I have an 11-year-old son who plays hockey. He has decent equipment and great coaches and gets plenty of ice time. He enjoys the sport and has turned himself into a good little player. He is certain that after high school he’ll play for the Gophers and then on to the Blackhawks. I am certain that if he doesn’t start bending his knees and sharing the puck, he’s in for a rude awakening. As a parent, what are my options to maximize his success? Sign him up for private lessons and summer camps? Outfit him in thousands of dollars of custom hockey gear? This won’t amount to a hill of beans if he doesn’t decide for himself to put forth the effort it takes to be a great player.

What does this have to do with the ballot proposal to renew a $74 million annual excess levy? (“Voters can help boost Minneapolis schools,” editorial, Oct. 27.) The Minneapolis Public Schools have good facilities. We have outstanding teachers. What we don’t have are enough students willing to put in the work. We all know the reasons why, and they mostly center around a home life that does not support academic success. We can throw all the money we want at the school system, just like I can build a domed hockey arena in my backyard. But until the kids show up every day motivated and ready to learn, nothing is going to change. Enough is enough, Minneapolis. Vote no.

Ryan Sheahan, Minneapolis

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

If we truly considered Hillary Clinton, we would …

I’m completely puzzled that Hillary Clinton’s e-mails have become a source of such dismay (“FBI dives into Clinton aide’s e-mail,” Nov. 1). In the very near past, before we had technology that recorded more prodigiously and remembered longer than God, we were content to vote for the politician whose public life, actions and platform most closely reflected that which met our own requirements. We understood that “politics” took place, and we did not expect to be present for every turn of a politician’s thought process.

But we did expect to be aware of whether our potential president indeed avoided reporting hundreds of millions of dollars of taxable income, finagled ways to skip out on paying any income taxes at all and prided himself on this theft from his fellow citizens as “smart business.” (“Trump defied legal advice with tax move,” Nov. 1). After all, we are not simply individuals living autonomously side-by-side; the very well-being of our country of community depends on an equitable sharing of financial support.

I trust that when it’s actual decision time, and perhaps despite the discomfort of crossing a political aisle, voters will evaluate authentic facts over entertainment value and some rather alarming promises and choose a president whose very lifetime has been that of demonstrated public service; one who will be genuinely respected both nationally and globally — in this case a woman of exceptional intelligence and extraordinary experience.

Shawn Gilbert, Edina

• • •

Recent developments only strengthen my opinion that Clinton has been lying and deceiving people her entire life and is completely unsuitable to be president. Donald Trump is the only other choice. Voting for a third-party candidate will only be a vote for Clinton and will result in “business as usual” in the House and Senate and a continuation of Obama’s policies. In other words, a third term for Obama. Trump can be a real “jerk,” and his personality and comments can be deplorable, but I concur with many (not all) of his proposed solutions to the country’s problems. Neither of the candidates rates above a C-minus, but it’s all we got.

Gary Stinar, Lakeville

• • •

A president was brought down because of his knowledge of a 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee, wherein a group was seeking information it could use against the Democrats. More than four decades later, this same activity is repeatedly going on, the only difference being that the break-ins are electronic. Such findings are considered a news source.

And yet, after three decades of the most intense investigation ever carried out against a modern political figure, dredging legally and illegally obtained information, the worst of it all has been that Hillary Clinton has mismanaged e-mails. She didn’t “lose” 22 million e-mails, as George W. Bush did; she mismanaged e-mails.

What all this has proved is that she is and always has been a politician of integrity, with skill in managing political minefields. I realize this statement will be seen as absurd by many, but only in the context of such attacks, so incessant have they been. My conclusion is no less true.

Ed Dickinson, Arden Hills

• • •

A lot of people will close an eye and, behind the curtain, vote for a presidential candidate just because he is a man. They will hide behind the statement “I would vote for a woman, just not that woman.” But reality is that a large part of Americans do not want a woman for president.

We now have a candidate in Hillary Clinton who is experienced, and will stand up against a society dominated by abusiveness, philandering, elitism, prejudice, sexist oligarchy and worldwide terrorism.

Women need to go to the polls and elect a person who will follow the directive of the Constitution to support a government that is for “we the people” — all of the people. To get the job done, we need a Million Woman March. We need to go to the polls en masse and elect the first woman president. “These boots are made for walkin’,” ladies. Let’s do it. Let’s make history!

Sara J. Meyer, St. Marys Point

STATE SENATE DISTRICT 44

Calvert deserved endorsement

So, the Star Tribune Editorial Board disagrees with Paul Anderson who is running for the Minnesota Senate in District 44, yet endorses him (“Three standouts for state Senate seats,” Oct. 31). “The Editorial Board disagrees with several issues, notably the proposed Southwest light-rail line.” Yet it presents no reason to disqualify Deb Calvert from the endorsement. Calvert gets things done! When she lived in Michigan, she worked as a private violin instructor. She saw the need of poor children to receive music lessons. She cofounded the Cadillac Strings Association, a nonprofit that provides string music lessons. As an outgrowth of the success of this program, she was asked to develop one for the public schools. Both the nonprofit and the public school program are still going strong. We need leaders like Deb Calvert to get practical things done in our Legislature!

Jeanne Thompson, Plymouth

HENNEPIN COUNTY BOARD

Party imbalance equals success

In the Nov. 1 editorial counterpoint in support of Maureen Scallen Failor for the Hennepin County Board, the writers close by stating that the election of Debbie Goettel “will mean that six of seven Hennepin County Commissioners identify as Democrats. That has not worked well for Minneapolis.”

What hasn’t worked for Minneapolis? Have the letter writers not seen the construction cranes all over the city, or noticed that residents of their cities are moving into Minneapolis in droves or that their suburban companies are relocating their businesses to the North Loop, Uptown and downtown? The fact is that Minneapolis is vibrant and growing, with an economy that most cities in Minnesota and around the country look upon with envy. This dynamic is not despite its politics dominated by Democrats, but because of it.

Dean Carlson, Minneapolis