Kudos to the Star Tribune for reporting on the homeless camp near Hiawatha and Cedar avenues in Minneapolis (Aug. 14, 16, 24; Sept. 4). The compassion the Star Tribune has shown to the plight of the homeless has been stellar. In addition, kudos to the Minneapolis leadership, including Mayor Jacob Frey, and the nonprofit community to identify solutions to help all these homeless families and individuals.

There are many challenges in solving the causes of homelessness, but by treating these people with respect, empathy and dignity — combined with practical solutions — our city can be a shining example for how communities can solve similar problems. I realize that our expectations have to be realistic, as the safety nets available in our communities/country are fragile and resources are scarce. However, I’m proud of Minneapolis’ response. Keep it up; we support this effort and additional efforts to provide more help for vulnerable populations.



There’s a lot at stake, and it’s a lifetime job; vet him properly

The hearings on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court began Tuesday, and Democrats made a motion to delay them until the appropriate documents regarding the nominee can be reviewed. They argue that only 10 percent of his professional documents were available. The Republicans argue that more documents are available for this nominee than for any other nominee in the past.

Both are correct, so what should be done? Given that he has been nominated by a president with much more to gain personally through his approval than perhaps through any other Supreme Court justice ever (i.e., decisions related to emoluments, presidential pardons and potential rulings on impeachment proceedings), we have every reason to give Kavanaugh more, not less, significant scrutiny than anyone before him.

The willingness of Republicans to push this process forward without proper vetting of all documents, when they had the gall to never even have a simple conversation with Merrick Garland, is a crime against the American people. The Democratic senators should walk out of the proceedings rather than participate in this political sham.


• • •

I would not hire a dentist to fill two-tenths of my teeth, or a mechanic to fix two-tenths of my car. I would not go to a school, or send my children with only two-tenths of available background information about the teachers and principals. What if the principal only had two-tenths of his diploma? What is the problem with examining Mr. Kavanaugh’s judicial history? Why dump thousands of pages of history 15 hours before his hearing? Why the rush? Please stop playing politics with our democracy. This appointment is for life. Let’s take it seriously. It’s time for politicians to become statesmen and -women. It’s time to put our country ahead of party interests. Sen. Charles Grassley, Judiciary Committee chairman, shame on you.



Time to stop bashing the president and get back to work

Now that the John McCain extravaganza is over, our duly appointed lawmakers can get back to work. Our president was slammed in speech after speech. McCain did not get to ascend to the presidency (he thought that was his God-given right). Trump campaigned and worked hard to win the position. We were in three Southern states days before the election, and we did not see one Hillary Clinton sign. Enough said about her work ethic. Those who do not have a job in the news media, showbiz and other media are the people who vote and win elections.


• • •

If Democrats are lucky, maybe another famous person will die so they can use it as a forum to bash Trump before the midterms.

TOM SHELTON, New Brighton


Let’s see if we can make it a model for civil political behavior

Wouldn’t it be a miracle if the Minnesota State Fair had one large area for all the political candidates who are running to be our representatives and people could freely walk from booth to booth without being afraid of being accosted, yelled at or worse? Minnesota, someday, would be a model for bipartisan behavior when we all could come together to discuss issues we believe would help our state and nation and have conversation, not confrontation. Could happen.


• • •

Those of us fortunate to live in neighborhoods touching the Minnesota State Fairgrounds adopt one of two strategies for managing the Great State Get-Together: Engage, or get out of town. I engage.

Monday, sparklers lit up the late-night sky above the fairgrounds, my neighborhood and, I hope, a broad and inclusive community.

What better way to “get together”?


• • •

I was so sad for the State Fair to end — not because I would have gone — but because I can no longer each day look forward to enjoying the Star Tribune’s “Scene at the Fair” wraparounds that featured various themes in words and photos. Congratulations to the photographers, writers and others responsible for this delightful piece of work.

KATHY KASTEN, Faribault, Mn.


‘Hamilton’ is great, but 2 things, only one of which we can control

After eight months of anticipation, I finally got to cash in my “Hamilton” ticket at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis. The show exceeded expectations. I was thrilled and I came away with a couple of observations.

Apparently, despite the announcement at the beginning of the show to do so, people will not turn their phones off for two hours and 45 minutes. Muting sound is one thing, but please know that the glow from your screens is devastatingly distracting to those of us behind you. Turn the dang things off. It’s live theater, and it is worthy of your full attention.

Secondly, it will be impossible for most women to use the bathroom in the 15 minutes of intermission during this show, so I don’t know … don’t drink anything for two days in advance. The line was nearly around the block for the women’s restroom and the lights flashed to end the intermission before I even found the end of the line.

I love theater in this great city. The bathroom situation at these classic old theaters can’t be helped, but the phone thing is just good manners. And I know you have good manners.

Katherine Kleingartner, Minneapolis


Tragedy and politicization

With respect and apologies to Mollie Tibbetts’ family, I would like to point out the breathtaking irony and blinding self-contradiction of Donald Trump Jr. writing in the Des Moines Register that he blames Democrats for Mollie’s death and that claims that Republicans are politicizing her death are “absurd.”