The fact that two business “moguls” are vying for a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise (Oct. 31) is heartening to this soccer fan. It speaks to the increasing national interest in the sport. Ultimately, the league will decide if Minnesota is to receive the franchise and to whom it gets awarded.

On the one hand, we have the Minnesota Vikings. With the substantial help of Minneapolis taxpayers, the team will have a stadium in place that can be converted to replicate a soccer environment. But: no soccer team, no soccer fan base and no real grass.

On the other hand, we have an existing professional soccer team that, like the turf it plays on, has real roots, an existing fan base and youth soccer programs in the community. But: no stadium.

It will come down to how financially viable an MLS team will be in Minnesota, along with what the league wants the future of soccer to look like. But an artificially created team, playing in an artificial soccer stadium on artificial turf, is unlikely to get me, my 3-year-old son and our friends walking through a turnstile.

Matthew Hitchin, Minneapolis


At some point (now?) they’re Americans

In Neal St. Anthony’s Nov. 3 column “Big plans as strip mall changes hands,” there was a line that caught my attention, making me wonder what the newspaper’s style guide might say. The line was: “They have a modest following of Somali, American and Asian customers.” I wonder if some of those Somalis and some of those Asians (boy, there’s a word that covers a lot of territory) might not be American citizens and, hence, Americans.

Who, then, to the Star Tribune, is an American? We know what you mean, by the way, but maybe it’s time to move beyond that. I can think of several ways to rephrase that sentence, without excluding some of our new citizens from being Americans. You might work on that.

Fred Bogott, Austin, Minn.

• • •

The Nov. 2 article “Drawn north,” regarding the influx of Somalis, interested me. It mentioned help for the new arrivals participating in the state’s public food assistance program and special classes for the children to learn English.

A few pages later, the article “Unsolved case marks dark end of rough life” mentions a veteran living on the street. I have to ask: What is wrong with this picture?

Linda Golle, Eden Prairie



Both sides are fine if equally credentialed

While I appreciate the fact that the Star Tribune published my letter to the editor (Nov. 4) criticizing the name of the Washington, D.C., NFL team, the headline the newspaper provided (“Paper had no business printing both sides”) missed the point of the letter. I was not objecting to the paper printing both sides of the debate. I objected to the false equivalency between the elected tribal leaders on one side and one guy with an opinion on the other side. If the other side had been presented by some elected official with a constituency of some kind, I would have to say: fair enough. Or if it was the guy from Plymouth vs. me, that would warrant parallel presentation.

The Nov. 2 presentation of the team name debate was a false equivalency akin to pairing the scientific community conclusion about climate change with the one or two guys who disagree. Sure, there are two sides, but the two arguments don’t have equal weight.

Tim Mungavan, Minneapolis



We hear criticism but believe in our mission

Thank you to Gail Rosenblum for showcasing Mary Lou Hill in her Nov. 1 column (“She voted”). Hill truly is a gem in the League of Women Voters Minneapolis. Her modest demeanor, yet her tenaciousness, has proved an asset for us. She shows up, cares about community and has many interests. We pride ourselves in educating community about issues. She has been a part of that, serving on committees, working in our office and observing government at work.

We viewed the newspaper’s online version and noted many comments about our partisanship. We believe that we try to offer varying opinions when we present a forum on particular issues. That said, we acknowledge that we, too, have received criticism. However, Hill exemplifies the thoroughness of research, the dedication to democracy and the stick-to-itiveness of purpose that our organization hopes to represent.

Our recent topics — juvenile sex trafficking, prison pipeline and structure of city government — are issues that all should be concerned about. Yes, our mission to educate voters is often clouded with some of our positions on issues — and that has precipitated criticism from partisan groups and political parties. It is not our goal or role to endorse candidates or political parties.

At any rate, we think you did an excellent job of capturing Hill’s civic-minded attitude and her voting history. We are proud to call her a member of the league.

Karlynn Fronek and Pam Telleen; co-presidents, League of Women Voters Minneapolis



Did you notice how we gauged support?

By putting “Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis” and “Legal Marijuana Now” under the names of legalization candidates, Minnesotans saw legalization on the ballot for the first time and voted for it in record numbers.

Dan Vacek’s plebiscite-by-proxy theory worked so well that even the monopoly media censorship of minor parties couldn’t stop the voters from seeing legalization on the ballot. Vacek earned 57,602 votes for Legal Marijuana Now, spent less than $500 and outpolled better-funded, better-publicized candidates from the Independence, Green and Libertarian parties — all of whom supported marijuana legalization but didn’t say so on their ballot designation.

For governor, the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis ticket of Chris Wright and David Daniels racked up 31,254 votes — a 400 percent increase from the 2010 election. For auditor on the same ticket, Judith Schwartzbacker commanded 55,121 votes — an increase of 20,000 votes from 2010.

Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., were added to the list of legalization this year, and soon it will be hard to push back against the storm surge for repeal of these stupid drug laws.

Now we know how to win and diminish the votes of the two-party tyranny. We’ll be back to mess with you little Dutch boys. In the meantime, the cracks in the levee are widening, the flood is coming and the inevitable wave of Hemp for Victory will sweep away your injustices.

Chris Wright, Edina