First mourning doves, now sandhill cranes?

Say it isn't so Minnesota! It wasn't enough to approve a hunting season for mourning doves; now there's going to be a season for sandhill cranes as well. These magnificent birds normally live as long as 25 years in the wild. They mate for life and are an unbelievably beautiful part of nature.

Minnesota has opened season on a species that does not need to be thinned like deer. It is solely for the enjoyment of gun lovers who wish to kill them for sport. It is true that some other states have seasons on these birds, but I had hoped that we were more enlightened than Texans and Oklahomans.

TOM HEGRANES, Minneapolis


Legal firearm purchase isn't an easy process

I feel I must respond to the letter writer who wants fewer guns in her community because "easy access" causes incidents like the tragic murder of Anthony Hartman ("Rights vs. risks at issue after slaying," July 20).

I am a certified firearms instructor in Minnesota, and I teach the course for the Minnesota Permit to Carry. I can assure you that obtaining a firearm legally is not easy in any sense of the word. Doing so requires eight hours in a classroom learning the law, a clean criminal background, a clean mental health background and proof of both safe handling skills and proficiency on the firing range.

Somehow, I doubt that the suspect, Jonas Grice, fulfilled very many of these requirements, and was therefore already breaking the law by having a firearm before he even pulled the trigger.

You are free to refuse to exercise your constitutional right to keep and bear arms, but neither you nor the government have the power to deny that right to others.

SEAN NOVACK, Coon Rapids


Where are protesters seen during Bush era?

I search daily for the anger that was demonstrated so frequently over the Iraq war and wonder where it is now?

June and July are becoming the deadliest months in Afghanistan, and where is the uproar?

The previous administration was admonished daily for how many soldiers were killed, and for some reason the media seems silent now.

As a mother of a son who has served one tour in Iraq and waits in horror over the thought of another in Afghanistan, I have to ask again: Where is the anger?



On marching bands and Minnesota Orchestra...

The July 19 story "Marching by heart" struck my heart.

High school band and its memories last forever: From my Anoka High Class of 1953, band memories are with me. My late husband, Paul, was a high school athlete and went on to play football in college. Many of his great memories of high school were playing baritone horn with his buddies in an extemporaneous polka band. Some influence might have been that his father, an educator, started out as a music director.

School music is so important. It stays with us through our adult life. Somehow, music is somewhere in all our souls. Encourage your children and grandchildren to play an instrument or sing in the choir. My children and grandchildren followed in our footsteps. Friends from music programs are made for life. And love of music, especially that drum beat cadence, stays with us forever.

Keep those music programs strong and well in our schools.


• • •

Within the past five months I have had the opportunity to hear these same Beethoven works performed by the orchestras of Boston and Chicago.

Their interpretations were quite superb, but the performances by the Minnesota Orchestra last Saturday ("Vanska, orchestra offer Beethoven unleashed," July 19) clearly exuded more energy and excitement, while the quality of the individual instrumental skills and playing equaled or exceeded (with the brilliant acoustics of Orchestra Hall also playing a role). A plea to Vanska and the Minnesota Orchestra: Now that the Beethoven symphonies and piano concertos have been brilliantly recorded and released, how about recording the symphonies of Gustav Mahler? The pieces are in place for a once in a lifetime opportunity to have our great orchestra's golden age captured for posterity.



Bedlam Theater move is Cedar-Riverside loss

Thank you for your July 14 online story "Bedlam Theatre loses space to mosque." Four years ago young theater people took up occupancy in a neglected but grand old building in the neglected but grand old Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis. With very limited resources and a lot of hard work, this serendipitous union of people and place produced a delightfully unexpected result; Bedlam became a destination unto itself, serving up a rare mix of great music, theater, food and drink in an uncommonly comfortable atmosphere.

It is a vibrant hub of social, cultural and economic activity, which is the essence of community and should be the envy of city planners and property developers -- the very folks who are contributing to displacing it in favor of parking.

Bedlam flourished while the rest of the economy floundered, which should be a clear indication of the value that endeavors like this bring to people. Few know the endless hours and effort that these people of very modest means have invested in creating this magical place.

What form of perverse logic would suggest we would benefit by relocating this lively center of human activity in order to enable the creation of a barren parking lot?

I am confident, however, that the Bedlam troupe will again conjure up a concoction of people and space that will transform another corner of this community. But it breaks my heart to see them have to do this all over again for the worst of reasons.