The story about a U.S. House subcommittee hearing that touched on Twin Metals Minnesota’s proposal for a copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota (“McCollum grills Interior chief about Twin Metals copper mine,” May 8) again raises the question: Why are U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum and a group of retired Forest Service employees rushing to judgment before a mine plan has even been submitted for consideration?
Decisions about mine permits historically have been made under the rule of law, including proper environmental and other regulatory review processes that thoroughly vet proposals. That is all that is being asked for in this case: a fair and equitable process to review a specific project. The Forest Service retirees who sent a letter to the Trump administration in opposition to the mine this week are entitled to their opinion, but until there is an actual project to analyze, their views remain just that — an opinion based on speculation.
This is why we have regulatory review in the first place. Twin Metals has spent more than $400 million and 10 years on studies and testing at the mine site with zero negative environmental impacts. They say they can operate the mine in a safe, environmentally sound manner. Moving the goalposts now, by denying them the chance to at least make their case, would be extremely unfair and signal that the U.S. is a most unreliable partner.
Chuck Novak, mayor, Ely, Minn.
A familiar plot in every session
The Legislature has become like an endless series of bad movie sequels.
Here’s the script:
Act 1. January, four days: Legislature convenes. One Minnesota. Compromise. Conciliation. Bipartisanship. Cooperation. Blah, blah, blah.
Act 2. Next four months: Picketing. Parading. Protesting. Partisan palavering. Posturing. Accomplishments: few or none.
Act 3. The last week: Frustrated, angry, exhausted and sleep-deprived, the governor and legislative leaders hold all-night meetings behind closed doors (probably violating the open-meeting law) and craft bills of hundreds of pages (violating the state Constitution’s one-subject-per-law provision).
Act 4. Adjournment: From Grand Portage to Luverne and Thief River Falls to La Crescent, Minnesotans briefly cheer, only to realize that in 2020 the same cast will “star” in the sequel.
George Woytanowitz, Minneapolis
• • •
As the legislative session winds down, I want to thank all of the legislators for tackling the big issues. The time spent to discuss and amend the environment and natural resources bill making a name change to one of our Minneapolis lakes was well worth the effort. It’s good that some of that effort wasn’t wasted on other things, like reducing gun violence/deaths in our neighborhoods, churches and schools.
After all, we are one of the few states that hasn’t made the national news recently with a mass shooting, church shooting or school shooting — yet.
Bruce Lemke, Orono
A name for the next generation
The article in Friday’s Star Tribune said it best when referring to the “mass-shooting generation” (“Students take a front-line role in school shootings,” May 10). We were wondering what to call kids after Gen X, millennials and Gen Z. Now we know.
Harald Eriksen, Brooklyn Park
No, Washington does not follow a script. The stakes are much higher
In Gary Abernathy’s recent column (“Washington is a stage, politicians are the players,” May 9) addressing Congress’s response to the Mueller report, he writes, “What I see is not good government, just poll-tested show business.” For a self-avowed cynic like Abernathy, what’s happening in Washington is all theater.
He mocks people like me when he says, “I particularly envy the true believers, the non-jaded Americans who will watch the proceedings believing they are witnessing history unfold. In their eyes, Democratic members of Congress will be rising to meet their ‘historic responsibilities.’”
Abernathy says he detects “no authentic outrage over the Mueller report by seasoned Democrats” such as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. I guess I can’t gauge the authenticity of her rage. However, Pelosi has had a long political career largely free of scandal. She has had a number of legislative victories. She successfully led the Democrats through the midterm elections. There is probably nobody alive today who better understands the nuts and bolts of politics — the art of the possible. I care less about rage and more about strategy and tactics.
The questions facing House leadership have no obvious answers. Our country is not unified. Unlike with a play or a television show, there is no script. If Pelosi and other Democratic leaders can help us avoid another term for President Donald Trump — regardless of whether it is because of impeachment or a loss in the 2020 election — she and they should be credited with meeting their “historic responsibilities.”
John Lampe, St. Paul
2020 presidential race
Critics of Warren and other female candidates cross line into sexism
It saddened me to read a Boston Herald editorial reprinted by the Star Tribune (“She’s pandering for votes with impeachment talk,” May 10) extolling the lead Joe Biden holds over U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., accusing her of political pandering in talking about impeaching the sitting president.
The editorial stated that Warren “will take any and all measures to catch a tailwind.” It denigrates the senator’s every effort to drive the fight to preserve the Constitution for the purposes intended.
Women must continue to wage the battle against the misogynistic, bullying, misrepresentative portrayal of every step taken by women in the public arena. We saw it with Hillary Clinton and will now see it with every woman seeking a higher office.
With multiple female candidates running for the office of president of the United States, I predict we will watch them one by one be marginalized and dismissed for some perceived infraction or another to put them two steps behind the male candidate.
With a sad heart, I talked to my daughter and friends about the attitude that corporations and fellow Americans have toward women holding higher offices. Family, neighbors and friends will slink through the side door to vote not for their candidate of choice but against any women seeking the highest political seat in the land.
To give a ray of hope I simply say: Work hard for your candidate. Talk openly about the misogyny still alive and well in society, but most importantly, keep the fight going. Hearing Warren’s run for president bashed as a “pipe dream” is an indicator of the calamitous road ahead. Be prepared to confront and convince. It may take another march to let Americans know we will not be turned away.
Sara J. Meyer, St. Mary’s Point
Iterations of the same season
Northeastern Minnesota just ended up with a blizzard in the month of May. I guess that proves that the four seasons here are early winter, winter, late winter and the short break from winter.
William Cory Labovitch, South St. Paul