Fourteen years ago, we were given the opportunity to take Cinderella to the ball. We saw the old girl and thought, “wouldn’t it be nice if people came back to this old building?” She carried an innocence about her in her simple old structure. Little did we know that Cinderella would become the belle of the ball. For 14 years, we have been blessed with serving the city of Minneapolis (“Lola’s Cafe gets final approval for Lake Calhoun restaurant,” Nov. 30). Her tourists, families, friends, day-trippers, two-legged and four. A family was created on the skirts of Cinderella. Every year we were asked if this was a family restaurant, and we would always answer, “Yes. The 60 kids who worked for us were all our kids, and you — our family.” Some say magic and fairy tales don’t come true, but we will tell you that from the day Cinderella started hosting the Tin Fish, a dream came true. People of all creeds and cultures gathered on her patio. They laughed and toasted the birthdays of life and celebrated the lives of those who passed. We have been blessed with hosting your lunches and dinners in our “family” dining room. You included us in your family. The time came to put Cinderella in a new dress and that was a task we could not do. So the torch is passed on to you. The patio is a place of peace, where families gather, where friends smile and toast the sunsets of our days and politics are left in the street. Maintain your space, citizens of Minneapolis. Be who you are: a community that treasures your shores.
To you our customers, to you our friends, to you our family: We will always carry a dog treat in our pocket as we now walk the lake, for when we see you again. To you we say, as we ring the bell hanging in our window, “ding-ding — THANK YOU!”
Sheff and Athena Priest
The writers were owners of Tin Fish.
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By now, most of the concerns about renaming Lake Calhoun are apparently resolved (“Hennepin County Board OKs Bde Maka Ska,” Nov. 29). There are however, a couple of concerns that I and a number of residents in our neighborhood have noted:
1) As nice and innovative as the proposed new name appears to be, there was evidently little serious discussion at either the Park or Hennepin County boards to consider changing the lake name to something in English.
2) The overall question of whether the lake name should be changed appears to have fallen on two or three boards or commissions, yet there was no provision or consideration to allow a ballot vote on this issue by local voters. Changing the name of a major urban lake is a big deal and deserves more than a few elected officials determining its fate. Most people apparently did not know when or how to make a comment about the lake name change at all and were left out of any discussion. Many residents, especially in southwest Minneapolis, were much more concerned by the process to remove the lake name rather than the result. We should have all been realistically able to be a part of whether the lake name was changed, but were not. Maybe these types of decisions need to be more inclusive and less exclusive.
Jim Miller, Minneapolis
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If they had to rename Lake Calhoun, why didn’t they put on their thinking caps? How about renaming it after Ann Marie Calhoun, American violinist, or possibly Rory Calhoun, actor? Or how about renaming it after the Calhoun Beach Club, an apartment community, health club and commercial center just across Lake Street? None of those suggestions will require the expenditure of many thousands of taxpayer dollars to change all of the signs and references. And everyone, except for a few exquisitely sensitive “activists,” will be just as oblivious as they are now about who the lake is named for and will still call it “Lake Calhoun.”
Are they then going to rename the Calhoun Beach Club, the Calhoun-Isles community, the Calhoun Square shopping mall in the Uptown district?
Do you think anyone is going to actually say something like: “Hey, let’s go down to Bde Maka Ska beach and go swimming?”
Gregg Nelson, Bloomington
MISCONDUCT AND MEN
To all of you who faced ruin after getting caught: A big boohoo!
Is it just me or are other women as tired as I am of men who are only sorry because they’ve been caught (finally)? Your careers are now in ruins and the public, while often forgiving, will most likely never take you back. You did this to yourselves. You cannot blame the women you abused and harassed, although I’m sure you will try. We do not feel sorry for you, we do not care that you are going into “treatment” to try to fix yourself and we don’t feel bad that you most likely will lose your family because of your horrible behavior. When you get sued by these women and lose all your money, we won’t care about that, either. Good riddance to bad rubbish, and just so you know, MeToo!
Kathy Stachowski, Coon Rapids
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Men who have been getting away with sexual harassment and assault for years and decades are beginning to pay their dues, while some others who have committed less-offensive acts are getting lumped in the bunch. It’s hard to say how many men in leadership positions will be left by the end of the year.
Jennifer Kunze, Minneapolis
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Many men vigorously support women who are saying “Me too” and thereby acknowledging they have been sexually harassed by men. It is heartening to see and feel the way things are changing in front of our eyes because women are exercising their freedom and authority. But it is disheartening to know how prevalent it is. At the same time, we recognize how horrid this has been — and still is. Those of us who have minded our manners and have not sexually harassed women want to raise our hands to be counted, so that we can all see the situation more fully and remember that most men do not act like that. So those of us who have not acted this way, let us raise our voices and say “Me neither” in order to help ourselves and others keep a sense of proportion, and in order to add positive energy to the empowering of women.
Phil Johnson, Minneapolis
Seniority? No, it’s all about the school district’s bottom line
I had to laugh at the claim by Republican Reps. Jenifer Loon and Sondra Erickson that only by eliminating teacher seniority could Minnesotans have a quality education system (“Keep pressing to ensure that teacher quality is the top priority,” Nov. 30). Any teacher over 40 knows the real goal of eliminating teacher seniority is to keep the cost of public education down. Teacher pay is based upon years of experience and education level, which usually means older teachers cost school districts more money than their younger colleagues. Without seniority retention, districts could easily fire these older educators and hire new college graduates, thus cutting the payroll costs. When the new hires have a few years of teaching experience and are paid more, districts can fire and replace them. The claim that these two Republican representatives want the best quality teachers is a falsehood. What the Republicans really want is the best low-paid, temporary teachers who will take the job, knowing that education will not be a long-term career option in Minnesota. Their new paradigm will be the school district’s annual decision to keep a teacher on staff based not upon how effective the teacher is, but on how much the teacher’s salary costs the district. Goodbye, Mr. Chips, after just five years in the classroom.
John Eret, Chisago City
The writer is a retired teacher.