Letters to the editor

Praise for the ‘A Lake Harriet Legend’

As a regular member of the Lake Harriet early morning walkers community, I want to thank Nick Halter for the wonderful article he wrote about “A Lake  Harriet Legend.”

Having been a walker since August 1985, I have seen many changes in the “community,” but the warm camaraderie among the walkers has never changed. Many years ago one of the dog walkers had a birthday party for her 12 year-old dog at the bandshell — a real social event.

Then one year a regular walker, Don Olson, who knew everybody, had a heart attack while on vacation in Maui, Hawaii. The word got around and he was sent many cards. One walker even called him in Honolulu at the hospital. Don no longer walks, but he fondly remembers this.

My late husband, George Stahl, who played bass in the Minnesota Orchestra for 31 years, was also in the Marine Corps in WWII and took part in the battle of Okinawa. He and Bill Brice would exchange reminiscences as we walked at the lake. After George passed away suddenly of a heart attack in August 2005, the walkers were my “grief suppport” group.

A former walker, Agnes Lee, just celebrated her 98th birthday at Martin Luther Manor, and many walkers attended her party.

When she turned 90, we had a big party at the lake by the Elf tree, and “Mr. Little Guy” even sent her a “Happy Birthday” note.

So thank you again, Nick. Every word you wrote about “us” is true!

— Lois Stahl

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Street tweaks appreciated

As an urban designer and frequent bicyclist, I applaud the City of Minneapolis’ proposed refinements to Hennepin and 1st avenues. Bicycling is an increasingly popular travel choice for people coming to Downtown for work, shopping and entertainment.  

The proposed improvements will make Hennepin and 1st more consistent and clear for drivers, safer and more comfortable for bicyclists, and will benefit people walking along these streets.

While bicycling in the shared bus/bike/right turn lane on Hennepin, I am often honked at or passed by car drivers going too close for comfort. The proposed green paint lines, used successfully in Long Beach, Calif., and Salt Lake City, Utah, will provide more visibility and clarify that bicyclists should use the full lane.

The protected bike lane on 1st Avenue provides a needed alternative for people who do not feel comfortable bicycling in a lane with buses and cars. The current bike lane, located between the curb and a row of parked cars, was a great first step in providing protection from traffic.

The proposed buffer will dramatically improve the lane by lessening the danger of being hit by a car door. As an added benefit, the buffer provides more protection for pedestrians visiting businesses that line the street.

Together, these low-cost improvements provide much needed visibility and protection for Minneapolis bicyclists, and will help open up bicycling as a healthy and fun travel option for more people.

— Lisa Bender, Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, Wedge

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Not so nice guys

I was happy to see that charges had been filed in the ‘Nice Guy’ sex ring scandal. It was very disturbing to hear that this man (St. Marie) had been employed for over 20 years by Hennepin County.  

It makes one wonder what other types of corrupt people are being hired or are employed by the metro area counties.  Does the county do reliable background checks? It disgusts me that this man worked in the foster care and social service divisions of the county. I am a social work graduate student and have had several years’ experience in the social service field.  

It is terrible that St. Marie was allowed to work with people who were likely in a vulnerable state and who trusted him with serious decisions in their lives. The things he did are completely despicable.

On the other side of this, I am glad that this story was brought to light. Human sex trafficking is a huge problem not only internationally, but in Minnesota as well.  

Most people do not realize that the sex trafficking industry is on the rise in Minnesota. As part of my graduate studies, I am involved in a group project on Human Trafficking, specifically in Minnesota.  

Educating oneself and others on this rising epidemic is very important if we ever want it to stop and if, in addition, we want to live up to our heritage as Minnesotans.    

— Emily Deye, Fulton

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Thanks for the School Board race coverage

Thank you for the Minneapolis School Board candidate profiles in advance of the primary election. I mailed your story to the Star Tribune, requesting information on school board and Hennepin County Board races. Newspaper stories on City Council and county board meetings increasingly are a rarity. In recent years, the media appears to be covering less government news and more sports, entertainment, consumerism and trivia such as almost every waking breath of Brett Favre and Lindsay Lohan.

— Michael Barrett, Linden Hills