Hypothetical: I share a 56-foot property line with my Scandinavian neighbors. Over the years, my dandelions have spread into their yard as their beautiful daylilies have spread into mine. Their Norwegian elkhound often poops in my yard, and I just as often toss it back against their windows. Their teenage girls sneak into our yard to offer Swedish massage to my teenage boys, who trade guns and drugs for their services.
I intend to put up a great fence all along the 56 feet of shared property line. My wife and I met with the neighbors and told them of our intention to build a great fence. We started by suggesting that they pay the total cost, as it is their girls who are sneaking into our yard and despoiling our boys. They said “no way will we pay for the great fence,” as it is our dandelions, guns and drugs that are flowing into their yard. We apologized for the dandelions, guns and drugs and asked if we could split the cost, as it is their girls, dogs and daylilies that have invaded our yard. After some aquavit, we came to an agreement that afternoon and have a beautiful great fence. Good fences make good neighbors.
Rick Dischinger, Minneapolis
State Fair encounter commentary should never have been printed
I am shocked that the agenda-pushing commentary from Susan Mallison was printed (“Threats replace political debate at Fair,” Sept. 2). She throws out huge accusations about one man, who showed her a picture. She goes on to make extreme presumptions with absolutely no factual ground (that the man was looking for other Hillary shirt-wearers to threaten, that the GOP booth incited the man to accost her, that the GOP is encouraging bullying) about an entire political party based on her interaction with this one man.
Give me a break. While I am no fan of the behavior on either side in this campaign, it is ridiculous to bring stereotyping to this level. In one section of her article, she tries to connect the cardboard jail suit cutout of Hillary at the GOP booth to increased levels of aggression and bad behavior — as if people walk by it and suddenly have the urge to go violate some random fairgoer. Her outrage about this cutout is beyond hypocritical. Has she seen the near daily comics drawn by our own Steve Sack that depict Donald Trump as some sort of disgusting creature — a pile of feces recently comes to mind — to get his point across? A jail suit seems like a dream compared with what Trump gets served.
Mallison suggests that the GOP is promoting aggression and intolerance of others’ views. Has she witnessed or read about any of the vicious attacks on Trump supporters around the country, most recently in Minneapolis, where her fellow Democrats physically attacked and spit on attendees leaving a rally? Stereotyping, tunnel vision and ignorance are bliss, I suppose, but putting them in print is irresponsible and biased journalism at its best.
MARGARET Parker, Excelsior
With recent work, Sack rivals history’s leading caricaturists
The recent host of images by Steve Sack have not only been inspired but they are being published in the best name of freedom of the press. Images such as the one that appeared recently labeled as “dung beetle” are not always created, but Sack is creating image after image that deserve to be preserved; they rival the works produced in France during the Golden Age of Caricature by Daumier, Grandville and Traviès as part of the denunciation of the government of the tyrannical Louis Philippe.
Sack is a treasure. He has guts. And he also has the rare type of visual brilliance that makes one laugh at the same time we are weeping. Congratulations on publishing his startling imagery.
Gabriel P. Weisberg, Minneapolis
The writer is a professor of art history at the University of Minnesota.
Rapid bus line numbers: reason for celebration, and for pause
With all the conflict surrounding Southwest light rail, Star Tribune readers may have missed a good-news story from Metro Transit: In just two months, the new rapid bus A Line has generated a 34 percent increase in ridership on Snelling Avenue. With a faster trip and improved overall transit experience, people are already using this bus about 1,300 more times daily than during the same period last year. The federal government chipped in 25 percent of the $27 million price tag. Compare this with Southwest light rail, which project planners hope will attract 13,000 new daily rides by 2040 for $1.9 billion. The A Line is already delivering 1/10th of the new transit users for 1/70th of the current Southwest cost.
Jeanette Colby, Minneapolis
It’s our airport. Why is a ‘British’ voice narrating the experience?
As a former Minnesotan (and a seasonal “resident”), whenever I fly into Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, I’m struck by the beauty and efficiency of “our” airport along with its many photos of Minnesota and exhibits featuring local products and personalities. I am dumbfounded, however, by the “fake” English accent exhorting us to be aware that “the moving walkway is now ending.” Are we ashamed of our Midwestern roots? Did some misguided committee think this would give us “aw-shucks” Midwesterners a touch of class? I’m embarrassed that this is the voice we present to the world as it arrives on or departs from our doorstep. If you landed in London’s Heathrow Airport and heard a Midwestern accent being broadcast over the public-address system, wouldn’t you wonder why? And, even more, wouldn’t you miss hearing the local accent? Say it loud, Minnesota: We’re proud!
Elaine Haydock, Spearfish, S.D.
A man of his means had better ways to make a difference
Pro football quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s sitting down during the national anthem did not change the world. Taking his millions and investing in inner cities could have been life-changing. And the unfortunate irony is that choosing to simply sit cost him additional endorsement money that truly could have changed the lives of the people he says he cares about.
Gail Mullaney, Woodbury
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The custom of playing, and the audience standing to hear the national anthem at all sporting events, trivializes the respect for the ideas put forth by our founders that most Americans hold.
The anthem is not played at the movies, the opera, the orchestra or the many other places Americans gather. If we really want to honor those ideas, perhaps the anthem should be played on special occasions such as July 4th and Memorial Day. Then we could reflect about what it means to be an American instead of mechanically repeating the words at every game without much thought.
Ron DeHarpporte, Edina
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A class act like Teddy Bridgewater, who is an up-and-coming NFL star as well as a young man with integrity, poise and humility, will do much more to enhance black causes in the U.S. than the protests of an arrogant Colin Kaepernick sitting on his tush during the national anthem. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Teddy Bear! We will all see you in next season’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis. Skol Vikings!
Paul M. Stambaugh, Hshinchu, Taiwan