In 2012, the North Carolina legislature, supported by then-Gov. Beverly Perdue, passed a law that banned the state from considering the latest science on matters of global warming. In 2018, as massive Hurricane Florence bears down on the Carolina coast, many residents are electing to stay put and ride out what many are calling the storm of the century.
I have to assume that members of that state’s legislature, in their infinite wisdom and deeper understanding into these matters, will be right down there at the coast as Florence hits, convincing these folks that these winds are really not all that extraordinary, that this deluge of rain on already-saturated ground has nothing to do with melting ice caps, rising sea levels and the ready availability of excess water in the atmosphere.
THOMAS KENDRICK, Minneapolis
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Two headlines in my newspapers this week. One filled me with dread, the other with hope.
Dread from the New York Times: “Climate crisis is near the point of no return, U.N. warns” (Sept. 11). “If we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change….,” said U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres. “Scientists have been telling us for decades. Over and over again. Far too many leaders have refused to listen.”
Hope from the Star Tribune: “Protesters derail Line 3 meeting: The Public Utilities Commission was set to vote on whether Enbridge had met conditions imposed in June” (Sept. 12). Wise leaders listen. Wise leaders connect the dots. Wise leaders seek whole sight. Wise leaders summon courage when it is called for. It’s not too late for the Public Utilities Commission to get wise.
The Enbridge oil pipeline must be stopped. We need to move to renewable energy immediately.
The Rev. SARAH CAMPBELL, Minneapolis
All the things African-Americans should be sure not to do
Numerous letter writers have said the NFL should not allow African-American players to protest at games. Given all of the conduct that has prompted calls to the police, I thought it would be a good idea to make a list of all the things African-Americans are not supposed to do:
• Sleep on a college dormitory couch
• Swim in a pool
• Sit in a Starbucks
• Mow the lawn
• Drive a car
• Stay at an Airbnb
• Canvass voters
• Walk down a street
• Pick up a BB gun for sale at Walmart
• Eat at a Subway
• Sell bottled water from a stand
• Play golf
Given the continuing challenges to affirmative action for college admissions, I think it can safely be said they don’t want African-Americans attending college. And considering the numerous states attempting to restrict voting, I think we can assume they definitely don’t want them to vote.
Oh, and of course, to kneel on one knee with head bowed to protest all of the above.
GARY MAHER, Minneapolis
ST. PAUL BALLET
Contrary to claim, board was not in total agreement on firing
I served on St. Paul Ballet’s board during the time of Artistic Director Zoé Henrot’s dismissal. I take issue with St. Paul Ballet’s assertion that the full board agreed to the firing (“Ballet corps backs fired artistic boss,” Sept. 12).
The board chair called me in August and said that I needed to support the executive director’s decision and that Henrot would be fired the next day. When I asked what led to this, I was given no justification or facts, and was told my vote was required immediately. There was no open discussion among board members before the decision.
I voted “no,” so it is inaccurate to say the board was aligned on this. St. Paul Ballet told your reporter that an attorney supported the recommendation, yet no attorney findings were presented to the board, and attorney retention was never discussed by the full board. The executive committee operated in secret as a mini-board, a violation of fiduciary duties and Minnesota Attorney General guidelines for nonprofit boards. I resigned for this and myriad other reasons.
Zoé Henrot is a brilliant, inclusive visionary and a valuable asset to the Twin Cities arts community. She did not deserve the treatment she received at St. Paul Ballet. The exodus of professional dancers and parents of serious ballet students speaks volumes.
JIM DELEO, St. Paul
VOTING FOR JUDGES
Some tips for learning more about who’s on your ballot
Early voting for the November general election starts on Sept. 21. Do you ever look at the judges on the ballot and wonder who the heck to vote for? If so, you are not alone. Many people even skip casting a vote in these races because they are afraid of making the wrong choice. In this year’s two contested statewide judicial races — one for the Supreme Court and one for the Court of Appeals — you can avoid that fate by taking a look at the information available at www.votemnjudges.org, a website sponsored by the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA).
You will find out about the candidates’ careers and professional experience as well as why they want to serve on the court. The results of a poll of MSBA members on the two statewide judicial races are also posted. Granted, you will only find information on the statewide races on the website. If you live in Ramsey County, you will see a number of contested district court elections on your ballot. To learn more about these candidates, there is a free public forum at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at Mitchell Hamline School of Law Auditorium in St. Paul.
It matters who serves on our courts. Make your vote count by casting an informed decision.
Paul Godfrey, St. Paul
The writer is president of the Minnesota State Bar Association.
Federal government needs to fulfill its funding promises
The Sept. 12 counterpoint by Greg Russ of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (“Public housing being preserved, not ‘privatized’ ”) was a welcome clarification of the Rental Assistance Demonstration program (RAD). RAD, however, is necessitated because the federal government has failed to fully fund the operating and capital improvement needs of housing authorities across our country, including in Minneapolis.
Every metropolitan area in this nation has public housing, and, rather than create new programs, it’s time that Washington fulfills its promise to fund public housing through the proven operating support and modernization programs that already exist.
TOM HOCH, Minneapolis