On my walk/run this morning, I came across a shiny penny lying on the asphalt. So I stopped and picked it up. Lucky penny, maybe, and all that. Abe Lincoln’s proud profile looking bright and good. Made me think of “Will age matter in 2020 election?” (front page, May 26). Just for reference, Honest Abe, some say our greatest president, was 52 when first inaugurated.

Why anyone 70-plus would want to be president is beyond me. A septuagenarian myself, I can’t imagine running the country, let alone tuning up my own lawn mower. I’d rather have another colonoscopy than clean up the mess after our Current White House Occupant is done.

The leading Democrat and Republican candidates are both over 70. One calls the other “SleepyCreepy Joe” because Joe’s old, I guess, and likes to hug women. The name-calling Current Occupant — according to his own admission — likes to hug women too, especially in all the wrong places. Joe has said he wants to “take [the CO] behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.”

Name-calling and threats of junior-high-style fisticuffs don’t sound like the maturity that comes with age and experience, the kind wished for by some of those quoted in the “Will age matter” story. Maybe Joe and Don should hang it up and stand aside for the younger ladies and gentlemen, those in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. Maybe they haven’t forgotten their manners.

If Joe and the CO need something to do, I can find spots in my Geezer Golf foursome. We play every Wednesday morning, name-calling and hugging allowed.

Christopher Moore, Belle Plaine

MINING IN MINNESOTA

Our lands and waters are our riches, not to be laid waste

I applaud the Star Tribune Editorial Board for shining a light on the secrecy surrounding the Trump administration’s renewal of Twin Metals’ mining leases (“What’s to hide in BWCA study data?” May 26). The editorial also urges U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith to speak up for a transparent process and legislative protections for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

I’ve called both senators’ offices a half-dozen times to voice my concerns about this project. It would allow a toxic industry to set up shop on the outskirts of our cherished BWCA. According to a recent City Pages article (“A Chilean mining company lays claim to Minnesota’s water”), every single sulfide-ore mine in America has failed, some multiple times. In the BWCA’s case, even small amounts of contamination would threaten the watershed’s delicate ecosystem and pristine waters — forever. While I am glad to hear that the senators recently wrote a joint letter calling for the study data’s release, I fear their response could be too little, too late.

There are no do-overs in this scenario. Last Wednesday, as I drove home with my mom and two daughters from a BWCA rally, we passed several billboards promoting gorgeous public lands in Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana. I was struck by the incongruity of the situation. Public lands and clean waters are essential to Minnesota’s identity, heritage and economy — even our state’s brand. A foreign mining company shouldn’t be allowed to threaten these riches. And we should demand that our public officials take a stand to protect them.

Sonja Sharp, Minneapolis

CLIMATE INITIATIVES

If we’re going to have any new deal, it should involve nuclear energy

Many people are suggesting the government should take on a more active role in the economy to stop global warming, as they see it as a failure of capitalism. But the truth is, like many other issues today, global warming was made possible by misguided government policies and laws, and as such the solution is deregulation.

The Green New Deal created by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., proposes the use of exceedingly expensive forms of energy such as wind and solar, but there is a much better source of energy that has been completely disregarded: nuclear. Nuclear energy is relatively inexpensive and despite popular paranoia surrounding it in reality it is the safest form of energy that currently exists.

We don’t use nuclear energy much today because in the 1960s and ’70s, the government suppressed the construction of new power plants through excessive regulation. It became too expensive to build as the regulations made the process of going from starting the project to starting construction take more than four years, all while interest was building up from the hefty loans. This resulted in nuclear companies going bankrupt and a dramatic decrease in the amount of plants built. Remove these regulations and we can start to transition to a nuclear-energy-based and stop global warming without crippling the economy.

River Rozycki, Minneapolis

CELLPHONES

Why (pop-up ad) should I (upsell) be (robocall) stressed?

A May 26 reprint of a New York Times article (“Our phones are stressing us out,” Science + Health) reports scientific evidence that our phones raise our cortisol levels. Why? Is it because when you open your smartphone to make a call, you get a slew of ads before you can make the call? Or if you try to get rid of the ads, some feature of the phone doesn’t work? Or is it that using a new app, you get a request to buy a new app that will do such and such for you? Or you try to use the tiny keyboard to text and Google corrections doesn’t look like anything you typed? And don’t get me going on my landline phone, where for every call I receive for something vital such as a friend, relative or appointment reminder, I get five robocalls for products I don’t want or scams about the IRS, medical warnings or computer repair.

The phone is a great technology for communication. The smartphone has great possibilities with its applications and cameras and texting abilities. But the way the software is working and the way the corporations who make the phones have acted to increase their revenue have denied us control of the very instrument that is supposed to help us — and with that loss of control, we start to feel helpless or stressed.

Margaret A. Wood, Bloomington

BAKER-TURNED-POET

Miss Williams made the difference for him. For others of us, too.

Regarding the recent Variety article about a poet who credits a teacher for introducing him to baking, which he says saved him from being incarcerated (“A recipe for poems,” May 26): Miss Williams truly did have a big impact on students at Carl Sandberg Junior High School in Golden Valley back in the 1970s. My group of friends (still close) all remember her well.

We have very fond memories of her adventuresome spirit, including helping us seventh-graders make down booties from kits after school! She helped form a love of the outdoors for us, in addition to a passion for food. We are now in our late 50s, and it is a continuing reminder of the impact of teachers and how they can lead in our life journey all the way back to junior high.

Katy Hargis, Northfield