubles that are challenging many daily newspapers -- including this one -- have been accompanied by lamentations about the diminution of investigative reporting due to dwindling financial resources. The importance of that function has been reflected in this newspaper's outstanding coverage of the Metro Gang Strike Force, especially reporting by Randy Furst.
The unit finally toppled after repeated rhetorical revelations of its misadventures and mishaps. Its extinction was the culmination of months of investigative journalism at its best. Journalism of this type requires continued resources, reportorial skills and a sizable and attentive readership base. It cannot be replicated by Internet publishers operating on a shoestring and bloggers who many say will supplant traditional daily newspapers.
The deserved demise of the Gang Strike Force due to investigative reporting shows why daily newspapers must survive.
MARSHALL H. TANICK, MINNEAPOLIS
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison is now being attacked for something that occurred months ago, that was cleared by the House Ethics Committee and about which no criticism was made at the time (Star Tribune, July 23).
This indicates to me that he is becoming increasingly effective at representing the Fifth Congressional District voters who elected him and the party with which he is allied. Why else would his opponents be grasping at such obviously political straws?
JANE SIMON, MINNEAPOLIS
Time is ticking away, Bill Smith. Minnesota Twins version 20.09 is quickly running out of gas. The young pitching staff has been worn down, the middle infield is rugged, and the offense cannot be led by only three players.
Luckily, the Twins play in, by far, the worst division in the American League and, for some amazing reason, are still in the race for the AL Central crown.
We need action, Bill Smith. We need a starting pitcher, help in the bullpen and a replacement for Nick Punto who can consistently bat above .200. Most important, we need these things now. Not next month, not in time for September, but right now.
It is not enough to wait for the new stadium and the increased revenue to help build the team. Bill Smith, do your job. Do what is necessary to help this team win.
ANDREW WALTER, SIMSBURY, CONN.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty was at it again Friday, spouting politics on his own radio show by blasting the Obama administration's proposed health care plan. He did this without giving an alternative plan.
His statements lose some credibility when he has shown meanness by cutting Minnesota's free General Assistance Medical Care program, a devastating hit on the poor.
I thought Pawlenty's weekly radio show was only to communicate to Minnesotans about state issues and programs and not talk politics. Now that he seems to be running for national office, he should give up his free radio show because of ethics issues. If not, WCCO should drop him for the same reasons.
GARY THOMPSON, ST. PAUL
Dire warnings of a $7 billion state budget shortfall by two respected state leaders, former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson and former Democratic U.S. House Rep. Tim Penny ("No time for short-term budget fixes," July 24), should prompt a statewide discussion on where we go from here.
Do we want to be the state with deteriorating transportation and educational amenities and no safety net for our poorest citizens or do we want to restore the "Minnesota Miracle"?
DAVID ZARKIN, BLOOMINGTON