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Readers Write: (Jan. 6): Land use, cold weather, college sports, obesity, budgets, marijuana

  • January 5, 2014 - 6:00 PM

LAND USE

One suburb gets it, and one does not

What a striking contrast in municipal vision and values in the Dec. 25 metro section (“In Orono, golf course in play” and “Maplewood adds bluff as green space”). According to the reports, Maplewood has been planning for decades to add “70 acres of prime bluffland along the Mississippi River” to its green space.

Well-played, Maplewood!

Meanwhile, Orono shanked its chance to effectively plan for the transition of the Lakeview Golf Course’s 143 acres, so now that land is being sold to a developer, over howls from the citizens. A triple-bogey for Orono!

Even though I don’t live in Orono or Maplewood, we all are vested in these decisions. They affect the quality of life in the entire metro area. Like the sign in a photo accompanying the Orono article says: “Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.”

STEPHANIE SKJERVOLD, Shorewood

• • •

I have to object to the assertion at the end of the Orono article that the Red Oaks development in Minnetrista “has not generated opposition.” Had the reporter attended an angry, standing-room-only neighborhood meeting with the developer at the clubhouse earlier this fall, he’d understand how contentious all this is. Not because homes are to be built, but because of how poorly planned the development is, with no thought to green space or the idyllic nature of what draws people to this community. I live just a stone’s throw from Orono, and I hope developers keep their promise that their project will be something the city can be proud of.

SARA PAULSON, Minnetrista

THE WEATHER

You can use this to your advantage

The weather — we’re all talking about it. Here is some useful fodder to add to your conversations:

Really cold weather will kill dust mites (and their eggs) that have been living in your comforters and on your kid’s stuffed animals, your pet’s bed and any other hard-to-wash items.

Put all your hard-to-wash items in large, heavy-duty garbage bags, or oversized Ziploc bags. Place outside for 48 hours. The freezing temps will kill dust mites and their eggs (and lice, too, if you are experiencing that rite of childhood).

That’s it. Forty-eight hours later, your stuffed animals and comforters will be dust-mite free. Aren’t we lucky?

DANETTE FETTIG HALLORAN, Bloomington

COLLEGE SPORTS

There’s a reality we all need to face

The problem with big-time college sports isn’t the money spent on the “big three” of men’s basketball, football and hockey (“The ‘arms race’ in college sports,” Dec. 31), it’s that these sports are the primary revenue generators for the rest of the athletic departments’ scholarship athletes. Can anyone give me one good reason why track and field, swimming and diving, rowing, tennis, golf, and gymnastics should be fully funded varsity sports as opposed to being primarily self-funded club sports?

The millions of dollars in revenue generated by the big three should go back to the athletes, not to fund other sports athletic budgets and scholarships. If you did a survey of 100 University of Minnesota students, 99 of them would not care if the nonrevenue sports lost their varsity funding. We wouldn’t be getting rid of these nonrevenue sports, we’d just be accepting the realities of the viewing public.

JAMES MCMURRAY, Eagan

OBESITY

Compassion is part of the equation

A Jan. 2 writer (“Come on, have some self-control”) poured sarcasm and scorn on the science of food addiction and people struggling to eat better in an economy and culture focused on the consumption of salty, fatty, sugary foods. She bragged about her own success with shrugging off addiction and sneered at those who have failed to match her achievements.

I’m almost certain that every reputable 12-step program stresses humility, not gloating and contempt for others, in the road map for recovery.

ALEXANDER S. HINDIN, St. Louis Park

CATCHPHRASES

Budgeting: Don’t hate me. Just do it.

Regarding “When did we tune out the catchphrase?” (Dec. 31), I remember one that I haven’t heard for a long time:

“No, we can’t afford it.”

Perhaps if we brought that back, we wouldn’t be in such an economic mess. It worked for my family.

Alison Larson, Victoria

MARIJUANA

Opponent was willing to wing it on evidence

“[M]arijuana is a gateway, I don’t care what any study shows …”

This line effectively sums up Dan DeWitt’s Jan. 3 commentary “Marijuana use dulls the mind.” While well-outfitted with DeWitt’s personal experience, the article offered only limited evidence: a comparison of test scores and marijuana use in high schoolers, which is correlational at best. What’s more, the two measurements he compared were taken 14 years apart! He even rejected hard evidence, not only in the quote above, but by reiterating the old claim that marijuana causes brain damage, which has never been established in adults.

If I read an article titled “Marijuana use dulls the mind,” I expect evidence of that.

TAYLOR PARSONS, Victoria,

CORRECTION

The Dec. 30 “You Don’t Say” cartoon incorrectly named the source of the quotation portrayed. It is James Branch Cabell.

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