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The wise transit choice may not be the popular one...yet - Paul Nelson: Rail transit has a much greater leeway of operation and reliability over rubber tire travel in winter. This is the problem that our auto/car system suffers from. The expense to maintain roads in winter is enormous, and the accident rates in winter are high.
What do you think about the St. Francis streakers? - Fima Estrin: Running naked is not a good thing to do, but placing these stupid kids on a sex offenders registry means to ruin their life completely! This is cruel and unusual punishment. They will never find jobs.
Comments about comments continue to come in response to Forum addresses journalism's comment conundrum. Two of the differing opinions:
Anonymous: If you start playing big brother to the comments, then you are effectively steering the course of the conversation. Take a step back and stay out of it. Let the readers have their own discussion, and don't nanny them.
Alan Muller: Is it possible to screen out the mean, hateful, obviously untruthful stuff without also losing the real feedback we need so much as the corporate world, military, etc, tighten their chokehold over maintream corporate media?
Very heated back-and-forth, with each side calling the other fascist. Or fashist. Or commies. Some good advice, for everybody, from Deefburger: "Learn to read. Learn to spell. Learn the meanings of the words and ideas you profess."
Anonymous - Why isn't this on the front page? You should be waving this great artist out of every open window.
Royce Harnish - This stuff has the artistic sophistication of a fifth grade art class. The only reason it is being promoted here is because it is political propaganda that meets the persuasions of the Planet.
MUSIC | Minnesota Opera pleases the music gods with Bizet's Pearl Fishers: J. Degner - I gulped at the price of my ticket, but it was worth every penny! The production is amazing, the singers outstanding, the choreography awesome, and the sets and costumes gorgeous! Thanks to eveyone involved in this production, I'm so proud to say I saw it performed in St. Paul by the Minnesota Opera!
U files lawsuit against Met Council: Christopher Loch - There should be a tunnel at the U of M for innumerable reasons but the Met Council just wants to ignore it and hope it goes away. We must do infrastructure correctly the first time, folks! It's a long term project that will affect the area for decades if not centuries. It's worth doing it right in the first place rather than having to fix it later for billions more like has happened with the Crosstown 62 & 35W junction.
Choi announces bid for Ramsey County attorney: Charley Underwood - I am sure John Choi is a nice man and all, but he has not been evenhanded in his tenure as St. Paul city attorney. Case in point: prosecutions following the Republican National Convention. While he has been a bit more of a stickler about evidence of misdemeanors than Ramsey County prosecutor Susan Gaertner, Choi has yet to bring charges against a single police officer.
Barton Fink, the Coen Brothers' wrestling match with the Muse: Anonymous - A Polanski or a Kubrick could not have touched this. See this film; it is a classic Coen Brothers movie.
Metro Gang Strike Force: Anonymous - As a white Chicagoan who has lived in Minnesota for over 20 years, I can attest that the beliefs and comments made by the overwhelmingly white native population here (when no one of color is in listening range) are as bigoted as anything I ever heard/saw in Chicago and the police forces in this state, metro as well as outstate, are primarily composed of native Minnesotans.
At a Minnesota market, tales of a hidden Ethiopian war: Anonymous - We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Doug McGill for this sort of moving and incisive reporting. It is great to have him back at the Daily Planet. He's a wonderful writer and an equally wonderful human being.
When nature calls: Finding relief at the State Fair: Anonymous - Now here's some news we can use! I've been going to the State Fair for 50 years, and I still often find myself at a loss when nature calls.
REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK | LRT going Southwest: Anonymous - It's sad to live in a city and state with such short-sightness and such consistent favoring of the burbs over the city. Any other city would put the train where the real density is and make stops at points of interest in the city. Points of interest, I might add, that suburbanites jam-pack on weekends, so the average suburbanite loses out with the 3A route too. Take a look at Uptown on a weekend and you'll see it full of suburbanites. They would love route 3C. But the powers that be are more interested in developing the Cedar Lake area. Mark my words, in two decades or so there will be development around the area that used to be semi-nature-ish on the now serene trails.
