D. Roger Pederson’s Sept. 22 commentary, “Mpls., I love you and I might leave you,” was well-taken by a fellow boomer who has circled the sun 72½ times (to borrow Pederson’s method of measuring age). I largely agreed with the points he made. Especially I share his frustration that everyone in charge seems to be “not as wise and experienced as we are,” but that is because this is the reality of our ages.
I would like to invite Peterson to consider St. Peter, Minn., as a place to live, as it is but 70 miles out; is a vibrant college town (Gustavus Adolphus); is familiar and livable (about 11,000 people); is a county seat; is 15 minutes from the large regional center of Mankato, which has a major unit of Minnesota State University; and with a lovely two-bedroom condo for sale right next door to ours, where we retired two years ago after 40 years on an 80-acre hobby farm on the Minnesota River nearby. From here you can have almost anything of the Twin Cities that is desirable.
If downsizing is the goal, 2,000 square feet or so is hardly a sacrifice, and condo community lawn and snow service is wonderful. Rural, or sub-suburban, living in a town like this is not banishment, isolation, nor sacrifice of any kind. Indeed, on a recent Friday, we attended the opening concert of the Minnesota Orchestra at Orchestra Hall, and on another recent afternoon attended a chamber music recital in Mankato by three Twin Cities musicians who themselves traveled here, to play for us. In a couple of weeks, our Guthrie Theatre-by-bus season begins.
Given the background Pederson disclosed, he would love this community and the people here. Just in this condo building of four units alone, we possess advanced degrees from Columbia, Yale and Cornell! The nationally acclaimed Nobel Conference held annually by Gustavus was recently held with two days of stimulating lectures and cerebral exercise, this year’s topic being global climate change.
But, rural malaise, immigration of “others,” health of the waters (especially the Minnesota River), rural poverty and drug abuse, public school integrity, access to health care, etc., etc., are nevertheless on the radar screen out here, too. I’d like Pederson as a neighbor, but change in ourselves is probably more important than change in personal location of dwelling, as my darling wife keeps reminding me.
John A. Chamberlain, St. Peter, Minn.
MINING IN MINNESOTA
Editorial Board’s e-mail quest is baffling, if not absurd
The Star Tribune Editorial Board seems to have a lot of issues with the proposed Twin Metals Minnesota (TMM) mine in northern Minnesota. But its Sept. 29 editorial, “More questions about Twin Metals,” was based on two irrelevant and genuinely baffling points: 1) that Minnesota Department of Natural Resources staffers aren’t exchanging enough e-mail about TMM: and 2) that the dry stack tailings storage technology TMM announced in July was not recommended for the PolyMet mine. PolyMet is an altogether different kind of project in a different site with utterly different baseline facts.
While we can’t speak for the DNR, the “dearth of discussion about the Twin Metals mine” is hardly surprising. TMM has yet to submit a proposed mine plan, meaning its permitting process has yet to begin. What does the board expect DNR staffers to be e-mailing about? This was a fishing expedition through DNR staff e-mails — and an abuse of open-records access. We agree with the Star Tribune that Minnesotans do deserve to know much more about this project. And they will, as a rigorous regulatory review process kicks in after the mine plan is filed. They’ll also continue to weigh in, as they have already.
We do hope minds will remain open and let the process play out. TMM’s project holds the promise of being a modern, environmentally sound mine that will help us build a green economy — and bring 2,100 full-time and spinoff jobs to a region that needs them.
Nancy Norr, chair of Jobs for Minnesotans; Steve Giorgi, executive director of Range Association of Municipalities and Schools; and Frank Ongaro, executive director of MiningMinnesota
An ‘epidemic’? That term was attention-getting — and misleading
I’m not sure what drew my attention to the Sept. 29 article “Transgender killings raise fears of an ‘epidemic’ ” — I’m guessing it was the word “epidemic.” I’m sure that was the intent of the headline. Regardless, I was intrigued by the story. But as I read it, I realized that I was being incredibly misled to believe that these killings had a causative relationship with the victims being transgender.
I couldn’t find any facts in the story that convinced me of that. So I looked further and found a story on the website of the Human Rights Campaign that listed each of the 18 killings referred to in the article. This more specific listing of the killings revealed that only one has been definitely attributed to anti-gender intent. In fact, one of those listed was a victim of the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, in August. This is about as random a killing as you could find, so to include that as a part of a “transgender killing epidemic” is clearly misleading, if not completely dishonest.
I look forward to the next New York Times article proclaiming the suspicious epidemic of deaths of heterosexual men due to rattlesnake bites. I would find this just as compelling and relevant.
Ed Fix, Ramsey
‘ZERO’ SCHOOL DROPOUTS
Walz has a goal, and he can find an example in Beltrami County
I appreciate Gov. Tim Walz’s wish for zero dropouts (“Walz zeros in on school dropout rates,” Sept. 29). It’s a goal that can be accomplished. To find help, he need only look north to Beltrami County.
Since the Red Lake Tribal Council passed a resolution supporting a 100% graduation rate goal in 2017, more than 300 businesses and organizations now support a movement to graduate 100% of our young people. This includes all of the city councils and county commissioners. This is good, it’s exciting, it’s bold, it’s innovative, it’s something that people in Beltrami County take pride in. We are the only county in the United States that has such a lofty goal of 100%.
All schools are doing something to increase the graduation rate, but after decades of trying, it just hasn’t happened, and it won’t happen unless the entire community is recruited to help by relentlessly reminding kids of how important it is to graduate.
There is a great experiment occurring in Beltrami County to graduate 100% of our students. Gov. Walz and Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker need to look north for support. Beltrami County can do this. Minnesota can do this.
John R. Eggers, Bemidji, Minn.
The writer is coordinator of Project Graduate.
Your silence would be shrewd as Trump visits Minneapolis
People, if you do not agree with President Donald Trump’s policies and potentially illegal acts, don’t show up to protest him at the Target Center in Minneapolis when he visits for a campaign rally on Thursday. It would just play into his hands and give him and his supporters something to grind against.
Without protesters, they have little to talk about except self-congratulatory babble. Nothing to cover, no news media. He hates being ignored. Ignore him; stay home; don’t experience the toxic feelings of protesting that just make him stronger. It’s a short rush that quickly makes you feel empty and helpless. Stay home and feel good.
Vance Gellert, Minneapolis