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Bam! There goes another Minneapolis institution. In the holy name of the almighty dollar, Nye's Polonaise is going down. The owners lament this fact, but blame their inability to make a go of it for several years as their reason for selling.

Who are we kidding? If they truly cared about the history of Nye's and the special place it holds in Minneapolis lore and in so many hearts, they might have opted to sell the business to someone who planned to preserve it rather than develop it into — surprise, surprise — a mixed-use, high-rise apartment complex. Not hard to imagine the T-Mobile storefront or some trendy local establishment there, but who cares? It's sure to disappoint.

Another hole in our history, another blow to our soul. What's left will be our imagination and, oh, if we're lucky, some "memorabilia" that we may score at the auction. Cheers!

Sarah Streitz, Minneapolis

THE FOOD WE EAT

Warning us about mystery meat, GMOs

Obesity is a national epidemic, so it makes sense for the government to take proactive steps to curb it ("Ah, the truth will make you slim. Not." Dec. 2.)

Columnist Steve Chapman states that posting calories in restaurants will cost business money — boo hoo! It costs U.S. consumers a whole lot more. Humans are hard-wired to consume sugar, salt and fat because that's where the calories are. Up until the last century, most people did not get enough calories; now, the problem is getting enough of the right calories.

Fifty years ago, when you ate a meal, you would likely get fruits, vegetables, whole grains and a little protein. Today, instead of the sweetness from fruit, you get high-fructose corn syrup; instead of whole grains, you get processed factory food, and the meat protein you buy is more pumped up with hormones than a wannabe bodybuilder.

Today, you are more likely to get heart disease, diabetes and stroke from the food you buy at a restaurant than anything resembling nutrition. If restaurants have to step up their game to get customers to eat that cardiac-on-a-bun or to try that mystery meat, I say we are making progress.

Benjamin Cherryhomes, Hastings

• • •

Five school districts in Minnesota recently held "GMO Awareness Day," purportedly to educate students on the foods they eat. Instead, these districts used taxpayer money to repeat disproved claims and misleading rhetoric.

I find it troubling that these districts have engaged in a propaganda campaign aimed at young children. The news release put out by the Hopkins, Minneapolis, Orono, Shakopee and Westonka school districts is made up of misleading claims and outright falsehoods.

I don't have the space to refute them one by one, but here is the reality: GMOs have been tested extensively in over 2,000 studies. These studies, and the leading regulatory and food safety organizations in the world, found GMOs to be perfectly safe. There is nothing to be aware of other than the tremendous societal and environmental benefits offered by GMOs.

Schools are supposed to be places of education, logical thinking and science but a handful of school administrators seem to disagree. Apparently, they believe that schools are the place for misleading political agendas and propaganda campaigns aimed at developing the minds of young children without highlighting the other side of the issue.

Dave Ladd, Apple Valley

CONGRESS

A hint to lawmakers: Please just get 'er done

At the end of next week, Congress will end the current session. After that, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid should continue the Senate in session to pass all of the president's nominations, which it can do by a majority vote. (The Republican Senators can go home and do their Christmas shopping). If not, then Reid should not be a minority leader of anything in the next Congress. Get the nominations done — this year!

Bob Nelson, Pequot Lakes

• • •

Plea to all senators and representatives. Please, just do your job. It's what you were elected to do. Quit the games, quit the threats, quit the excuses, quit complaining, quit the politics, and quit wasting money and time on other things. Please, just Do Your Job. Congress is the lawmaking branch of our government. Passing good legislation is your job. It's tough. The issues are complex. But that is what you are there for. So, please, please, please, just DO YOUR JOB!

William R. Miller, Brooklyn Center

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Bidders from outside metro area lose out

So the picks are in for the medicinal marijuana producers of Minnesota ("State's medical pot firms selected," Dec. 2). Congratulations to the predictable winners. We often hear legislators talking about including outstate (a term I despise; they really mean "out of metro") in the big picture and creating commerce and jobs for the outstaters. When the $20,000 price tag was applied to deter bidders, I did not want to believe it meant out-of-metro applicants.

I know of an applicant from outstate who spent many times the application fee bringing in doctors, security bids and people in the industry who are already successful. He flew them in, put them up in hotels and prepared for his presentation. Lo and behold, he was not chosen and is out a lot of money. He knew going in that it was a risk with no guarantee. My belief is that he did not get the bid because his last name wasn't right and that he did not live in the right geographical zone of Minnesota.

The very least the losing applicants should get for their investment is an explanation of why the other bidders were chosen. What are the chances?

Dean Strunc, Crystal

CONGESTED STREETS

Here's an idea for safe, unimpeded crossings

I was spurred to write by a letter in the Dec. 3 paper, "With our icy, snowy streets, let's all be careful out there." I don't drive in downtown Minneapolis much, but when I do, I am very frustrated and worried for the safety of all by the mixing of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. I will be the first to admit that jaywalking is not a crime of serious order, but it adds to the congestion and general chaos that already is difficult to negotiate at times.

Would it be possible to set up intersections so that all pedestrians could cross, even diagonally from one corner to the next, then hold all pedestrian traffic so vehicles could clear the intersection? Imagine traffic flow if vehicles could take unimpeded right- and left-hand turns. Not to mention the added safety benefit by avoiding the mixing of individuals and vehicles.

Let's try it for a time and see if there is less frustration and increased mobility and safety for all.

Paul Garlock, Bloomington