MOVIES | Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man: Best movie of the decade?: Steven Lang (via e-mail) - I very much agree with you about Grizzly Man. I was in awe of the film when I saw it, as was a good friend of mine who dressed as Tim Treadwell for Halloween after seeing the film. Along with American Movie (1999) I would agree that Grizzly Man is the best film I've seen in the past ten years. I had already reached that conclusion before reading your article, but for other reasons I was glad you decided to write about this film. On one hand, films of this quality don't need to be defended in terms of their worth. In my opinion they are like the Grand Canyon or Yosemite in that sense. They simply are what they are. But on the other hand, they do need to be defended and written about, like other national treasures, to make sure they aren't trampled on, forgotten, or lost. So, thanks for doing just that.
Nordeast's Hollywood Theater will likely be preserved...but not as a theater: Mark Fox - "'Nordeast' is an insult. Please stop mocking the accents of the immigrants who built my neighborhood."
Kathy - "Having spent my entire life in Minneapolis and a good portion of it living in NE, I'm shocked that some would see calling it 'Nordeast' as insult or insensitive. It's part of the area's heritage and I see altering what locals call the area as part of a gentrification of a neighborhood that has long had a rich ethnic heritage that should be celebrated and embraced, not swept under the carpet as some would suggest by referring to the area as 'Northeast.'"
Walking home in St. Paul: Jim Gabler - Affordable housing must be a national priority or we will be left as we are now-wherein roughly 83% of our national housing subsidies are indirect (mortgage interest deductions, capital gains exemptions, etc.) and mostly benefit those who don't need them and roughly 17% of the housing subsidies are direct (Section 8, public housing, CDBG funds, etc.) and do benefit those who need them. Such a disparity is not only a national disgrace, but is against the common good.
95 Lutherans come out during ELCA vote on gay pastors: Pastor John - As a straight ELCA pastor in the Minneapolis synod, I have been disappointed with the reporting the other news sources have done with regards to the very important work the church is doing in our own convention center. This is an issue that has been dealt with for quite some time, and it is about time we move forward and openly honor the amazing work the 95 gay ministers are doing.
Class size matters, especially in kindergarten: Anonymous - I am a kindergarten teacher in St. Paul...and I would love to have 20 students in my class. Last year I had 26 students, and the year before 27-many of whom were learning English as their second language. I do my best, but always know that my students need more than one twenty-sixth of my attention.
Many fear traditional Hmong culture is fading away: Kabao Vang - For all those youths, and enabling parents, who prefer to speak English only, here's a quick reality check-this world is operating on an international level. Meaning, those who speak English only are the past. The future is bilingualism.
Fringe fried: Ben - Re: The inappropriateness of holding the Fringe closing party at the Guthrie's Sea Change restaurant-agreed. The Fringe masterminds are normally so spot-on. This idea threw me for a loop. I can't understand why/how they thought this would be a good idea when it felt so obviously wrong to virtually everyone else.
Minneapolis women jailed in Israel: Shawn - I think, hope, and pray that we can work towards a lasting peace, but to get there I think both sides need to come to the bargaining table, recognize each other's struggle and right to exist as a free people, and then and only then will we have peace.
A breakdancing phoenix: B-Girl Be rises from the ashes: StepChild - Peace and Respect to all our women in hip-hop holding it down, especially the ones rep'n at the B-Girl Be. Real hip-hop, baby! Keeping the positives in hip-hop is real at these events. Peace Love Unity and Fun always.
BOOKS | New gay mystery is Sweet Poison for the Ellen Hart cult: Kelly - I've recently become a huge fan of the gay mystery novel (novels whose characters are gay but the novel is plot-centric foremost). The best novelist I've read so far is a marvelous writer named Josh Lanyon.
REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK | Should Minneapolis ban 18+ club nights?: George C. Rosar (via Facebook) - I think that as an adult at 18 if you are able to be drafted for war, you should have all the rights of an adult and that includes drinking. I think the proposal to not allow others who are over 21 to drink because other adults who are not yet 21 are present is nuts. I don't condone young adults getting wasted but puritans-please do not force your values on others.
REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK | Should Minneapolis ban 18+ club nights?: Cheryl Luger - I'm guessing nothing would be done by the council until after the November election...or...would this ban increase voter turnout in the 18-21 year old demographic?
"Give me my music or give me death!"
The most essential mode of transportation: Anonymous - I do not own a car and never have. I am not sure how much longer I want to live in the Twin Cities without one. Public transportation is poor at best. To get to my workplace which is three miles away, it takes 12 minutes in a car. To take public transportation, it takes me almost an hour to get home. It is brutally cold in the winter and not safe to go on icy sidewalks, no matter how fit or limber you are. Walking is not a viable way of life for most people.
Fringe 2009: Top 10-#1: Savage Umbrella, Love Me or Die: Carl Atiya Swanson (via Twitter) - I am "another big plus." Gonna get that on stationery.
REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK | National Night Out: Betsy G. - Christmas following so close to Thanksgiving doesn't toot my horn any more than having a celebration on a random night in August. But it is what it is, and most years, it seems to be working. So screw the corporate angle on it, call it whatever you want, but set that night aside as a published "holiday" in your community and say hi to your neighbor!
Picketing continues at Trader Joe's store: Ann - Dang it! I love Trader Joe's, but I was not aware of their non-union. I will not cross the picket line...and will boycott Trader Joe's. Dang it, dang it!
OPINION | Southwest school scuffle: Anonymous - This plan is about the most absurd idea for improving schools I have ever heard of! As noted Barton is an absolute STAR in the Minneapolis school system...so what do these parents want to do? Eliminate the proven best school in the system for an unproven plan with not only unknown results, but results that will almost certainly not attain Barton's success.
Negotiation and diplomacy, Tim Pawlenty style: Alcitizens - FBI.gov shows that as of 2006, full time law enforcement employees averaged 1.5 per 1,000 people for the cities of Owatonna, Faribault, and Austin. Why does Albert Lea have 2.1 law enforcement employees per 1,000 people? Albert Lea could cut up to nine full time employees at the Albert Lea Police Department and still average the same as Owatonna, Faribault, and Austin. Please don't raise our property taxes.
Travel by car: Minnesota's big public subsidy: Govtmule - Why isn't the argument better publicized? Could it be that the argument falls flat when usage and utility are considered? Grapefruit transported to market by public transit: 0.
Halau is Hawaiian, or Hawaiian at heart: Jordan Sramek, Founder/Artistic Director, The Rose Ensemble - As Founder/Artistic Director of The Rose Ensemble, and in light of "Halau is Hawaiian, or Hawaiian at heart" which appeared in your publication on July 6, I feel moved to respond to this article's inaccuracies relating to The Rose Ensemble and my work and research on historical Hawaiian music.
The feeding frenzy of renown: Michael Jackson and the media: Guy Western - Unable to escape the relentless media spectacle surrounding his death, I could only shed a tear for a damaged boy who was never allowed to grow up, in order to provide "entertainment."
Halau is Hawaiian, or Hawaiian at heart: Anonymous - Hula and Hawaiian music in general are adaptive rather than static and unchanging. If they were not, then Hawaiian music would contain no English words, no guitars, none of the obvious jazz influences, or any of the other things it has borrowed from other cultures over the last couple hundred years. If it weren't for enthusiasts the world over like the two Twin Cities groups mentioned here, Hawaiian culture would be at best an obscure regional curiosity.
National report finds Minnesota charter schools to be academically challenged: Peter T. - I hope that the report is not misused against all charter schools by those who claim all tax dollars for themselves and their normal public schools. Instead, the results should help to improve charter schools.
