To the subject of “Twins tell aggressive ball-snagger: You’re out” (Nov. 16):
It appears that you have no desire to be a well-mannered, polite fan in the stands, especially when a baseball finds its way into your vicinity. It is also apparent that the other fans have no right to obtain a prized game souvenir when you’re within arm’s reach or tackle zone.
Finally, you are thumbing your nose at the Twins organization, which is trying to do the right and honorable thing for all fans by giving you a no-trespass notice for a year, by professing you have no intention of staying away.
Pretty sad commentary on the person you are presenting yourself to be. Now that your picture is in publication, it will give next year’s fans a reminder of what you look like so that they can either clear out if you’re near them or pull on football tackle gear and hope for the best. Dare I say “Shame on you”?
Gail Van der Linden, Minneapolis
Vocal opposition to changes in St. Paul, but some of us are pleased
There has been a lot in the news regarding opposition to the mandated, citywide garbage-collection system in St. Paul. The opponents have apparently been very vocal. I have a feeling that there are many people, like me, who have been quieter but think the new system is a good idea and a definite improvement in their quality of life — not to mention the condition of their streets.
This is my experience: We have the same hauler with the same size cart as we had before, but we pay significantly less for the service. I live on the edge of the city, so I used to hear a garbage truck (often more than one) on my street at 6:30 in the morning every darn day of the week except Sunday. There were often multiple trucks rumbling down my street at all times of the day. I understand that the wear and tear on those city streets was considerable — especially in the spring when the ground underneath the pavement was thawing. I think it is a matter of public health and safety for a city to mandate that the citizens dispose of their refuse safely and legally (disposing of one’s trash in a business’ dumpster is not legal). I’m sure there is room for this ordinance to be tweaked for those who do not create a lot of garbage — and that’s where the attention of the City Council should be directed.
Linda R. Hinderscheit, St. Paul
SOUTHWEST LIGHT RAIL
If only the homeless could receive some of that handsome sum
Taxes and spending reflect our priorities as a society. We have collectively decided to spend $2 billion for a light-rail line between well-off southwest suburbs and downtown (avoiding dense Minneapolis neighborhoods). This is twice as much as any previous public investment in Minnesota. No meaningful environmental or traffic congestion improvements will result, according to the Metropolitan Council’s own environmental impact statement. It will, however, give some people a new transportation option in addition to regular buses, express buses, cars, van pools, Uber, etc. Personally, I will have easy access to Southwest light rail and probably will use it sometimes.
Meanwhile, around 350 of our fellow community members use light-rail trains as shelter in the winter, and the Hiawatha encampment grows larger by the day. Just 10 percent of the SWLRT budget — the amount of the 2018 budget increase — could build 800 homes at $250,000 per unit.
We can build a 21st-century public transportation system that prioritizes both innovation and fiscal responsibility. The SWLRT plan doesn’t do that. I wish a warm welcome to the new Hennepin County Board members and hope they can do better.
Jeanette Colby, Minneapolis
We lack it — we agree on that. Yet look at those prices and proposals.
I don’t know anyone who disagrees with the fact that Minneapolis has an acute shortage of affordable housing. The disagreement revolves around what “affordable” means and how it is achieved.
Last week, the Minneapolis Planning Commission approved more than a dozen apartment projects. The vast majority of these projects will not be affordable for low- and moderate-income people. Doing the math, reported average rents ranging from $1,188 to $1,728 per month are not affordable for full-time employees making the current minimum wage, or $15 per hour. Meanwhile, the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan’s principal approach to solving the city’s affordable-housing shortage is to eliminate single-family-home zoning requirements and allow construction of triplexes. There is nothing inherently wrong with triplexes, but how will they solve our affordable housing problem? How much will they cost to rent or to buy? City planners and officials have yet to answer these questions.
Sandra Nelson, Minneapolis
The issue is not the product being used; it’s the addiction itself
I understand the point a recent article was making about the dangers of “huffing” — inhaling toxic vapors, whether from glue, compressed air, or gasoline — but the piece was lacking in depth (“ ‘Huffing’ presents a unique danger of addiction,” Nov. 7). Leaving out addiction information leaves an impression that the people using these drugs are just bad people, not people that need help.
The article floats over a story of a recent car crash that killed four, throwing in statistics of “huffing” and its easy accessibility. This does not get people to understand the difficulty with addiction these people face. The article states that huffing damages the brain, but what is the specific damage to the users’ brains? According to American Addiction Centers, there are 21.5 million Americans suffering with substance abuse disorders. Nearly 500,000 of those people are inhalant users. “Huffing” is a bigger issue than just how accessible it is. These addictions are rooted in people’s genetics and their environments. Making these items less accessible isn’t going to stop them from using. If they are addicted to these substances, they will find a way to get them or get something worse.
Randi Lawson, Minneapolis
CLERGY SEX ABUSE
With papal politics involved, we should allow Francis some time
In regard to the Vatican stalling on abuse (“Vatican fails in statement on clergy sex-abuse scandal,” Opinion Exchange, Nov. 16): It is surprising that the U. S. bishops did not coordinate their conference with that of the Vatican. Nonetheless, this scandal has a long history and much has been done under Pope Francis’ auspices. He performed well in Chile once the facts were clear. There are factions in the Vatican who are opposed to the pope’s more pastoral message. Let us give this a chance to play out before criticizing.
Mary K. Lund, Minnetonka
POLITICS AND HUMOR
Congressman is right: Don’t propagate the culture of outrage
U.S. Rep.-elect Dan Crenshaw may have only one eye, but his insight is quite acute when he says that ours has become a culture of outrage; he sees no point in jumping on the bandwagon when all it will do is fan the flames that are burning an ever-deeper divide among us (“Why I didn’t demand an apology from SNL,” Opinion Exchange, Nov. 16). So it looks like “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson’s misguided attempt at humor did some good after all. (Note to Pete: You might want to consider some eye patches yourself. Either that or get yourself a new makeup person. Dude — those bags under your eyes are big enough to take on a Costco run!)
Caryn L. Schall, Minnetonka