Jeff Strickler’s article about what irritates us when standing in line (“Why we hate to wait,” Aug. 21) omitted the worst offense — having someone let his friends into line ahead of you. To let someone into a line, you should get permission of everyone passed.

Once when I was buying tickets for a flight close to departure, a woman asked the person in front if she could get ahead of him to catch the plane. I told her to get back in line because I was chasing the same plane.

I have a solution. If you wish to chat with a late-coming friend while waiting, go back and chat in his space. Everyone behind you in line will appreciate it.

Edward Stegman, Hastings

GENERATION NEXT

Give it a chance, and don’t ask for the moon

Perhaps the latest craze of “ice bucket challenge” activity is what motivates an Aug. 21 letter writer to throw cold water on Generation Next’s efforts to address the local education gap disparities that appear to have a racial correlation. His postulation that Generation Next’s efforts will bear no positive fruit until all the underlying social, economic and cultural disparities are eliminated misses the point.

Too many people believe that all such shortcomings can be corrected solely through our education systems. This is simply unrealistic. However, groups such as Generation Next promote one avenue to address these long-standing and pervasive social problems by attempting to provide some equity to “disadvantaged” children that demonstrates that their future is not predestined by their existing living conditions.

Instead of throwing cold water on these efforts, shouldn’t folks like the letter writer consider supporting these efforts, or at least provide other legitimate solution proposals?

Bruce Saline, Brooklyn Center

 

HIDDEN BEACH

A quality-of-life issue bigger than light rail

According to Jon Tevlin’s article “At Hidden Beach, the trouble is all too apparent” (Aug. 20), problems stemming from activity at this beach on the east side of Cedar Lake have been occurring for the neighborhood since 1987. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has responded by telling the neighborhood to come up with solutions. “You can’t police your way out of this,” neighborhood leaders were told.

Yet, in relation to the light-rail project, the Park Board demanded that the Kenilworth Channel had to be deep-tunneled, at an additional cost of $85 million, because trains going over the bridge would, according to the Park Board, “negatively impact the recreational, cultural, and aesthetic experience of park users in the channel.” The park users in the channel would be canoes and kayaks.

It seems to me that the No. 1-rated park board in the nation should be a lot more proactive in coming up with a solution at Hidden Beach, where real and disturbing problems are disrupting the safety and quality of life in the surrounding neighborhood and deserve more attention than canoes and kayaks passing through a channel.

Jake Werner, Minneapolis

 

MINNEAPOLIS BUDGET

Housing must be part of any assessment

I was concerned to see that Cam Winton’s “The good and the bad in Mayor Hodges’ first budget” (Aug. 20) failed to discuss the importance of stable and affordable housing, given how important housing is to the future of a thriving and equitable Minneapolis. Minnesota has the nation’s largest racial homeownership gap. In Minneapolis, the homeownership rate for white households is 58 percent, compared with 25 percent for households of color.

As the City Council and Mayor Betsy Hodges work on a budget for our city, I encourage them to invest $20 million to support the entire continuum of housing, from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund to additional funds for ownership housing. Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity has joined with many other organizations to ask the City Council to wisely invest in Minneapolis. Historically, for every $1 invested in ownership housing, a project receives an average of $5 of additional investment. Our budget can and should reflect our commitment to do better.

Rebecca Lucero, Minneapolis

 

The writer is policy and community engagement manager for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.

 

POLICE DIVERSITY

Quality counts, and it is not a matter of race

Are not police officers hired to enforce the laws of the city or state? I do not see where the laws are black- or white-oriented. These laws are in place to protect both black or white society. As a citizen, I don’t care what religion, race, sexual preference or political party police officers are affiliated with as long as they are doing their jobs according to the letter of the law and their training to protect me walking the streets or sleeping in my home.

I want the person with the best mental and physical ability to be hired as a police officer. The only other mitigating factor may be language skills. If officers are working in a predominantly non-English speaking neighborhood, it would behoove the police chief to make sure there is an officer or officers who can communicate with the neighborhood they are policing. Nothing else should matter, except having the best police officer for the job.

Bill Winters, Brooklyn Park

 

VETERANS

Whatever they saw, may they have peace

The Aug. 21 letter about post-traumatic stress among veterans and the “Last Man Club” grabbed my heart! To the writer, and to his friend Sean of Cork, Ireland, I say: Thank you for your sacrifice. Your souls aren’t lost. I saw a glimpse of yours in the words that you wrote. May God bless you and give you peace.

Judith M. Lyzenga, Bloomington

 

PARKINSON’S DISEASE

Know the symptoms, know the resources

Jeremy Olson’s story puts local and very human faces on Parkinson’s, a disease that is not well-known (“Disease packs double punch,” Aug. 21). More than 25,000 Minnesotans live with Parkinson’s disease (PD), the third-highest incidence per capita in the country. As a neurological disease, only Alzheimer’s affects more people than PD. While you likely recognize tremors and difficulty walking as part of the illness, depression is one of many non-motor symptoms. Don’t wait to access the many education and support resources locally available.

David B. Wheeler, Minneapolis

 

The writer is the executive director of National Parkinson Foundation Minnesota.