Minnesota Twins spokesman Kevin Smith says that the All-Star Game is a “once-in-a-lifetime event” for those fortunate enough to be able to attend, but I think I speak for the majority of us hardworking Minneapolitans when I say that abruptly waking thousands of peacefully sleeping people by shooting off fireworks at 12:20 a.m. on a Tuesday was a rude, elitist and inconsiderate act on behalf of Major League Baseball and whoever in the city approved this activity.

If the fireworks had been shot off at the end of the Home Run Derby itself, fine. But they were shot off at the end of a private party. Was any thought given to people with young children, or those who, like me, have dogs with severe fireworks phobias? As a resident who lives on the doorstep of where the fireworks were ignited, I can attest that we had no warning or notice and that it was incredibly loud and unnerving. Given concerns about terrorism, my first waking thought was that it was a bomb going off.

Hey, Minneapolis: This is not a feature of the city that I would “brag” about.

Pam Wetterlund, Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS IMAGE

Mayor’s bragfest is conduct unbecoming

So Betsy Hodges wants us to go from Minnesota Nice to Minnesota Rude and Obnoxious? (“Mpls. mayor launches Best Week of Bragging Ever,” July 15). We’re supposed to make other people feel bad so she can realize her goal of growing Minneapolis by 100,000 residents? What is the point of this? The Star Tribune recently ran a story stating that we have the 16th-worst traffic in the nation, so how is growing the population by 25 percent going to be a benefit to anyone except that it will grow the city coffers with more city tax, property taxes and money from building permits?

Right now, I drive around the city and suburbs and see the green spaces that make the city worth living in being torn down so that more tall apartments and condos that most of us can’t afford to live in can be built.

I grew up in Edina and just moved back a year ago from living a long time in Los Angeles. I was so eager to get back to a place that values its green, open spaces and where people are sane, but now I’m watching Minneapolis make the same mistakes L.A. and California were making 15 years ago.

I sent an e-mail to Hodges’ office several months ago asking about the benefits of growing Minneapolis, but I never heard back from anyone in her office, not even a form response. Very disappointing.

Lori Patterson, Minneapolis

• • •

As a lifelong Minneapolis resident, I know we are more reserved and thoughtful in presenting an honest presentation of our city. Bragging has no place in Minneapolis.

We have always had some of the worst winter weather, and our bumpy roads ever in pothole disrepair greet our guests on city streets year-round. Minorities don’t have it so well in jobs, housing and education. Crime continues to increase, especially violent crime. Taxpayers are forced into a very long, mortgaged future by professional sports stadiums that citizens should not have to pay for and by a luxury, 16-mile, $1.6 billion Southwest light-rail line that will replace a perfectly good bus system.

A recent article criticizing residents for being cool to newcomer outsiders (“Minnesota Nice? Like ice,” July 13) cited the inability to meet neighbors.

The current city congestion may not readily facilitate the large population growth to 500,000 proposed by Mayor Hodges.

The parks and lakes are nice, and the arts music, and sports venues are of quality, but for only those who can afford them. Welcome to Minneapolis!

Michael Tillemans, Minneapolis

 

SOUTHWEST LRT

Isn’t it obvious? People prefer roads

Thank you to a July 11 letter writer for pointing out the outrageous expense of the Southwest light-rail project in comparison with the benefit to a small number of potential riders.

On a related note, what is this unelected Metropolitan Council, and how did it ever get seemingly unlimited access to taxpayers’ money? Does anyone believe that if the Southwest light-rail were put to a vote, it would be built?

Most people want good roads with more lanes, not light rail.

Karen Copeland, Wayzata

 

COMMUTING

Midday bus service available in suburbs

I found the “job recovery and commuting” article in the July 14 edition interesting but not completely accurate as it relates to transit opportunities in the suburbs (“Job recovery? Yes. Shorter commutes? No”). The article gave the impression that midday and evening bus service is not available in suburban areas. While this could be the case in the suburb identified in the article, it definitely is not the case for many suburban areas served by SouthWest Transit, the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority and various suburban communities served by Metro Transit. These systems not only provide peak-hour express service, but they provide service throughout the day and into the evening, meeting the transit needs of suburban residents working or going to school throughout the metropolitan area. These transit systems also provide much-needed reverse-commute service that brings many employees from the urban core to suburban job sites.

While additional transit service is still needed throughout the region, let’s not forget or understate the excellent bus service that does exist today.

Jerry McDonald, Chanhassen

 

The writer is chair of the SouthWest Transit Commission.

 

IMMIGRATION

The ‘import’ idea — we’ve got it all wrong

Is this my country? America cannot get enough hard-core drugs from Central and Latin America but we sure as hell do not want their children.

The Rev. Bill Albertson, West St. Paul