Where's green sense?

Isn't it ironic that the Midtown Greenway is lit at night -- using all that energy that the bike riders are supposed to be saving?

I think Minneapolis has its priorities wrong. Yes, it's nice to have a bike path that goes as far as the Greenway path goes, but I also think it's wrong to have it all lit up at night, defeating the purpose of having the path.



Best place to skate

The Minneapolis Park Board has announced increased fees and the closure of five skating rinks (Star Tribune, Dec. 13). Included in these closures is the rink at Loring Park.

An evening skate at Loring Park is a magical experience, with an historic warming house and the lights of the Basilica of St. Mary shining over the gleam of the ice.

Before taking this wonderful experience away from the citizens, I urge the members of the Minneapolis Park Board to enjoy an evening of skating in Loring Park. I don't think they will find a more enchanting place to skate in the city. With increasing fees and reduced access to the crown jewels of our park system, where will children and adults play and connect with their neighbors and community?

SUE SCHROEDER AND Jim Syverson, Minneapolis


No guarantee

Let me get this straight. University of Minnesota men's basketball coach Tubby Smith needs a new basketball practice facility to better recruit players to provide a high-quality team (Star Tribune, Dec. 20)?

Um, yeah, after looking back on it, we Minnesotans do look to be big enough rubes to bite on that one.

In the '80s, Gophers football coach Lou Holtz needed a new football practice facility. He promised Rose Bowls and shiny championship trophies. He gave us a couple of throwaway bowls and got himself a shiny new job at Notre Dame, leaving us with a football program rooted in obscurity.

In the '90s, Gophers men's basketball coach Clem Haskins needed a renovated "Barn," hence the new and improved Williams Arena. He gave us a thrilling NCAA ride, then had all of it dumped into the record-book trash bin, leaving us with a team rooted not only in obscurity but also scandal.

Most recently, head football coach Glen Mason promised better recruiting, competitiveness and excitement on the field. We gave him a big beautiful on-campus stadium to recruit with. We got an abysmal showing in return and complete lack of quality in state recruitment.



Become a donor

Abigail Taylor was very lucky to get a triple organ transplant (Star Tribune, Dec. 20). More than half of the 98,000 Americans on the national waiting list will die before they get a transplant.

Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate about 20,000 transplantable organs every year. Many of their neighbors die every year as a result.

There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage -- give organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. People who aren't prepared to share the gift of life should go to the back of the transplant waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. Membership is free at or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any preexisting medical condition.



the mortgage crisis

A lose-lose decision

In Steve Chapman's Dec. 19 commentary, he states, "The vast majority of borrowers are making their payments, keeping their homes and asking no one for a bailout."

This may be true, but how many are robbing Peter to pay Paul in order to keep up with that mortgage payment and health care costs, heating costs and others? A vast number of subprime borrowers are lower-income; they may be keeping up with their mortgage, but falling way behind in their other living expenses.



Remembering Maris

Thanks to Nick Coleman for a great column (Dec. 19) on Roger Maris. It has become politically correct to criticize those using steroids and praise people like Roger, but what is so refreshing about Coleman's column is that he is interested only in the truth.

I remember the terrible hazing Maris went through in New York for daring to challenge the immortal Babe Ruth. All he was actually doing was trying to help his team win a pennant, which it did. Coleman did an excellent job of listing some of Roger's accomplishments.

Maris also still holds the high school record for four runbacks of kicks for touchdowns in a single game. He possibly could have been a professional football player as well. He was that great of an athlete.

Roger, like many good men, died much too soon. I say that as his nephew. And if it sounds like I'm bragging, maybe I am. But I would have been proud to be Roger Maris' nephew if he couldn't hit a lick. He was as wonderful a man off the field as on, and belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Fifty years after his accomplishment and it's still being written about. Doesn't that say something in itself?