The unsurprising escalation of complaints about airport noise from citizens in Minneapolis and Richfield (“Airport complaints soar over later, lower flights,” July 16, and “MSP predicts more homes in noise zone,” July 21) brings us back to the mid-1990s, when, under Gov. Arne Carlson, studies on moving the airport were terminated. It seems pretty clear that the original placement of the airport was done in an era of much more constrained air travel. With the ever-expanding needs and operations of the airport, the decision not to relocate it has proved to be very shortsighted.
The noise pollution from these huge jets is destroying one of the best parts of our city — that part that includes our lovely lakes, where citizens seek refuge from the urban rat race. It’s really sad that this incessant racket crushes so many activities — literally driving us into our homes. Our backyards are almost unusable. Our leaders should have bitten the bullet and moved the airport when they had the chance, regardless of Northwest Airlines’ objections. Imagine how wonderful the city could be if these areas were quiet.
Peter Murphy, Minneapolis
IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL
Moderates, unite, and thwart the hard-liners on both sides
There are a number of folks in this country who are strongly opposed to the recently negotiated Iranian nuclear agreement, preferring a military rather than a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. There are also plenty of hard-liners in Iran who are opposed to this deal. Hard-liners are hard-liners no matter which country they’re from; it’s just an accident of birth as to which side they are on.
It is up to the moderates in this country, those of us who are tired of war, to make our voices heard and to join forces with moderates all around the world, including moderates in Iran, to demand a course of diplomacy and a slow building of mutual trust, upon which we can build a safer and more prosperous future.
Bob Amis, Minneapolis
JOHN MCCAIN’S MILITARY SERVICE
Trump is hardly the only perpetrator of put-downs
Donald Trump said about John McCain: “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” Al Franken said this about McCain: “I have tremendous respect for McCain, but I don’t buy the war hero thing. Anybody can be captured. I thought the idea was to capture them. As far as I’m concerned, he sat out the war.”
Those two quotes say pretty much the same thing, don’t they? Yet, now Franken has the audacity to condemn Trump for saying exactly what he said 15 years ago. To make matters worse, Franken tries to cover his blunder by saying he “was joking” (Minnesota section, July 21). Senator, the only joke is that the people of Minnesota elected a comedian to serve in the U.S. Senate, and you are still performing well in your former role.
Gary Roering, Brainerd, Minn.
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So now the GOP has decided that it will not tolerate anyone who smears the hallowed name of John McCain. What hypocrites. I would never vote for Trump, and I think his comments about McCain were disrespectful (“Trump belittles McCain’s service,” July 19), but the Republican Party and its presidential candidates are all phonies in their condemnation of Trump’s comments. Where were they when the minions of George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign in South Carolina (just days before the South Carolina primary) viciously smeared McCain with vile allegations about his character?
Remember? They called McCain a liar, mentally unstable because he was a POW, a traitor for talking to the Viet Cong during his captivity, and a user of prostitutes, and they accused him of having an out-of-wedlock “black” child. All of these malicious charges were 100 percent false. But they worked — McCain was ahead of Bush going into the South Carolina primary; he’d just won the New Hampshire primary by 19 points. But he lost South Carolina and, eventually, the Republican nomination. Today’s GOP and its numerous band of wannabes should open their eyes, realize they live in a glass house and put their stones down.
Joe Tamburino, Minneapolis
Really, Xcel, it doesn’t have to be as hard as all that
Does Xcel Energy require every photovoltaic installer to reinvent the wheel? (“Solar project awaits its juice,” July 21). There have been numerous large solar projects in Minnesota that were constructed without a hitch. The Paynesville project is essentially complete, yet Xcel appears to be walking in the past with paperwork.
Is there anyone who believes engineering is an issue? Gosh, these same projects have been done for many years! One would think that with all this experience, the array in Paynesville would have been a turnkey project.
As a happy user of a significant solar array on my house for more than 30 years, my guess is that Xcel has seen the light and wants to dim it.
Dell Erikson, Minneapolis
DIVERSITY IN SPORTS
Answers aren’t always clear, but there are opportunities
I read with interest the article about the need for bicycle equity (“Gathering of black biking groups focuses on racial equity in cycling,” July 18). The concept of “cycling equity” was new to me. I wondered what it meant and did a little research of my own. What I found is that the number of bicycles sold in the United States peaked at 15.2 million in 1973, when we had a population of 211 million people. We now have 321 million people, and sales of bikes have never returned to that level.
Golf rounds played peaked during the Tiger Woods mania about 15 years ago. The number of registered sailboats in Minnesota is down from about 25,000 — 30 years ago — to 10,000 today. The number of Minnesotans who hunt or fish or play tennis is way down from the former peaks for each. Cycling, golf, tennis, sailing, fishing and hunting have all become sports of old white men, and we need to change that.
Sales of Netflix subscriptions are way up, and so are computer use and cellphone sales. More and more meals are eaten away from home. The world is changing, and I don’t know the way to make younger people appreciate and participate in the sports of my youth. I don’t know the answers, but it sure is interesting to watch the changes going on today.
Dan Goodenough, Edina
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The Sports section got one and missed one on July 21. Two historic events in sports happened on Monday. Becky Hammon, the first woman to head coach in the NBA summer league, led the Spurs to the championship. Got that one. But the paper missed a big one. The USA Baseball Women’s National Team was victorious, 10-6, over Venezuela, to open the Pan American Games in Toronto. This marks the first time that women’s baseball has ever been a part of a multisport event. It’s also a step toward bringing baseball, men’s and women’s, back to the Olympics. They deserve at least a line in the “briefly” column.
Emma Charlesworth-Seiler, Golden Valley