A local dissenting voice on Iran: Ali Katira - For four years I have been hearing about how Ahmadi-Nejad's words have been mistranlated and misinterpreted. As an Iranian I can say that if you see him making stupid remarks, he is actually making stupid remarks. No ifs, buts and thens.
MOVIES | Johnny Depp and Christian Bale in Public Enemies: Michael Mann doing what he does best: Austin Kennedy - I don't mind independent pictures using HD video 'cause they don't have enough money for film, but when a major studio is making a multi-million dollar picture (and a period piece at that), shoot the friggin' thing on film. No excuse!
OPINION | Barb Johnson responds: Megan Goodmundson - Very nicely said, Barb. We need leaders full of substance, we need campaigns to focus on uniting strengths and not dividing differences. Our Northside communities deserve nothing less than that. Thank you for your committment and service.
REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK | Background checks bar parks volunteers: Anonymous - It's about risk management and liability. Imagine some volunteer working with the Park and Rec does something unspeakable to a child or vulnerable adult-it's then discovered that this is part of a pattern-they've done this before, in a similar situation and were caught...It's due diligence to figure out what these high-risk positions are and what the appropriate requirements should be.
FORUM | Cut the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department's Complaint Investigation Unit?: Anonymous - We are out of money. The CIU is no sacred cow. It is like any other department in the city. If the function can be handled in another form or method, do it. Everyone needs to find ways to contribute.
Median aims to beautify and pacify Snelling: Macalester resident - There is need for a safe way for we in the neighborhood to cross Snelling, but there is no safety reason that a median needs to be ten feet wide and eliminate all that parking that Macalester has counted upon in the past when asking for variances. A smaller median, or a series of pedestrian islands as on Selby east of Lexington would solve the safety issue without all the disruption. Anything else is just a beautification project for Macalester.
Grand unified wingnuttery: Anonymous - So readers are told that the DP "may decline to publish comments that...take an intemperate tone," but apparently columnists like Jeffrey Fecke are immune from such restrictions.
Minneapolis Fourth Ward "dynasty" challenged: CamdenNorthsider - As a Fourth Ward resident myself, I think you hit the nail on the head with the feelings of a lot of Fourth Ward residents about Barb's tenure on the Council. Long-time residents are leaving for retirement/nursing homes, which has really brought in a lot of younger singles/families to the Camden area-many of us (regardless of race/ethnicity/income, etc.) do not understand Barb's politics or even know what they are as she hardly takes a stand on anything outside of minor neighborhood nuisances and crime.
OPINION | U of M administrative leaders should take pay cut: Anonymous - The fact that the football coach of the U of M is better paid than any faculty and even Bruininks himself, says it all. Education, the great equalizer, is not the goal of the university. MORE
OPINION | Health care unallotments: "The Minnesota Mortification": Erik Roth - Health care unallotment is a very serious issue, and requires considerably more coverage, with relentless follow-up. To be sure, you, the DP, are doing practically all of this, such as it is and what there is of it. MORE
OPINION | Nine bullets to kill boy: "Not excessive"?: Anonymous - I believe that the reason the jury was allowed to read their verdict without the Li family present is because they knew they were doing something wrong. They wanted their verdict to be read without dealing with the emotions of the family. They didn't want the Li family to look into their faces, in sorrow and bewilderment for perpetrating a heinous injustice. MORE
St. Paul board cuts budget, delays school closing decision to July: Anonymous - The only apparent adult in MN state government is Tim Pawlenty. He doesn't want to turn Minnesota into the irresponsible, mindless state of California. MORE
'Reckless' and 'unconscionable:' Reactions to T-Paw's unallotment plan: Anonymous - Please. Stop the drama. All of us must cinch up our belts.....even the poor. MORE
