I ride a bike. But now, all the bike lanes popping up on streets everywhere in Minneapolis are being imposed upon the citizenry in a most draconian manner. Minneapolis has not yet developed suitable enough public transportation needed to allow compromising our city's car lanes. Considering our seasons and the fact that not everyone can ride a bike, these street conversions border on the absurd. On 26th and 28th streets the bike lanes make no sense since bikers can easily take the 29th St corridor in both directions. In much of Europe, you can get almost anywhere with public transportation, but that is not the case in Minneapolis. So, please, city of Minneapolis, use some common sense. Remove some of those bike lanes and get our public transportation system in place first.

ROSELYN REZAC, Minneapolis

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Recently, my wife and I visited Minneapolis for the first time. We knew we were coming to a bike-friendly city, but we weren't necessarily expecting the friendliness of a small town. Our first encounter was upon arrival at a bike-rental kiosk near Lake of the Isles. Another visiting couple, from Winnipeg, briefed us on the ease of use. Residents greeted us on the streets explaining the parking meters, directions to Minnehaha Falls and the best place to buy local brews to carry back to Missouri.

Friendly comments about our accent, "You must be from the South" (we thought we were from the Midwest), suggestions for dining and pleasant hellos along the various bike trails we rode made it a very enjoyable stay.

Hats off to a great city!

Michael C. Rowson, Columbia, Mo.

Here's a message to both sides: Work together to get 'er done

Dear Republicans: So that health care bill you tried to pass by yourselves didn't work out. That doesn't free you from the obligation to look for ways to improve the situation. If you work with some folks across the aisle, chances are you'll come up with a better plan than one that could pass on only a party-line vote. Which brings us to …

Dear Democrats: This is no time to gloat. Remember that health care legislation you came up with a few years back? It has some problems. Maybe you can fix them, but you'll need the help of those other folks in the building. You need to listen to their concerns and find a way — together — to address them.

It's time for all of our representatives to put aside party politics and, for once, make the concerns of the American people their top priority.

Jeff Naylor, Minneapolis

For team owners, don't be too quick to say 'You're fired'

Marc A. Thiessen of the American Enterprise Institute is patently wrong when he writes that athletes are not constitutionally protected from the consequences of their peaceful protests on or off the field ("Disrespecting the flag is a disgraceful way to protest," Opinion Exchange, Sept. 27). As affirmed twice by the U.S. Supreme Court, any action taken by anyone — private employer or not — to punish (i.e., fire) a person for exercising their constitutional rights, particularly in a peaceful way, is, in fact, suppression of free speech and therefore illegal. Any owner, manager or coach who did so would be liable for financial damages, not to mention the entirety of the athlete's remaining contract.


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On Wednesday, I attempted to e-mail the Minnesota Vikings to "protest their protest." I promptly received an e-mail back saying their e-mail was full and unable to accept my message. This is the e-mail I wanted the Vikings organization to read. If you print this, maybe someone at the Vikings will listen.

To whom it may concern: I have been a loyal Vikings fan since 1971. I am 53 years old. I was a season-ticket holder, and I own jerseys, T-shirts and even a Vikings cap that honors the veterans who have served.

Unfortunately, in light of the recent protest and disrespect to the U.S. flag and ultimately our country, I will not be watching games until this matter is addressed and the team behavior is changed.

I agree that the players have a right to do this because of the freedom we have in this great country. That is a right that is guaranteed that the government cannot take away. That does not mean that an organization, whether it be the Vikings or the NFL, does not have the right to require a certain type of behavior from its employees and partners.

I believe your ratings will continue to go down and that advertisers will have to rethink dollars spent as fewer and fewer viewers tune in.

Your response to this e-mail would be appreciated. Thank you.

Troy Meyen, Plymouth

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I read online that President Donald Trump felt ashamed that several athletes and many others expressed their rights by protesting during the national anthem ("NFL anthem protests evolve past Kaepernick's original intent," StarTribune.com, Sept. 26). He cites the fact that he saw many wounded veterans who fought to defend the country, the flag and the anthem.

I am a Vietnam veteran of almost three full tours in 1968, '69 and '70. I have a Purple Heart, a Combat Infantry Badge, Parachute Wings, Flight Wings and many other awards and decorations, and I will put my record of service up against our draft-dodging president any day. I know that some will disagree with me and call me disloyal, but I can speak for myself and many of the vets I know. You will be hard-pressed to find many of them who will say they fought for the flag or the national anthem.

If anything, I like to think that, in the beginning, I fought for the great adventure that war seemed to be, and at this point in my life I prefer to think I fought so people have the right to protest the injustices as they see them. I would kneel with them, but as I age, my knees hurt too much to get back up easily. I will kneel with them in spirit. What I am ashamed of is that Trump speaks to the world on our behalf. I hope no one thinks his thoughts are mine.

Clare Michlin, Golden Valley

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Americans protesting the flag is not new. During World War II, my family and I were interned in a relocation camp. On July 4th, a nearby town staged a parade. As the flag went by, a woman standing next to my mother said, "Oh, doesn't seeing the flag make you feel wonderful?" My mother looked at her and snapped, "How can you say that when we are here behind barbed wire deprived of our rights?" And she turned her back.

The American flag stands for all that is good in this country. In this instance, waving it was a slap in the face to a group of people who were incarcerated.

Elaine Sachi Watson, Plymouth

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I am utterly confused. As a lifelong Catholic (still practicing), I cannot understand how kneeling is a sign of disrespect.

Mary Slobig, Minneapolis