It is a real, and lingering, problem

Styrofoam is not an imaginary problem. My husband and I have spent this spring picking Styrofoam out of Lake Harriet and off the banks of the Minnehaha Creek. We have been shocked to see how it breaks into tiny particles that cannot be picked up. These particles will not dissolve, and probably will be in our lakes for generations. In contrast to a May 20 commentary (“Minneapolis: City of lightweight leaders”), we applaud the Minneapolis City Council for its concern for our lakes and waterways.

Styrofoam is expensive and difficult to recycle. Minneapolis is trying to get residents to recycle cans and bottles; adding Styrofoam would add another enormous expense. Businesses that offer polystyrene cups and containers should be forced to offer and manage the recycling of these containers. Why does government need to be there to pick up the mess of business?

Rebecca Wardell Gaertner, Minneapolis

• • •

What Annette Meeks could have added to her commentary is that the oft-denigrated Chick-fil-A has been recycling its polystyrene cups (and most, if not all of its packaging and serving material) for a very long time.

It took me two separate weeks of garbage pickup to get rid of the Styrofoam used in packaging a recently purchased table saw, due to the bulk. With our regular household trash, there was not room in the large bin. Our church, in an effort to be conscientious about our environment, has been using cups for coffee and tea that are so ineffective that most people use two to avoid burning themselves. Meeks is right. We could use a facility around here.

Ken Slinde, Bloomington



Voting is personal; influence is public

A May 20 letter writer argued that if we do not deserve anonymity for campaign contributions, then, logically, neither should the votes we cast be private. The difference is that when you vote, you are not trying to influence how others vote, but when you spend $100 million, you are 100 percent trying to do so.

Michael Impagliazzo, Hastings



I’d back artists on event’s evolution

I don’t keep up with social media, but I would imagine the artists’ comments about the changing face of the Art-A-Whirl mirror mine (“Festival or crawl? Does it matter, if we buy art?” Letter of the Day, May 20). I’d gone to the event and had spent plenty of money for years, but recently have skipped it because it has evolved from a showcase for the artists to a madhouse. I simply did not want to expend the necessary energy and time to get anywhere near the area anymore. The neighborhood businesses are riding on Art-A-Whirl’s coattails to promote their own events and agendas that have nothing to do with art appreciation. There are plenty of other weekends during which the bars, breweries and restaurants could come together and plan for their own festival.

Debra Casserly, Maplewood



Rule abiders are given the greatest grief

While drivers like to blame “renegade” cyclists for daring to share the roads with them (“Renegade riders give bicyclists a bad name,” May 19), here’s something I’ve noticed as a regular cyclist and driver: I’m more likely to be honked at or one-finger-saluted by drivers for daring to drive legally than for bending the rule created for cars while biking.

Fellow drivers seem far more irked by drivers who dare to drive within posted speeds, come to full stops at stop signs and yield to pedestrians than they are by cyclists who roll stop signs, jump ahead at about-to-change stoplights or take over a lane of traffic when poor road designs offer no better choice.

Before arguing that cyclists should obey laws created for drivers, perhaps drivers should stop bullying fellow drivers who obey traffic laws into breaking them.

Ed Kohler, Minneapolis



The hired noisemakers are back to bug me

Summer has returned. How I can tell? The lawn-service employees who mow my neighbors’ lawns are deafening me with their gas-powered, backpack leaf blowers. City governments should outlaw them.

Ron Pearson, St. Paul



Thanks for treating us all like children

I want to thank our state leaders for making sure I don’t end up penniless playing online scratch games. It’s so good to know that you are looking out for me, because I must be incapable of controlling myself. It’s a good thing I can’t sit in the comfort of my own home and pay for games with cash from my bank account. I’ll have to get in my car and waste gas, time and money to spend my $5. Funny thing is, I’ll probably just skip it, and the money I was willing to give you won’t be there! Here’s a novel concept: Why don’t you treat us like adults?

Tami Carpenter, Plymouth