I have to disagree with the March 25 Variety essay “A music fan takes a stand against sitting.” It supports the idea that attendees of high-energy concerts should stand during the performance “like a normal music fan.” If you cannot enjoy music while being seated, I would say that is not normal. I’ve enjoyed many forms of music in the seated position. Most of us normally listen to music that way, at home, in the car, at work and so on.
When you go to a concert, everyone pays for a seat to hear and see the performance. When you stand up during the concert and block the view of those behind you without their permission, you are showing a lack of concern and respect for others. It is really no different from cutting in front of someone in a line. It is a me-first attitude. This is no way for civilized people to behave, so do not be surprised if someone behind you gets upset.
If your goal is to enjoy music while standing, buy your tickets for the back row of the venue or go to another place such as a nightclub to get your groove on. Otherwise, at a concert, let’s respect each other more and enjoy the seats we paid for.
Bernard Matlock, Cohasset, Minn.
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As an aging baby boomer living in Minnesota for more than 40 years, I have often been baffled by the phenomenon noted in the March 25 article. How can one go to a rock concert and experience all the power, passion and energy in the music and not want to get up and “move to the groove”? My feet just want to dance, swing and rock it out. As Gloria Estefan says, folks, “Get on your feet!”
Steven Roecklein, Minneapolis
Whatever its merits, creating affordability isn’t one of them
The March 25 column “Demand-driven supply? Minneapolis fourplex proposal is old new idea” was more housing nonsense from D.J. Tice. He acknowledged that new housing in high-demand neighborhoods isn’t low-cost but argued that “filtering” nevertheless creates affordable housing by boosting the overall supply, resulting in lower rents in older, less desirable housing. But Minneapolis has had a huge boom in new high-cost rental housing for several years — and with every month the housing crisis for lower-income households has gotten worse: more and more very-low-income households paying more than half their income for rent. Filtering hasn’t worked because Minneapolis isn’t an isolated market — it is, rather, a magnet for in-movers to those new, expensive units. If anything, the new housing is likely to make older neighborhoods more attractive to in-movers, resulting in one older, lower-rent apartment after another being sold and fitted with granite countertops and a $200 rent increase.
Finally, the vast majority of households paying far more than they can afford for housing in Minneapolis have incomes so low that they need ongoing rent subsidies to make their housing actually affordable. There’s no way for filtering to address that issue. The fourplex proposal may or may not be a good idea overall, but its proponents can’t realistically tout it as an affordable-housing idea.
Jack Cann, St. Paul
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Tice missed an opportunity to remind us that Minneapolis was once much denser than today without the current worries of crowding, traffic and parking issues. The population peaked at 521,000 in 1950. (The current estimated population is 413,000.) Somehow, Minneapolis comfortably housed 108,000 more people even without the multiple 20- and 30-story apartment and condo buildings that exist today. I don’t know if the fourplex proposal is the best housing solution, but maybe looking to the past for answers would be helpful. Somehow we had a denser and therefore more vibrant and desirable city without fears of what higher density would mean for neighborhoods.
Steve Millikan, Minneapolis
AGRICULTURAL DRAIN TILING
Don’t think it’s unregulated; there is significant oversight
It is unfortunate that Dennis Anderson’s March 25 Outdoors column (“Unregulated tiling puts state’s waters at risk”) would lead the reader into believing that agricultural drainage has no oversight or “regulations.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The state of Minnesota has regulatory oversight beyond that of other states. There are more than a half-dozen federal and state agency regulations that must be complied with before new tile drainage projects can be started, or before work can begin to repair an aging, decades-old drainage system.
The truth of the matter is that the amount of permitting required and the weeks’ wait for approval to put in an acre of tile drainage makes the purchase of an assault rifle look like a walk in the park.
Kim Larson, Willmar, Minn.
The writer is a farmer.
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An opportunity may have been missed by keeping Anderson’s excellent column in its typical location toward the back of the Sports section. I think the importance of the subject to the entire state — city and farm folks alike — could certainly have warranted placement on the front page.
My father spent his career as an employee of the USDA Soil Conservation Service, created after the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s led to staggering farmland soil and water erosion. I suspect many of my father’s attitudes and concerns for enlightened treatment of our land, water and wildlife resources may have rubbed off on me. So as I read Anderson’s column, some familiar vibrations seemed to well up. These abundant natural resources are a primary ingredient of the quality of life we enjoy here; if these are lost, or even minimized to any sizable degree, then we are all diminished in many ways. Once lost, they may never be sufficiently returned.
We cannot fault landowners and those who farm and produce the agricultural products of Minnesota; they follow the law and do what they need to do to make livable returns on their investment and produce the abundance of food and substance that we all consider to be good and useful. But all Minnesota citizens need to be aware that our woodlands, soil, water and wildlife do not have voting voices and cannot speak out to say when they are ailing. We all share responsibility to be aware and to be those voices in the governing halls of our society. Self-interest may have its place, but probably not here; we cannot long remain tacit and oblivious on these matters, deferring to a more convenient laissez-faire attitude. Anderson correctly points out that intelligent resource conservation is a matter of urgent importance to all who live in Minnesota and should be treated as such with direction of appropriate policy and financial resources.
David Lingo, New Hope
What we all can do to counter disease resistance to drugs
The March 25 Science+Health article featuring drug-resistant tuberculosis in Venezuela was also relevant to public health in Minnesota. Ramsey County was hit hard with a resistant strain of TB that killed six Minnesotans in the Hmong community just this past year.
Treatment for TB is a commitment, to say the least, consisting of a daily “cocktail” of antibiotics for nine months, sometimes more. It’s been decades since new and improved TB drugs have come on the market, and the ones we’re stuck with can cause liver damage, neuropathy, hearing and vision loss. Patients have been hospitalized from the medication itself, not just the disease, and it’s no wonder people have quit before the nine months are up. Yet in doing so, resistances are born, having the ability to kill young, otherwise healthy people.
We can all become stewards of antibiotic use, and the responsibility is twofold: As patients, we can use them as directed under the guidance of a physician and resist the temptation to self-diagnose or stop treatment prematurely. And institutions like USAID, the CDC and NIH can invest in developing improved and safer treatments for a disease that has been on the Earth for millennia. I’d say it’s about time.
Katy Windschill, St. Louis Park