U.S. Bank paid only $220 million for stadium naming rights? (“New Vikings stadium will be named for U.S. Bank in 20-year agreement,” June 16.) Chump change! We paid over twice that. So why isn’t it being called the “Minnesota Taxpayers’ Stadium?”
Gus Fenton, Minneapolis
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On, no! We suddenly have two football stadiums named “Bank.” How will we ever keep them straight? Perhaps we could take a page from the Metropolitan Airports Commission and call them “Bank 1” and “Bank 2”?
James Berry, Edina
Research has too found that it produced gains in achievement
It’s a good thing Steve Watson’s June 16 commentary on Q Comp (“The state of Q Comp, 10 years in”) was in the Opinion Exchange, because that’s all it was — his opinion. Had Watson actually tried to find an independent evaluation of Q Comp’s impact, he would have found one from 2013 by researchers from the University of Minnesota and St. Catherine University. In regard to student achievement, the researchers found: “Q Comp’s teacher-pay reforms produced an average three percent of a standard deviation increase in reading achievement, with some evidence of a similar effect on math achievement … .” In addition, they found Q Comp’s benefits for teachers were strongest for newer teachers. In all, they concluded Q Comp may have a 5-to-1 benefit-to-cost ratio.
The Q Comp program certainly can be strengthened — to create a stronger link between a teacher’s performance and his or her compensation (rather than relying on simple salary schedules). Moving forward, hopefully, we can rely on evidence rather than opinion.
Jim Bartholomew, Edina
The writer is education policy director of the Minnesota Business Partnership.
The majority of us know enough to appreciate a free market
Congratulations to the author of “Addressing problems together” (Readers Write, June 13). His government indoctrination regarding garbage hauling is complete.
A few facts for him: 70 percent of Minnesota cities have open hauling. The government controls the final destination of garbage. Regardless of garbage system, most cities maintain a 35- to 50-year road-replacement cycle. The hauling industry has taken it upon itself to reduce its effect on the environment by operating lighter-weight trucks with compressed natural gas for fuel.
Recently, in Fridley, the concept of “consortium hauling” was thwarted by citizens who challenged the reasons to organize. The “save our streets” battle cry did not hold up when it became apparent there would be no savings to taxpayers because maintenance would still have to be done.
I like my hauler because it provides the services I want at a price I feel is reasonable, and if that changes I have the right to change haulers. The government need not control the operation of my home any more than I would allow it to choose my cellphone service, doctor or car insurance. Most important, the free market does not reward incompetence. Hopefully, the letter writer will rethink his stance, because his thought process is in the minority.
Pam Reynolds, Fridley
As downtown grows residential, the set of considerations changes
I read with interest Jon Tevlin’s June 3 column regarding City Council Member Jacob Frey’s “big appetite for growth” in the downtown areas of Minneapolis. As a constituent in the North Loop neighborhood, I would appreciate a more measured and thoughtful approach to development in areas that are now primarily residential rather than business-oriented. Consideration for the impact of development on livability, sensitivity to scale, design and quality of buildings, pedestrian-friendliness, and safety is warranted and needed. Mr. Frey’s appetite for attending to these aspects of development has been considerably less.
Jeff Brown, Minneapolis
Why the TPP went down, and why Warren is not a hypocrite
I have always been a great admirer of President Obama, and in particular his signature health law has improved my life a great deal. But the disingenuous and frankly silly commentary (“So trade with Asia is OK if it benefits your own port?” June 15) by his former Office of Management and Budget director, Peter Orszag, is emblematic of the way Obama and his administration have failed to sell the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Orszag essentially calls U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, an opponent of the deal and frankly a hero to exactly the types of Democrats who believed in and fought for Obama’s nomination, a hypocrite and selfish for opposing TPP while … wanting to improve Boston Harbor?
Upgrading a major American port would, obviously, facilitate trade with Asia (and everywhere). But neither Warren nor any opponent of TPP have called for any sort of embargo on trade with Asia. Opposition to the specific (secret from the public, unalterable by Congress) provisions of one trade deal do not indicate opposition to expanded trade! The contemptuous refusal of Obama’s administration and its proxies to acknowledge, respect or address legitimate concerns goes a long way toward explaining last week’s crushing defeat for TPP in the House.
Alex Hindin, St. Louis Park
Even those who are mobile would like a better link to garage
Recent letters regarding Guthrie Theater mobility missed an opportunity to mention a way to improve it: Open up the so called “production link” from the parking ramp to the theater for use as its original purpose — a skyway. As an able-bodied person, I find the walk across a traffic-jammed, icy and slippery 2nd Street in the winter fraught with danger and inconvenience. As a result, I often find other places to park.
While a Minneapolis city ordinance prohibits pedestrian skyways in the Mill City, the “production link” looks very much like a skyway — which no doubt it was (and is). If it is used as such, pedestrians and drivers will rejoice.
S. Steve Adkins, Lakeville
Not a suitable topic for theatrical entertainment
I won’t be going to see the Old Log Theater’s production of “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.” I’ve learned too much recently about the reality of prostitution to enjoy jokes, singing and dancing about it. Hollywood and Broadway have always suffered from a distorted nudge-nudge, wink-wink view of the often-violent exploitation of girls and women, as we’ve seen in “Pretty Woman,” “Moulin Rouge,” “Pretty Baby” and “Taxi Driver.” In fact, 13 actors have won Academy Awards for playing prostitutes.
But the reality is that the average age prostitutes begin is 13; 70 percent were incest victims; 80 percent are rape victims; 75 percent attempt suicide, and they are 40 times more likely to be murdered. Our law enforcement leaders are finally taking this seriously, locking up sex traffickers for extended prison terms. Isn’t it time the rest of us did?
Susan Armstrong, St. Paul