Hip-Hop Against Homophobia: The fight rages on: Anonymous - I personally know a wide spectrum of people from old to young, from conservative to liberal, from every ethnic background and belief system. Not one is "homophobic". MORE
Interview: "Latehomecomer" Kao Kalia Yang: Artis Kjar - It was of great revelation to me and now appreciate the turmoils of your transition to American ways. MORE
Bachmann likes U.S. to Titanic, decries "gangster government" she's part of: Mike Griffin - Name calling and venting is a waste of time. MORE
Tony Kushner at the Guthrie: A kinetic event: Arthur Himmelman - Politics, in a important sense, is our national theater (some would say of the absurd) ... MORE
North Minneapolis: Rehab, demolition and the foreclosure crisis: Kirsten Taylor - When community gardens are a permanent part of the urban landscape, then they can become anchors for the neighborhood MORE
North Minneapolis: Rehab, demolition and the foreclosure crisis: Ian Bicking - The private market does get first crack at any house. The non-profits come in when no one cares to buy the property ... MORE
The curious case of climate policy and corn ethanol: Alan Muller - Colin Peterson's antics have put "agriculture" on the same level as the coal industry. MORE
FORUM | North Minneapolis: Rehab, demolition, and the foreclosure crisis: Anonymous - Rather than let the properties languish, take them by eminent domain and get them in the hands of new owners MORE
FORUM | North Minneapolis: Rehab, demolition, and the foreclosure crisis: Anonymous - it seem like you are trying to push the people out who have been here the longest and the people who are just holding on to there homes. MORE
FORUM | North Minneapolis: Rehab, demolition, and the foreclosure crisis: David Piehl - The formula used by nonprofits to determine when to demolish is also very suspect. MORE
From high school to the stars - and beyond: Rebecca - You know years later our astronauts are going to come across frozen pee storms ... because sooner or later you have to expel something out ... and that yellow by-product instantly freezes in space and then it just keeps orbiting. MORE
Plenty of Pawlenty news: Anonymous - Wow! The various liberal media outlets have been pounding away on Tim Pawlenty. MORE
FREE SPEECH ZONE | Urban farming needs you: Anonymous - I know that garden. People can come and see it- without being expected to work on it- this Saturday, during Open House Day. MORE
YOUR TURN | Large Scale System Change ahead at St. Paul Schools: Tom M ... some of the main strengths at Expo are its diverse student body and excellent teaching staff, things that are not so easy to duplicate. MORE
YOUR TURN | Large Scale System Change ahead at St. Paul Schools: Anonymous - Remember, rising energy and health care costs are what are driving all these budget problems at all levels. MORE
Is North Minneapolis getting gentrified?: Anonymous - Gentrification? I wish! I'm more concerned about avoiding the fate of Detroit than that of Manhattan. MORE
One-party twin towns? Conlon quitting leaves all but two seats in Cities to DFL: Anonymous - The DFL is killing the progressive left in Minnesota. MORE
St. Paul parking problems loom large, money remains small for Central Corridor project: Alex Bauman - Seriously, can't people walk a block? MORE
Darth Crashcart unplugged: Alan Muller - Cheney is a war criminal, pure and simple. MORE
MUSIC | Eminem's Relapse: For better or for worse, Shady's back: Michael Nolan - "Bob Dylan said it best in 1985-he described rock critics as '40-year-olds writing about records that are geared for people that are 10 years old.'" MORE
The case of the disappearing mailboxes: Anonymous - This really points to a need for more personal letters to be sent via snail mail. MORE
The case of the disappearing mailboxes : Eric Hanson - What Trollope Wrought Let No Bureaucrat Put Asunder MORE
Minneapolis's best record shops: Joanna - I still like to buy my favorite music from a store rather than iTunes, especially a local store. MORE
YOUR TURN | Demagnetizing Minneapolis schools?: Gera Rosy - The purpose of magnet schools is a political one rather than an educational one. MORE
Pawlenty: No special session: Anonymous - The governor is a traitor to his working class roots. MORE
Oy veh: Rich Broderick - Funny, I always figured Barney Fife was the one with the psychological profile of a secret Klan member... MORE
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