A lot of Minnesota music lovers are upset that tickets for shows are sold out before they can get through to Ticketmaster. Then they learn that tickets are being resold on predatory secondary sites like StubHub for extremely inflated prices by scalpers. It is estimated that more than 60 percent of tickets are scalped by computer programs or scalping bots that buy up large blocks of tickets before the public has a chance to buy them at their original value. Case in point: Tickets to an upcoming Metallica concert at U.S. Bank Stadium recently sold out in 10 minutes (Minnesota section, March 26). Many fans reported using multiple people on multiple devices and not being able to get into Ticketmaster.
I cannot think of other transactions that allow predatory scalping. It’s time to stop this. A fine of up to $1,000 per scalped ticket should fix the problem.
Scott Johnson, St. Francis
FAMILY, MEDICAL LEAVE
Loss of our daughter to stillbirth made the issues painfully clear
On Oct. 9, 2015, we lost our daughter to stillbirth at 34 weeks due to an umbilical cord accident not detected by doctors. This loss for our family has become worse as we have had to absorb a large number of financial costs related to our loss. From funeral, autopsy and counseling, it has added another level of stress in an already stressful time.
In recent years, there have been a number of attempts to address some of these issues in the Minnesota House of Representatives, but they have gone nowhere. Specifically, HR 2260 was aimed at expanding family and medical leave relief for the death of a child, as current law only allows for one week of bereavement leave, which is nowhere near enough.
Stillbirth families and friends need to demand action by our representatives to address this gap.
Steve and Jill Schumacher, Eden Prairie
Farm size has nothing to do with ag illiteracy
I appreciated the March 26 commentary “When ‘meat’ and ‘cheese’ fall victim to impostors” (March 26), about the labeling of alternatives to these foods, until I read how “[d]ecades of industrial agriculture have separated us from farms and farmers.” Really?
“Industrial agriculture” has nothing to do with it. Since World War II, farm numbers have declined because people quit farming. Why? Farming is a demanding, cyclical, unpredictable, messy and sometimes lonely business, all the while requiring the owner to be on call 24/7.
I grew up on a dairy farm, and the cows always came first — in priorities for the day and as well as in budgeting for family vs. farm expenditures. The extent of our family summer vacations was to go somewhere within a two-hour drive, belong to a ball team and make time for the county fair.
There was a time, too, that a farm family household could live off just a farm check. That option disappeared decades ago with rising medical insurance costs. Back in the 1980s, farm families needed spouses to work off farms to earn paychecks with benefits.
Today, the only difference is that some farms are larger in acres and animal numbers. And yes, “corporate” farms are family farms — many became incorporated for tax purposes. That does not make them “industrial.” They are still family farms, regardless of size.
Farmers work hard and take great pride in what they market. And they deeply care about their animals. Food-producing animals require proper nutrition, housing and overall care, otherwise they do not produce. This holds true for animals raised by farmers who do or do not organically farm.
Most consumers today do not know how foods are produced or raised because they are two or more generations removed from the farm, not because farms are larger in size.
Paula Mohr, Nowthen, Minn.
FREE TRANSIT FOR ALL?
Great idea. Just keep the focus on buses more than light rail
In response to Leif Pettersen’s March 26 commentary about free public transit to all (“My plan can make us the envy of the world”), I say let’s all get on board. I said years ago that the answer to our public transportation conundrum was to flood arterial streets with electric buses. My rationale was this: For a fraction of the money we would spend on light rail, we could maintain and operate surface vehicles and provide free transportation with the savings. Now that light rail has become entrenched, of course, there is no going back; however, instead of planning for more and more miles of light rail, maybe we should envision a network of free buses that could deliver thousands of people to destinations near and far, including (free) light-rail trains.
Steve Ford, St. Paul
• • •
Pettersen’s article was just a transparent ploy to get more visits to his employer, the Mall of America, at the expense of others. How about this plan: The mall could directly reimburse the transportation costs of visitors to the mall (using receipts/tickets from light rail and buses as evidence of cost). That would certainly drive up the number of visitors to the mall, but I expect the response would be that the mall and its businesses could not afford to do that. Which is the same response taxpayers would give to Mr. Pettersen’s plan.
Al Tischler, Shoreview
Prom proposal pressures are like always, just with a modern twist
As a high school senior who was recently asked to prom, I appreciate Dick Schwartz’s take on “thinking spring” about prom (“All it took was a word, nod, swipe of her hair,” March 28), and would like to offer my own view on the modern-day “promposal”: Many teenagers ask their dates out through technology, then follow it up with an official request, which is, of course, then displayed on social media. Teenagers of all genders are just as nervous to ask someone out today as they were 50 years ago, and asking first through technology takes off some of the pressure of a rejection. Couples will then use a poster or pun to officially ask, and make it public on their various social-media accounts.
My date asked with an artistic poster that said “I’d faint if you’d go to prom with me.” After I accepted, he fell back dramatically into the arms of two friends he had brought along as first-aid workers (and wingmen). The proposal mocked the fact that I had recently fainted while trying to give blood, and was a clever way to get me to laugh, and to get me to say yes. I appreciated the effort he went through and the humor of his asking, even though we had agreed earlier via text that we’d go together.
Promposals in the 21st century are no longer just nerve-racking, but also showcase the creativity and friendship of the couple, enriching the entire prom experience.
Katherine Stevenson, Fridley
Today’s thanks go out to those managing road construction
Whoever is overseeing the construction project of Hwy. 100 deserves a raise. The people in charge have kept the traffic moving beautifully and almost painlessly. Great job.
Dana J. Passig, St. Louis Park