In the words of George Harrison: “It’s been a long cold lonely winter … it feels like years since it’s been here. Here comes the sun … .” It has been a tough slog this year. And even though people had the best intentions, the snows kept coming and the sidewalks became compacted with layers of the white stuff. It was actually much easier to walk on than the pools of ice that were (and still are) in front of many homes.

Walking my dog twice a day, I noticed the compacted snow becoming solid ice — sidewalk glaciers, if you will — and becoming more treacherous each day. Until the sun began to do its thing. Then the sidewalk glaciers began to recede, first in the center of the walk and then moving to the edges. Long, suspended shelves of ice lined the sides of the walks, until they broke away, sometimes in remarkably large sheets, and fell to the warming pavement and melted.

And it struck me that after a snowy winter like this, we get to witness, firsthand and in microcosm, what is taking place on a global scale with the loss of Arctic sea ice and the collapse of the Antarctic ice sheets. Only our globe is less fortunate than we are, at least for the time being. We will experience more winters. When ice leaves the globe, it will forever be a changed world.

Bob Close, St. Paul


Focusing blame on just the shooter will not solve the larger problem

The March 19 letter “Don’t overcomplicate the blame,” in stating that we should merely blame the perpetrators of tragedies like the massacre last week at two mosques in New Zealand, demonstrates exactly what the white hate movement wants people to believe. It is a movement that is leaderless by design, so that the actions of its adherents can be painted as isolated acts by disturbed lone wolves.

Social-media sites harbor a vast network of people who hate immigrants, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Natives, Jews, Muslims and liberals.

If these atrocities were really carried out by a few random lunatics, there would not have been more than 1.2 million shares of the New Zealand massacre videos in the hours just following the attacks.

Brian K. Miller, River Falls, Wis.

• • •

In response to another of the March 19 letters on hate crimes: “Fear” isn’t the one driving force behind hate. There’s an ideology, a spiritual belief and a sense of superiority that an individual believes gives them a legitimate reason to hate someone. The purpose of laws against hate is to protect potential victims and to prosecute those who use their hate to hurt or kill someone, not to change those people, as the letter suggests.

Emmanuel R. Savage, Minneapolis


Views better served by longer-form writing, or still problematic?

Kudos to U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar on her commentary “Apply universal values to all nations to achieve peace,” written for the Washington Post and reprinted in the March 19 Star Tribune. In 14 whole paragraphs (so much more than would fit in a 280-character tweet), she coherently laid out her thinking and positions regarding a number of foreign-policy issues. Whether we agree with every point or not, I think we can proudly support this manner of communicating by a politician. While I greatly appreciate her well-written and clear explanation of her positions in a newspaper op-ed, I would like to suggest that Rep. Omar tweet out a link to this article and encourage her critics, as well as her supporters, to muster their attention span to read all 14 paragraphs. And going forward, I would encourage Omar and all our leaders to speak and write in full and coherent detail, so we can all benefit from respectful civil discourse.

Eileen Deitcher, Shoreview

• • •

Ilhan Omar, Fifth District congresswoman, correctly states that “working toward peace in the [Israeli/Palestinian] region also means holding everyone involved accountable … .” Quite right. Quite true. She goes on to say, “When I criticize certain Israeli government actions … .” She certainly does criticize Israeli government actions in the House, on Twitter and in cafes.

But where is her condemnation of Palestinian actions? Just a week ago Sunday, a West Bank Palestinian stabbed an Israeli soldier to death, stole his rifle and shot another soldier and a civilian. The civilian has since died. Just last week, two rockets were fired, by mistake, to Tel Aviv at the same moment that Gazan and Egyptian intelligence officials were meeting about a cease-fire. And that’s just last week. The Star Tribune has reported terror against Israeli Jews at least once a month for years.

To bring peace to the region, Rep. Omar’s fervent hope, one must tell the stories of both sides. I see in Omar’s exclusive attention to Israel’s sins an attitude of “poor little Palestinians being bullied by big, threatening Israel.” That attitude won’t bring the sides closer together.

Elaine Frankowski, Minneapolis


Little good can come (or did, when I lived it) from being out of sync

A huge thank-you to a March 18 letter writer who described what would happen if Minnesota did not observe daylight saving time with the rest of the country.

I lived in northern Indiana when DST wasn’t observed. Believe me, it is much more confusing to deal with being in a different time zone half the year than changing your clocks twice a year.

I don’t think anyone proposing this “solution” to a few days of adjustment has really thought about the consequences. Every time you enter our neighboring states, you will be in a different time zone. As the letter writer pointed out, for eight months of the year we would effectively be in Mountain time when it came to our television schedules.

Indiana finally decided to change to DST because being in different time zones twice a year was too confusing. Please don’t let our legislators do this!

Debbie Lewis, Long Lake

• • •

I’m befuddled by the brouhaha over daylight saving time.

Nobody seems to be calling for a ban on travel. With the much shorter temporal acclimation period inflicted by a round trip to either coast, you’d think this issue would be getting all the attention.

Staying up late is also dodging accountability. If you watch an extra episode of your current binge or dawdle over your dinner out, you’ve lost an hour’s sleep and have to adjust. Yet for now no one is trying to legislate bedtime.

Year-round daylight saving time is one idea being pushed for a sleep-inconvenienced populace. Since concern for the children is a crowd-pleasing prop in any argument, consider that under this plan the kids will be making one of their daily trips in the dark. At this latitude, winter sunlight is hard to come by no matter how we calibrate the clocks. Some people might like a 9 a.m. sunrise, but this is only trading one set of problems for another.

Rejecting daylight saving time altogether is just a spiteful power play by early risers. It takes an hour of treasured summer sun — an extra hour for baseball and softball games, golf, tennis, fishing, walks, bike rides, gardening, anything outdoors — and moves it to 4:30 a.m.

Is this about physically changing clocks? Because I don’t remember this kind of umbrage in the days before digital clocks. The permeation and various complexities of digital timepieces make this the most understandable argument against time changes, and also the saddest. It’s like complaining that you have to brush your teeth twice a year.

This is a First World problem that was solved decades ago. Now people want to turn back the clock and keep it there.

Chris Keprios, Minneapolis