BLINDED BY PRICE

Why it's worth it to buy blinds from local stores

In response to John Ewoldt's column from July 25 ("Online deals on blinds make it hard to buy locally"): Ethics have nothing to do with this conversation. Consider for a moment the recent closing of Home Valu, formerly owned by Minnesota's own Rudy Boschwitz. Because more people are thinking and acting like Ewoldt, more locally owned window covering (and other) retailers will close.

Also, consider why blinds are less expensive online. Sure, overhead is much less without rent and multiple employees to pay for, but could there be other factors? Online retailers are not held to the same strict standards as traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. Historically, they have used bait-and-switch tactics for product components or the full window covering, often with inferior parts shipped in from Southeast Asia. Just because it has a Levolor sticker on the bottom doesn't mean you got a 100 percent Levolor product. What happens if you make a mistake? Say you ordered the wrong size or color? How about a lifetime warranty?

Local companies are here to help you with what we all feel is a sizable investment. We are here to beautify and protect your home with the most cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive products we sell. Strangely, we don't want to see our customers for years after the sale. We want them to love their products, which should fit and operate properly and last forever (or at least until burnt orange and avocado green are back in style).

As of June 1, America's largest fabricator of window coverings pulled its entire line from all online retailers. If products purchased on the Internet are just as good, why would a struggling multinational company, in these difficult times, want to reduce its scope of income? Investigate that.

GREG HANSEN, WINDOW COVERINGS RETAILER, BLAINE

ENDORSEMENTS

A vote for Entenza and a convert for Kelliher

I heartily support Matt Entenza for governor. His approach in debates and presentations is the most compassionate and least argumentative. For years he has worked with and for candidates throughout the state. Matt has been reaching out on the streets of our cities to people of color, especially African Americans and newer immigrants. He has a good sense of how to improve immigration policy.

Matt also has the ability and sensitivity to work all sides of the political spectrum. The political system is broken in many ways, and we need Matt to bring people together.

PAUL TIDEMANN, ST. PAUL

• • •

I found your editorial endorsement of Margaret Anderson Kelliher enlightening and persuasive ("Kelliher merits nod,'' Aug. 1). I was going to vote for Mark Dayton, but now I'm going to vote for Kelliher. I hope your endorsement changed a lot of other Minnesotans' minds. She sounds like just the ticket (sorry for the pun).

DIANE STEINHAGEN, MINNEAPOLIS

Good news

There's lots of good news on the economy

We just returned from a vacation traveling throughout southern Minnesota and southern Wisconsin.

The motels/hotels were packed with families and businesspeople. The shopping centers were full of people shopping. The restaurants, both family-oriented and upscale, were busy.

Interstate 94 had a lot of traffic, including cars, trucks and campers. The news media only report the bad things. Please, news media, report on the positives and give the people in our country some hope.

SHERRY ANDERSON, HOPKINS

Dangerous dogs

Latest pit bull attack highlights policy issue

Dogs are supposed to be household pets -- not attack animals. The vicious attack on a Minneapolis postal carrier by two pit bulls once again emphasizes the need for legislation regarding dangerous dog breeds ("I had no fight left in me,'' July 29).

The postal carrier was fortunate to be a strong adult who was able to ward off these vicious animals until help arrived, even though he suffered numerous bite wounds. Fortunately, another defenseless child wasn't brutally and viciously killed by one of these dogs. Enough already. I will be writing my representatives and supporting any legislation that forces training and licensing for owners before ownership of these breeds or, hopefully, a full ban in Minnesota on dog breeds that are potentially dangerous to the community as a whole.

TERRY TRAVER, BROOKLYN PARK

The presidency

Would John McCain have fared any better?

I wish I had been called by the pollsters and asked what I thought of President Obama's performance to date ("Economy, wars take toll on president,'' Minnesota Poll, Aug. 2.) I would say that I believe he is doing an exceptional job under the most difficult set of circumstances imaginable. I would say that my fellow Americans have short memories and unrealistic expectations. By all reasonable indicators, the economy is in recovery, slow but steady. What are the critics thinking -- that John McCain would have us at 3 percent unemployment? I would say that Obama is functioning courageously and effectively in spite of the relentlessly hypocritical drone of the Republican noise machine and the petulant sighs of the utopian left.

MARY KATHERINE MAHONEY, LONG LAKE

Nation building

America keeps making the same old mistakes

We are a 234-year-old country that keeps going into other countries that have problems and cultures that were thousands of years in the making with the idea of creating viable democracies. We have neither the will, the patience nor the character to accomplish that.

AL SCHAFER, TONKA BAY