When we bought our first house in Robbinsdale in 1973, we shopped at a Penny’s supermarket and at two Country Club Markets. Around 1980, Applebaum’s, which later became Rainbow Foods, opened right next to the Terrace Theatre that is now facing demolition (Star Tribune, June 29). Over the years, all those grocery stores closed. Even though Robbinsdale’s business sector has been revitalized in recent years, a new grocery store will not survive if shoppers drive right past it on their way to the specialty stores or discount warehouses that have siphoned business from more traditional grocery stores. A historic movie theater is not something that can be replaced. Demolishing it in favor of a business that has no history and may not have much of a future may not be in the best interest of the town. Isn’t there enough room on that 10-acre site to allow the theater preservationists and grocery store people to both try to achieve what they want?

Joan Claire Graham, Albert Lea, Minn.

• • •

I’d hate to be Robbinsdale in the fight between building a grocery store and saving the Terrace Theatre. I am a film fanatic and support the preservation of old movie theaters. However, the Terrace has not been used since 1999, so its movie days are probably over.

Robbinsdale also is a first-ring suburb with an aging population along with a population that depends on public transportation, so a local grocery store would be crucial. The closest estimated grocery store right now would be Cub Foods in Crystal. Additionally, an abandoned building is still an abandoned building and an eyesore for a community.

Many local cities have faced closing cinematic icons. The Cottage View Drive-in in Cottage Grove closed amid similar uproar a few years back and was later demolished for a Wal-Mart.

For Robbinsdale, this is essentially a battle between necessity and historical preservation. So unless the Terrace can be redeveloped for modern public usage like as a community center for performing arts (which could cost millions), it should be demolished.

William Cory Labovitch, South St. Paul


‘Ticky-tack violations,’ aside from all those serious words

Here’s what I’m wrestling with as I read (and reread) “No charges in U drug case” (June 30):

First, it’s reported that “the anonymous [University of Minnesota] wrestler” (a gutsy guy, it seems) says that “the athlete’s SUPPLIER [my caps] was a former teammate who transferred to another school.” That implies drug supplier. As in “d-r-u-g s-u-p-p-l-i-e-r,” right?

Second, one of the wrestlers in question writes an APOLOGY LETTER [my caps] to his coach saying that “I should have known that I would get caught eventually and that my teammates could have gotten in serious trouble or I could have killed someone if they OVERDOSED” [my caps]. Oh, and he acknowledges that he “learned that the drug business is very dangerous and I as well could have been killed if I met up with the wrong people … .” Duh.

So a U student-athlete confesses to selling drugs, apologizes to the coach, and all might be forgiven? And the coach concludes this is legally and ethically intelligent and wise thinking? Honestly, point me in the right direction if I’m way off the mat here.

Third, the 15-page report I’m reading about includes a text message sent by one of the student-athletes allegedly involved, something about someone who’s in “bad shape.” Might that imply that someone is overdosing, or am I reading too much into that text?

There’s more, but cutting to the chase, the coach’s attorney calls these “DRUG SALES” [Strib’s words, my caps] “ticky-tack violations,” and by extension, this tsk-tsk, much-ado-about-nothing level of seriousness also applies to the coach’s dealing with his athletes.

So, “drug sales” (in this case the dealing of Xanax, an addictive medication) equals “ticky-tack violations.” Not the clearest legalese, but I assume the attorney means “silly” or “bogus” or “flimsy?”


I’m not the county attorney, the cops or the coach and obviously am not privy to how much of this ugliness has played out so far. But I am the dad of a student at the U, so I’ll be watching how the U folks handle their “continuing internal inquiry.”

Dick Schwartz, Minneapolis

• • •

The Hennepin County attorney’s office states there was insufficient evidence to criminally charge the U wrestlers who were allegedly selling a controlled substance. Coach J Robinson’s attorney stated that Robinson declined to cooperate because these young men should be helped rather than having a “felony around their necks” and that the drug sales were “ticky-tack violations.” Would the same merciful judgment be applied to a lower-income, nonwhite group of young men? Aversive racism is subtle discrimination found in ambiguous situations that is rationalized as something else. It is the type of racism usually displayed by those of us who adhere to egalitarian values and principles who believe ourselves to be nonprejudiced. It can be hard to recognize. When I see decisions like this, I change the social-identity category of the accused and wonder what the decision would have been given a different race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, etc.

Laura Boisen, Falcon Heights


Society is ill-served by silencing voices as letter writer demanded

Regarding the June 30 letter about abortion (“It’d be nice if men would shut up and if editors would help them”):

The writer asserts that newspaper readership would grow if the Star Tribune began censoring conversation from 50 percent of the population. I sincerely hope that she is wrong. Aside from the obvious dangers of a biased press, society is never served by silencing a group of voices, whether or not one personally agrees with those voices.

To live in society entails that the actions of any individual affect others. That includes both expressions of belief and concrete physical actions. The writer is offended by the lawfully expressed opinions of “old men.” Those “old men” have an equal right to raise concerns about the actions of women and the impact of those actions on innocent lives in our shared community. Until the residents of women’s uteri are created without any involvement from men, men will always have a legitimate interest in what becomes of the contents of those uteri.

Rather than calling for editorial censorship, the letter writer might better spend time reflecting on how her life is connected to the lives around her, including any child unfortunate enough to begin life in the uterus of one who wishes to formally silence those with whom she disagrees.

Elise Werger, Minneapolis


Seems like ideological minorities have an outsized influence

I don’t live in Bloomington, and I’m not writing to pick a side on the issue of organized trash collection (“City Council trash meeting gets messy,” June 30). Rather, I’m writing to express how much this squabble strikes me as being a microcosm of modern day policy-influencing: An ideological minority can adversely affect policy with a magnitude grossly disproportionate to its size, if it’s sufficiently motivated. And therein lies the rub, as the ideological majority never seems to be nearly as motivated to make its opinions known. And I think this observation applies equally well to almost any issue and any scale, such as gun control or “Brexit.” Don’t ask me how to motivate people to let themselves be heard, because I don’t know. But what I do know is that it just doesn’t seem right, on some level, that policy can be so affected by ideological minorities. Perhaps it has always been that way, though.

Tyler Lekang, Minneapolis