I was disturbed by the May 7 article “Fresh food rule puts some in a pickle,” about tighter rules in Minneapolis requiring corner shops and convenience stores to stock a variety of healthy foods. Why is Dollar Tree, which has told customers the ordinance prevents it from accepting food stamps, made to be the villain? Should not the villains be members of the Minneapolis City Council for not working on getting more grocery stores in the areas where there are few? Why should a store like Dollar Tree be forced by the government to sell certain foods when it is not set up as a grocer? What about supply and demand or, better yet, free enterprise?
What is even more disturbing are the views of City Council Members Cam Gordon and Blong Yang. Do you guys understand how a business works? This idea that Dollar Tree, SuperAmerica, Walgreens and CVS should act like grocery stores because they sell a few food items is absurd. The really disturbing part is Gordon’s comment that tweaking must be done to make sure that business cannot find ways around the rules. This is scary stuff to a freedom-of-choice-loving American.
It seems to me that stores should have the right to refuse food stamps. People do not have to go to those stores. And, again, maybe Gordon and Yang need to look into the possibility of bringing in more grocery stores. That would bring in more jobs as well.
Richard T. Guidera Jr., Eagan
In commentary, area CEOs show they understand transit
It is with sincere gratitude to local CEOs Richard Davis, Scott Wine and Doug Baker that I write this letter. Their May 7 commentary on behalf of another dozen CEOs of major employers about transit was outstanding in defining the needs of employees and therefore the needs of Twin Cities-area employers in recruiting them. Transit is playing an increasingly large role as more people wish not to drive everywhere they go.
Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt typically positions his party as friendly to business interests. Here is a huge opportunity for Daudt to brush aside politics and lead on this topic. Clearly, these businesses are saying there is a need, as most of the rest of us know from firsthand experience. Improved transit is necessary for these businesses to thrive, which is necessary for the metro area to thrive. Perhaps Daudt and his caucus need a reminder that the state benefits greatly in this scenario, since such a major portion of its revenue flows from the metro area.
James Nastoff, Minneapolis
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Thank you to the CEOs for pointing out the highly leveraged (9 to 1) amount of “federal funds” that are available to Minnesota for transit purposes. Federal funds don’t come from nowhere. Some of them come from Minnesotans, in the form of federal income taxes and federal gasoline taxes. To not “reclaim” what is available would be foolish.
Robert W. Carlson, Plymouth
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I lived in the Minneapolis area all my life until retiring in 2012 and moving to Denver. The proposal to build the Southwest light-rail line had been discussed for years before I left town. Amazingly, it is still being fought over. The Twin Cities area has 23 miles of light rail — the 12-mile Blue Line between downtown Minneapolis and the airport, and the 11-mile Green Line between the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Here in Denver, with a similar-sized population, 71 miles of light rail are in operation, and 27 more miles are slated to be in service by the end of this year. The eight-county Denver metro area approved a 0.4 percent sales tax in 2004, which generated $4.7 billion for this expansion. The 10 light-rail lines fan out in all directions. Thirteen thousand full-time jobs have been created, and tremendous economic growth has been generated in the region.
What track will the Twin Cities area take?
Jim DeWall, Centennial, Colo.
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These CEOs are calling on the Legislature to make a huge investment in transportation funding. They claim that 80 percent of public transit riders are commuting to work or school and that this demand for transit will only increase. But according to the Met Council’s own ridership projections, the proposed route would not be cost-effective.
Don’t these CEOs know that the Met Council itself projects that eight of the 15 stations on the proposed Green Line extension will actually lose ridership between 2030 and 2040? Don’t they know that Eden Prairie already has a popular and profitable nonstop bus service taking people downtown in less time than the projected Southwest light rail? Don’t they know that the council’s projection of 30,000 daily passengers really refers to just 15,000 people, who would use the route round-trip?
I recently ask Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL chairman of the Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee, why the Southwest Line is a good investment. He said, “That’s a good question but complicated to answer.” But taxpayers and legislators do need clear answers before the most expensive public-works project in state history. I’m not against light rail — I simply believe it should run where the people who need it most live.
Stuart A. Chazin, Minneapolis
Actually, a clear look at humanity
Regarding L.K. Hanson’s smarmy May 9 “You Don’t Say” cartoon comment on Bible reading (“Holy moly! These people were just crazy!”): Actually, these people are us, the Bible being probably one of the most honest looks at who we humans really are, and what we are like.
It’s not a pretty picture. We don’t come off well without something other than us operative in the whole thing. And if I had been going to make up a book about my sacred ancestors, I would’ve cleaned it up a lot!
The real miracle, if you will, is that the book can be so bluntly honest without ending up in despair, disillusionment, cynicism or just angry bitterness at the whole human endeavor. The fact that it’s been, in fact, the source of hope and encouragement and optimism about life, in the face of all the dark human doings recorded therein, says a lot.
Leonard Freeman, Long Lake
‘King’s Highway’ is a rough ride
I am fond of my trip to Lakewood Cemetery to honor my family members buried there. I enjoy the route through Edina on 50th Street, and the approach alongside the cemetery on Dupont Avenue S., also known as King’s Highway. I also enjoy the beautiful homes and landscaping along the way, which is why I choose this route over others. However, I cannot understand the horrible condition King’s Highway becomes. The potholes and patches shake my car as I slowly approach 36th Street. In all the years I have traveled this road, it has never been repaved. When will the city of Minneapolis finally put up the funds to pave this beautiful old boulevard? Please consider it soon.
Lea Ashley, Eden Prairie
Helicopter was disruptive
I am all for cancer research, but the helicopter hovering over my house for two hours during the Mother’s Day walk/run was so loud and unnecessary. Why should hundreds of people be disturbed? This is 2016 — we no longer need to stand on building roofs or fly around using fuel during a smog alert to document anything. Drone photographers could have completed the filming with less intrusion. Our Mother’s Day breakfast in the patio was ruined.
Tula Pelerine, Edina