Apparently, we low-culture people can have places like Stillwater to buy our tacky T-shirts and Chinese-made scented candles as long as we stay out of Lake Minnetonka. Maybe we should change the state motto to the “land of 9,999 open lakes and one for ‘snoots?’ ” As opposed to commentary writer John Freivalds, a Lake Minnetonka resident against efforts to promote tourism (“The ongoing war for Wayzata’s soul,” Opinion Exchange, Aug. 10), I am sure that Stillwater residents moved to their area so they could enjoy the barrage of traffic noises — who wouldn’t want that? As a Wisconsin resident working in the Twin Cities, I love to visit Stillwater. The St. Croix River is a national treasure — just ask the National Park Service. The people of Stillwater are all very polite and welcoming, at least to me. The local business owners offer great customer service and many one-of-a-kind items and experiences. I have been in the parking lot that according to Freivalds has lines 30-deep waiting to pay, and have never found those lines. As a matter of fact, I have seen the parking attendants often personally helping people use the automated pay station.
Promoting tourism does not kill a community by bringing in the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. It opens up the wonderful and unique places in the state to be enjoyed by all of its residents and by outsiders like me. Maybe instead of using funds to upgrade the roads in Wayzata, they can build a wall around it. I’ll bet the contractors who plan to build the walls along the Mexico border will have some bricks left over for the Great Wall of Wayzata.
Robert Heuermann, Hudson, Wis.
In editorial and lost-boy article, positive connection can be made
I often read the editorial page first, and the Aug. 11 headline “Improving training to help cops, citizens” got my full attention. During this highly charged, complex and controversial time, it’s good to see coverage of how local leaders in law enforcement envision their profession and its future.
The editorial writers stood up for the realities of police work by offering that it is “far more complex than just chasing down bad guys”; they conclude that the goal of any training needs to be “safer streets for citizens and police.”
Then I flipped to the front page, where “Lost child is led home by police dog’s nose” caught my eye first. Watchful neighbors saw a young boy wandering alone, called 911, then stuck around to help responding Officer Patrick Murphy figure out where the child lived. The child was confused and scared, and together they were failing. That’s when Officer Sarik, a police dog, was deployed from the back seat of the K-9 squad car and persuaded to find the home that belonged to the child whose scent still lingered on Officer Murphy’s uniform from when he held the boy. (Amazing!)
Let’s connect this story to the editorial and celebrate a real example of citizens and police working together to make a street safe for a lost little boy. This story illuminates that huge soft zone of the police job that isn’t about criminal apprehension. They all — citizens and officers (two feet and four) — each deserve a gold medal for Olympic expertise in the very skills that Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau wants to emphasize in future training. Thanks for a wonderful telling of a great example of what is going right, right now.
Wendy Wustenberg, Farmington
To say they’re a waste of money is to roundly miss the point
To the two Aug. 8 letter writers who dread the possibility that Denmark’s interventions with young Muslims would be replicated here (“Don’t waste money being nice … ,” responding to “A bold new plan to subvert terror,” July 31): I assure you most Danish money is not going, as one of the writers fears, into “social workers.” It is going to improve the schools, roads and other services of poor Muslim communities. This is intended to reduce the desperation and alienation that can lead young people into joining extremist movements.
While the exact methods we can use to help our Muslim neighbors will and should be different here, it is clear that regarding an entire population as guilty until proven innocent does not make anyone feel welcome in America. Too often our law enforcement has focused on turning at-risk young people into spies, unwilling salespersons for entrapment “terrorist plots” the FBI can boast about defeating.
This is no way to combat the allure of extremism; probably, just the reverse. Most of us have families that originated from outside America, and we know prejudice and hardship pushed some distant relatives into antisocial behavior. Why repeat those mistakes? We can do better. And it hurts nothing to examine ways we could.
James Fillmore, St. Paul
Get people working from home and we won’t need more lanes
I found the article in the Aug. 4 issue of the Star Tribune about traffic congestion, and the reaction to it, quite interesting. The comments so far seem to focus on expanding traffic lanes. I’d like to propose fewer cars on the road.
I moved here four years ago from Wisconsin. In the 10 years before I took my current job with the federal government, I worked from home. Given the reputation Minneapolis had as a “green” city, I expected it would be the same here.
Far from it, which I don’t understand. There are few jobs that literally require anyone to travel to an office anymore. Most jobs can easily be done from home. While working my last work-from-home job, I was located 100 miles from my office. I went there perhaps once a month.
With the technology that exists today, I’m amazed that most people are not working from home. Even in my current job with the federal government, I could be working at home all but one or two days a week. The other days require contact with the public, and we have arrived at the point in technological advancement where even face-to-face contact can be achieved without leaving home. Two people with smartphones can have a personal meeting without either ever having to leave their homes.
Rather than building more roads and adding more lanes, why don’t we use the technology available to us to get people off the roads?
William C. Petri, Plymouth
THE 2016 CAMPAIGN
The fault, dear Trump fans, is not in our Star Tribune
To the two Aug. 11 letter writers who accused the Star Tribune of bias against Donald Trump: Sorry, gentlemen, but this candidate talks all day, every day, and the newspapers report it. They quote him. They repeat what he said. That is called journalism, not bias. It is unclear to me why his comments don’t outrage you but the reporting of them does.
Cheryl Bailey, St. Paul
• • •
Leaving Target and a baby starts crying. Instantly a man comes up with: “Good thing Trump isn’t here. He’d toss the baby out.” A woman comes back with: “Or shoot him.” A little image problem for the “law and order” candidate.
Pat Proft, Medina