Where is the review of the 106th Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition?

It is the largest juried art show in the state, open to anyone who lives here. This year 334 artworks were selected for exhibit from 2,482 entries and will be seen by more than 250,000 people who will attend. The show is carefully overseen by a superintendent selecting a well-qualified judge for each category. A new team of judges each year keeps the perspective fresh. This juried process allows the work to be displayed in a thoughtful, noncluttered manner for all to enjoy.

We are fortunate to have such diverse, high-quality fine-art talent among our neighbors. Surely the Star Tribune will honor them, and promote the show, with a respected art reviewer covering the 107th exhibit next year. The Fine Arts exhibition is an important contribution to the Great Minnesota Get-Together!

Pam G. Harris, Minneapolis


This listening and responding seems like so much lip service

Regarding the Mayo/Albert Lea debacle and regional vice president Annie Sadosty’s defense (“Indeed, the Mayo Clinic is listening and responding,” editorial counterpoint, Aug. 31): Spare me the rhetoric. This was never about “partnering” or “stewardship” in order to get it right. This was always about belated-because-never-intended “listening and responding” from a health care monopoly, in this instance wielding its power to improve its long-term financial bottom line. Why? Not because it cared, but because it could. Whatever happened to the concept of, above all, to “do no harm?” Rural communities deserve no less.

Judith Monson, St. Paul

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I was born in Naeve Hospital in Albert Lea. My siblings, my children — everyone in the entire area from Hollandale, Emmons, Clarks Grove, Geneva, Ellendale, Glenville, etc. — went to Naeve to have their babies. Not only that, we went there when we were so sick that the doctors put us in the hospital. It was a safe place to be. I would suspect the doctors love this friendly, small town in which to practice.

Now — even though Albert Lea and Austin are in different counties, Mayo is calling the two “campuses.” How ridiculous! If I was going into labor and had to get into a car and go 22 miles on icy roads in a winter blizzard, I would not be a happy person. I wonder: When the baby is born, will the birth certificate put Austin’s county as the place of birth, or Albert Lea’s Freeborn County? All in all, if Mayo does get by with this plan, I hope everyone in the Albert Lea area finds another hospital willing to serve Freeborn County, and let Mayo go to Austin and stay there. Alone.

Donna Hawkinson, Plymouth


Public Trust Doctrine matters after all, judge correctly finds

Yea and thanks for the wisdom of Judge Margaret Marrinan (and for the pro bono lawyers who represented the people who care about water) who ruled in favor of water and against the state of Minnesota for poorly regulating water usage in White Bear Lake and against green lawns as an overriding public value (“Judge: State failed to protect White Bear Lake,” Aug. 31). She resurrected the Public Trust Doctrine, which holds that natural resources — think lakes and rivers, think air, think plant life — are held in trust for the public good. For “public good,” think public health (clean water, clean air), think public joy in natural beauty, think public fun of boating and swimming, think grandchildren and the rights of future generations. Thank you, Judge Marrinan!

Barbara Draper, Minneapolis


What matters most: hierarchy, the victims, the faithful?

In the Aug. 30 article “Clergy abuse cases in a faceoff,” the archdiocese lawyer bemoans the fact that the survivors’ plan is a “de facto liquidation of the archdiocese.” And to that, I say good. Instead of whining about taking archdiocese money to compensate the victims, archdiocese officials should bemoan the beautiful young lives ruined forever by their wanton disregard for the well-being of innocent children who were raped by priests — priests who were knowingly transferred from parish to parish, allowing them to reoffend. The church and its officials committed crimes, and there should be a price to pay. No, money can’t repair what was broken, forever, by clergy pedophilia, but it is the only recourse left to the victims. And it is, clearly, the only way to get the attention of the church.

Liquidation of the archdiocese would be a start to victim compensation, but just a start. Real change needs to follow.

Susan Rivard, Maple Grove

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The French Jesuit priest Jean Pierre de Caussade said that “God instructs the heart, not by ideas but by pains and contradictions.”

Catholics in the St. Paul/Minneapolis archdiocese are receiving lots of instruction these days from church hierarchy. They are told “the immigration debate highlights a crisis in confidence in Christ and His Gospel” and we must “welcome the stranger.” Yet the Cathedral is closed from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. (as are most churches in the archdiocese). Closed to even the faithful. The Minnesota Catholic Conference (MCC), the public-policy voice of the Catholic Church in Minnesota, is directed by seven (male) bishops. Why not have other, diverse individuals (dare I say strangers) be allowed to direct? MCC has three standing advisory committees. When I asked to observe one of these advisory committee meetings, the executive director said, “I am sorry, but the meetings are not open to the public.”

Why won’t they welcome me, a faithful stranger? To me, this is a crisis in confidence in Christ and his Gospel. Please, church hierarchy, my heart has received enough instruction. Thank you.

Tim Donakowski, Shoreview


I call for a reality check on that storm-fueled camaraderie

The “unsinkable American spirit” (“The unsinkable American spirit surfaces once more,” Opinion Exchange, Aug. 31)? What a load. Within a week, those people who are currently helping each other will be once again trying to kill each other. This “noble spirit” that everyone likes to talk about during a crisis like Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey is nothing more than human survival instinct that wears off quickly, to be replaced with the usual greed, animosity and general contempt for one another. There is nothing “noble” about being American; in fact, there is not much positive about being an American at all, beyond our overwhelming hubris about how “special” we are. Besides, the other part of the “American spirit” has already begun to emerge: looting, insurance scams, endless lawsuits and political finger-pointing are as sure to follow the storm as sunshine follows rain. That is the real America unfolding before us.

Donald Voge, Robbinsdale