Congratulations to Minneapolis for another tourism recognition! (“Take a trip to … Minneapolis?” May 17.) Too bad many article commenters disagreed.
I’ve had great U.S. vacations from Las Vegas and New York City to Springfield, Ill., and Mount Horeb, Wis. Yet we’re proud to be regular “tourists in our own town,” as we call it, to Minneapolis and St. Paul. Museums, orchestras and theaters. Restaurants, breweries and distilleries, and diners. Parks, lakes and trails. Historical churches and modern architecture. Professional and amateur sports. Never mind art and church festivals, community events and other transient celebrations. We’re often happy to reserve a hotel room and plan a weekend to enjoy them, even though it’s just a 30-minute drive home.
Everyone measures a good vacation against a different rubric, but I think someone would have to work pretty hard to be bored here.
Kelly Sullivan Noah, Maple Grove
Not on the agenda: The greater good
Once again, the Minnesota legislative session was a disaster. The finger-pointing has started, but I don’t honestly care if the fault was with Tom, Dick or Mary. There were simple things with broad support that were never even voted on. There were important issues that should have been debated and resolved as stand-alone issues. However, it appears that no one in the Legislature could agree on the time of day without adding additional language from their personal or party agenda. To me, that is not compromise; it is blackmail.
Rochelle Eastman, Savage
A proper veto. (Shudder to think if Editorial Board had its way.)
Gov. Mark Dayton was right to ignore the Star Tribune Editorial Board’s suggestion to sign the highway protest bill (“Protesters go too far in blocking highways,” May 19). Framing this issue as a safety concern misses the mark and takes the disingenuous bait set by the sponsor of the bill.
Those concerned with highway safety should turn their attention toward our Legislature’s failure to enact meaningful distracted-driver laws. Further, we close our roads for marathons, parades and construction regularly. How much more important is civil disobedience to our society?
The obvious way to clear our highways of protesters is to address the real concerns Minnesotans have about police violence against innocent and unarmed people. Instead, a legislator crafted a bill that amounted to retaliation against those who speak out against a system he would rather celebrate. Their cries for proportional justice for police who kill innocent and unarmed people were met with a proposal for disproportional punishments against those resorting to civil disobedience as a bullhorn for justice.
Thank you, Gov. Dayton, for seeing this bill for what it is: an extension of the strife between our justice system and people of color. If we can put an end to this kind of political posturing, we might find our government is capable of much more than what is currently being offered.
John Hayden, Minneapolis
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Per the rationale on Saturday’s editorial on blocking highways, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. would not have been able to lead his historic march from Montgomery to Selma, Ala. It’s pretty hard to imagine what our country would now be like had the Montgomery police put MLK and John Lewis in cuffs just as they were taking the first steps out of town on U.S. Route 80.
If there was a key remark in that editorial, it was the reference to the hypocrisy of designated protest areas. Can you imagine if the British monarchy had told the people of Boston that they could protest the tax on tea but would have to do it in a designated area in Lexington?
Dale Jernberg, Minneapolis
A Jason Lewis town hall. This was progress, but still not truly open.
I was pleased to learn of U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis’ decision to hold town-hall meetings in the Second Congressional District in three locations on Saturday (“U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis holds his first in-person town hall,” May 20). I was not pleased about the need to request a “ticket” to attend one of the meetings and was further displeased when I received an e-mail indicating that my request had been denied “due to a large number of requests for tickets and the limited space available.”
As it turned out, the town-hall meeting held in Lakeville had space for 60 participants; only 40 citizens attended. A group of concerned citizens who requested and were denied tickets for the event were lined up outside the meeting space at the time the town hall began. Twenty citizens could have been invited to enter and participate. They were not.
Representative democracy requires that our elected officials understand the concerns of citizens whom they represent. At a time when our country is deeply divided, town-hall meetings offer an opportunity for citizens to come together, to dialogue issues and to find solutions to bridge our differences. By shutting out portions of his constituents, Rep. Lewis is missing this opportunity. Perhaps it is not his intent, but the result of limiting participation in town-hall meetings sends the message that he isn’t concerned about hearing from all his constituents.
Town halls have become more important in recent years, and it is a problem if Lewis is turning people away. So rather than limiting the amount of participation in town halls, I would encourage him to open the doors and expand opportunities for all citizens to hear from and speak with him.
Ann Thomas, Lakeville
Keep up pressure. It won’t cure everything, but it values life.
A 7-year-old Plymouth boy finds a loaded gun in a box that also contained a toy and probably thinking the gun was also a toy, shoots and kills himself (“Boy’s fatal gunshot self-inflicted,” May 18). Two days later, a 17-year old-opens fire on a Texas school, killing 10 — mostly students.
We need to continue putting heavy pressure on our elected officials — especially those who are still worshiping at the altar of the NRA. Passing protective gun laws won’t end all gun violence, but it will cause many to think twice before acting. If you’re feeling as frustrated as I am, join one of the many groups out there who are working hard to protect all of us from needless gun violence. I am prolife, and I firmly believe that a human’s right to exist far supersedes any so-called “right” to own a gun without any background checks or restrictions.
Kay Kemper, Crystal
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In 2018, it’s safer to be a U.S. military combatant than a child in an American school classroom.
Dave Pederson, Minnetrista
Editor’s note: A Washington Post report on this topic is at tinyurl.com/2018-comparison.
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My heart goes out to the victims of the shooting in Texas, including an exchange student from Pakistan. These killings will continue unabated as long as there is no gun control. In the U.K., there are about 60 homicides annually caused by gun violence, compared with 15,549 in the U.S. in 2017 (see tinyurl.com/guns-2017). The U.K. has strict gun controls, and people do hunt.
It is time that our elected officials stood up to the NRA and passed stricter gun control.
Naeem Qureshi, Minneapolis