Letters to the Editor

Get with the program Blockbuster

If you stop and think about the business we each support, every once in a while you realize you are supporting a business that doesn’t match your values. Blockbuster Video is one simple example for our family. Most of the people who live or have businesses in our Southwest Minneapolis neighborhood, take great pride in their homes and businesses. I won’t go into what type of corporate giving programs Blockbuster Video may or may not have, I’ll just stick to what is obvious from walking by their store.

In a charming neighborhood like Southwest Minneapolis, the Blockbuster storefront is a visual eyesore. Most businesses in the neighborhood plant trees, shrubs and flowers in their sidewalk median. Blockbuster cut their trees down and replaced it with tacky landscape stone which has now evolved into weeds, trash and cigarette butts. The building itself is covered with signage. The awning is really a legal loophole for a sign. Each window has large banners covering it. The building has graffiti. Their main sign was damaged and they took nine months to replace it. The list goes on. In these days of choices, why are we supporting Blockbuster Video? Our family decided to vote with our dollars and support their competitor, Netflix.

Dane Hartzell

Why no bailout for the homeless?
Eric Johnson’s piece on the homeless deaths of ’08 and how they will be memorialized Dec. 18 begs the question: Why was no one there to bail them out as we almost automatically do for the rich everytime their finances falter, and who will bail out the homeless of ’09? Readers should pose this question to their elected public officials at all levels.
We’ve got beaucoup bucks for stadiums for the super-rich but for the homeless and other poor, nothing. If you think the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan are immoral, what are the lack of wars on poverty and who is to blame? More important, who will rectify this sad, intolerable situation? 
Will Shapira

Stay out of the streets
Just responding to the story about traffic calming in Linden Hills. I think it’s great that a solution was found for that particular intersection, but it said "He also noticed cars nearly hitting children playing in the streets." Children should not be playing in the streets. This is a city.

Kyla Cromer
Bryn Mawr

Letters to the editor

Fond memories of the Minnesota Youth Symphonies

Although I haven’t lived in Southwest Minneapolis for nearly 20 years, I am a regular reader of the Southwest Journal. I read with interest your recent article on the Minnesota Youth Symphonies (MYS). As a high school senior, I played in this orchestra in its very first season (1972–73), and have remained a friend and financial contributor to the orchestra ever since. It is an organization that coaxes singularly great music-making out of its musicians — and they do it better than any other youth orchestra I’ve ever heard.

I would like to clear up one inaccurate statement in the article, however, where it was reported that the orchestra has not programmed complete symphonies until this season. Not so. Back in 1972, for the very second concert program of the orchestra, we performed the complete Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4. And just a couple years later, MYS performed (and recorded) Mahler’s Symphony #1 at Orchestra Hall. I know, because I have the LP record to prove it!

MYS’s willingness to “challenge and stretch” its musicians is one of the key reasons why it has been so popular with serious music students — and so successful over all these years. Minnesotans should be justly proud of this organization!

Phillip Nones,
Centreville, MD