The Twin Cities showed the rest of the world what class we have by coming together peacefully and lovingly late Thursday to honor the memory of one of our own: musical mastermind Prince. I hope Minnesota can now do one better by creating a long overdue public tribute to Prince where all fans can come to be inspired by this gifted and kind man for years to come.
Lisa A. Carlson, Farmington
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It’s amazing — the 2016 election year has brought us lies and divisiveness, but the celebration of Prince’s life has brought us clarity and togetherness.
Sharon E. Carlson, Andover
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It’s when they are gone when we are reminded of how great a person is. Prince brought everyone together with his music. Let us honor the memory of Prince and his music by coming together not in violence but in a shared love of his music, in respect and in peace toward one another — in Minneapolis, in Minnesota and all over the world.
Dale Anderson, Anoka
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The Star Tribune’s absorption and nearly obsessive coverage of Prince’s passing was out of scale with the community it serves and its readers, and it distorted the significance of one person — within a broad community — to be influential and uplifting. As a local person with national following, he was due attention from his fans and the industry he served. But amplifying and extolling his works within a community of a population aged 1 to 99 from many backgrounds tends to suggest that your publication is chasing readership rather than balancing events based on their broad impact. Take care not to just sell soap. You serve the community, not just one aspect or one group.
John Bradford, Minnetonka
It’s good to be passionate, but, parents: perspective, please
I have been involved in youth athletics, as a parent, coach or association leader, for 30 years. I have firsthand experience of parent-messiness in youth sports. We humans contain a wonderful, but sometimes dangerous, chemical cocktail of dopamine and testosterone that, when triggered, can result in uncharacteristic and sometimes regrettable behavior. In “Mom banned from kids’ games” (April 17), we read about a sly type of destructive behavior: sarcasm. Regardless of how our chemical cocktail manifests, the board of directors of a youth sports association, which establishes the culture and holds the power to defend it, found that a parent violated its code of conduct. It asked the parent to stop the behavior, but the request was not honored.
I applaud the Chanhassen Athletic Association (CAA). No association wants to spend energy disciplining parents. Associations simply want parents to do what parents should do: Help kids absorb the great life lessons that sport teaches, even when the situation is disappointing to the player or parent. Associations cannot legislate away disappointment in sport. Developing the ability to overcome disappointment is a great life lesson for kids to learn. Parents must learn a self-control routine to manage their behavior when the emotion of youth sports triggers their chemical cocktail. In this case, when the parent provides assurances that the behavior stops and, over time, proves that the behavior won’t be repeated, the association seems willing to lift sanctions. Thank you, CAA, for defending your culture, with empathy.
Paul Larson, Edina
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Last weekend, I had the opportunity to volunteer running a youth basketball tournament. Boys and girls from third through 10th grades represented 44 teams and played 97 games. My hat goes off to everyone involved — parents, volunteers, referees and, especially, the kids. A good time was had by all. Well, almost …
While reading the story of the youth sports organization banning a mother from attending games, I couldn’t help but consider the very few (but loud) bad apples in the mix — a small handful of parents and even a coach screaming at referees, obscenities, demeaning, threatening and disparaging remarks all the way to the parking lot to anyone who dared to disagree with their point of view. Police were called, frightening kids and parents. And for what? A foul (or not)? In youth sports. I wish it were a onetime experience.
Maybe that behavior motivates kids to play harder and become great athletes. But I doubt it. More likely they’ll just quit playing because it’s “just not fun anymore.” I plead to the few parents out there who can’t remember what it’s like just to have fun playing a sport you love — let the kids play; cheer for them. Cheer for those on the other team when they make that spectacular move. Set an example for those around you.
Special thanks goes to the referees, whose patience was astounding. And finally, thanks to all of the kids. Win or lose, I couldn’t believe how much talent and character was on the court.
Rich Heitzig, Minneapolis
The character of a historic district is threatened
While reading the article in the April 17 Business section on development “jumping” the Mississippi River in Minneapolis (“New era in an old area”), I was struck by the contrast between the scale of the two developments proposed within the St. Anthony Falls Historic District. The illustration placing the proposed developments within a photograph of the surrounding neighborhood was particularly startling. The Nye’s redevelopment was originally a 29-story tower, but because the “neighborhood and several city committees rejected the design,” it was reduced to six stories. Though the authors don’t mention which city committees were involved, the Heritage Preservation Commission’s 2012 design guidelines for the historic district don’t support 29-story structures.
How is it that a 40-story tower hasn’t also been rejected by these same city committees? The proposed Alatus project seeks to bring a downtown-scale structure to the historic neighborhood side of the river. As a Marcy-Holmes neighborhood homeowner, I fear the precedent this project, as proposed, represents for future development in the historic district, especially in light of the potential redevelopment of the 8-acre General Mills property. Warm summer evenings draw people from all over the Twin Cities to stroll along the cobblestones of Main Street, soaking in the history of this old mill neighborhood. In the chill of winter, the snow brings with it a sense of silence that stands in contrast to the warmth and life that exists within the many charming bars and restaurants. This neighborhood is beloved by residents and visitors alike, which “stands in contrast to the skyscrapers filling downtown,” and that is how it should remain.
Chris Coy, Minneapolis
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With the General Mills land, a three-block-long section just one block to the east along University Avenue, soon also available for redevelopment, why should that developer settle for anything less than 40 stories in order to maximize profit? How can the city deny the next landowner the same opportunities it is giving others? The downtown view will certainly change with a row of high-rise buildings marching along University.
Daniel Parten, Minneapolis
U.S. BANK STADIUM
Efficiency is one thing; total energy use, quite another
Let’s hope no one is injured patting themselves on the back about energy savings at the new Vikings stadium (“Energy costs for Vikings stadium beat Dome’s,” April 22). While 92 energy units per square foot in the new stadium is an improvement over 104 at the Metrodome, doubling the square footage means that the energy used for the new stadium will equal an increase of more than 75 percent. And for the mathematically challenged, 92 vs. 104 is only a drop of around 12 percent, not 16 percent.
Dick Bielke, Edina