A May 7 editorial (“CHS Field is a home run for St. Paul and the Saints”) stated that “a consistent marketing push” is needed if the city is to fully capitalize on the new Lowertown ballpark. We confess that we forgot to update a Web listing that reflects the St. Paul Saints’ move to their new ballpark on our visitor-centric website. At the same time, we wish to highlight the full “marketing push” that we have been working on over the last year.
In 2014, the Visit Saint Paul sales team began promoting CHS Field at sports conventions throughout the country as a new, state-of-the-art venue for various professional and amateur sporting events. These events bring new visitors, involve hotel-room nights and generate additional spending throughout the area. Visit Saint Paul has already introduced vast numbers of people to the ballpark, having hosted events in the Securian Club and connected many other event planners with the ballpark.
Baseball fans will be targeted through digital efforts that are key in attracting new consumers to downtown. We are also including the Saints in our Midwest billboard and print campaigns. Visit Saint Paul has spent months diligently creating a new website that will launch in early June. It will heavily promote the new ballpark to visitors no matter their screen size. Fans will find additional things to do before and after games.
The Saints are a founding partner in Visit Saint Paul’s new “Unforgettable Experiences” initiative and are crafting unique experiences, including a “Saint for a Day” experience that puts fans in the shoes of a Saints ballplayer. The team has partnered with Visit Saint Paul on an effort in which the tourism office will take Saints information on the road this summer and also be set up to share information in front of CHS Field.
Additionally, fans coming to Saints games will be welcomed along 5th and 6th Streets with new light-pole banners promoting this inaugural season in the new ballpark. Fans can ride light rail to all home games for free, and new restaurants are opening close to the field.
It’s a whole new ballgame, and our “full marketing push” is thoroughly underway.
Terry Mattson, St. Paul
The writer is president and CEO of Visit Saint Paul/RiverCentre.
A federal focus on prevention would help in Minnesota
Yes, progress on child abuse and neglect will require real investments (“Better child protection is going to cost,” May 12). But reform in Washington could accelerate progress, by focusing on prevention. Federal funding shortchanges prevention efforts that help parents manage mental health, substance abuse, financial distress, and other abuse and neglect risk factors. Today, the federal government pays $4 for foster care for every $1 on prevention. And federal foster care funding is insufficient, covering less than half of eligible kids. Continued underfunding of prevention will only drain this already-shallow funding pool.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is developing legislation to invest in prevention. His plan would allow federal funds to help at-risk kids before they enter foster care, and it directs increased investments to prevention initiatives with proven track records of effectiveness. The likely result: stronger families, safer children and better value for taxpayers. Local and state resources are absolutely essential. But better federal child abuse and neglect policy would make every local and state dollar invested go further. If Minnesota wants better outcomes for kids, Minnesota’s leaders in Congress must also reform child abuse and neglect funding.
Bruce Lesley, Washington, D.C.
The writer is president of the First Focus Campaign for Children.
‘Taking responsibility’ ought to involve more than words
I read with great interest the May 11 letter regarding the texting accident involving a teenager that left a young toddler with a serious brain injury. The letter, which stated that “[w]hat is remarkable about this 17-year-old is how she is bravely speaking out about the devastation she caused and taking full responsibility for doing what she can to make it right,” was indicative of a serious issue in society today.
One of society’s most overused phrases is: “I take complete responsibility.” Young people seem to have no concept of what this means, and as adults we foster this and let them bring their message to other young people, reinforcing the notion that taking responsibility is really no big deal. “Taking full responsibility” does not mean you do some community service, then speak to reporters about the accident and how sorry you are. That is today’s feel-good way of taking responsibility. It’s simple, not very time-consuming and makes people feel as if they are making amends when they really are not.
Taking responsibility means you pay a price for your actions, no matter how tough those prices may be. It means that the teen featured in a May 1 story might now need to donate lots of time to help a young family whose vehicle she struck in day-to-day life and rehabilitation efforts. It means helping (out of her own pocket) to pay his medical bills. It may take working two jobs to do this.
I’d suggest the letter writer save her praises for the young boy who was injured, as he recovers slowly and with great effort. He will indeed “take responsibility.” The teen praised in the letter has no idea of the concept.
Richard Spehn, Lake Elmo
Words and even best efforts can be inappropriate, so take care
Most people think the biggest problem in being blind is not being able to see. They would be wrong. I am totally blind, and I used to agree with that view. I never went anywhere alone; my family always served me at mealtime and cut my meat — even when I was a teenager. Now I travel all over the U.S. by myself and eat at fancy restaurants — where, if they cut my meat, I will probably send it back.
As a young adult, I was fortunate enough to encounter members of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) who taught me that blindness does not have to hold me back. I learned that there are nonvisual techniques to accomplish most tasks that make vision unnecessary. The NFB has shown me how I can live the life I want.
Imagine my dismay when I learned that a nonprofit that does research on one particular eye disease is sponsoring an upcoming fundraising dinner called “Dining in the Dark.” To stress the need for a cure for this disease, they want to show everyone how hard it is to be blind. The guests will eat their dinner with the lights off.
I hope readers understand that I value research as much as anyone, but I take great offense at people paying a lot of money to have their misconceptions about blindness reinforced. If people want a more positive view of what blind people are doing for themselves, they can go to www.nfb.org or www.nfbmn.org.
Judy Sanders, Minneapolis
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The headline over a May 9 posting at StarTribune.com about Prince’s new release of the song “Baltimore” was inflammatory. Why use a word like “unleashes,” like a dog? It sounds like the song is being let loose, like something dangerous. This is racism in action. Do editors understand how they were being inflammatory? This was not the time or the place to be playing with words. If you seriously believe in the values of a free, democratic (although we are not) country, please try to be constructive about black people, their lives and work.
Diane Bernthal, Minneapolis