Readers respond to Saturday’s decision

If George Zimmerman had followed the police dispatcher’s instruction not to follow the person wearing the hoodie, Trayvon Martin would have arrived safely at his father’s apartment to enjoy the candy he had purchased at a local store (“Zimmerman not guilty on all counts,” July 14). Regardless of the verdict, Zimmerman must live with this inescapable fact for the rest of his life.


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The lesson of the tragedy of the Trayvon Martin case is that we as parents must teach our children respect for authority. To my generation, authority meant parents, adults, schoolteachers and law enforcement. We as youths were taught to respect them and to act politely and deferentially with them.

Any adult could question our behavior, and often did so. We were taught to politely explain what we were doing — but above all, not to get into a confrontation with authority.

KEN KIMBLE, Brooklyn Park

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I was minding my own business, driving in my own lane when another driver tried to merge into my lane, exactly where my car was. The insurance company said I was 5 percent responsible because I was out on the road. Why isn’t George Zimmerman at least 5 percent responsible for following Trayvon Martin and causing the interaction which resulted in Trayvon’s death?


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Anger toward Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin tragedy is mostly a waste of otherwise productive energy. This outcome is, alas, a completely expected result of the country’s runaway gun lust and the multitude of state “Stand Your Ground” laws. We should be up in (fleshy) arms over this dangerous legislation. And we should show solidarity with those standing up to the juggernaut, like our own governor, who vetoed a similar bill last year.

BEN SEYMOUR, Minneapolis

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The jury verdict in the Zimmerman trial has bolstered my confidence that we are indeed a country of laws, not of people.

One could assert that Zimmerman may not be innocent, but since the prosecution was not successful in meeting their burden of proof, he is not guilty. An excellent lesson that in a court of law, justice and emotion are not compatible.

This is refreshing to me after seeing some finders of fact in our Supreme Court seem to first decide what result they wanted, then go through a tortured analysis to reach that result. In my opinion recent examples of that flawed process are Chief Justice John Roberts in deciding the Affordable Care Act, and Justice Anthony Kennedy in deciding the Defense of Marriage Act.

BOB JENTGES, North Mankato, Minn.

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A boy died. A segment of our society painted him to be a golden boy wearing a hood. We don’t know. I certainly don’t know. From what I first read, it seemed that George Zimmerman was his own wannabe crusader who wanted to save the world from society’s “cancers.” In this scenario, it played out to be a young unarmed man. Zimmerman shouldn’t have pursued; the nation has read the transcript. The kid may have felt stalked, and took it upon himself to protect himself, whether that was right or wrong.

Having a gun changes the game, no matter the color of your skin. Having a certain color of skin changes the game no matter the incident. We are a judgmental society. We also, at times, appear to have a flawed justice system — that reality has played itself many times before Saturday’s verdict and will continue to do so in the future.

So, now as we look to today’s blue sky, and return to our local routines, and justify our existence and opinion — what change lies ahead, and how can we be a part of that raised consciousness without using negative energy to steer our direction? We must seriously look tragedy in the eye and negotiate a forever-driven desire to be that change, to facilitate raising our awareness rather than slamming the door shut, again.



Board has botched the labor situation

In 1942, my mother took me to a concert of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra at Northrop Auditorium. She explained to me what the orchestra was, what it represented to our society and why it was an important institution.

I know we thoroughly enjoyed the music. Many years later, I was privileged to participate in the first televised broadcast of the symphony, bringing fine music to even wider audiences.

Over these many years, I have watched the orchestra gradually improve to become the celebrated, world-class Minnesota Orchestra. And now, somehow — no matter that the orchestra has existed for more than eight decades, bringing accolades and approval to the Twin Cities and to the state — all of that is gone. Gone in a flash. In less than one year, the orchestra board has managed single-handedly to destroy all that work and effort.

I congratulate you on the board for your single-minded dedication. I hope you all sleep well at night. What’s your next target?


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One can’t help wonder how differently the past year might have turned out if the Minnesota Orchestra board had begun by praising our wonderful musicians to the skies and telling us, in an all-out fundraising campaign, just what it would take to keep them. If it had lifted them up as the outstanding community asset they have become instead of painting them as adversaries, isn’t it just possible that the board might have raised the money needed and avoided this whole sad year of “musical starvation?”

RONALD A. NELSON, Minneapolis

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I was pleased to read a recent letter writer’s fond memories of attending Minnesota Symphony Orchestra performances at Northrop Auditorium. And, while I have no dispute with a subsequent letter writer’s assessment that Northrop’s acoustics were less than ideal, it is important to note that Northrop is currently undergoing a complete revitalization. The new venue, scheduled to reopen in April of 2014, will be a vast improvement, with state-of-the-art acoustics.



The writer is Northrop’s director.


HONEYBEE eradication

We can’t share planet?

Regarding the eradication of 30,000 honeybees in St. Paul: This is the best we can do? The area couldn’t have been cordoned off for public safety until it was resolved — a temporary human inconvenience? I can’t imagine how we would feel if some alien society decided that there were too many humans in one area (State Fair? Target Field?) and illogically decided that we were a problem.