It appears you folks in the cities ought to get out more often. How a five-pound rodent climbing a building becomes entertainment is hard to understand (“Skyscraper-scaling raccoon is rescued,” June 14). It appears you are easily distracted or need a dose of reality. Out here we see them frequently on the roads — not looking too healthy. The presence of the masked bandit can spell trouble around farms and homes, as they are pretty bold and pushy. Sometimes they enter pet doors and feast on the dog’s food. Other times they enter outbuildings and make a mess. Rarely they can be rabid or carry another disease. Hopefully they move on, but sometimes they need “persuading.” The bottom line is that your novelty is our frequent visitor. Maybe this episode demonstrates how far removed from the natural world we’ve become.
Joe Polunc, Cologne
It’s not spite; it’s a clear-eyed response to the circumstances
To the writer of the June 14 letter “The hypocrisy of Trump haters appears to have no limits”:
I’m not a “Trump hater,” but I am embarrassed by him, often. Do we want our president calling anyone names, ever? Really? And I can’t rely on his judgment to trust Kim Jong Un when the turnover in his own administration has reached epic proportions — and all of these ex-employees, every one of them, are people he once trusted. So, my best guess is that he was taken by that plump dictator he has so much faith in. I’m sorry, he himself has taught us not to trust his “gut.” We’ll see.
The rate at which President Donald Trump is ripping up agreements is breathtaking, and we are rapidly becoming a country that is not to be trusted or negotiated with, because the survival of “deals” is dependent upon our president’s whims. If our allies can’t trust us to keep an agreement for two hours, how can we expect our enemies to negotiate with us?
But I have a feeling you’re not listening. Go on believing, and shutting out all doubt. That’s how we got into this mess in the first place.
Mary McLeod, St. Paul
• • •
As all reality TV show hosts learn quickly, “appearance is everything,” even if it’s based on lies and subterfuge. As many have observed over the last year and some months, if a person shows and tells you who they are, they should be believed.
How many of us have the courage to not stay silent, to challenge the power of a charismatic, but false “Messiah”? The “silent majority” was an appropriate title for the middle class in Nazi Germany and how most people react when confronted by state power. It’s what a majority of American colonists did before the Revolution.
In Germany, it was the socialized middle classes who went along with Hitler, who learned to think it was “patriotic” to support Germany’s violent and extremist policies, and who refused to believe there were atrocities happening around them. It was the “silent majority” who supported the fascist government and thought they were being good citizens when they were really being frightened and ignorant puppets.
Though this may be changing, it’s rarely been the ordinary man who stood up to despots. Oftentimes it’s been the intellectual, the creative person, the academician, or those who didn’t fit the “norm.”
Those who want to control others always line up behind authoritarian leaders and seek to have their fears, hatreds, angers and resentments inflamed as a supporter of someone they view as “strong,” like a Hitler, or a Trump. They’d rather follow a “false Messiah” to destruction than a real leader to salvation or self-realization.
Gary Burt, Marble, Minn.
Don’t discount the ripple effects to the work they do with donors
As a co-founder of a donor-advised fund at the Minneapolis Foundation, I read with interest the recent discussion of the role of community foundations in building community (“Have community foundations lost sight of their North Star?” June 6; “Indeed, the first word in ‘community foundations’ still solidly applies,” June 12, and Readers Write, June 11).
My husband and I created our fund primarily as part of our estate planning. What we didn’t then realize was that we had acquired a means of becoming far more engaged citizens of our city. Over the years, through various publications, meetings and funding opportunities presented to us, we have learned more and more about the issues facing Minneapolis, those working for change, and ways to become involved. And this information has triggered action.
As one example, I (along with 200 other people) attended the OneMpls Live! Our Planet — Your Legacy event (May 2017), which included a panel discussion by experts on environmental and energy issues along with the opportunity to “meet up” with selected nonprofits working on these issues. The information was eye-opening; attendees greeted the organizations with curiosity and enthusiasm. For me, this experience led to a new interest and participation in local environmental activism.
I have no doubt that my experience is widely shared. I note, for example, that the Minneapolis Foundation’s Fourth Generation program fosters philanthropic activities among young adults (my daughters’ generation). So when we assess the impact of community foundations in building community, I suggest that we factor in the considerable, if not measurable, leverage these foundations exercise through the efforts they nurture in their donor-participants.
Deborah Schmedemann, Minneapolis
‘ANTARCTICA MELTING FAST’
The alarm was sounded; sadly, we’re seeing it substantiated
I was saddened but not surprised to see the June 14 article “Antarctica melting fast: Rate of ice loss triples, and window for action is short.” I’ve been sounding the alarm about the impacts of climate change on our polar regions for more than 15 years, and, unfortunately, while we see signs of clean energy progress all around us, we do indeed need to do even more to address human-induced climate change, as quickly as possible. When I crossed Antarctica in 1989-90 on my international Trans-Antarctic dog sled expedition, it took my team seven months through grueling storms and unbelievable challenges to meet our goal. Since that expedition, I’ve watched with horror the disintegration of the Larsen A, B and now parts of the C ice shelves on the western peninsula. We spent 30 days traveling on the Larsen ice shelf, and now that is almost entirely gone. I am paying close attention to the destabilization of the Ronne and Ross ice shelves, which will have significant repercussions to global sea-level rise.
While Antarctica’s isolated environment may seem like another world, each melting drop that falls from the ice ripples out to the modern world with increasing impact. We must act decisively to educate ourselves to the threats and solutions to climate change and unify around the task at hand.
Will Steger, Minneapolis
The writer is a polar explorer and founder of Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy.
Shouldn’t the logic of sobriety on the roads also apply here?
“Bikeable Brews” (Taste, June 14) advises cyclists to consume at least six craft beers while navigating his proposed routes through the cities’ public streets and trails. How is this OK? Will the author or his editors feel any sense of responsibility for what happens if people actually follow this advice?
John Clifford, Minneapolis