I completely agree with a Jan. 2 letter writer’s proposal to have a choir perform the national anthem at the 2018 Super Bowl. However, we most certainly do not need to import the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, as the writer tentatively suggests — not when Minnesota is the home of exquisite choirs such as St. Olaf, Concordia, the National Lutheran Choir, Home Free or any of the high school choirs who perform so beautifully at Twins games. Minnesota is a hotbed of choral music. Let’s showcase what makes us unique!
Carol Emmans, Osseo
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How about trying this just once? Skip the solos, print the lyrics on one of the stadium screens and have the public-address system encourage fans to sing together with gusto to honor their nation and support their team.
Mary and Peter Ritten, Minneapolis
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I would suggest that if we have to listen to “The Star-Spangled Banner” before every athletic event that takes place in the country, which seems to be the case, we need some variety.
Lloyd Stuve, Savage
NICOLLET HOTEL BLOCK
How hard is city trying for something iconic?
Two iconic low-rise buildings flank the old Nicollet Hotel block (“Race for Nicollet block is on,” Dec. 30). Two iconic high-rise buildings not far away also have been mentioned in discussions of what we should expect on the Nicollet block. All four of these iconic buildings were designed by world-famous architects:
• The late Minoru Yamasaki designed the Northwestern National Life Building (now Voya Financial) from 1965.
• César Pelli was the architect of the Hennepin County Central Library from 2006.
• Pelli also designed the Norwest Center (now Wells Fargo Center) from 1988.
• The late Philip Johnson was the architect of the IDS Center from 1975.
Who are the architects behind the four proposals for the Nicollet block? Are world-famous architects involved in the competition to build on this iconic site? If not, why not?
John Christianson, Minneapolis
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A bold statement appeared in the first of several articles in the Star Tribune about a new Nicollet tower (“Lofty visions fill site plans,” Dec. 13): “The city … sought proposals that include an iconic building and public park.” This sounds like architects submitted designs. Who are they? What have they done? Subsequent articles identify only developers.
Take Duval’s proposed 80-story tower. Midcentury Minimal Mindless Monster rises from an equally dated box. The breakaway corner of the tower fails to mend disjunction between these two faceless structures.
Do not harm the view of our iconic Three Graces: The IDS, Wells Fargo and Capella towers.
Philip Larson, Minneapolis
Why the opposition to Park Board suit?
A recent letter to the editor points to the falsehood that “thousands of working families” will be served by a Southwest light-rail 21st Street station. That was just one of many distortions presented in the Dec. 27 commentary “Lawsuit on light-rail tunnel not worth the risks” promoting the $1.7 billion public investment in SWLRT.
Here are a few others:
1) The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has never opposed SWLRT. The fact is that the Metropolitan Council has refused to treat the Park Board as a serious stakeholder, even though it is attempting to fulfill its duty under federal and state law.
2) While the Southwest metro may be “entirely dependent on roads and motor vehicles,” it has one of the finest commuter express bus services in the region. SWLRT planners hope to lure half of those highly satisfied bus riders onto the train, at a tremendous cost.
3) The proposed route was not chosen in order to connect low-income communities to economic opportunities. Reverse commuting is projected to be low, and mostly coming from the West Lake station. The Met Council projects that the number of daily rides from and to the three stations closest to Minneapolis will be in the hundreds, not thousands.
The commentary makes it pretty clear that the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce’s concern with progressive issues surfaces only when federal construction dollars are threatened.
Katherine Low, Minneapolis
So you think dairy farmers have it bad?
A Dec. 31 letter writer was surprised to read that she, as a consumer, will “benefit” from the anticipated hardship of Minnesota’s dairy farmers. But for years we have been told by politicians that the consumer will benefit from the hardship of lower wages paid to workers who process and sell the products of the food producers.
In 1998, a clerk at a big-box store in Minneapolis made $13 an hour; by 2008 that wage had decreased to $8 an hour. That’s a loss to a clerk working 40 hours a week on two or three jobs of about $865 a month. That loss affected food budgets. It would have been nice for those workers if Minnesota dairy farmers had supported an adequate wage for them, too.
Bob Wold, Chaska
Let noncitizens vote. Someone has to do it.
In contrast to the view of a Dec. 31 letter writer, I think the idea of giving noncitizens the right to vote is a pretty good idea. Citizens don’t seem to be using it …
Jeff Moses, Minneapolis
We’re thankful for the kindness of a stranger
An open letter of thanks to the young lady in the baggage claim area at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on New Year’s Day who volunteered to help new parents and grandparents fit their newly adopted baby into an infant car seat.
Our son and daughter-in-law had just arrived from the Marshall Islands with their newly adopted daughter. Both grandparents were excited to meet their first grandchild and brought along a car seat for the trip home. There was considerable speculation as to how the child should be strapped in. At that moment the young lady, seated near us, asked if she could help.
She explained each step as she expertly secured Miriam to the seat. In the excitement of the moment, we did not express our proper thanks until we were leaving. When we turned to say thank you again, she was gone.
A moment of kindness that will be remembered!
K. E. Wilkening, Bloomington
Small changes can make a big difference
After viewing the “Cosmos” series, I feel compelled to consider the entire planet with this new year’s resolution: What are some small things a person can do to help the problem of global warming?
There are many: Use CFL bulbs wherever possible; turn electronics off, rather than leaving them on standby; unplug chargers; wear a sweater and turn down the heat; wash small loads of dishes by hand; recycle religiously, and drive the speed limit.
We all need to chip in. Remember this old Native American saying: “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow from our children.”
Mike McDonald, St. Paul