If I were a member of the Minneapolis City Council, I would vote to keep the current logo for “Minneapolis City of Lakes” instead of the tentative new logo (“City of Minneapolis floats new logo idea,” Feb. 19). The current one is still fresh and visually pleasing, with the perfect juxtaposition of light, dark, white, black and large vs. small. The current logo fits within a triangle type shape, which leads the eye around the design. If the two designs were in a graphic arts contest, I believe the current logo would win hands down.
While I applaud the city for trying to keep costs down, I would like to “float” a proposal that it open up a logo contest to Minneapolis residents. If that’s not possible, I would advise: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The current logo is beautiful. It makes me want to learn how to sail.
Sandy Henrikson, Minneapolis
GUNS AND SELF-DEFENSE
In campus safety, they don’t add value
Let me emphasize the campus rape scenario distinctions that were presented in “Advocates now push guns on campus to deter rape” (Feb. 19): Any single crime perpetrated against any student alone at night in conjunction with work, study or another activity is unacceptable, but the frequency of instances on campuses must be considered against the dangers of inappropriate gun use or mishandling, and the fact that carrying a gun, concealed or not, makes one a potential target of gun theft and associated injury. Date rape is a completely separate scenario in which, as the article pointed out, a firearm is more a serious danger than a likely deterrent because a degree of mutual consent and high degrees of sexual drive (of both parties) and/or drug or alcohol impairment are all components that delay or alter judgments. Date rape is often a devastating morning-after realization, at which time a gun could be a handy tool of revenge or suicide.
David Craig Smith, Minneapolis
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A New York Times editorial excerpted in the Star Tribune erroneously asserted that over almost eight years there were 722 non-self-defense gun deaths nationwide by those with a permit to carry a concealed handgun (Short Takes, Feb. 15).
Take the supposedly worst state, Michigan. There, 217 of the 722 claimed deaths reportedly involved suicides. But Michigan State Police reports don’t collect information on how suicides were committed — just that permit holders committed suicide. As to permits causing suicides, permit holders committed suicide at just 38 percent the rate of the general adult Michigan population.
Michigan’s supposed 60 “murders” included legitimate self-defense cases and a lot of triple counting, or worse. “Pending” and “conviction” numbers from the Michigan State Police reports are both counted, though convictions are first listed as pending. Cases can be “pending” for years, and counted as separate murders.
The correct number of murders or accidents is 18, or 2.3 per year — a rate in 2013 per permit holder of 0.0005 percent.
John R. Lott Jr., Swarthmore, Penn.
The writer is president of the Crime Prevention Research Center.
Change in course is years too late
The University of Minnesota administration has finally been thinking about turning off the spigot after $12.5 million has gone down the UMore Park drain (“U changes course on UMore,” Feb. 13).
Just think how many students could have received a college education with the use of those funds.
Even worse, the gravel mining at the Dakota County property presents a risk to the agricultural research that has produced hundreds of millions of dollars for the state economy.
For years, Bill Gleason and other professors were ringing alarm bells. But the senior administrators and the regents ignored the warnings. Now they walk away without any personal accountability.
Each biennium, the citizens of our state invest more than $1 billion in the U in general appropriations. With that much at stake, the Legislature should appoint a watchdog to monitor on a continuing basis the operations of the university and the use of state appropriations.
Michael W. McNabb, Lakeville
NOISE, LIGHT POLLUTION
Peace vs. recreation, stars vs. safety
U.S. District Judge John Tunheim’s ruling that a proposed snowmobile route near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness will not violate the federal Wilderness Act (“Snowmobile trail skirting BWCA wins long legal fight,” Feb. 14) makes one wonder if Tunheim has ever been near a wilderness area or heard a snowmobile, let alone many snowmobiles, traveling through the silence of the pines in the winter. He is quoted as saying the noise would be no louder than “a moderate rainfall.” Besides, he writes, in this designated wilderness “there are few winter visitors and the expectation of solitude is slim.” What does he think the “expectation” might be? I would suggest that Tunheim read the well-written and -documented book by Gordon Hempton titled “One Square Inch of Silence.” He might better understand the relationship of our national forests and parks to the increasing intrusion of nearby noise.
John Oldendorf, Lake Elmo
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The cold, crisp air of winter brings about a wonderful opportunity to see bright stars and planets. Unfortunately, light pollution has gotten more and more intense, blocking our views of the brilliant night sky (“Star light, star plight,” Feb. 19). Organizations like the International Dark-Sky Association state that Minnesota is not listed as a “dark sky place.” This is good and bad. Of course, we save money and environmental degradation by turning out the lights, and, of course, businesses waste money by keeping the lights on, but what about safety? Quite frankly, I’d rather see what’s in front of me and all around me at night than what’s going on in the heavens. Urban sprawl prevents us from having things both ways. Streets need lighting; homes need lights around their perimeters (to deter thieves); stores need lights on sidewalks, and so on.
In her effort to draft a model ordinance for Minnesota municipalities, state Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, asks, “How could you not do something to reduce energy use, lower costs and reduce emissions?” Point well taken, but in an effort toward protecting the darkness, safety issues prevent us from turning out the lights.
Sharon E. Carlson, Andover
Give Obama, Clinton efforts a little credit
For once, George Will (“Regarding terrorism, curb your pessimism,” Feb. 16) makes some sense, except for his smear on Hillary Clinton. He also fails to give credit to the Obama administration for eliminating most or all of the chemical weapons in Syria, which substantially reduces the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Think what would be happening now if ISIL had captured those weapons.
Dennis Andersen, Minnetonka