Letters: Fix our roads first, then maybe, maybe, bike lanes

7 July 2024

Roads first. Then bike lanes. Maybe

I wish I knew who made the decision to turn the Twin Cities into the biking capital of the state, if not the country. The streets in both cities are a disaster, with sometimes dangerous conditions for motorists.

Yet the politicians seem to be ignoring this problem in favor of kowtowing to the minority of citizens who bike for how long — six months of the year — maybe? Four-lane streets are becoming two lanes, which makes navigating the roadways difficult.

Attempting to buy votes? Of course not — that would never happen in Minnesota.

Fix the streets first and then maybe, maybe, create bike lanes.

Bob Hart, St. Paul


Not above the law

Our Constitution limits the ability of any President to commit crimes in the context of official actions. It provides for impeachment of presidents and other federal officials for the crimes of treason, bribery, high crimes and misdemeanors.

If the House of Representatives has proof that a current or former president has committed those crimes, it can bring a bill of impeachment, prove its case, and issue a penalty. And this does not bar that previous president from being tried for those crimes proven in a successful impeachment.

The difficulty will be separating official from unofficial acts. The Supreme Court has left that to the federal appeals and district courts to work that out.

No president has ever been “above the law,” and neither is he or she now.

Dave Racer, Woodbury


Trump’s ‘Gish gallop’

Imagine being in a debate and having your opponent make the assertion, “The moon is more important than the sun because the moon shines at night when we really need the light.”

How would you respond? It would probably take you a while to even know where to begin. Such was the debate I watched on Thursday night.

Ex-president Donald Trump dumped so many such non-sequiturs onto the stage, one on top of the other, that President Biden wasn’t sure where to begin. This debate style actually has a name; it’s called the Gish gallop. (Def. “The Gish gallop is a rhetorical technique in which a person in a debate attempts to overwhelm their opponent by providing an excessive number of arguments with no regard for the accuracy or strength of those arguments.” Wikipedia).

I’m convinced that if the 90-minute debate was printed out and read as a narrative rather than viewed visually, Biden would be the easy winner. His answers to the pre-arranged questions were to the point and honest, while the world according to Trump was 95% fictional. The moderators seemed brain-dead to this fact. In fact, subsequent talking-head commentaries all were brain-dead to this.

G.J. Mayer, Lino Lakes


Now, jet lag?

President Biden’s handlers have used: “a cold,” not taking his medications (for what, I wonder), his jam-packed schedule (spare me!), and now jet lag as excuses. From travel over a week before the debate? And what about the weeklong entrenchment at his hideout in Delaware, supposedly prepping for the show? From what I’ve learned in the so-called media, he’s been rehearsing (in between naps) in a hangar that seems to be run by Hollywood’s central casting. No amount of production value can obfuscate this bad actor’s ineligibility for the role he’s pretending to and wants to continue to play. This is not entertainment people. It’s tragic, and Donald Trump is not orchestrating it. They are.

The DNC, his administration (bosses?), First Lady Jill Biden and press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre should all be charged with malfeasance, criminal lack of transparency (outright lying) and elder abuse. The mainstream media should all lose their official press credentials and be held in contempt of the truth, or at least turn in their Pulitzers for not understanding what facts are. More to the point, not being willing to report them, not to mention the perpetual slander of President Trump. What’s next … his dog Commander ate his homework before attacking another Secret Service babysitter?

The rats are jumping from the ship in droves now, but they’ve hitched their fortunes to a false and fallen star. They’re left with unsaleable leftovers no one wants and aren’t even electorially viable at this late date anyways. “Hoisted on their own petard” you might say. The demise of this panoply is out there for all to see I’m afraid, for those honest enough to actually see it, and the whole world is watching. Friend and foe alike.

Peter K. Cudworth, St. Paul


Time for a split

The red and blue gangs gave us two old men — Evil and Feeble.  It’s time to split them both. National, Economical, Liberal and Labor. Wouldn’t it be great to have a real choice?

Quentin Roggenbuck, Lauderdale


Compare the records

Granted, Biden did not show his best self at the recent televised debate. The next day in Raleigh, N.C., however, he made an excellent comprehensive stump speech. We shouldn’t forget his most recent passionate State of the Union Address. While Trump may have been more forceful, his bluster was filled with his typical lie-laced schtick.

We should be comparing Biden’s presidential accomplishments to those of Trump’s. Marc Thiessen, respected conservative pundit, called Biden’s first two years’ accomplishments the most productive of any president since JFK. And, that assessment didn’t factor in the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the American Rescue Plan, the Election Reform Act, the CHIPS Act and the Infrastructure Plan. Of critical importance to these successes was Biden’s appointment of quality people to his cabinet and White House staff.

