The early Wednesday morning sky was clearing, and showtime was on for the total lunar eclipse. My wife and I quickly dressed and headed outdoors at 6 a.m. to catch this stellar event: the “super blue blood moon” — a blue moon, a supermoon and a total eclipse simultaneously. Grabbing a warm coffee at our local coffee shop, I excitedly shared the news that the beautiful eclipse was in full view outside. The barista shrugged, and two patrons stayed glued to their laptops. Outside, we went to watch the moon turn a spectacular deep purple color. As I pondered the apparent lack of interest at the coffee shop, my spirits were buoyed when three young girls who were heading to their school bus exclaimed to each other, “The moon, look at the moon, it’s so beautiful!” Once again, the enthusiasm of youth brightened my spirits in these dark times.

Mike Menzel, Edina

• • •

It almost seems as if the moon were offering up some celestial political commentary after the State of the Union speech delivered on Tuesday and amid all the rancor exhibited of late by both the Congress and the general populace.

Like our nation itself, both red and blue, rendered unable to shed light as rare circumstances align to eclipse the purpose and promise for which it exists.

Steve Bennett, Golden Valley


Legislation on eating disorders is a significant example of success

I beg to differ with the Jan. 31 letter writer, responding to the Jan. 30 editorial “Klobuchar’s aim is a functional Senate,” who stated that U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar “has never compromised with her Republican colleagues to pass any significant legislation during her 10 years in the Senate.” The truth is that Klobuchar, D-Minn., has indeed worked with her Republican colleagues — for instance, to pass the first eating disorder legislation in the history of Congress. She worked with Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D.-Wis., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., on the Anna Westin Act to improve access to treatment and educate health care workers, educators and the public on eating disorders. This legislation will help millions of Americans and the more than 200,000 people right here in Minnesota who struggle with such disorders. Every 62 minutes someone in the U.S. dies from an eating disorder. Klobuchar’s efforts will save countless lives, and in my book that is truly significant.

Kitty Westin, Minneapolis

The writer’s daughter, Anna Westin, died from an eating disorder.


Don’t say no without context or embrace articles that exclude it

Let me pick my jaw off the floor long enough to pen this response to Mark Mishek, president and CEO of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation (“Dear NFL: You’ve said no to marijuana; please keep saying it,” Jan. 30):

You mention that marijuana is addictive, but according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it’s only addictive to 9 percent of adults who start to use it. Ninety-one percent never get addicted.

In your commentary, Dr. Marc Myer mentions that the absence of scientific information “pose[s] a public health risk.” What Myer doesn’t mention is that we lack scientific data because our government continues to classify marijuana as a Schedule I drug (equal to heroin), and therefore standard scientific studies are not allowed.

You mention daily tales of regret, lost time, etc., in counseling sessions at your clinics in the context that those clients were there because of marijuana. Please share the data on how many people enter the Hazelden Betty Ford clinics solely for marijuana addiction.

Did you know that, according to CNN, the number of people who died last year recreationally using marijuana was zero? For you to compare opioid-based painkillers to marijuana shows an attempt at sensationalism.

How sad that you fail to mention the thousands and thousands of parents who have discovered relief for their children who suffer from Tourette syndrome, chronic pain, seizures, glaucoma, cancer, etc. For them and many adults suffering from chronic pain (like NFL players), marijuana offers a safe, natural path of relief for those bodies wracked with pain and misery.

Ken Williams, Champlin


The questions that are being left out of the discussion

I wish the debate on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) would go beyond the Band-Aid issues. Ideally, major immigration should not be the norm. In 1950, the world population was approximately 2.25 billion. Today, it is approximately 7 billion. Since data is limited and immigration policies hindered immigration earlier in the 20th century, it is difficult to make conclusions about immigration before 1970. There were three times more international migrants in 2015 than in 1970. Over the same period, the percent of the world population that is immigrant has slowly increased by 1.1 percent, still significant given the total population.

Why are people moving (surface issue)? The international aid policies of the developed nations have allowed the populations of remaining nations to expand beyond the carrying capacities of their homelands, which has resulted in conflict and starvation and forces people to flee. Any immigration bill needs to partner with the international aid policies and programs to reduce the gap between the ecological capacities of counties and their populations.

Edward Davis, St. Paul


Don’t forget to cross the river (and not just on the zipline)

Welcome to Minneapolis, fans of the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots! We are proud to be the hosts of this year’s Super Bowl, and also very proud of our city. There is much to see and do here, and we welcome the opportunity to share our city with the world. St. Paul has a lot to offer and will also be joining in on the celebration, so cross the river and take it all in. May the best team win. We will share in your excitement. Welcome, all!

Thomas Erickson, Minneapolis

• • •

We on the St. Paul side are looking forward to welcoming Super Bowl visitors. In light of the predicted bitter temperatures, visitors should be aware that although many bars and restaurants will be open until 4 a.m., our downtown St. Paul skyway system closes at midnight and that some access doors, to enter the skyway from the street, will close earlier than that. Welcome, visitors; dress for the weather, and don’t be locked out!

Peg Guilfoyle, St. Paul

The writer is a member of the St. Paul Skyway Governance Advisory Committee.


It’s all fun and games until someone has to carry a 1

Prof. Rafe Jones of Carleton College can undoubtedly solve a math problem involving matrix multiplication or differential equations quite easily, when most of the rest of us couldn’t even tell you what they are (“Roman numerals have their place — in the past,” Jan. 31).

However, his approach to arithmetic would leave most of us totally confounded. The example of adding 45 and 32 yielding 77 worked quite well adding the numbers in the tens’ place first, and then secondly adding the figures in the ones’ place.

Although if the numbers in the problem were 45 and 78, adding the 4 and 7 would yield 11, while combining 5 and 8 would give us 13, for a total of 1113(?). I think this is why the system developed in India and popularized by the Arabians (unfortunately not attributed by Prof. Jones) has us adding the numbers in the ones’ place first and then the numbers in the tens’ place.

Maybe it’s better that most of us eschew higher forms of math.

John Ammerman, Edina