Opinion editor's note: Star Tribune Opinion publishes letters from readers online and in print each day. To contribute, click here.


I'm writing in response to the commentary by Chuck Leer ("The North Loop — the long view," Opinion Exchange, Sept. 4). I am an artist and rented a studio for a short while in one of the building projects he developed. I now have a studio in the Northeast neighborhood, and I have lived downtown for 20 years. So I think I'm qualified to comment. The heart of the city/the downtown core he identifies does not compare to the North Loop. The North Loop is a collection of tangled narrow streets, marked with low-level, small storefronts. The lofts pepper the neighborhood in what were once energetic industrial complexes. (In college, I worked summers in the warehouse at Our Own Hardware.) The "core," however, exposes its origins as a place for business — banking and big retail. I'm now thinking of the Dayton's Project. After many years of renovation, does it welcome the public to come in? I don't know; I've still not been in it. This is not an issue that is going to get solved by painters and sculptors. Accept the Nicollet Mall either as it is, as a destination for business, or as a relic from the past. Until someone sees it as it truly is, we might just keep on planting more trees and setting up more sidewalk activities, and it will continue to be a place to go to work or to hang out — but not a place that feels like home.

Lynn Bollman, Minneapolis


I read with interest Chuck Leer's commentary on the success of the North Loop, where he states it all started with the artists creating art spaces in the area. My mother, Frances Addington, was one of them. She had two different art studios there, including one in the old International Harvester building starting in the 1970s. It was a great place to create, and she loved bringing my children there with her as well to do fun art stuff in the cool old building. How ironic, then, that those who were the first to help revive the area were the first to go when big bucks were to be made by converting these places into high-end housing. Those who moved to northeast Minneapolis will probably suffer the same fate. My mother is gone now, but I and my children still have our memories of that magical time and place.

Barbara Addington, St. Louis Park


As someone who has lived in a condominium in the North Loop neighborhood for 19 years, I read with interest a recent editorial and commentary offered in the Star Tribune ("Amid downturn, North Loop shines," editorial, Aug. 27, and "The North Loop — the long view," Opinion Exchange, Sept. 4). The vitality and dynamic qualities of the neighborhood are offered as a model to be emulated in other areas of the city. Its growth has mostly been organic with limited government engagement or assistance.

The North Loop is essentially a dense community of 10,000 people. Housing, entertainment, restaurants and food halls and essential services such as a grocery store, dentist, veterinarian, medical clinic, pharmacy and a multitude of retail businesses are all available without residents needing to leave the neighborhood. Those of us who live here, work here and have businesses here are neighbors rather than separate entities.

But there are a number of lessons that should be considered as Minneapolis moves forward to encourage similar developments in other parts of the city. In my area, the terms "livability" and "neighborliness" are now used with some frequency. From my standpoint, a greater balance between the presence of apartments and condominiums will be essential in future communities like this one, and the city should do everything it can do to support this. By their very nature, apartments accommodate residents who often tend to be more transient. As a consequence, there is inherently less investment in a sense of a community and its maintenance over the long haul.

To sustain the success of neighborhoods like the North Loop, the city will need to be more actively engaged. There are virtually no green spaces in many parts of the neighborhood. In the one area near my residence that has a green space donated by a generous local developer, a patch of grass continues to be its only feature. Noise is substantially unregulated, and some businesses take advantage of this for their betterment at the expense of those of us who live here. Cars block streets and entrances to buildings and residential garages. Parking is largely unregulated. Construction companies ignore ordinances that regulate noise and hours and days of construction. The lesson here is that neighborhoods like the North Loop that develop and grow organically on their own still need active and continued city support to ensure their ongoing success and vitality.

Jeff Brown, Minneapolis


Cheniqua Johnson over Pa Der Vang

I definitely want a shake-up as described in the "Hoping for a shake-up" story of Aug. 13 about St. Paul City Council candidates.

In the Seventh Ward, Pa Der Vang is the candidate endorsed by current Council Member Jane Prince. If Vang follows in her footsteps, as a recent letter writer described her, she will not be the leader I'm looking for ("You forgot a strong contender," Readers Write, Aug. 28). She will take a top-down approach in the areas of rent stabilization and public safety. Prince seems to have gone along with some of the traditional powers in the city, the real estate industry and the police chief.

Cheniqua Johnson, the leading DFL- and labor-endorsed candidate, is also supported by several organizations, community members, elected leaders, former Seventh Ward City Council Member Kathy Lantry and current and former state Reps. for District 67B Jay Xiong and Sheldon Johnson. In my assessment, Johnson will listen first to residents who are most affected by a policy. When the owners of Haven of Battle Creek were trying to evict large numbers of low-income tenants to attract high incomes, Johnson was there. She listened to those who had lived there for years and understood how difficult it would be for them to find another home.

In listening to residents in the Seventh Ward, Johnson also understands that public safety is about meeting the needs of people, whether that's having peacekeepers or youth programs. It's a bottom-up approach where residents can govern alongside their City Council member. I look forward to having a City Council member who sees the big picture.

Gaye Sorenson, St. Paul


Enough with the Trump tactics

Although I support many of the positions of Minneapolis City Council Member Robin Wonsley, her recent attack of Mayor Jacob Frey sounds distressingly like the kind of unsupported accusations we're used to hearing from former President Donald Trump ("Wonsley: 'Nothing else to share' on Frey," Sept. 2). Since her allies have not supported her allegations, I sincerely hope she will be able to see this behavior is beneath her and erodes the credibility she needs for her real work.

Rondi Atkin, Minneapolis


The Twins lose to body art

Tuesday's Sports section had 10 pages. Six of the 10, including the front page, "sport" full pages of Vikings showing their tattoos — "Vike Ink," as it's termed. Yikes! The Twins get a bit more than half of page three "detailing" their rout of the Guardians. Oh, and Jim Souhan gets half of page two writing about Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets. Personally, I couldn't care less about Rodgers and the Jets.

This happens every year: The Vikings are front and center before the season starts, while the Twins are relegated to the interior of the Sports section. Good grief! They're currently playing their division rivals and have the best rookies in the league. And, hopefully, are headed for the playoffs.

I have nothing against tattoos and the meaning behind them, many being biblically themed. But they have nothing to do with sports. How about a special arts section instead titled "Our Vikings' Ink Art"? Put our Twins on the front page of the Sports section, where they deserve to be! And I'd suggest to Souhan that he write something positive about any number of Twins rookies. Just sayin' ...

Steve Bosch, Minneapolis