I have one addition to Dick Schwartz's opinion piece "To honor the dead, speak with them" (May 31): You can also write to them.
For the last year I've been telling my 20-something grandchildren to write me when they turn 70. "I know I'll be dead," I say, "but I am so curious." I want to know how history remembers this time of our lives, particularly the last 15 months: the worldwide pandemic, the aftermath of George Floyd's murder, divisive politics here and around the world. And what about climate change? Is there a colony on Mars? My grandmother never took a picture with her phone. What are you doing every day that I never thought possible?
"Nana, you're freaking me out," they say.
But I'm serious. I want to know how it turned out, how this traumatic time evolved. I want to know what life is like when they turn 70. And if they write it, I know I will get it, read it, smile and be in touch through the latest iteration of the cosmic Zoom.
Kathleen Coskran, Minneapolis
Yes, Pat Samples, in my opinion, you are a"fussbudget" regarding how elderly individuals areperceived and how they are addressed ("How about we use 'pro-aging' instead of 'anti-aging'?" Opinion Exchange, June 4).You stated that when you hear "the gospel of anti-aging everywhere I turn, it can't help but affect how I think about myself — and how other people think of me."Well, if that's the case, I wouldsuggest a book or course on self-awareness.It's never too late.
Frankly, at this juncture in our lives I believe most of us ignore anti-aging campaigns and the productshyped as part of them.I would venture thatmany of us have a strong sense of self and are working daily to continue living happy, busy and healthy lives.
I believe we ought to get rid of the word "old" and instead ask, "How many years of time are you?"
Descriptions of our long time on earth have run the gamut from "oldpeople" to "elderly" to "senior citizen." I'd like to go beyond these labels to more enlightening descriptions such as "warrior" and "survivor."Throughout our lives we have encountered a varied number of close calls and some how have managed to live through them. Whether it was a near miss in an automobile, surviving a war, a tumultuous relationship, an accident or illness, we still managed to live on. Hallelujah! We are survivors!
People will still put us in a box to simplify their own busy lives (just like we've done), but life is too short and fragile to care. Whew!
Sharon E. Carlson, Andover
Did you skip your civics class?
I was shocked to read that the Star Tribune Editorial Board has endorsed the ridiculous concept ofWashington, D.C., statehood! ("The strong case for D.C. statehood," June 1.)
Apparently the Editorial Board members were missing, or paid no attention, in their ninth-grade civics classes, when it was (or should have been) explained to them, in detail, the origin of the District of Columbia concept.
The arguments had been intense over where the capital should be. It was decided wisely by the founders that our new nation's capital should not be within the confines of any one state but in a separate district, the area and location of which would represent and be the pride of all the people in our nation, not under the jurisdiction of any one state! Hence the District of Columbia and a new city were born.
Not only the EditorialBoard but our esteemed Sen. Tina Smith seemed also to have missed that ninth-grade class!
The voting issue by presentinhabitants of D.C. can readily be fixed. Maryland, contrary to the board's assertion, would be glad to have part of it back along, withthe tax revenues that would accrue therewith.
Robert C. Tengdin, Edina
Doubtful we'd be better served
Questions that should be asked before Minnesota approves a full-time Legislature: How will the public be better served by a year-round Legislature as opposed to a part-time Legislature? ("Is it time for full-time Legislature?" May 30.) Will we get better cooperation and bipartisan leadership? Will legislators be more accessible? How much will it cost the public to pay for full-time employment? According to Ballotpedia, legislators in full-time states (such as California, Michigan and New York) receive an average compensation of $82,358, while legislators who spend the least time on legislative duties receive an average $18,449. Part-time Minnesota legislators receive around $46,000 plus a hefty per diem. For example, in 2020, according to WCCO, "Republican state Senator Scott Jensen remotely attended a health care policy hearing April 30 while golfing, and he received the $86 per diem."
The fact that DFL and Republican leaders of the House and Senate are open to the discussion should give every Minnesotan pause. I believe that the framers of the Minnesota Constitution wanted legislators to be "of the people" on a part-time basis with real jobs in the real world. Beware legislators who want full-time work, because they will want full-time compensation. And a state already renowned for good government will not get any better than it is paying for today.
Dan Gunderson, Minneapolis
Time to revisit red light cameras
On May 23 I was in the area of 10th Street and Hennepin Avenue when a string of cars came roaring down Hennepin. As I watched, they all sped through the red light at 10th as if they were a funeral procession entitled to right of way. Not quite 24 hours later a car that ran through a red light a few blocks away killed a pedestrian and injured another. Now there will be an actual funeral procession for some family suffering this tragic loss.
It's time to bring back red light and speeding cameras. I understand that in 2007 the Minnesota Supreme Court struck down their use since it's impossible to prove who is driving a vehicle from the license plate alone. But a moving vehicle has the potential to be a lethal weapon when used incorrectly. If you loan your car to an idiot who drives it irresponsibly, you should be grateful if a ticket is the worst consequence. And it should be up to you to negotiate the consequences of the ticket with the driver, whether a friend, a spouse or a child.
Speeding, traffic violations and other factors are resulting in a steep increase in injuries and deaths on our roadways. Let's work to stop this madness. Cameras should be implemented across the state.
Sheila Miller, Golden Valley
All a matter of who's looking
There is so much chatter and discussion over the questions about UFOs — admissions about them, outright denials over them, jokes and snide remarks, along with a lot of hopeful "maybes" (I include myself in this group).
"Are there UFOs?" depends on where you are looking up from.
For the planet Mars, we are the "space aliens" with our spacecraft, robotics and "flying machines" landing on and exploring the Red Planet.
Our probing satellites through the solar system, with close fly-bys to planets, certainly would be some type of UFO to whatever or whoever might be observing.
If we can do this space exploration, I'm sure other beings can and do.
Yes, people, there are space aliens and alien spaceships and they are us — Earthlings.
Steve Williams, Minnetonka
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