Replacing I-94, Southwest light rail, Donald Trump

Opinion editor’s note: Star Tribune Opinion publishes letters from readers online and in print each day. To contribute, click here.

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The plan to replace Interstate 94 between our two downtowns is shortsighted, will create more pollution and will make the communities that live along the corridor poorer (“New direction for I-94?” April 4).

By eliminating the freeway, cars will idle at stoplights and sit in congestion. This will cause more damage to our environment, not less. Our Streets Minneapolis makes a dubious claim that the average trip duration along I-94 is just 5 minutes. Imagine how long that same trip will be (and how much more exhaust released into the atmosphere) without the interstate?

Further, I-94 allows workers to expand the territory in which they can find employment. Eliminating I-94 will lengthen commutes thereby putting some jobs out of reach. And forcing workers onto buses limits them to jobs along those specific bus routes. Reducing employment options makes workers poorer.

No doubt damage was done to the Rondo neighborhood. But eliminating I-94 won’t bring back Rondo and will make the community and our environment worse off.

Erik Hegg, Arden Hills

SOUTHWEST LIGHT RAIL

A dash of generous rounding

Regarding “Off track: SWLRT falls short” (April 4): Four years late, $3 billion and seven inches too near to railroad tracks. Close enough for government work.

Gary Hays, Bloomington

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While I appreciate the continued coverage of the Southwest light-rail line and acknowledge that the distance between the freight and LRT tracks is an unfortunate issue, I feel like the title of the article unfairly obscures an important statement made by project staff: The problem can be resolved without increasing the cost of the project.

Perhaps that won’t prove to be the case, but maybe we should let that bear out instead of using this as an opportunity to rehash missteps or to give credence to opponents speculating about future accidents involving toxic chemicals. Speculative “the sky is falling” comments might have a place in the opinion section, but when reported in the news they should be more fairly balanced with opinions suggesting this can be addressed within the three years before the line goes into use.

Matt Flory, St. Louis Park

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Apparently no one on the Metropolitan Council or with their general contractor took wood shop in seventh grade where we were taught a golden rule: Measure twice, cut once.

Marc N. Burton, Minneapolis

DONALD TRUMP

Supporters aren’t seeing the obvious

An April 3 letter writer (“Trump voters don’t see it that way”) contends that Donald Trump voters are “tired of watching their nation become diminished on the world stage. They are watching China, Russia and their surrogates go unchallenged with their plans for economic, military and political dominance.”

What?!

Does the letter writer not see Trump cozying up to Russian President Vladimir Putin in every way, while President Joe Biden has been the world’s strongest supporter of Ukraine and democracy? I would ask the letter writer: Why are Russia and China seeking to interfere in the U.S. election to return Trump to office? As my cousin, until recently a lifelong Republican, has noted, “Who would have thought that the Republicans would become Communists?”

The above paragraph was my first reaction to the letter, and that I should write a response. But “Why bother?” was my second thought. It has been proven thousands of times that Trump and his supporters care nothing about facts.

I come from a long line of Lincoln Republicans. What has happened to that once-proud party?

William Chadwick, Minnetonka

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The writer of “Trump voters don’t see it that way” offers his quality conservative viewpoint once again in why we support Republicans to represent us and lead our country. Most might agree that Trump has created his own nightmare through his rants, win-at-all-costs life mantra and often offensive persona, but he did a good job as president and has risen as our presidential candidate for 2024. We must answer the question as to whether we were better off 2016-2020 than the last four years with an overwhelming yes!

The last four years have seen high interest rates and inflation plateau to a higher cost for most everything; government spending continues to be excessive with mounting deficits and national debt, and individuals max out their credit cards, falling further into debt at record levels. Religious freedoms have been stifled by progressives pushing abortion rights, gender transitions and a secular agenda over traditional religious values. Drug trafficking and addictions continue to infect and kill our citizens from our uncontrolled southern border. Our citizens continue to arm themselves to stave off lawlessness as leaders focus abroad with a disunited, ineffective United Nations, a stressed NATO that’s depleting resources and impotent climate conferences spinning their wheels. Depleting our national oil reserves after shutting down new oil and gas research and development could prove a disaster, along with our vulnerable utilities and communication networks. We have been overrun with an uncontrolled flow of migrants requiring unavailable housing, medical care and stressed food supplies.

Republicans believe we can do better; the sorry alternative is more of the same!

Michael Tillemans, Minneapolis

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In the letter to the editor “Trump voters don’t see it that way,” the writer laments voters “watching their nation become diminished on the world stage” under the Biden administration. And how will Trump address that? By cutting off aid to Ukraine and likely opening the door for Putin to overrun Eastern Europe? By cuddling up to far-right, authoritarian leaders like Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan? Trump already has his “envoy,” Richard Grenell, traveling around the world to meet with far-right foreign leaders, acting as a kind of “shadow secretary of state,” pledging Trump’s support to these dictators and likely working against the current administration’s policies. And the problems at our southern border? The writer would rather wait until Trump takes office to address the problem, when we have a bipartisan (less-than-perfect) bill ready to be signed into law, if only Trump and his band of obstructionists in the GOP house would let it.

Let’s face it, the GOP missed a great opportunity to really “make America great” by not supporting a more moderate candidate like Nikki Haley.

Dan Lee, Eden Prairie

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On April 3, a letter about “what passes as current political discourse” seeks to clarify certain terms and ideas we are hearing and reading about today. However, it includes a great example of doublespeak. The writer argues that Trump supporters see that Russia is “unchallenged” in its “plans for economic, military and political dominance” as our nation is being diminished “on the world stage” and “can no longer be trusted as an ally.”

Yet Russia has invaded the border of its neighbor Ukraine and is waging war to gain that kind of dominance. Our government has been challenging Russia by providing help to the Ukrainian people in their fight to remain an independent nation. Shouldn’t these Trump followers support our country acting as an ally of Ukraine? They could be writing and calling the local offices of their representatives and senators to insist that Congress vote to continue to supply massive long-term aid to Ukraine.

It could be said that their favored presidential nominee does not support our country’s challenge to Russia. Why is his voice silent? There, now, my letter ends with my own example of doublespeak. By his words and actions, he does claim he would quickly negotiate an end to the Russia-Ukraine war, but he continues to show it would not end well for Ukraine and its people.

Susan Downing, St. Paul


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