I love bringing out my annual listening CDs — holiday music in English, Polish, German and Spanish. Jazz, rock, folk, choral music. This year I added another tune to the list that I have been belting out since I heard it on a TV special recently: Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready."
The emotions that this tune elicits are timeless. I particularly like the line, with a minor modification on my part: "There's hope for all/Among those (who) loved the most."
So go ahead. Belt out some tunes. Dance. You may, during these challenging times, have to dig deep for that joy, but it's there.
And to all the readers of this page, wishing you happy holidays.
Ursula Krawczyk, Roseville
Apply firearm rules equally
While I believe that an individual does have the right to own a firearm up to a certain level of lethality, I support the crux of the Star Tribune's editorial on gun control but for a different reason ("What guns, COVID have in common," Dec. 21). Regulation of individuals and businesses engaged in a given activity should be equally applied. If gun dealers have to abide by waiting periods, background checks or other requirements, so should individuals selling guns via any method, including online or gun show sales. Uber and Lyft and cab companies provide the basic function and should have to abide by the same government requirements. Persons who rent out homes on Airbnb or VRBO should have to abide by the same safety and zoning and tax collection requirements as a bed-and-breakfast or small hotel, as they are providing essentially the same service.
I do not kid myself that the measures suggested in the editorial are a perfect solution, but let's not make the perfect be the enemy of the good. The possession of weapons beyond a given level of lethality is prohibited and nearly universally accepted. In the extreme, though he could easily afford it, Bill Gates would not be allowed buy a fully armed nuclear submarine.
History shows that banning guns won't work either. Think prohibition or the war on drugs. In 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered Americans to turn in their gold coins for Federal Reserve notes. With the exception of rare numismatic items, the ownership of monetary gold was subject to a fine over $200,000 in today's money. Despite this, the government did not retrieve all the coins.
People are more attached to their firearms than a $10 gold piece.
Corey Glab, Prior Lake
Story should have more directly wrestled with racism
While I appreciate the Star Tribune's willingness to discuss the destruction of the Rondo neighborhood in the "Curious Minnesota" article "Why was I-94 built through St. Paul's Rondo neighborhood?" (Dec. 20), the article was extremely disappointing because it did not directly confront the racism that drove the Interstate 94 project. The decimation of Rondo is one of the most overt examples of systematic racism in this region's history, and we should all be horrified at the loss of this rich community.
The person who asked the question to Curious Minnesota says he wanted to know more about unhealed bitterness and sadness from the destruction of Rondo, and the article did not provide that. I encourage you to expand this discussion in the Star Tribune to a larger piece delving into the rich cultural history of Rondo, the insidious government policies that allowed and encouraged Rondo to be destroyed, and the people who made the decisions to prioritize efficiency and capitalism at the cost of the community and people's lives.
At this time when society seems interested in confronting our past and current racist behavior, Rondo is good place for the larger Twin Cities community to examine the costs of our past decisions. There are wonderful resources in the Twin Cities that could provide history, context and analysis of the factors that lead to the destruction of Rondo: the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery and the Minnesota Historical Society would be good places to start.
Emily Resseger, Minneapolis
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The decision to decimate the Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul by slicing a freeway through it was a typical one in that time period. It was motivated by economics and racism, no surprise there, as was the destruction of 40% of downtown Minneapolis in the early '60s. Unfortunately, Minneapolis didn't recover until roughly 10 years ago and St. Paul never recovered.
It is important for citizens of these two great cities to understand that political decisions made today have consequences well into the future. A cultural heritage was lost when Rondo was destroyed, and as Americans we are all part of our own subcultures and thus part of the greater American culture. We can't afford to turn our backs on any of it.
Frederic J. Anderson, Minneapolis
Cutting teams is not the only option
Gender proportionality is not the only method that an institution may use to achieve current Title IX requirements ("More clarity needed on U sports cuts," editorial, Dec. 19). There are two other prongs that can be used to achieve compliance. An institution may also: demonstrate a history and continuing practice of program expansion for the underrepresented sex, and/or fully and effectively accommodate the interests and abilities of the underrepresented sex.
While the second prong may be difficult to achieve during this time of economic difficulty for the University of Minnesota Athletic Department, why not explore the possibilities of the third prong?
There are emerging women's sports identified by the NCAA that might be added. These include rugby, wrestling and the triathlon. I believe the university currently has facilities to accommodate these potential programs, and I believe funds could be raised by potential boosters of these sports. Also, the university currently has the following women's or coed club sports: lacrosse, alpine and Nordic skiing, fencing and ultimate Frisbee. As the editorial in Saturday's paper states, "There is no reason to treat campus athletics as a zero-sum game. The goal should be not fewer opportunities for men, but more for women."
Title IX was instituted to provide new opportunities for women, not to contract men's programs. I think it's time for university athletic director Mark Coyle and President Joan Gabel to think a bit outside the box. Isn't this what leaders sometimes do?
William Terriquez, Bernalillo, N.M.
The writer is professor emeritus in the department of physical education, athletics and recreation at Carleton College.
More distanced, divided than ever
Gov. Tim Walz has issued directives in an effort to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. The response from Minnesotans signals the depth of the new reality in Minnesota. Minnesotans in non-metro counties have reacted negatively to the order to limit restaurants to outdoor dining and the other restrictions from the governor. The response is that they are not the metro and should be treated differently. Non-metro legislators have echoed these sentiments. The election results also support the deepening metro vs. non-metro divide with the Seventh District going Republican, the Minnesota Senate remaining Republican, and Trump carrying most non-metro counties, all in the face of Democrat Joe Biden carrying the state.
It appears that our elected leaders and the DFL in particular will have to seriously ponder how to develop policies that appeal to both metro and non-metro constituents if they wish to capture those votes.
We have indeed become two states within one Minnesota.
Roger Johnson, Edina
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Bar and restaurant owners who are defying Gov. Walz's order banning indoor dining claim that "this is absolutely, 100% about our freedoms and our liberties ... " ("Defiance is political act for some bars, eateries," front page, Dec. 23). But what about my freedom and liberties — and the freedom and liberties of all Minnesotans whose health and safety you are putting at risk? Isn't creating an equitable balance of freedoms and liberties the very responsibility of government?
Joan Barnes, New Brighton
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