The freeway is for higher-speed-vehicle uninterrupted city and interstate travel. It is not a platform for every type of grievance some group is angry about. Our right to peacefully protest does not include lawlessness. It is against the law to walk on the freeway.
I have had my limit of rioting, burning, looting, vandalism and flaunting and disrespecting the law. There is no excuse that warrants running down our society into chaos.
Kathleen Hoffman, St. Paul
President Trump’s assertion that 99 percent of Covid cases are “totally harmless,” presumably because people don’t die or aren’t extremely ill, misses several important points. For many of those who contract Covid, they and their families endure the pain and suffering that goes with it regardless of whether they are hospitalized. If they miss work they may lose wages and their employer loses their services, which can have a direct financial cost. The cost of their care is borne by insurance companies, government programs or even the individuals themselves, which the public ends up paying for through higher premiums or taxes. There’s also the uncertainty of the long-term effects of Covid.
The president’s other assertion that there are more cases because there’s more testing misses the point that the cases are there anyway. Testing identifies cases, it doesn’t create them. Without testing, people with undiagnosed Covid, with or without symptoms, would interact with others and continue to spread the disease.
Jeffrey Meyer, Osceola
The eviction, a.k.a. “lease termination,” of long-established Midway businesses is a perverse form of aggravated gentrification and greed, directed at people who kept that area open and afloat, during lean years, pandemic, and civil unrest. Their reward? “Bye, Felicia!”
Rising rents can always be a challenge for business properties when real estate becomes popular. And these locations have already endured several years of disruption due to the building of the Green Line, the cleaving of the Midway shopping center, the development of the MLS stadium, and now high-rise construction.
Compassionate and respectful landlords would recognize the value that these independent businesses bring to an area typically monopolized by the same, bland, national franchise holders. They would find a way to include them in any type of redevelopment. Instead, they use tragedy as an excuse to kick them to the curb.
Ironic that this happens at the same time that the city is looking at protections for residential leases?
Philip Jacobs, St. Paul
On the day we celebrated the nation’s independence, the Pioneer Press ran an Associated Press story, the headline of which claimed that Trump touted racial division at a Mount Rushmore campaign stop.
I read the entire story and there was not one instance of this, unless the author believes the president’s references to “our” history were a wink-wink, nudge-nudge shout-out to whites only. If that’s the case, some proof is required other than the author’s biases and protest signs observed at the rally. At best, this story represented journalistic laziness; at worst, malpractice.
The story did serve one useful purpose: A reminder to display my flag, the symbol of the greatest nation on earth, despite its undeniably-flawed history. And for the record, I display my flag not for whites only, but for all of us, a nation which used to be indivisible but still offers liberty and justice for all, even if that liberty includes the freedom to print partisan vitriol under the guise of news.
Thomas L. Bonnett, Mendota Heights
The President of these United States continues to divide rather than unify the nation. Mr. Trump has now developed an infatuation with confederate heroes, heritage and the confederate flag itself in spite of the issues that symbol raises.
He wouldn’t actually fly their flag over the White House, or would he? With the support of his enablers especially those in Congress, he’s more emboldened than ever, and what was once unthinkable becomes more of a possibility by the day.
Thomas L. Lencowski, Mendota Heights
Regarding the letter in the Sunday paper referring to the Columbus statue, my questions are: What did Columbus contribute to Minnesota history? Why did that statue deserve a place of honor on the Capitol grounds?
I suggest moving it elsewhere, not on Minnesota Capitol grounds.
Another issue regarding law and order has to do with what occurred July 3, 2020, in South Dakota. Where was the observance of laws from the 1800s, confirmed by the US Supreme Court in 1980, regarding Native American land in South Dakota? The president and the governor of South Dakota both ignored the lawful owners of that land and conducted a political grandstanding event even though they were not invited. This is also a case where we know who violated the law, and who is responsible for enforcing those laws.
It would be harder to move the Mount Rushmore monument.
Paul Thomas, North St. Paul
On July 1, the Oromo Ethiopian community chose to shut down Interstate 94 to protest an event that occurred in Ethiopia. At a time when the nation is fighting a pandemic, our economy has suffered severe damage, and every state is in disarray, Minnesota is forced to deal with something completely unrelated to America. We have no jurisdiction in Ethiopia.
This group chose to violate our laws by shutting the interstate down for about two hours. It is against the law to shut down the freeway. No arrests were made. Why? Why isn’t this law enforced?
If the Ethiopian community feels strongly enough about what happened in Ethiopia perhaps they should take the demonstration to Ethiopia; not here.
J. Quitevis, Shoreview