2013 ELECTION

Wrong endorsement in Minneapolis Third

The Star Tribune’s editorial endorsement for the Third Ward City Council seat (Oct. 28) neglected to review the facts of my City Council accomplishments. I fought and voted for streetcars. I am responsible for 2,200 new housing units in the Third Ward, including the Pillsbury A-Mill affordable housing for artists. I am a major force for more than 14,000 new job opportunities in the ward. I have championed riverfront revival, adding parks, bridges and miles of new biking paths. Violent crime is down 80 percent in my ward since I took office. Largely due to my efforts, the Third Ward is one of the most vital and thriving in the city.

DIANE HOFSTEDE, Minneapolis

• • •

The Star Tribune Editorial Board praised Hofstede’s “leadership” but endorsed Jacob Frey in the Third Ward, calling Hofstede “inconsistent” on residential development.

The endorsement describes Frey as a “clear advocate for increasing housing density.” But a Star Tribune blog post headlined “Frey hedges on controversial Dinkytown project” (July 31) reported that Frey wouldn’t take a stance on the project.

Diane Hofstede is no newcomer bearing abstractions. She is, literally, an experienced bridge-builder: Her behind-the-scenes coalition-building made the new Plymouth Avenue bridge a top state priority and added dedicated lanes for bikers and pedestrians. She has earned re-election to the City Council.

Lisa HONDROS, Minneapolis

 

RANKED-CHOICE VOTING

You have ordered from a menu, haven’t you?

If I were to go into a restaurant and say, “I wish to order the prime rib. However, if you are out of that, I will have the salmon instead,” I doubt the waiter would be confused. I would not expect kitchen staff to come running to the table screaming, “What in heavens do you mean?”

Why, then, do people insist on raising such a fuss about ranked-choice voting, declaring it difficult to understand, overly complex and potentially disenfranchising to large groups of voters? It is not. However, what I do see is the chance for all Minneapolis residents to describe more accurately exactly whom they would like to run our city.

G. MICHAEL SCHNEIDER, Minneapolis

• • •

The Oct. 28 article “2nd choices may alter Mpls. race” was a little ambiguous, but what I learned from it was how to get my candidate elected. If I clearly wanted only one of the many candidates for mayor to win, then I would give that person my first-place vote, and my second and third votes would go to the weakest candidates, lessoning the risk of giving votes to a competitor. I then would e-mail all of my similarly minded friends to do the same thing and, of course, would ask them to send this message to their friends. Thus, single-handedly, I have thrown thousands of votes to one person and kept second- and third-place votes from other strong candidates. The flip side of this system is to use it as intended when I can’t decide between three good candidates.

HERB SCHOENING, Minneapolis

 

ONLINE HABITS

You know, parents have some clout here

In response to the top story on the front page of Tuesday’s paper (“2 hours max for kids online, docs say”), one way for middle and high school students to cut down on the screen time would be to leave their iPods and phones home from school. It would be great if the administrators of all middle schools and high schools stopped being so wimpy and stopped allowing phones to be brought to school. What possible educational value is there to a kid having a phone at school?

Since schools can’t seem to stand up to teens, maybe parents can. My kids will be mad, but theirs are staying home from now on. Wait … can I say that? Oh, yeah, I’m the parent — I can!

LORI GIORGI, Bloomington

 

PENN STATE SCANDAL

Liability insurance seems like a cop-out

The Oct. 29 article “Penn State closes abuse saga with $59.7M payout” states that liability insurance is expected to cover the payments and legal defense in the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Who’s being punished here? I also don’t understand how an insurance company can offer such a policy, as it would negate or severely lessen any consequences imposed upon an institution for criminal behavior.

ESTHER BENENSON, Minneapolis

 

EPILEPSY AWARENESS

Nothing sordid about collaboration with Kill

The Oct. 26 article with the headline summary “Epilepsy foundation, drug firm team up for event … on coach Jerry Kill’s turf” implied that something sordid or unsavory is about. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Epilepsy affects 50 million people worldwide, 3 million in the United States. One in 10 will have a seizure during their lifetime. About 70 percent eventually control their seizures; 30 percent cannot. Some experience hundreds of seizures a day and shamefully the undeserved stigma associated with “fits.”

University of Minnesota head football coach Jerry Kill is a hero because he does not deny having epilepsy. Most people with epilepsy keep a very low profile out of fear and embarrassment.

The Anita Kaufmann Foundation and the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota took the opportunity (only because Coach Kill and his wife, Rebecca, are brave) to educate the public about epilepsy. Nothing more, nothing less.

The pharmaceutical firm Eisai supported the charity organizations in their mission of public education. That’s good corporate citizenship! Wish more corporations did that.

Undoubtedly, there are questionable financial dealings in the world of sports. This is not one of them.

BEN KAPLAN, Teaneck, N.J.

 

The writer is a board member of the Anita Kaufmann Foundation.

 

CORRECTION

The Oct. 28 editorial on the Nov. 5 election in Minneapolis incorrectly listed the Whittier neighborhood as being part of the Sixth Ward. Because of redistricting, as of Jan. 1, 2014, Whittier will be in the Tenth Ward, and residents will be voting for candidates on the ballot in that ward.