Trump, on the other hand, put in place a bunch of scallywags, many of whom proved jail worthy. Bottom line, compare Biden’s accomplishments the past four years with Trump’s evolving “rap sheet” of immoral and illegal behavior. Biden has earned a second term.

Pete Boelter, North Branch



Much has been said about the recent presidential debate, which showed how age and stress have diminished President Biden’s ability to communicate without the aid of a teleprompter. What hasn’t received as much attention is the fact that if elected, he is  unlikely to be able to complete another four-year term.  A vote for Biden is a vote for Harris for president.

Regina Palosaari, St. Paul


‘Fit for office’

It is so reassuring to hear our governor report to us, after his meeting with the president, that Joe Biden is “fit for office,“ presumably for four more years. After his days running the government of Minnesota, Tim Walz will have a banner career selling used cars. Holy cow, what politics can compel people to do and say.

T. J. Sexton, St. Paul



On the evening of our latest July 4, I hear the sounds of many crackles and pops of fireworks celebrating our nation’s independence. After a loud boom, I am jolted and reminded that today’s July 4 is, sadly, a celebration of a nation of dependence.

Mark Kirchner, St. Paul


Best court money can buy

Let me see if I understand this ruling correctly. If a president commits a crime and claims it is an official act then he is immune from justice. So much for no man is above the law. For the last 24 years l’ve witnessed the most tone deaf court ever assembled. Citizen United gave us the best Supreme Court money can buy. What’s next? If they had their way they would change the Ten Commandments to the Ten Suggestions.

Dan Mitchell, Roseville


More on athlete Greg Larson

Last Sunday’s Pioneer Press sports section had a very short mention of the passing of Greg Larson. His sports accomplishment in Minnesota deserve more mention.

Greg played three sports at Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis, and their basketball team won two state titles. He was inducted into their Hall of Fame.

He was an unrecruited walk-on player for the University of Minnesota football team. A three-year letterman, he was the team captain and All Big Ten selection when the Gophers won their last national championship in 1960. He was enshrined into the M Club Hall of Fame in 2010.

He played 13 years for the New York Giants and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1968.

This year Greg was named one of the top 100 New York Giants of their 100-year existence.

Greg turned to golf after football and won several club championships.

When he played for the Gophers he played for Murray Warmath.

Larry Sewall, Woodbury


Concerns about community cats

Very soon, the community cat population in the Twin Cities is going to rise. Vulnerable kittens will be found in more boats opened in the spring. Pregnant cats will give birth under more decks. Injured cats will show up at more playgrounds. More bird, rabbit, and squirrel babies will be found dismembered. Independent cat rescuers, who usually step up to help the cats and people in these situations, will no longer be able to do their part.

Independent cat rescuers are the people you see getting tagged in the Facebook post about the cat eating from the dumpster at McDonald’s. They get the text that a lactating cat got hit by a car and there are neonatal kittens crying in a garage. The neighbor knocks on their door when cats are left behind in a vacated apartment. Women, with full-time jobs and their own families and pets, do this unpaid work. They save cats on other people’s property during their own spare time. They use their own money to purchase traps, food, litter and other supplies.

The main tool in the arsenal of the independent cat rescuer is trap-neuter-return, known as TNR. By spaying and neutering the unsocialized cats in the community, independent cat rescuers (and a few organizations, like Pet Project Rescue) prevent the suffering of cats and other creatures in the community. Historically, Animal Humane Society (AHS) has been the linchpin of TNR in the Twin Cities. For a decade, AHS has provided free spay/neuter appointments for unsocialized cats in traps. The program prevented disease spread, curbed the mating and cat fight noises in the community, and stopped a next generation of cats from living outside.

AHS has been systematically dismantling the TNR program in recent years. At the high point, they were offering 90 appointments per week. Today, that number is 15. Previously, rescuers could bring cats in traps to AHS on a walk-in basis. AHS changed to using a call center where people could call during business hours and AHS would generally provide an appointment available for TNR the next day. Recently, AHS switched to a portal where people need to request appointments. The portal is generally open about 15 minutes per week. AHS then assigns an appointment several weeks in the future with no regard for the schedule of the person who is trapping the cat. AHS announced that they will start charging $75 per cat on July 1, 2024.

Independent cat rescuers do not want to lose the most important tool we have to help the cats, people, and wildlife in our community. We want our trusted partner to continue to provide vital TNR services to the community.  We don’t want cats to suffer, we don’t want songbirds to get killed, and we want to answer the calls about cats in need from people in our community.

Jada Fehn, Columbia Heights

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