I realize change is often hard to embrace and can certainly appreciate two recent letter writers’ frustration with the way the name change from Lake Calhoun to Bde Maka Ska was handled (“Name change snubbed residents,” Aug. 26). I applaud the writers’ passion for this lake, but I would like to remind them that even though they are fortunate enough to live and prosper in this neighborhood, this is not their lake, and theirs is not the only voice. Now that it has been colonized, this beautiful lake belongs to all in Minneapolis, to all of us in Minnesota.
I’m disheartened that the pro-Lake Calhoun group feels the name change was a feel-good exercise and will do nothing to improve the inequities in our community. They say these inequities should have been addressed instead of the renaming, not in addition to it — as if we can’t do two things at once. Well, this feel-good exercise makes me feel great because it gives me pride in our community. Who of us can say this will not improve the lives of, and give hope to, the disrespected and disenfranchised in our community by sheer respect alone? It is always appropriate to do the right thing, to correct a mistake and to show respect for those who came before us. To paraphrase Maya Angelou, when you know better, you do better. We know better and this is doing better.
I do agree that more time and energy needs to be devoted to schools, housing and health care, and I challenge the letter writers and all of us to put our skills and energy to address those problems wholeheartedly.
Jill White, Brooklyn Center
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When making statements about attempts to change the legal name of Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis city officials often assert that the lake and surrounding area were “stolen” from the Dakota.
Do these public officials not realize that such assertions undermine the economy and society of the city they are supposed to be serving? Why would anyone invest or buy property in a jurisdiction considered to be stolen and whose government therefore is illegitimate? These people have not thought out the logical consequences of such statements.
These statements also give rise to the question: If Lake Calhoun was stolen, what steps are the city and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board taking to return it to its rightful owners? Also, how can Minneapolis officials and the commissioners of the board personally justify living in the city of Minneapolis, given that they are squatting on stolen land? And, if they continue to live there, what does that say about their ethics?
Chris Schons, Minnetonka
Focus on positions, not alliances
With over 14 months until the 2020 elections, we’ll no doubt have an opportunity to read many stories about major party candidates for state and national office. Using the Star Tribune’s coverage of Jason Lewis’ Senate announcement (“Jason Lewis jumps into Senate race,” Aug. 23) as an example, may I suggest a few improvements?
To be a more knowledgeable citizen and capable voter, I need to know Lewis’ positions on the issues of the day, not the people of the day. There is no shortage of issues at hand — for me, climate change, gun violence, the national deficit and immigration policy top the list.
I don’t want to read articles about how Lewis wishes to align himself — or not — with President Donald Trump or U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Ayanna Pressley, as none of these individuals are competing to be my United States senator. I don’t want to hear from the chairs of the two major parties, either, as their partisan spin doesn’t help me to figure out how this newly announced candidate aligns with my views.
To be honest, I don’t even want the Star Tribune to tell me how Lewis’ positions align or differ with those of Sen. Tina Smith. I can figure that out if the newspaper will just provide me with in-depth information on their policy positions and vision for the future of our country.
Kirsten Bansen Weigle, St. Michael
Plane noise deserves attention, too
Yes, fix the airport security issues (“Airport meltdown requires a TSA fix,” editorial, Aug. 26). Agreed, more staffing is needed to handle the growth. But please don’t forget the noise that this growth has brought as airplanes daily assault our outdoor conversation on warm days or Friday cocktail hours when we try to enjoy summer’s brief embrace.
Having lived in south Minneapolis for over 50 years, I have heard many hopeful promises: The next generation of engines will be quieter, the new north-south runway will alleviate the problem, takeoffs will fan out across the city, and, most cynically, we will insulate your home against noise. Thank you for the insulation, but most of us like to plant flowers, cut the grass, talk to the neighbors and take walks in the summer. As we do these things, we are attacked as if by a swarm of bees invading our ears. For many years, we supported a community organization against airplane noise because it seemed to have a voice at the table. The organization now appears to have given up in exhaustion. The noise continues.
Why don’t I move? Because everything is perfect, except the noise. And, further, why is it right to allow the equivalent of a motorcycle blast every two or three minutes into our neighborhood?
I don’t know the answer. We all enjoy the privilege of flying. Just, please, somehow respect our need for occasional tranquility. It is no different than the need to move through airport lines efficiently.
Donald M. Hall, Minneapolis
Drivers not getting no-phone rule
On a recent afternoon, I witnessed five people illegally using their cellphones as they passed the bus I rode from the State Fair to Burnsville. One driver was a construction vehicle towing a trailer, one person was talking with their phone in hand, and four were actively texting. I didn’t count the number of cars that passed the bus, but five cars out of that total is a significant number. If this scales for all the cars on the road than despite the new hands-free law, we still have an epidemic of unsafe drivers who simply don’t get it.
Jeff Miller, Shakopee
TRUMP AND THE ECONOMY
Recession is not here, but it looms
To the Aug. 24 letter writer critical of President Donald Trump’s detractors (“Trump critics have it wrong”), dynamic systems like the U.S. economy have an inherent response time; they do not respond to changes instantly.
Think of the economy as the Titanic. An iceberg is spotted two miles ahead. The wheel is turned hard to change course, but the ship keeps moving in a straight line. Finally, too late, the ship begins to turn.
Our critic is right. We are not in a recession now, but he fails to notice that there is an iceberg looming on the horizon. The quantitative easing of which he speaks is indeed not happening now either but something needs to be done now, or, to return to the analogy, our Titanic will hit the iceberg. A cut in the employment tax, which President Barack Obama used successfully to avert a recession when he first took over from the Republicans, has been suggested, but now Trump is trying to dictate to businesses how they should run. That is not characteristic of our free-market economy. It’s more reminiscent of a Soviet five-year plan. A better idea would be to remove the tariffs, which is one of the main factors driving us down.
David M. Perlman, New Hope
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