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Readers Write: (June 20): Obama, crematorium, street grid, litter

  • June 19, 2013 - 7:37 PM


His leadership fails younger supporters

President Obama’s approval ratings have dropped an astounding 17 percent since May among those 18 to 29 years old, a new CNN poll reports. This marks the first point in his presidency where he has less than 50 percent youth support; he currently lies at 48 percent. His rapid decline in popularity does not surprise many of us.

Amid controversies involving the operation of government surveillance programs, the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups, continuing fallout from the Benghazi terrorist attacks and the Justice Department’s collection of journalist phone records, our generation is clearly disappointed. In the same CNN poll, a growing number of Americans, now 47 percent, believe that the White House is linked to the IRS controversy, and 50 percent do not believe Obama is “honest and trustworthy.” It is quite evident that the Obama coalition is unraveling before our very eyes.

We must keep in mind that this is the same administration that promised us transparency and a government that works across the aisle to reach agreement. Instead, he has given us an administration shrouded in secrecy while he continues to shred our civil liberties and our Constitution. President Obama’s partisan rhetoric and poor leadership have failed not only my generation, but more broadly, the American people. We expect better from you, Mr. President.



The writer is chairman of the Minnesota College Republicans.

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City target-seekers discover crematorium

I find myself shaking my head more and more lately, often set off when people grab their tiny shovels and attempt to make a mountain out of a molehill. Case in point: the fine residents showcased in the June 14 article “Crematory causes concern in Minneapolis neighborhood.”

While I don’t share an alley with the Cremation Society of Minnesota, I live just a block and a half away on the other side of Nicollet Avenue. And as one paragraph in the article points out, the Cremation Society tends to be a great neighbor by clearing snow, addressing graffiti and maintaining a respectable business. But some residents are trying to find ways to create problems by claiming the business is too loud and creates an odor. Seriously? Did these neighbors suddenly forget that Interstate 35W is less than two blocks away? How about those jets flying overhead on their final approach?

If some don’t feel a crematorium belongs, why did they move near one? It’s been there since 1955.

So I think I am going to do the neighborly thing by taking a stroll and showing my support for this local business by saying “hi,” rather than find ways to harass it.

KEN STANO, Minneapolis

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I considered cremation until I discovered that I am a carbon sink adding to climate change.

Cremations lead to emissions of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, mercury, hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen chloride, non-methane volatile organic compounds and other heavy metals, in addition to persistent organic pollutants. The United Nations indicates that crematoria contribute 0.2 percent of the global emission of dioxins and furans.


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Our routes want to be free of obstacles

The proposed Nicollet/Central Avenue streetcar line (“Minneapolis council gives initial OK to streetcar line,” June 19) is an exciting development that Minneapolis citizens should all support. I note that the routing between 28th Street S. and Lake Street is “undecided.” Dare I point out that this break in Nicollet Avenue is occupied by an eyesore of an antiquated Kmart store with a monstrous parking lot that serves no serious commercial purpose any longer. Let us help Kmart move if it wishes, and open up Nicollet Avenue once again for the streetcar and for normal traffic.

WILLIAM O. BEEMAN, Minneapolis

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The fate of Park and Portland Avenues and the park proposed for the blocks near the new Vikings stadium remind me of a situation years ago when construction of the Kmart was proposed for right in the middle of Nicollet Avenue at Lake Street. There was a lot opposition, but it was done anyway. A big mistake. Nicollet at the time was a streetcar and main route to downtown Minneapolis. Now we have a proposed park that will block two of the main one-way streets downtown.

Solution: Go ahead and build your park, but put it on the roof of a two-block-long parking garage, with Park and Portland Avenues tunneling through. An underground level could add to the capacity of the garage, which hopefully could pay for itself and the park on its roof.


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Maybe awareness can help with this problem

Most lakes in Minnesota do not have trash receptacles, and those who use our lakes are supposed to take their trash with them. It is only a small proportion who litter, but it is enough to be annoying to those who live near a lake. The state has all sorts of programs to remind people how to stop the spread of invasive species. It might be time to start a program to remind people not to dump trash.

JEROME MCKENNA, Long Prairie, Minn.

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