With recent news of Utah lawmakers voting to discontinue restricting beer sold in grocery and convenience stores to 3.2 percent alcohol by weight, Minnesota is soon to be the last state where beer manufacturers are producing 3.2 beer, and one can wonder how long that will continue. We convenience-store owners in Minnesota already have lost 80 percent to 90 percent of our Sunday beer sales since liquor stores have been able to sell on Sundays in our state. At this rate, my second-generation family convenience store will no longer be able to sell beer to local customers. I am afraid our wholesalers will no longer have 3.2 beer to sell us.

My small community store sells homegrown products from local businesses. We love the opportunity to support local beer manufacturers, and my customers would really appreciate the convenience. Operating a convenience store in Minneapolis can be very exhausting due to regulations. The cost of doing business increases year to year, with credit-card fees, labor and the inability to sell certain products. As a business owner, I would welcome the opportunity to sell regular/full strength beer and support our local craft beer community. This would also give me another category within my store to help combat these changes by local government.

I would like to see Minnesota legislators address the drying up of 3.2 beer before it’s too late and eventually no longer available. Time to join the other 49 states!

Richard Bohnen, Minneapolis

LEGISLATURE-WATCHING

Civil discourse is not dead; you just have to know where to look

I hope more people will take advantage of seeing our own homegrown “rock stars” discuss the issues on public television stations such as KTCA-TV, Ch. 2. Believe it or not, the people making our laws make fascinating viewing. It’s not Twittering! People are respectful of others and their opinions, manifested each time they speak, even if they differ. They actually listen to one another, discussing and including points brought up by legislators and members of the public testifying. Very impressive to me, a longtime DFLer, are state Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer and Sen. David Senjem and other Republicans, as well as one of my longtime DFL heroes, Sen. John Marty. What I have been missing! Civil discourse is not dead! That is why I wish more citizens would observe and appreciate the standards that our country inherited, then developed, for getting laws made relatively peaceably. That standard is, regretfully, broken every day now.

Betty Ann Addison, Fridley

LEFT-LANE DRIVING

Everywhere but Minnesota, slower traffic moves to the right

Everyone seems to have a solution to the Minnesota “left-lane”driving dilemma. State Sen. John Jasinski, R-Faribault (“Fines for slower left-lane drivers?” March 13) and writers of letters to the editor have put forth their views and opinions. With that in mind, I will share mine.

I travel through many states on a regular basis. If I were to create a “best states to drive in” list, at the very bottom would be Minnesota. Whether it’s a highway with two lanes, three lanes or four lanes going in the same direction, the drivers in every state but Minnesota understand that the left lane is the passing lane and unless you are passing someone, you belong in the other lane(s). The drivers in these states actually practice “slower traffic stay to the right.” If the letter writers were to exit Minnesota and head south on Interstate 35W or east on Interstate 94 or west on Interstate 90, they would quickly discover that using the left lane as the passing lane works very well in other states. But, then again, maybe their complaints about other drivers are right-on, because “Minnesota Nice” ends when Minnesotans get into their cars.

George Larson, Brooklyn Park

LEGALIZING MARIJUANA

It’s already here, it’s already near, and people are already driving high

I live in a college neighborhood, and have for more than 40 years. Need pot? Go next door or across the street, ask a stranger, BANG! You are hooked up! Worried that more people will be driving high on pot? Fact check: They already are without it being legal.

Brenda Steinberg, Minneapolis

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA

No need to be so modest; Kaler did terrific things for U athletics

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler was far too modest in recalling his accomplishments during his annual State of the University address, which was reported in Star Tribune in “U’s Kaler reflects on his 8 years at the helm” (March 15).

The university’s athletic department has benefited substantially from Kaler’s leadership.

We now have a new generation of outstanding athletic directors and excellent coaches in football, men’s basketball and hockey and women’s basketball, hockey and volleyball, which comprise a solid foundation for current and future success.

But the most important and enduring legacy is the $166 million Athlete’s Village facilities. Kaler recognized the requirement of such facilities to remain competitive in Big Ten competition and undertook the extremely difficult task of raising the funds to finance and complete the project.

He certainly leaves the athletic department much improved during his term.

Neil Naftalin, Minneapolis

RENAMING THINGS

St. Paul perhaps is safe, if these Bible passages are the cause célèbre

A recent letter writer suggested the city of St. Paul consider changing its name based on the apostle Paul’s promotion of misogyny and torture, citing passages in I Timothy and II Thessalonians. I’ve never been an admirer of St. Paul, but in his defense, one is hard put to find a single reputable biblical scholar who believes that Paul wrote the Timothy epistles, and many, probably most, scholars also doubt that he wrote II Thessalonians. We should look elsewhere for someone to blame.

Richard Gist, Princeton

The writer is a retired clergyman.

MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

The number of people affected is higher than thought

As a member of the National Board of Directors of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, I would first like to thank the Mayo Clinic for highlighting MS in their “Health Highlights” sponsored content published in the March 17 Star Tribune. However, I would like to provide an update to the statistic that 400,000 individuals are living in the U.S. with MS. A recently published study commissioned by the NMSS indicates that the number is more than double that and is approaching 1 million individuals. This means that everyone touched by MS needs to double their efforts to end the devastating effects of this disease.

Richard Knutson, Eden Prairie

GOVERNMENT SERVICES

Praise is warranted

I would like to sing the praises of the Bloomington office of the Social Security Administration. Yes, that’s right, a government office.

As a member of the “boomer generation,” I recently applied for Medicare and Social Security benefits. I was unable to accomplish this online, as I have extenuating circumstances. A very kind and patient man guided me through the process, for both agencies, and I am grateful for his help. Since this undertaking, I have heard of similar examples of kindness from other locations. So often, it’s the negative comments and complaints one hears about dealing with government policies and procedures. My experience couldn’t have been more positive.

Mary Linstroth, Minneapolis