Bde Maka Ska is a beautiful name for a beautiful lake, recognizing the people and the culture that lived around it many years ago. How lucky we are to live in a large, vibrant and diverse city that is recognized for its attractive lakes and parks. The unspecified “legal action taken” by the SaveLakeCalhoun organization, as advertised in the newspaper (Page A12, Dec. 14), is unfortunate, as it whittles the value of our city’s largest lake down to its current name. The proponents of SaveLakeCalhoun ignore the reality that with the Dakota name restored to the lake, there will be no “devastating consequences.” Bald eagles will still sit in the trees that surround it in the winter, sailboats will still blow across the water in the summer, and thousands of people will walk and run around the lake throughout the year. ’Tis the season to embrace Bde Maka Ska.

Ellen Samuelson Young, Minneapolis

• • •

The ad asserts that “Lake Calhoun was not named after statesman John C. Calhoun, but in fact, was actually named after Lieutenant Calhoun of the U.S. Army.”

Here’s West Point’s list of graduates named Calhoun. As you can see, Bde Maka Ska is not named after one of our graduates. Whoever took out that ad is probably trying to deceive the public.

Calhoun, Brandon M. (2001)

Calhoun, Brigid K. (2011)

Calhoun, George B. (1954)

Calhoun, John D. (1944)

Calhoun, John Q. (1987)

Calhoun, Patrick (1841)

Calhoun, Steven C. (1989)

Calhoun, Tyler Jr. (1926)

Calhoun, William R. (1850)

Calhoun, William R. (1933)

Calhoun, William R. Jr. (1962)

David Sullivan-Nightengale, St. Paul


Domino effect sets us up for more Republican skulduggery

Minnesota Republican leaders want to drag us through yet another Supreme Court case (“Fischbach vows to do two jobs,” Dec. 14). It seems Sen. Michelle Fischbach, R-Paynesville, who will soon become our lieutenant governor as prescribed by the state Constitution, isn’t content with just one high-profile seat in state government. She wants two at the same time, insisting that she will continue on as president of the Senate as well as being lieutenant governor.

Wouldn’t that create a murky mingling between what should be two distinct branches of government, with Fischbach having a plum spot in both?

Fischbach wants the “perk” of being next in line as governor, should Gov. Mark Dayton become unable to complete his term, but she doesn’t think the role of lieutenant governor should require anything of her. She evidently doesn’t intend to lift a finger as lieutenant governor to promote our state, foster economic opportunity, listen to the needs and concerns of constituents across the state, or the like. Instead, she expects to have lots of time on her hands to continue working in the Senate.

It’s extremely disappointing to hear a public servant speak so disparagingly about the high honor that has been bestowed upon her, and to be threatening a lawsuit, rather than graciously accepting her new role in state government.

Louis Asher, Vadnais Heights, Minn.


McConnell’s duplicity, and other issues with the plan

Given Mitch McConnell’s prior declarations about listening to the will of the people, I find it interesting that the pending tax boondoggle of the Republicans is going full-speed ahead. In 2010 when a Republican, Scott Brown, was elected in a special election in Massachusetts to replace the deceased Ted Kennedy, the then-minority leader argued that Brown’s election represented a repudiation of the proposed Affordable Care Act, and as such, Brown should be seated before a vote on the ACA was held. The Democratic majority leader at the time agreed, and Brown was seated.

And when President Barack Obama nominated the very qualified Judge Merrick Garland to fill the open Supreme Court seat 11 months before last year’s presidential election, Majority Leader McConnell refused to even hold a hearing under the pretense that he wanted to hear the will of the people in the “pending” election.

Fast-forward to the election upset in Alabama, in which the people clearly repudiated the Republican agenda in one of the “reddest” states in the nation.

If McConnell were consistent, he would put the brakes on any voting on the pending tax proposal until Doug Jones is able to vote. I won’t hold my breath, but voters should note and remember this kind of hypocritical partisanship.

John Dryer, Maple Grove

• • •

One of the most insidious and unreported aspects of the laughably named Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is that it carpet-bombs the fledgling renewable-energy industry while showering gifts on fossil-fuel interests. At a time when the renewable-energy industry produces more jobs than the coal and natural gas industries combined and burning fossil fuels makes less and less economic sense, why is the Trump administration “picking winners and losers,” in direct contradiction of everything that conservatives used to stand for? The bill stealthily opens vast unspoiled land in Alaska to oil and gas drilling, just to give careless corporations license to extract a toxic, carcinogenic sludge that requires 250 million years of geologic heat and pressure to produce. How does this make any economic sense when compared to sunshine and wind that are instantly available where you live? This dreadful piece of legislation is a hideous disgrace, not only from a fairness and equity standpoint, but also from the intentional vandalism it commits against a growing, healthy industry and God’s beautiful planet. Shame on them.

Stephen Kriz, Maple Grove

• • •

Is the promised, and needed, trillion dollars for infrastructure repair included in the calculations of debt increase resulting from the tax “reform” proposal? If not, then are all senators and representatives planning to vote for the bill prepared to admit we cannot have our cake and eat it, too, so the promise of an infrastructure repair bill will be broken?

A second question: Is elimination of the estate tax still included? If so, will the step-up in basis of assets to market value be eliminated, or will these unreported gains never be taxed?

Finally, the rush to pass something has provided no time for public scrutiny, even for those voting. Is this intentional, because certainly some Republicans would vote against it if they understood it?

Darrell Egertson, Bloomington

• • •

As an active leader in the Young Republicans of Minnesota, I am excited about the tax-reform plan nearing passage. Our economy needs it desperately. As someone who recently entered the job market during a stagnant (although improving) economy, my hope is that job creators will be flourishing for my generation. Tax reform, and taking less money out of the pockets of job creators, has been one of the surest ways throughout history of attaining the kind of economic growth our country needs.

One provision in the tax bill remains highly controversial, and I am afraid it could derail important reforms. My hope is that leaders such as U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen who pride themselves on being fiscally and environmentally responsible will help remove the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling provision from the bill before the controversy over this plan derails the bill’s passage. A discussion of drilling responsibly in this highly sensitive region must be passed as a stand-alone bill. It shouldn’t put generational tax reform at risk.

Aly Eichman, Minneapolis