The headline of “Dead end for Calhoun” (front page, Aug. 22) would have been more aptly titled “Dead end for democracy.” Those of us who have opposed renaming the lake and the four streets are disappointed — and truly disheartened — at the rejection of a fair democratic process to get to this point. Examples:
• A survey taken two years ago of the homeowners around the lake found that more than 80% opposed the change.
• At the hearing on Aug. 7, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Commissioner Brad Bourn alerted us that commissioners would be listening to our comments but not responding — and then allowed each commissioner time to explain their support for the name change. Furthermore, some commissioners made dismissive and belittling comments to those who opposed the change.
• Repeated attempts to connect with Bourn and City Council President Lisa Bender have gone unanswered.
• And the day after the final hearing and vote, the new signs were installed. Quite a remarkable response time of less than 24 hours to make the signs and get the work order into the queue of backlogged projects.
Perhaps most disheartening is that we do have serious inequities in this city related to income, graduation rates, health care and homelessness. And changing the name of a lake and four streets is a politically correct, feel-good exercise that will improve none of these. Better that we spend our time, energy and money on our schools, job skills training, affordable housing and health care.
Jane Barnsteiner and Joanne Disch, Minneapolis
Show us your evidence or shut up
In this particularly volatile political season, candidates, pundits, pols, bots, fakes and the like are increasingly “AWE-inspired” — “Accusation Without Evidence.” AWE is certainly nothing new in politics, but today, in the year 2019, the shameless audacity with which it is carried out is truly astonishing, even considering some of the roguish characters currently occupying the national and world stage.
Federal Election Commission head Ellen Weintraub, who challenged President Donald Trump about his claims of election fraud with no evidence, has shown us how to counteract this phenomenon by her response; in effect, show us your evidence or shut up. It works, and it must always be diligently applied. Otherwise, well, prepare to be manipulated by both foreign and domestic con-artists and thieves.
Frederic J. Anderson, Minneapolis
It is not American Jews who are disloyal to the U.S., Mr. President
President Donald Trump’s attempt to lay guilt on American Jews for voting Democratic is the height of arrogance and unmitigated gall. It confirms his own anti-Semitic beliefs and attitudes as demonstrated by his support of white nationalists who carried Nazi flags in Charlottesville, Va. To suggest that American Jews are disloyal to the state of Israel is his continued attempt to split the historical congressional bipartisan support for the country.
Whether Trump likes it or not, American Jews have traditionally voted Democratic ever since President Franklin Roosevelt took our nation out of the Great Depression by setting up the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps, established Social Security, calling for banking regulations, planted the seeds for Medicare, just to mention a few of his great innovations and President Harry Truman, another Democrat, led the international support for the creation of the state of Israel.
As a Jew and a Korean War veteran, my loyalty is to the United States. I am a Democrat and support the state of Israel. Unlike Trump, I do not insult the prime minister of Denmark and our NATO allies, nor did I object to President Barack Obama’s kicking Russia out of G-7 for taking over Crimea.
Max Fallek, Golden Valley
Help get all Minnesotans a home
The homeless problem in Minnesota needs to be addressed. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, a chronically homeless person costs the taxpayers an average $35,578 per year. Many people who are homeless use crisis services such as jails, hospitals and emergency departments, which are funded by the public. Children and youth who are experiencing homelessness miss school, compromising their education. The overall health of people who experience homelessness is poor due to the lack of regular medical care, such as preventative visits to the doctor. People who are affected the most by the homelessness problem in Minnesota are adults, age 55 or over and children and unoccupied youths.
I am a licensed social worker in the state of Minnesota and have worked for the past 10 years to decrease the problem of homelessness. It’s affecting thousands of Minnesotans, impacting the well-being of the people in Minnesota. Families, young adults, veterans and children are all being affected.
We need more permanent supportive housing, pairing it with case management and supportive services, to assist people experiencing chronic homelessness, to achieve long-term housing stability.
Nikki Hendricks, Roseville
It’s probably coming, and this time, we have Trump at the helm
The president denies the country is moving into a recession because people are “loaded up with money” from his tax cuts, the consumer is “rich,” and almost everyone is working. The consumer drives two-thirds of America’s economic engine, so Trump must be correct, yes?
Wrong. The consumer is not a single person but over 300 million persons, and 10% of them may be loaded with cash but 90% are not. The latest data available shows that 90% are now moving toward a negative savings rate, which means they are spending more than they are taking in and in fact are running out of credit and cash. That means they will slow or stop their spending, not because they want to, but because they have to. The last time that happened was right before the Great Recession started in 2008, when the consequences of easy unregulated credit culminated in credit card default, mortgage defaults and the near collapse of the entire financial system.
Consumer confidence, itself driven largely by the consumer’s bank balance, has also taken a dive as 90% of those consumers begin worrying about their own dwindling cash and looming defaults on their debts.
When consumers stop spending, businesses stop investing, industry begins layoffs, the stock market slides, and the economic death spiral begins. The smart money — OK, the bond market — sees this data and inverts its yield curve, flashing recession.
Last time around we had some of the smartest, most sophisticated minds around to bring us back from an almost catastrophic collapse in the economy. This time we don’t.
James McGovern, Minneapolis
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