I am writing in support of Hudson, Wis., business owner Brooke Fleetwood and her pink home and beauty salon ("Beige? No thank you, says owner of pink shop," Sept. 23). While I am sympathetic to a historic district's desire to maintain a certain uniformity, I would like to appeal to Minnesota and Wisconsin home and business owners to brighten up.
Look at an average Twin Cities residential block and you'll see a lot of off-white, dingy white, beige, pale gray and brown — colors that match cloudy skies, dirty snow, dead grass, leafless trees and frozen dirt. Why is this?
The Upper Midwest may not be tropical, but our climate provides plenty of natural color — most of the year. And yet we seem to want our homes to blend in with the season when all that color fades, the time of year when we all want light and color the most.
The next time you're considering a color to paint your house, think about what it will look like on a cloudy day in February, after the snow has been on the ground for a while and the holiday lights have been taken down. Go ahead, paint it a primary color! Go crazy! Paint it pink!
Harry Sheff, St. Paul
GOVERNOR VS. LEGISLATURE
Are both sides in this mess guilty? Yes, so get back to work
Oh my gosh, enough already! I don't want to read one more self-serving "blame the other guy" commentary explaining the inability of the Republican leadership and the DFL governor to get things done. Should the governor have defunded the Legislature by line-item veto? Probably not. But should the Republicans have added the "poison pill" eliminating all Minnesota Department of Revenue funding if the bill wasn't signed? Definitely not. (Republicans seem to have conveniently forgotten their little role in this fiasco.) And please, House Speaker Kurt Daudt's assertion that Gov. Mark Dayton wants to completely eliminate the Legislature is laughable and pathetic ("Defunding of Legislature disserves citizens," Sept. 29). Bottom line: There are no blameless guys here. I implore the governor and the Republican leadership to put their egos aside, start acting like adults and get back to work for the people of Minnesota.
Susan Yanta, Hugo
REPUBLICAN TAX PLAN
Scrapping inheritance tax would benefit only a few, a mighty few
President Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz have both stated that they want to eliminate the federal inheritance tax. The present inheritance tax exemption is $5.49 million per person. Only the estates of the wealthiest 0.2 percent of Americans who die owe any federal estate tax. Of the 19 economically developed nations, the U.S. has the highest rate of income disparity and poverty other than Mexico and Turkey. The top 20 percent of Americans own 85 percent of the nation's wealth and the bottom 80 percent own 15 percent. Eliminating the federal estate tax would make these percentages even more lopsided. The advantage for Trump is that his future heirs would not have to pay federal inheritance tax.
Roger Plumb, Plymouth
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In response to a Friday letter writer ("The devil is in the details," Readers Write, Sept. 29): Be careful. The devil indeed is in the details.
Yes, the standard deduction is doubled. But the personal exemption is eliminated as is the additional standard deduction. In my case, as a senior, my net taxable income savings is $800, or a tax savings of about 100 bucks. Whoopee!
Richard Christenson, Bloomington
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An eerie silence has descended upon Minnesota's big-spending, high-tax political uniparty and its media enablers regarding the GOP tax plan's promise to eliminate the state and local tax deduction. Could it be that they know that they'll have to katy bar the doors to prevent the ongoing exodus of high-income earners from the Land of 10,000 Lakes? Our trust fund governor may want to get out of court and get to work.
Sheila Kihne, Eden Prairie
Amid climate concerns, please don't forget native heritage
I attended the Public Utilities Commission hearing regarding pipeline 3, which occurred at the same time as the rally publicized in the Star Tribune Business section ("Sounding off on Line 3," Sept. 29). A couple hundred people attended, many of whom missed the rally because of the hearing. While it is true, as stated in the article, that those who testified were concerned about climate change, many others spoke about the need to preserve and protect treaty rights to gather wild rice, hunt and fish on the land that the new Line 3 would cross. The Star Tribune published a front-page article about how Native Americans would be adversely affected in a disproportionate number by the proposed route for the new Line 3. The issue at hand is the well-being and cultural heritage of the native peoples.
Roberta Haskin, Bloomington
TRUMP VS. THE NFL
A reminder to try to walk a mile in some of the players' shoes
I've been reading with interest the back and forth over NFL players kneeling for the national anthem. I could never see not standing myself, but then again I am white, male, Christian (which would mean persecution in some nations but not the U.S.) and heterosexual. This protest is over discrimination, something I have never experienced. It's like Atticus Finch says in "To Kill a Mockingbird": "You never really understand a person until you look at things from his point of view."
David Frederick, Coon Rapids
Coverage of trendy cargo bike just more social engineering
In response to your anti-car propaganda piece ("The two-wheeled minivan," Variety, Sept. 28), picturing the mother and her three children on her super cool and edgy bike. She looks determined, while the children look a range of distressed to annoyed. I see this purely as an act of self-indulgence on the part of the parents and virtue signaling and social nudging on the part of the Star Tribune. Where is the photo of her bringing home the water softener salt? Or in our Brave New Carless World will we be happy and self-satisfied with our hard water?
I, for one, see it for what it is and have grown weary of the constant barrage.
Elizabeth Anderson, Minnetonka
Don't be such a killjoy
A letter writer on Sept. 29 complained about how the Minnesota Twins celebrated making the playoffs even though almost every professional sports team across the spectrum has pretty much celebrated in the same manner for decades that the Twins just did. Of all the things happening in this world, is this really something to complain about? Maybe if the Twins made the playoffs every year, the letter writer would have more of a point. However, the Twins are making the playoffs for the first time in seven years, so the team had the right to celebrate in that style.
William Cory Labovitch, South St. Paul