Although I am a supporter of light rail as an integral component of a cost-effective transportation system, I disagree with the concluding sentence in the July 19 editorial that the Minnesota Legislature needs “a plan to pay for Southwest light rail,” implying that, given DFL control of the Senate, a special session will not occur successfully without it. With all of the major unresolved matters that appear to have agreement now, I am puzzled why the unresolved light-rail issue would derail the special session, because:

1) It is not definite that the 50 percent federal match will go away if the Southwest light-rail conflict is not solved this year.

2) Environmental issues have been contested, and neighborhood lawsuits against the Southwest line have not been resolved.

3) A temporary solution already exists with a cost-effective nonstop bus service from Eden Prairie that arrives in Minneapolis faster than the projected light-rail service would.

Senate leaders ought to table the Southwest light-rail issue until the next official legislative session in January, so that the numerous crucial issues that affect the entire state can be resolved now in a special session.

Sheldon Olkon, Golden Valley

REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION

A party of no ideas, just loads of animosity. (Still, that platform.)

“We’re going to take down Hillary”: This is what the Republican Party is going to focus on during this election? This is truly a sad state of affairs for this country. Politics for the Republicans now is no longer about improving work and quality of living for all within the U.S. and about the role we play on the global stage; it has morphed into personal vendettas simply because the Republicans have no other answers to offer.

Surely, by now even the most hard-core Republican has to comprehend that the party’s designated presidential candidate, and by default the party itself, has the potential to be the most dangerous thing the U.S. has offered the world in quite some time.

Sarah Fuller-Gipp, Minneapolis

• • •

If you are planning on voting for D.J. Trump, please, carefully read the Republican platform and, carefully listen to what it includes. If Trump becomes president, he will only preside as “chairman of the board,” giving all of the power to Mike Pence. (Another Dick Cheney!) So, folks, stay alert. Your lives could get pretty ugly.

Jan Buczek, Brooklyn Park

• • •

The Democrats have accused Melania Trump of plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech, an accusation based on a small number of short, generic phrases, totaling a whopping three sentences out of a lengthy speech. By that standard, saying “Good evening and welcome to Cleveland” constitutes plagiarism, as I am certain other candidates have said that, too. I was a teaching assistant for seven semesters in graduate school, and I know plagiarism when I see it. This was not.

Taylor Swanson, Eden Prairie

• • •

Wouldn’t it have been grand if the story had unfolded like this:

Oh, horrors! Melania Trump’s exquisite presentation on the first day of the Republican National Convention has been marred by the discovery that she quoted almost verbatim from a speech given at an earlier time by Michelle Obama.

Melania’s plagiarized phrases included “ … values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say … that you treat people with respect.” And she advised, as did Michelle, that we pass on the lessons taught us from our parents, “because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the [strength of] your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

The Trump campaign promptly issued a heartfelt apology and promised to find out what happened. It soon learned that the mishap occurred after speechwriter Meredith McIver inadvertently left in whole phrases from Mrs. Obama’s speech after Mrs. Trump had mentioned her as someone she particularly admired.

McIver promptly offered her resignation, but it was refused by Donald Trump, who explained that everyone makes mistakes and that we learn and grow from them.

After hearing of the kerfuffle, Michelle Obama hurried to offer kind insistence that the incident was of no importance, except that it was heartening to show the world that we all share common goals of truth, dream fulfillment and a willingness to work hard for what we achieve and that this is bipartisan.

Presidential candidates Trump and Hillary Clinton promised to use this experience as a foundation for shared values as they work hard as ardent, civilized champions of their respective political parties to present what this means from their personal political standpoint.

Shawn Gilbert, Bloomington

RACIAL DISPARITIES

A few observations after reading the Star Tribune’s report

The July 20 article “Across metro, disparity in arrests” states that St. Anthony is not alone in disproportionately arresting black people. I don’t doubt that that’s true. However, I cannot believe the statistics from the interactive map, because all areas of Minneapolis are shown to be 33 percent nonwhite. It makes no sense to compare the disparity between nonwhite adult arrest percentage and nonwhite adult population for all of Minneapolis, when the nonwhite population and police actions vary so widely in the city. Kenwood and Linden Hills are about 12 percent nonwhite, while north Minneapolis is 80 percent to 87 percent nonwhite.

No one should ever be killed during a bogus traffic stop, and the death of Philando Castile is a tragedy. I understand that a point is being made about the hugely unjust racial profiling in policing and the senseless killing of black men.

But on my very busy corner on Plymouth Avenue in north Minneapolis, I have never seen any traffic stops for speeding, running stop signs, loud cars or drag racing. No speed traps here, and I wouldn’t wish for them. But a bit more prevention of these lawless activities in the form of crosswalk striping and increased signage would be helpful. When the police do come, mostly to deal with groups of people arguing loudly, there’s been surprising respect on both sides, with a fairly expedient calming of the situation, no matter the color of the people involved.

Tierney Moore, Minneapolis

THE HEAT

When it happens, you’ll know

Pay little attention to the weather and/or weather forecasts. I was born and raised in southern Iowa, which is probably hotter and more humid than Minnesota. We had no weather forecasts or folks telling us how hot or cold it was and how much danger we were in from every little cloud that came over, and so far I have survived 84 years. I know it is hot outside if I go outside and it is hot. Same for cold. I particularly notice, though, that the more attention I pay to it, the more uncomfortable I am.

Dale Vander Linden, Delano, Minn.