Oh, the memories. Oh, the memories!
The end of the Dome — it's amazing the things that have occurred in that white Hefty bag. I was always amazed by the cheapness and lack of sophistication by which the Metrodome was built. In today's sports world, there are high schools that have better facilities. Heck, I have more parking at my house.
Now, in advance of demolition, they've been selling the seats. At first I wondered who (besides that enterprising young farmer looking to refurbish the two-holer out back) would want one. They're an ugly blue and are about as comfortable as concrete. For a giant like myself, they are the stuff from which nightmares are made. But on further review, from what I have heard about the new stadium's proposed ticket prices, a $60 retired Metrodome souvenir seat may be as close to attending a game as most Vikings fans will ever come.
JOHN WINDOLFF, Hudson, Wis.
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I spent more than a decade working in the Metrodome as an employee of the Minnesota Twins. The Dome has taken its final breath, but not before leaving those of us who toiled in its underbelly full of memories. For me, it wasn't the games won and lost so much as the experiences shared with special people. Sitting with legendary public-address announcer Bob Casey in his "hole" behind home plate while mice he affectionately dubbed "Sid" and "Charlie" scurried about. Sharing a farewell to my friend and Twins legend Kirby Puckett with the thousands who ventured to the Dome in a blizzard. Coordinating the first game following 9/11 and the tribute to the fallen of that tragic day one year later. Climbing atop the Metrodome roof with Kent Hrbek and his family on the Fourth of July to get a 360-degree view of fireworks around the Twin Cities.
The Metrodome may not have been the prettiest house on the block, yet it wasn't the size or shape that made it Minnesota's collective home. We celebrated there, mourned there, came together there. I don't need a chair or any other piece of the building to remember the Dome. My memories are much more valuable.
PATRICK KLINGER, St. Paul
If spending, could we do it for the future?
Two excellent opinions regarding college sports and education as extracurricular were published Dec. 30 ("College sports: Special treatment really is a problem," Readers Write, and "If only education were extracurricular," Opinion Exchange). Again the point is made that our singular attention is toward sports, with emphasis on football and basketball. A new temple to that end will be built shortly. All energy will be directed to it, even as public schools in St. Paul and Minneapolis try to make every dollar stretch as far as it can. Meanwhile, some will continue to wring their hands at the learning gap between white and minority children, and more newsprint will be devoted to that discussion.
Yes, the United States lags in quality education results. Will we continue our quest for ever-more-gleaming temples dedicated to football and hope education of our children will quietly exist without too much bother (unless it is a path to playing sports)?
PHILLIP L. BAIRD, St. Paul
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I sympathize with the writer of the Dec. 29 Letter of the Day ("New Medicaid rules save money, but at what cost?"); however, I don't see tax dollars allocated for elder care and providing braces for a child as an either/or proposition.
Providing in-home care for an aging parent saves tax dollars but puts tremendous strains on every family member. Depending on the level of care needed, in-home care can sometimes be as costly as assisted living, because of the lost income to the children who must take time off work to provide the care; the time and monetary resources needed to properly manage it, and the emotional toll of watching a loved one deteriorate despite your best efforts.
The elderly may benefit from in-home care for 10 years. Children will likely benefit from braces in improved self-image, reduced chronic illnesses linked to gum disease, and increased earning potential (taxpaying capacity) for much longer. So, if Medicaid is making allocation of funds strictly on a return on investment, aid for in-home elder care will probably lose out. If, however, you can reshape the calculation based on best outcomes — the most good for the most people, letting each family decide how best to allocate finite funds — then you can move beyond an either/or approach to something that works better for everyone.
BENJAMIN CHERRYHOMES, Hastings
Shape-shifting law was used to imprison him
As the Cassim family's U.S.-based attorney in Shezanne Cassim's case, I noted the Dec. 27 Letter of the Day ("When in the Emirates, do as citizens there must do") about Shez's sentence ("U grad held in Abu Dhabi gets year term," Dec. 24). I agree that laws must be obeyed, but the United Arab Emirates has not explained how Shez's video presents a danger to its national security as charged. The cybercrimes law under which Shez was accused is so unpredictable that millions of travelers and expats must be breaking it every day, which means that anyone from actors like Tom Cruise (who starred in "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol," filmed in Dubai) to any tourist taking a selfie on a sidewalk could be breaking it and wouldn't know until they were arrested.
Although the U.A.E. promotes itself as an international tourist and business destination, Shez's case indicates that the only way foreigners can be sure to not break its cybercrime law is to not go there at all.
SUSAN BURNS, Minneapolis