Who would have thought it! Lake Minnetonka is actually a better lake experience with the all-lake no-wake restriction.
No more constant buzzing of personal watercraft, no blaring jet boats, no big cruisers driving like they were ski boats.
Just sailboats quietly catching the breeze, fishermen meandering along the shores and all boats moving as if in slow motion across the calm lake.
Here’s to a no-wake month of June every year. We may just learn that this is the way boating was meant to be.
Jim Colville, Wayzata
If only the Green Line were a subway instead
I took a ride on the Green Line on Saturday from Target Field to the Union Depot and back (“A rail of 2 Cities,” June 15). While trying to return from St. Paul, the train was delayed twice because cars had driven over the tracks and had to be towed away. It was slow even without the cars on the track.
I had spent a week in a major city with subways last summer and there is no comparison. This $1 billion light rail is a poor excuse. The subway was fast and there were no odd delays. Anyone needing the Green Line shouldn’t be in any hurry.
If memory serves me, the original idea was to utilize the caves existing under the city of Minneapolis. I guess that is what we get from a government agency (the Metropolitan Council) not responsible to anyone. Perhaps the Southwest Corridor leg will get some tunnels so it can actually work in a timely fashion. I am not impressed.
Thomas St. Martin, Brooklyn Park
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I got a good laugh from the people who drove in from Brooklyn Park and Woodbury (on taxpayer-funded roads) to “protest” the newly opened Green Line and who seem to be actively rooting for it to fail. To the person who said, “What does this do for me,” I must ask, “What do the roads to your home in Brooklyn Park do for me?” After all, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
As a lifelong Twin Cities resident (who remembers streetcars), I would urge them to think about the needs of future citizens 40, 50 or 60 years from now who will be living in a crowded, but hopefully vital, metropolitan area — one of the key engines of the state of Minnesota.
Lynn Barron, St. Paul
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If light rail “is designed to be convenient and connecting, but not overly quick” as you say about the Minneapolis-St. Paul Green Line, why wouldn’t the Southwest light-rail line travel through Uptown on the Minneapolis portion of the route? Instead, it is proposed to run next to freight rail, pass between two lakes, and travel through a sparsely populated valley with low ridership projections and almost no development potential. Yes, there are challenges with the Uptown route, but there were challenges on the Green Line as well.
Jeanette Colby, Minneapolis
Deal raises questions about firm’s integrity
It is troubling to see another Minnesota corporation about to desert the community that has nourished it since its founding (“Medtronic buys Irish firm for $42.9B,” June 16). The presumed intent of Medtronic’s quest for its purchase of Covidien, the Irish medical-products company, is the opportunity to transfer Medtronic’s legal home out of the country and thereby reduce its tax obligations, following the course of Minnesota’s Pentair Corp. in 2012.
A tenet of Medtronic’s stated mission is “to maintain good corporate citizenship as a company,” and in pursuit of that mission, the company proclaims its philanthropic pride in supporting healthy medical communities and providing grants and funding. I submit that Medtronic’s philanthropy mocks the country and community it claims to foster when it flees from the taxes on which the well being of that country and community depend.
Certainly, we invest in companies such as Medtronic in expectation of a profit, but not at the expense of unethical product promotion (“Bone graft lawsuits cost Medtronic,” May 7) and tax avoidance. Medtronic has strayed from the vision and conscience of its founder Earl Bakken and former CEO Win Wallin. It needs to reclaim its corporate integrity and accept its taxpaying partnership with the community and country.
Larry Risser, Minneapolis
Red River Valley farms could also be blamed
Recent articles in the Star Tribune discussing the proposed protection of Fargo by constructing the Red River diversion and its impact on the farms and landowners in the southern valley that would be affected by it seem to be missing one important point (“Flood-weary Fargo sees relief ahead,” June 16). That is, over the last 70 years, farms up and down the valley have installed ditches and drain tiles and have taken other measures to drain their fields as soon as possible after snow melt or heavy precipitation to facilitate early planting. This, along with the draining and filling of many wetlands and prairie potholes to make even more land available for planting has had a large effect on the Red River watershed area, and greatly speeds and expands the floodwaters entering the Red River and its tributaries. It’s disingenuous to not factor this into the discussion of who benefits and who loses in the process of protecting the Fargo area from disastrous flooding.
Kevin Black, Fargo, N.D.
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What a great idea Paul Douglas has! He is on the same page as a lot of us when he suggests that a Minnesota company find a way to send our excess water — and water from other parts of the country with excess water — to severe drought areas, such as California (“Plan B Weekend,” June 14). These extreme patterns are part of our new world and we had best start coping with them. When our pocketbooks and our taste for great produce from California are affected, we might just start paying more attention. Water will be more expensive than oil, and you can’t drink oil.
Linda Peterson, Plymouth
Financing program actually works fine
As the CEO of a small Minnesota manufacturer of capital equipment, I must strongly disagree with John Cooney’s contention that the Export-Import Bank does not benefit small companies (“Heard of the Ex-Im Bank? Your tax dollars have,” June 16). We export our equipment all over the world. Without Ex-Im’s Working Capital loan program, we would not be able to finance our larger export projects. No Minnesota taxpayer moneys go to our foreign customers. The Working Capital program is simply a guarantee provided to us to secure our line of credit. I don’t know why more Minnesota exporters don’t use the Ex-Im Bank programs. I do know that the vast majority of Minnesota companies that export do so only to Canada and Mexico. I urge all of these companies to make use of the Ex-Im Bank programs to expand their sales globally.
Ralph Imholte, Minneapolis