On Sunday, 12 human beings were shot in Uptown (“Uptown reels after gunfire, bloodshed,” front page, June 22).
Given the pace of recent rhetoric from the majority of the Minneapolis City Council members, it’s tough for me to keep track: Was it “privileged” of those present to expect to be safe on the city’s streets? In Uptown last night, when the first person’s body was ripped open by a bullet and the shooters were moving on to their next victims, would the gathered crowd have been best served by a rapid response force of “elders and healers”?
Today, as the one victim lies in the morgue and 11 others lie in area hospitals, their bodies and minds in various states of brokenness, let’s say it clearly: The majority of City Council is pushing to dismantle the police, but last night’s butchery shows that City Council’s emperors have no clothes.
Here in reality, every city resident grieves deeply for George Floyd, knows that transformative reform of the Minneapolis Police Department is essential and long overdue, and is trying to find ways to guarantee safety and opportunity for every person in the city — rights we’re all entitled to, but that too many of our neighbors don’t experience.
But dismantling the police? As long as shooters keep roaming the neighborhoods of the city where we raise our children, no.
Cam Winton, Minneapolis
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To Lisa Bender, Minneapolis City Council president: You were elected to represent the 10th Ward, which includes Uptown. Please inform the public what you are doing, as an elected official, to get “all these guns out of our streets” as you stated. Please inform us as well what you are doing to “more proactively ... stop this type of violence.” In the aftermath of a fatal shooting, I would suggest that you skip the platitudes and share specific details of how you plan to make this city’s streets safer. In the absence of details, you are merely posturing.
Robert Rees, Minneapolis
More than one way to show courage
The author of the counterpoint to Norm Coleman’s commentary on failed political leadership couldn’t hide her agenda (“Coleman’s no expert on courage,” Opinion Exchange, June 20). She is evidently bitter that Coleman “dismissed” as “radical fringe” a 1991 campaign (in which she participated) on human rights protection for LGBT St. Paulites. This is the sole basis of her contention that Coleman lacks “courage and a sense of moral necessity.”
Might it not have taken a bit of both personal and political courage for Coleman to publicly state, “It’s time to defund and disband the current elected leadership at Minneapolis City Hall and find people with the courage and conviction to protect all of the people of Minneapolis, all of the time, everywhere in the city”?
And for Coleman to state that “blaming Republicans isn’t an option as there isn’t an elected Republican in the city as far as the eye can see” while knowing that there would be a progressive political blowback?
Actually, Coleman speaks for Minnesota’s silenced majority and their disgust with failed political leadership.
Gene Delaune, New Brighton
Legislature walks off the job early
Gov. Tim Walz stated on the news on Saturday that all Minnesotans should be disappointed that our Legislature went home without finishing their job (“No deals, on police reform or otherwise,” front page, June 21).
I am more than disappointed. I am angry. I certainly did not go home when I was working if my work was not done. Our state is in a crisis as were all my patients. (I spent 32 years as an ICU nurse.) What would that have said about me if I just decided that I could go home because it was going-home time? When you are doing important work, you continue until the work is complete or someone stands in for you to continue that work. Lives depend on that.
To the Legislature: Get your rear ends back to the Capitol and finish the work with which you were tasked. No excuses. Just do it. Your state depends on you to do your best work every day, all the time.
Susan Parham, Edina
Actually, we are happy to talk
The Star Tribune Editorial Board published an editorial on June 21 that wrongly stated that Twin Metals Minnesota responded to a request for a statement only by referring the editorial writer to its website (“DNR fumbles decision on mining”). Here is the full statement Twin Metals delivered to the writer at her request on June 19:
Twin Metals Minnesota is committed to developing a 21st-century copper, nickel, cobalt and platinum group metals mine in northeast Minnesota that prioritizes environmental protection and stewardship. The access agreement granted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources allows for the collection of surface environmental data on state land. The information gathered through these baseline studies is critical for informing regulatory agencies and the people of Minnesota as the Twin Metals project undergoes the rigorous environmental review process.
“This access agreement notably does not permit any mining activity,” said Julie Padilla, Twin Metals Chief Regulatory Officer. “It’s essential for regulatory agencies, tribal governments and the public to have access to this data to complete a thorough environmental review. Additionally, this means we have the opportunity to contribute to the local economy through the hiring of trusted contractors to support Twin Metals in gathering this data over the coming months.”
At Twin Metals, we take every opportunity we can to communicate with media members and the public on the details of our proposed mine. We are committed to having open and honest conversations with Minnesotans as our project moves forward. The communities in which we operate expect and deserve nothing less.
Kathy Graul, St. Paul
The writer is public relations manager at Twin Metals Minnesota.
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As a retiree with mining experience in several different states, I appreciate the conclusion of the June 21 editorial.
However, the editorial contains an error that is as common as it is damaging to the debate. It refers to the copper nickel ore body as being “rich.” It states that Antofagasta is “one of several companies aiming to eventually mine the rich deposits of copper, nickel and other precious metals in northeast Minnesota.”
It’s safe to say that Minnesota no longer has “rich” ore bodies. Admittedly, the Duluth copper nickel complex is huge, but it averages less than 1% mineralization. It will never be competitive on a global scale without subsidies and gutted environmental regulations by the Legislature, Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Our iron mining industry exhausted our rich natural ore and now survives on low-grade taconite operations and the bankruptcy courts. Mining professionals have a saying that “grade is king.” There are no kings in Minnesota.
Our existing iron mines and proposed copper mines are unlikely to ever provide a net benefit to the state of Minnesota. According to the Department of Commerce, mining is less than 1% of Minnesota’s economy. When you deduct the cost of assets stripped, waters degraded and tribal resources diminished, hard rock mining is a liability to the state of Minnesota.
Bob Tammen, Soudan, Minn.
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