I agree with most of the Star Tribune Editorial Board’s assessment of St. Paul’s snow removal and the recommendation of more tickets, towing and a better plan (“St. Paul is in a rut with snow removal,” Dec. 27). But let’s not put all this expense on the backs of the residents of St. Paul who are already overburdened in property taxes.
Like Minneapolis, St. Paul provides services to a far greater daytime population than the number of residents who call the city home, yet sends more money to the state than it gets back in return. There is a way to help correct this disparity so St. Paul is better able to provide basic services not only to residents, but to all who come in either to work, play or enjoy our amazing parks, restaurants and other attractions before heading back to well-plowed suburban roads. It’s called local government aid (LGA). Some called it the Minnesota Miracle. Paul Wellstone alluded to LGA when he said, “We all do better when we all do better.” This statewide revenue-sharing program was what landed Gov. Wendell Anderson’s “The Good Life in Minnesota” on the front of Time magazine in August 1973. Minnesota residents have long understood that the costs of schools, police, fire, public infrastructure and social services are disproportionately higher in the core cites and have responded with programs such as LGA. Unfortunately, over the last 20 years our philosophy changed, with a focus on local responsibility and local solutions pitting communities against one another for finite resources. Let’s hope Gov. Tim Walz makes good on his pledge and fully restores LGA funds to address the increasing disparities.
To my suburban friends who complain about our unplowed streets when they frequent our fair city (probably on Ayd Mill Road), I say, “We appreciate you dropping by. Feel free to use our streets, sewers, parks and take a sip of the best water anywhere. However, we need your help to keep infrastructure healthy. As you head back home complaining to your wife about the pot holes in Ayd Mill Road, please call your state representative and request full restoration of LGA. Paul Wellstone was wise when he said, “We all do better when we all do better.”
P.S. If you really enjoy visiting St. Paul, you can put your snowblower in the back of your pickup next time you drive in and give us a hand.
Paul Chellsen, St. Paul
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SPORTS ‘DECADE IN REVIEW’
You shouldn’t highlight such a serious injury
Regardless if you are a Packers fan or a Vikings fan, the “Decade in Review” that highlights Anthony Barr’s hit on Aaron Rodgers in 2017 is completely and utterly tasteless (“Vikings and Packers turned their rivalry up a few notches,” Dec. 22). I’m a mother, nurse and member of a youth football league. We are constantly educating young players on sportsmanship and staying healthy. It doesn’t matter what colors you wear or who your quarterback is — to highlight an injury is repulsive. I would never wish for you, your quarterback or your family to get injured or become ill. I can only hope that the newspaper would never celebrate my pain, either.
Sara Grieser, Milaca, Minn.
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It is a sad state of affairs for Minnesota sports when one of the five top plays of the decade is the (now penalized and illegal) play where Barr pounded Rodgers into the turf, breaking Rodgers’ collar bone.
Intending to injure players, or take them out of the game, is not part of the game of football. What happened to the Saints’ defensive coordinator when he instructed his players to continually “hammer” Brett Favre in the 2009-10 NFC championship game? He was suspended from the NFL. Maybe the sports staff should have considered the play of the Saints defense in that game to be one of the top plays of the decade, too!
Bill Merkea, Shakopee
WAR IN AFGHANISTAN
Mark Milley’s definition of “terrorist” is off
In the Nation and World section Dec. 21 (“Top general defends war in Afghanistan”), the Pentagon’s Army Gen. Mark Milley said that “no terrorist attacks originating in Afghanistan have been carried out on U.S. soil in the last 18 years.” But no terrorist attacks originating in Madagascar, Chad, Iceland, Iran, Oman, Brazil or Mongolia have been carried out on U.S. soil in the last 18 years, either.
His logic is insane — that entire nations need to be destroyed to stop terrorist attacks. The general has it backward. Thousands of terrorist attacks originating in the Pentagon have been carried out on Afghan soil over the last 18 years.
Attack a defenseless country with a superpower military and they don’t even have a military, do it for 18 years and claim you’re fighting terrorism. You are the terrorist, Mark Milley.
Frank Erickson, Minneapolis
America’s poor health is due to diet and lack of exercise
A Dec. 27 letter held capitalism responsible for increasing mortality rates and falling life expectancy for Americans aged 25-64. I disagree. The writer may want to consider two things.
First, the poor health in this country is due largely to a lack of exercise and obesity. Too much time on the internet, television, etc. In addition, there is the matter of a poor diet. Americans eat far too many processed foods that are high in fat and salt. The Top 10 healthiest countries (led by Spain) are all capitalist. The difference is their diet and commitment to exercise.
Second, the writer points out we have dropped from 12th lowest in infant mortality in 1960 to 55th in 2017. The problem is that we had a capitalist economy in 1960. We didn’t go from socialism to capitalism during that time. So the issue isn’t capitalism.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 22,000 infants died in the United States in 2017. The five leading causes of infant death in 2017 were: 1) birth defects, 2) preterm birth and low birth weight, 3) maternal pregnancy complications, 4) sudden infant death syndrome and 5) injuries. Not sure how capitalism is at fault in these situations.
The health care system in this country is not perfect. But replacing it with a bloated government bureaucracy is not the answer (look at the issues we are having with the Department of Human Services in Minnesota). Better to increase competition and not stifle it. A public option — along with maintaining private insurance — would promote competition and drive costs down.
Jim Piga, St. Paul
Thank you for your strength of character and integrity
Kudos to Nora McInerny for taking a stand with regard to putting Garrison Keillor on the cover of Mpls. St. Paul magazine (“Columnist quits Mpls. St. Paul magazine over Keillor cover story,” StarTribune.com, Dec. 23). She is actually putting her money where her mouth is. She is a woman of principle, unlike Keillor, who needs to admit that his appeal is significantly diminished and that the time has come for him to disappear.
Ursula Krawczyk, St. Paul
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