The Preps Extra on Saturday mornings is the most prominent feature of the Sports section, wrapping around the regular section. At this time of year, the coverage is mostly boys’ high school football. No girls found anywhere in sight.

As a member of the community and a savvy and respected media outlet, the Star Tribune knows the power and impact of placement. What is put first is given the tacit message that “this is most important.” It is what becomes culturally accepted.

By featuring boys sports so prominently, the paper is sending a loud message of what it most values.

If it is going to devote one day entirely to boys (football or otherwise, the Star Tribune can decide) and is truly interested in preps sports balance, devoting one day entirely to girls’ sports would be an appropriate solution. Then the rest of the days, it can be a balance of the two.

Please correct this for the good of the community and for the sake of female high school athletes who make up nearly half of the participants in high school sports, and who deserve no more and no less than the same treatment the Star Tribune gives boys.

Neal Hagberg, Minneapolis


Uniforms and politics don’t mix

During the 2002 election season while I was deputy chief of patrol, I received a phone call from a police officer who was en route to West Broadway to appear in a photo with a DFL candidate for statewide office. The officer knew that was stinky but asked me if taking the photo was OK. I asked, “Are you in uniform and on duty?” He said yes. I said no. The candidate then called me. I said no to him as well.

Kudos to Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo for changing the department policy of allowing union officials or their “designees” to appear in uniform for political purposes (“Uniform rule irks police union,” Oct. 1). It was always a bad idea, but the designee part was fraught with mission creep.

Also, elected officials must not use our police officers as partisan stage-dressing for their preferred candidates.

Regardless of party, the Minneapolis Police Department and the uniform do not belong to elected officials or the union. They belong to the taxpayers and citizens of Minneapolis. They are here to protect and serve us without fear or favor.

Gregory Scott Hestness, Minneapolis

The writer is a retired deputy Minneapolis police chief and retired chief of the University of Minnesota police.


Public airing, not removal, is coming

It’s not the case that the impeachment of President Donald Trump will lead to his removal from office. What it will lead to, however, is a public airing for the historical record of executive actions that — even if restricted to a narrow two or three episodes — will reveal (1) the president’s indifference to Russian interference in the 2016 election (the 2017 White House meeting with Russian diplomats), (2) his willingness to employ foreign powers to interfere in the 2020 electoral process (Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president), and (3) his willingness to hide the record of these actions from the public on a highly restricted server.

The reason none of this will lead to his removal from office is the majority in the Senate. They have shown to be more loyal to the most current dark side of our history than to the oath of office they all took to protect our country from leaders like this.

Richard Robbins, Mankato, Minn.

• • •

I’m pleased to see U.S. Reps. Dean Phillips and Angie Craig have joined the insane wing of their party (which constitutes about 90% of it) calling for Trump’s impeachment, the process for which has now begun.

Craig and Phillips are now all but officially going to be one-termers, for surely their suburban districts won’t tolerate this partisan witch-hunting in 2020.

What exactly are Trump’s high crimes and misdemeanors? That he wanted to find out what Joe Biden knew of his son’s corrupt business dealings in Ukraine and when?

Is it that Trump scoffed at the obstruction-of-justice charge? Robert Mueller didn’t say Trump committed obstruction-of-justice; he merely said he wasn’t sure. Is it that Trump is responsible for single-handedly inventing a new disease, known as Trump Derangement Syndrome, the only known treatment for which seems to be a quick injection of partisan stupidity on CNN? Is it that Trump thinks 4.5 billion years of climate ups-and-downs has more to do with climate change than people driving cars and eating hamburgers? Is it that Trump doesn’t suck up to NATO and the United Nations? Is it that Trump thinks we have national borders and immigration laws for a reason? Or is it that Trump isn’t comfortable with the Chinese stealing our intellectual property and racking up hundreds of billions of dollars in annual trade surpluses at our expense?

There are no high crimes or misdemeanors at play here. What is at play is the effect impeachment will have on Democratic hopes for 2020. My prediction is that Trump gets re-elected, the GOP flips the House, and the GOP strengthens its hold on the Senate.

Mark Overholser, St. Paul

• • •

The Republican myth that impeachment would be bad for the Democratic Party has been repeated many times over the last few years and was repeated by the mythmaker himself, Trump. Who really believes much of what he says, when he has lied over 12,000 times in public? Added to this are the multitude of lies in private, such as in the infamous July call to the Ukraine president.

The tide is changing and recent polls show that more citizens now favor an impeachment inquiry than do not. New facts — that the call transcript was locked in a super-secret server, that Trump told Russian leaders in 2017 that he didn’t care if they interfered with our elections, and that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listened in on the Ukraine call — add to the scandal. Public opinion should only increase in support of impeachment.

Gary Thompson, St. Paul


Communities built for cars aren’t built for families. Let’s change that.

As we close the first month of the school year, I’m reminded that when it comes to transportation, Minnesota has a lot to learn.

My wife and I have two children, ages 3 and 5. We share a car but prefer to walk to the park, bus to the grocery store and commute by bike. We do this to spend time together — time that is precious for us as working parents.

But each year when school starts, the commute brings new challenges. Buses to our kids’ schools are infrequent and slow, which is hard for kids in winter. My oldest child’s school is now the opposite direction from my youngest child’s day care. Last year, we biked or bused together, singing songs and stopping to pet dogs. This year, I have to strap my children into car seats and focus on the cars around us.

Across our state, we’ve built communities that make driving easy and largely ignore people who want and need other options. Bus rapid transit and Safe Routes to School struggle for funding every year. But it doesn’t have to be that way. As parents, our days can be more about our kids and less about our commute if Minnesota invests in walking, biking and transit. Minnesotans are pushing for change alongside organizations like Move Minnesota and BikeMN. It’s time for more of us to demand action.

This school year, let’s take the lesson to heart: Walking, biking, and transit are essential to creating communities that work for all families.

Alex Tsatsoulis, Minneapolis

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