If you didn’t see the “60 Minutes” segment on Sunday about the amount of time that members of both sides in the Congress are encouraged and pressured to spend on fundraising via phone calls to people on lists of possible donors in the thousands of dollars, please take a view (http://tinyurl.com/h3spnch).
The segment mentioned four hours per day. The ones opposed to this practice are saying they can’t do their work for the people they represent due to this commitment.
Some have refused. Many others, it appears, make the calls with reservations. Is this what we want for our future?
In my view, this is as crazy and dehumanizing as some practices we disdain in some other parts of the world.
There are a few members of our U.S. Congress on both sides who are presenting a bill to end this practice, and I am totally behind that.
Please tell your representative that he or she is not there to spend time raising dollars for re-election or for their party. The job is solely to be your voice in our government.
Steven A. Anderson, St. Louis Park
How about the North Side as a legacy locale/music district?
I am stunned by the love and expressions of grief over the loss of one of Minnesota’s favorite sons — Prince. While Prince is a national icon, those who live on the North Side of Minneapolis count him as one of their own, since it was his home while growing up. There has been talk of turning his Paisley Park complex in Chanhassen into a museum in his honor, which makes sense. We also must think about what will happen to the employees and the business side of a working music studio. Perhaps it’s time to think about providing badly needed redevelopment and employment opportunities to north Minneapolis?
Parts or all of W. Broadway could become a music district with clubs, dining, entertainment, and studios and educational venues related to the entertainment industry. “Funky Town,” as it could be known, could in the long term not only honor Prince but also revitalize the entire North Side and surrounding areas. Of course, a district like this would need to be carefully planned so that local residents felt like the area was still home and not a tourist trap. Also, such a district would need to keeps its diverse and blue-collar flavor. A goal would be to not gentrify too much. This concept is a bit over the top, but Prince never did mediocre things. Think of the possibilities.
Kurt Lawrason, Minneapolis
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I wish I could formulate an opinion on whether an April 23 letter writer is correct in his opinion that the Star Tribune’s “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.” I’ve been too distracted by certain beautiful things over the past couple of days to do so, however. Things like a loving crowd of 10,000 people at First Avenue that I was part of on Thursday night. Or the wonderful and loving worldwide “tributes in Purple” I have been seeing. Or the words of love and remembrance I have been hearing.
My commentary aside, I know to an absolute certainty that I speak for the community in general when I state that the Star Tribune’s high-class coverage of this incredibly sad occurrence has been absolutely, in the words of the letter writer himself, uplifting. Thank you.
Eric Brinksowner, Minneapolis
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Many thanks are due to the city of Minneapolis, First Avenue and the Current for their tireless efforts over the weekend to provide an amazing space to celebrate and honor a beloved icon. Many worked without hesitation and around the clock to line up artists, emcee, set up stages, clean streets and protect the public. Their dedication is appreciated.
Paul Johnson, Minneapolis
Marcy-Holmes high-rise foes misunderstand the city’s goals
The two April 23 letters complaining about the proposed high-rise on the east side of the Mississippi River miss the point. The city’s sustainability goals call for density and economic development on traffic corridors especially. The proposed 40-story skinny high-rise will be a stunning landmark. We have enough squat, six-story warehouse-type complexes. The Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association has done a good job working with the developer, who has agreed to contribute a nice chunk of money to improve our parks and whose plans for the high-rise will not only complement its lovely historic neighborhood but also obscure much of the rather ugly but useful parking ramp next door.
I’m confident the Marcy-Holmes group will work equally well on the General Mills land that is proposed to be redeveloped a block farther down University Avenue SE. and will continue taking into account the city’s goals.
Arvonne Fraser, Minneapolis
Is it the wearing or the wearer that bothered letter writer?
The April 24 letter writer criticizing the patriotism of a young woman at an event in St. Cloud for wearing a hijab constructed from an American flag is, of course, quite correct in pointing out that manufacturing clothing from the American flag is not only poor flag etiquette, but also a violation of U.S. Code Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 8, paragraph D: “The flag should never be used as wearing apparel.”
However, after decades of witnessing similar and even more extreme articles of clothing having been manufactured from American flag designs (such as bikinis, underwear and even condoms), it seems odd that such criticism should arise now. Of course, the individual wearing the hijab is a Muslim; so perhaps the reader was more incensed by that than by the attempt to show patriotism.
Should the reader have attended most of the state and federal Republican conventions over the course of the last 30 years (as well as any of the Tea Party gatherings during this past decade), would that same reader have been equally offended to discover how many of those attendees were also in flagrant violation of the very same flag etiquette and U.S. Code — and often quite proud of their patriotic display? Even former President George H.W. Bush has been photographed wearing socks designed after the American flag, as well as the interior lining of one of his suits.
Perhaps flag etiquette and the U.S. Code are to be enforced for everyone — except Republicans.
D. Kingsley Hahn, Arden Hills
Licensing focus is a classic case of wrong thing at wrong time
I am constantly amazed at what our legislators spend their time on while “Rome is burning.” Poverty, homelessness and crime are running rampant, and they’re discussing expanding the list of jobs that require licensure! While I have a bit of empathy to those wanting an eyelash technician to have some training before using a sharp needle near their eyes, I am appalled at the proposal that music therapists have at least a bachelor’s degree in music therapy, plus clinical training and continuing education. Who is to decide what a “music therapist” really is? These are often people who visit schools and nursing homes and bring joy and, yes, sometimes “healing” to our citizens, often on a volunteer basis. Should this become law, Prince, our own hometown hero who has been lauded by the world over the last several days as one of the greatest musicians ever, would not qualify to bring his music to the residents of a nursing home! God, spare me the fools of this world who sit in our Legislature!
Kathie Kelly, Coon Rapids