Consider that the daily footnotes about our president are as consequential as the larger political issues of the day ("D.C. BRIEFLY," Aug. 2). What can we take from the man who slams one of his several residences — the White House — as "a real dump"? Visited by millions of Americans, this home of presidents falls short of Trump residential standards.

The comment is emblematic of an ongoing public arrogance and a disregard for the gravity of long-standing symbols of democracy.

Ultimately, it slams every citizen who, with respect and even reverence, has visited the White House.

Given the obvious dissatisfaction, we must work collectively to find a more suitable home for the president.

Steve Watson, Minneapolis

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Don't oversimplify the issue; give it the attention it deserves

An Aug. 2 letter writer's accusations about affordable housing ("Density is the answer, if only there weren't such an aversion") do not stand up to objective assessments of that housing. Every report I've read finds that the affordable housing being produced in Minnesota is well-constructed and often exceeds other rental housing in sustainability factors. Expensive — yes; poor quality — no.

But the letter writer is correct in stating that NIMBY resistance, building codes and zoning laws impede construction of needed higher-density housing. Ironically, however, much of that resistance is well-earned, since unsubsidized rental housing serving the lower end of the market can be poorly built and not well-maintained, a risk associated with the wholesale policy shift that the writer appears to embrace.

The point of the Aug. 1 editorial, the subject of the letter, is that increasing numbers of Minnesotans are finding housing to be unaffordable, and this is not just a problem for those with lower incomes. Lack of affordability affects the greater economy and other concerns like education and health care. It's a complicated topic. There is no one solution, and supporting the unsubsidized market will be necessary in turning the situation around. To sort all of this out we need the high-level attention called for in the Star Tribune editorial.

Chip Halbach, Minneapolis

The writer is director of the Minnesota Housing Partnership.

TRANSIT COSTS

Rise in fares for Metro Mobility and Transit Link are damaging

I have a special-needs child who rides Metro Mobility to and from her job everyday, as she has done for more than 20 years. She doesn't work full time, and her pay is minimal, but she is independent and feels good about that.

Now the rates for her rides are going to rise again (Page B1, July 27). It's getting to the point where she would be better off living on the government's dime and sitting at home all day, but that isn't the type of person she is.

Why don't we take some of the billions of dollars we are spending on rail service that so few ride and put some of those funds toward Metro Mobility to help those special-needs people who want to work? Some of them don't have access to trains, and most of them can't afford the high costs that are in the future.

Kathy Anderson, Prior Lake

• • •

The Metropolitan Council recently announced a fare increase for all of the transit services it provides. Newspaper headlines and media coverage have been predominantly focused on a 25-cent hike for most services and a 50-cent hike for Metro Mobility services.

The doubling of the fare for Transit Link (reserved ride) service has been largely ignored by the media (peak-time fares for most Transit Link rides will increase to $4.50 per trip, from $2.25, while nonpeak rides will go up to $3.50).

Transit Link rides are excluded from Metro Transit's discounted services like the "Transit Assistance Program."

I'm a college student, and I also work part time. I earn $10.50 an hour. I can't afford independent living, so I live with my parent. I cannot afford a car. The residence is not on the regular Metro Transit bus line. Therefore, I rely on the Transit Link service for my mobility. Many Transit Link riders are people like me. To pay double the amount for my commute means I will struggle financially.

Can someone please speak on behalf of the people in our community who use Transit Link, and undo this ridiculous increase?

Anita Shah, Woodbury

MINNEAPOLIS POLICE SHOOTING

Let's not be blinded to any of the possible lessons we can learn

Regarding the Aug. 2 letter "Shame on the letters editor for allowing victim to be blamed": Typically, 911 callers are told to "stay put." It's not "blame" to point out that Justine Ruszczyk Damond didn't do so in the sequence of events that led to her shooting by a Minneapolis police officer — it's a fact. It's ridiculous for the letter writer to suggest "anyone outdoors at the time the police car rolled through the alley was open game." The court of public opinion is often quick to assign blame before all the facts are known.

Jim Peterson, St. Louis Park

OPIOIDS

The elderly in particular suffer from the resistance to prescribe

I am in agreement with the Aug. 2 letter writer on the topic of opioid use ("We hear lots about abuse, but what of those who need relief?"). I am 92 years old, living in constant pain after surgeries for back, hip and knee. My orthopedic doctor had me on a narcotic that I used only when absolutely needed — never more than one a day, and some days none. When I was told I had to personally pick up the prescription every month, I asked to have the prescription transferred to my regular doctor, closer to home. She filled the prescription once, and then refused to refill it. Why can't the elderly get some relief from pain? Fear of addiction? I doubt it at 92.

Clareen Perkins, Minnetonka

I-35W bridge anniversary

Thanks for making us look good

Watching the television news coverage of the 10-year anniversary of the I-35W bridge collapse, I was struck by how well we Minnesota residents were represented before the national news media by many of our elected officials, especially Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. They were well-spoken and articulate. How far we have fallen with our current governor's and mayor's ability to communicate well when the heat is on.

Mary Diercks, Minneapolis

CORRECTION

The Aug. 2 Other Views item misstated the military background of Gen. John Kelly, the new White House chief of staff. He served in the Marines.