The Minnesota Legislature is considering a proposal to provide $13 million in bonding to subsidize parking for employees and visitors in the Capitol complex. This proposal is at odds with the state policy for this area, which requires employees to pay the complete costs — debt service, operations and maintenance — of parking.
The current state policy, which I support, levels the playing field between driving and alternatives such as carpooling and public transit. Transit in the Capitol complex area includes many bus lines, as well as the light-rail Green Line. The Green Line has a stop just a few steps from our Capitol.
For times when the number of visitors to the Capitol complex peaks, let’s find a way for employees who need a parking place to take advantage of underutilized parking in nearby downtown St. Paul. This parking is a short transit trip or walk from the Capitol complex.
We should support the responsible practice of requiring employees in the Capitol complex to pay the complete costs of the parking they use. I hope that the Legislature will reject the proposal for bonding to subsidize parking for employees.
Chip Welling, St. Paul
COMO PARK HIGH SCHOOL
Black Lives Matter, frustrated teacher may not be so far apart
I will suggest that Theo Olson, the Como Park High School teacher who posted on Facebook his frustration at the St. Paul School District’s seeming lack of support in dealing with “kids who won’t quit gaming, setting up fights, selling drugs, whoring trains or cyber bullying,” and Black Lives Matter activist Rashad Turner, who described Olson on Facebook “as an example of a white supremacist teacher,” each seriously reach out and arrange a sit-down meeting (“Como teacher targeted for posts,” March 7, and “BLM won’t protest at Como H.S.,” March 8). My suspicion is that they share many, if not most, of the same dreams and goals in providing the best education for all of our children.
It was interesting that on the same page of the Star Tribune was an article about a 19-year-old “dope-dealing teenager who randomly targeted a man … for robbery and ended up killing his victim execution-style,” and was sentenced to life in prison. The murder was committed at approximately 6:30 on a Sunday morning. The killer was 17 at the time, and I can only imagine what energy he brought to his high school classes that Monday.
As a community, we must support our children.
As a community, we must support our teachers.
Bill Holden, Minneapolis
The writer is a retired Minneapolis teacher.
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I have not been to Como Park High School and do not know Mr. Turner nor Mr. Olson, but I have worked in one of the other local schools that has become a battleground. Some children walk into school in the morning already mad as hell. It does not even take someone looking at them funny before a rampage begins. A smaller child is pushed down on the floor; fellow students’ artwork is torn from the wall; chairs are thrown, and a chase begins that may end in a suspension. Suspending students is not a solution, but neither is suspending teachers who voice frustration. The social fabric in many of our communities is badly frayed. Talking is not a solution, either, but it must take place if some mending is to take place.
Ellen Lowery, White Bear Lake
Room for the market to work, but let’s not be waiting around
It comes as a breath of clean air to read Amy Koch and King Banaian of the Conservative Energy Forum address the benefits of letting the markets move clean energy in a direction that has appeal for all (“How conservative policy can harness clean energy,” March 7). However, before we can get rid of the regulators of our current energy system, we must do more than hope for a slow but steady movement toward market-driven energy solutions, because climate change is getting impatient.
Until the market says “move over, regulators — we have a plan that will accelerate us to a carbon-free and profitable energy system,” the current system of energy regulation will remain in place. That plan should be carbon-fee-and-dividend, which will let the market rapidly move our energy system with millions of new jobs created and billions of dollars of market investment in clean-energy technology, efficiency and energy storage. An additional huge benefit will be better health for all. As this transition occurs, the dividend will shield families from the economic burden of higher energy costs, and border tariffs will protect U.S. businesses while motivating other governments to follow our lead.
Let’s grab our fair share of the global multitrillion-dollar clean-tech economy with a national carbon price. I agree that technological change moves incrementally, but it will move at the speed of light with carbon-fee-and-dividend.
Mike Menzel, Edina
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So, Koch and Banaian seek credibility on energy and economic issues but do not think the role of CO2 matters in policymaking? Once upon a time (actually, not so long ago), the GOP proudly supported sound energy and environmental policies — legislation that directly or indirectly led to reducing harmful pollutants, many of which came from the energy sector. President Richard Nixon established the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. President Teddy Roosevelt established more than 200 national forests and parks and created the U.S. Forest Service. Roosevelt clearly stated that “the conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. … Unless we solve that problem, it will avail us little to solve all others.”
The Conservative Energy Forum needs to embrace its environmentally/economically sound policy heritage. Own it! Put the “conserve” back in “conservative.” This group needs to reboot!
Julie Risser, Edina
Is it just me, or is new surface not grippy enough?
Do other drivers find Interstate 394’s new grooved concrete roadway when approaching downtown to be unsettling? I have a three-year-old Hyundai and new tires, yet I find my tires do not grip this road surface — even at 55 miles per hour — nearly as well as they do standard concrete or asphalt. There is a definite shiver in the steering, as if the tires are never quite gripping the road, and to me it has the feeling of being somewhat less than safe. Just curious as to whether I’m the only one experiencing this less-than-desirable sensation.
David Gustafson, Hopkins
Just in case that carp barrier doesn’t work … earworms!
As an active boater on Lake Minnetonka, I was delighted to read the front-page article “U team designs carp barriers” (March 7), with the summary “Plan would bombard fish with water pressure, noise and underwater lights.” The invasion of Asian carp would be even more devastating to the ecosystem than Eurasian milfoil and zebra mussels. If the sound of boat motors blasted into the water is not effective, I suggest heavy-metal music or repeatedly playing “You Light Up My Life” by Debby Boone and “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston.
Daniel P. Goldman, Wayzata