Eliminate the guns, add neighborliness


The deadly office shooting in Minneapolis took up approximately one and a half pages in Sunday's paper ("When terror comes to work"). Not once did I see the fact addressed that a gun had as much to do with this occurrence as did an angry/deranged person.

Has it become socially unacceptable to talk about guns as a common factor in these rampages? Are we too timid to step on the toes of the gun-rights lobby? Are we so blind that we can't see how ours is becoming a culture of violence?

Violence, often committed with guns, is often what drives the main theme and action of way too many movies and TV shows. To remain mute suggests that this repeated carnage is acceptable. Let us speak out -- yes, in anger -- demanding dialog and research and unity in finding some solution.


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The shooting brings up a really confusing point: Why is it that I am a danger to society if I carry more than 3 ounces of shampoo on a flight, but it's OK to buy 10,000 rounds of ammunition?


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In the aftermath of the Accent Signage Systems shooting, we search for answers. Interviews reveal that one neighbor who lived next to the gunman for 10 years had never spoken to him. It seems that this is an all too common theme to these events. In memory of the victims, extend a friendly hello to a neighbor you seldom or never speak to. It will make a difference.


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Management choices called into question


My response to Minnesota Orchestra President and CEO Michael Henson regarding the cancellation of concerts through Nov. 25:

Thank you for your e-mail update. I am somewhat confused about why this situation has occurred. Seems like there was ample opportunity to plan for it.

I also do not understand why you are criticizing the musicians for not making a counteroffer. What can they counter with when wages are proposed to be cut 30 percent or more? An arbitrator would not sustain the offer you have presented.

It is ironic that the Orchestra Hall expansion, which I assume has more to do with revenue options then music, occurs at the same time. I can only second-guess the contribution I made to the current fundraising campaign, which includes the remodel. I am sure you had seen this salary situation coming and were not forthright with the public while you solicited funds.

Having been a subscriber since 1963, I would have to reassess if the quality of the orchestra is diminished. We have a great conductor and orchestra. Please do not dismantle what has taken so long to assemble.


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I sympathize with the orchestra board's desire to be fiscally responsible. But it just doesn't seem to make sense to invest tens of millions of dollars in an arguably questionable upgrade to the Orchestra Hall lobby, then cut the salaries of world-class musicians who are the primary reason people come to the hall in the first place. If you didn't see this financial tsunami coming, I challenge your fiscal responsibility. If you DID see it coming, I challenge your judgement in putting facilities before talent.


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Why does debate have no middle ground?


Recent coverage about the disruptive nature of silica ("frac") sand mining and hauling has fallen right in line with the growing litany of calls to "stop fracking" and to "save our bluffs."

Why do issues have to be framed so absolutely these days? I enjoy bluff country, and I would not want massive dust and trucks to "invade" my territory. However, there is another, pretty important aspect to hydraulic fracturing and its cousin, horizontal drilling. They have gone a long way toward increasing the domestic supply of oil.

Can't there be a compromise? I would be willing to add some percentage to petroleum prices to have fracking continue, in a more town/bluff/people-friendly way.

Let's think about solutions that work, and reduce the "all or nothing" stances.


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It won't be cheap -- won't be worth it


In spite of several recent opinion articles on the voter ID amendment, writers on both sides seem to be ignoring the fiscal consequences of a "yes" vote. An analysis by the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs quoted estimates for first-year implementation of more than $68 million, and found that other states consistently underestimated their costs. Additionally, more than 85 percent of the tax burden would fall to local governments. Ironically, Republicans, who like to brand themselves as fiscal conservatives, pushed this amendment on Minnesota taxpayers. The nonpartisan Common Cause says that "photo ID laws are effective only in preventing individuals from impersonating other voters at the polls -- an occurrence more rare than getting struck by lighting." I think we can do better than to spend millions of dollars on a nonexistent problem.


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A thumbs-down to initial drawings


I hope the architectural firm HKS Inc. is better at building a new Vikings stadium than it is at designing one ("Window opens on Vikings stadium," Sept. 29). The two preliminary schematics are aesthetically weak. The thick slumping, blue roofs are incompatible with the light and airy windows on each end. The right-hand side of the second structure looks like it is in the process of deflating, something we have already experienced.