In response to the May 9 article "Who's No. 1 grocer in Twin Cities?" I'd like to give a much-deserved shoutout to Cub Foods. During the uprising of last May, the Cub store at Lake Street and 26th Avenue in Minneapolis was damaged.
Within what seemed like a few days Cub put up a well-ventilated, cooled and heated tent grocery store so that we in the neighborhood could continue to get food. This was a full-service, clean, COVID-safe store with fresh vegetables and fruit and all the staples a person could want.
Cub also provided a mailbox that I used to cast my vote in November and a pharmacy where I got my yearly flu shot. I understand that while the buses were not running, Cub provided a bus service around the greater neighborhood. What fantastic corporate ethics were displayed.
I'm sure this was run at a hefty loss for Cub, and for this, and all that was done in our time of need, I thank them.
Barbara Scotford, Minneapolis
In one view, underappreciated; in another, a vision of Utopia
The front-page article "Transit thrown off track" (May 9) described how transit ridership plunged during the pandemic and will look different as some of us return to downtown for work and play while others continue to work from home.
But it included inappropriate stereotypes of transit riders. Of course there is occasional panhandling and drinking on light-rail trains, and a small chance of catching a respiratory virus. But don't these things happen on city sidewalks or wherever people gather? And do we really need armed police to monitor petty misdemeanors like fare evasion?
Where was the discussion of how public transit helps people escape poverty by getting them to work and school, how it fights global warming, and how it can help us build a modern and diverse city that works for everyone? Could we have more balanced reporting on this important topic?
Richard Adair, Minneapolis
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Metro Transit ridership is off 50%; the agency is running headlong into a budget deficit, and yet it still plans to build 11 new transit lines, all of which will likely lose money. How does this make any sense, and why do we allow our tax dollars to be wasted this way? It's time to rein in the Metropolitan Council and its utopian schemes.
Jack Sheehan, Eden Prairie
Vaccine is fine; the problems arrive from elsewhere
It was reassuring to hear Dr. Sarah Cross confirm that there is no scientific data that shows the COVID vaccine impacts fertility ("Fact check: COVID vaccine and fertility," editorial, "Our Best Shot" series, May 9); however, there is something that is affecting fertility, and the cause is flying under the radar right now.
I just finished reading a book "Count Down" by Shanna Swan, an environmental and reproductive epidemiologist who makes a strong case that we should be concerned about fertility. Her work, and that of other scientists, shows that sperm counts are declining 1% per year and that by 2050 many couples will have to turn to technology to conceive a child.
The reason: endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that are hijacking our hormones and impacting our ability to reproduce. We're exposed to these chemicals from hundreds of products that we use every day, from flame-retardant fabrics, PFAS-coated food packaging, bisphenols in cash register receipts, pesticides in our food, and phthalates in the plastic we store our food in and the toys our children play with. These chemicals give products qualities we like, but they come at a cost. Are we paying too much for it?
Lori Olinger, North Oaks
We're not the enemy
The crazy conspiracy theory on manufactured homes put forth in a recent commentary on affordable housing ("Homebuilding must modernize," Opinion Exchange, May 1) is disturbing on several fronts. The author would have readers believe the National Association of Home Builders has partnered with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to kill the production of factory-built homes because they are an allegedly cheaper method of home construction.
The facts are that HUD is a huge proponent of manufactured homes and that the NAHB represents — and welcomes — all members and facets of the home construction industry, including manufactured housing producers.
Given the geographic decentralization of residential construction, it is unreasonable to think that off-site construction would rapidly gain market share. Stick-built construction is the predominant mode of homebuilding in the U.S. because it is by far the most efficient method on a vast scale that is needed to house all our citizens, from those in heavily crowded urban areas to those in sparsely populated rural communities.
To label the NAHB and HUD as "monopolies inflicting the greatest damage to the factory-built industry" is beyond ludicrous. The NAHB is proud to work with HUD to find solutions to increase the production of sorely needed affordable housing. To fit his misleading narrative, the writer conveniently overlooked the Innovative Housing Showcase hosted by NAHB and HUD on the National Mall in 2019 that featured the latest building technologies from manufactured housing producers.
A critical, positive way to address the nation's affordability woes is to reduce excessive regulations that will allow builders to increase production of all housing types — including manufactured housing.
Chuck Fowke, Washington, D.C.
The writer is chairman of the National Association of Home Builders.
MINNESOTA AG'S OFFICE
New focus hasn't hurt the old
While the Minnesota Attorney General's Office under Keith Ellison is becoming more focused on criminal justice ("Leading AG's office on new path," May 9), the office's commitment to consumer protection remains a significant part of their mission. We contacted the office after being victimized by a Texas software company. Their response was immediate, forceful and effective. Kudos to Ellison and his staff.
Dee and Nick Long, Minnetonka
We live, we learn
Sheila Qualls wrote a loving tribute to her mother ("Thanks to Mom, I don't have to be like her," Opinion Exchange, May 9).
I believe that most girls have ongoing issues with their mothers while growing up. Everything from criticizing how they dress, cook, talk, walk. As Qualls so accurately stated, it is through a lens of maturity that we come to see our mothers as individuals, not just "MOM!" (Add eye-rolling and exasperated gasps.)
Over time we come to appreciate how, more often than not, mothers put aside their own needs and desires to accommodate those of their family. But how fortunate for many of us that we are able to discover who they are later in life, when the parent-child relationship fades.
Speaking for myself, I regret not possessing more of the qualities my mother had. Wasn't paying close enough attention through the eye-rolling and amplified sighing.
Ursula Krawczyk, Roseville
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