About 10 days ago I was in Dallas, a city mentioned in a Nov. 6 article about planned changes to bike-sharing in the Twin Cities (“Dockless bike sharing on Nice Ride’s docket.”) My experience with the dockless system there was disappointing, to say the least. On two days, my plans revolved around renting a non-dock-centered bike. Instead of visiting a docking station, you find a bike by using a cellphone app and its GPS mapping. On the first day, I walked about four blocks to where a bike was supposed to be available. After wandering around the indicated location for about 20 minutes, I gave up with great disappointment and ended up using a free trolley.
On the second day, my friend and I did find a location where two bikes had been left. Neither was available, both “needing service,” according to the message we received when we tried to unlock them. Another day without bikes and disappointed. We ended up walking the Katy Trail, which is similar to our Midtown Greenway.
Nice Ride’s current system in the Twin Cities of having fixed locations with multiple bikes at each is far superior to using GPS to maybe find a randomly located and serviceable bike. I hope careful consideration is given before eliminating the static-station option. The Dallas system defeats two of the most important aspects of bike-sharing — convenience and reliability.
Doug Powell, Minnetonka
After another mass shooting, it’s time for class action
Perhaps what’s most shocking about yet another mass shooting this week is that we are starting to not be shocked that again (again!) this has happened. It feels important to say aloud to the younger generation, “This is not normal!” Not long ago, these mass shootings simply did not happen in America.
So what has changed?
Americans’ access to ever-more-powerful and destructive weapons — that’s what.
We are now the most heavily armed civilians in the world. Yep, that’s a fact. And in terms of gun-related deaths, we are by far the deadliest of all developed nations. About 38,000 Americans died last year as the result of a gun — an average of 107 people every day.
But attempts to restrict firearms get blocked at every turn — largely by politicians backed by the deep pockets of the NRA.
Meanwhile, who profits?
Weapons manufacturers and dealers, that’s who.
These corporations rake in billions while they flood not only guns but actual military-style weapons of war into our communities. And while violence tears apart families and cities and tragedy spreads to ever more corners of our country, weapons manufacturers and dealers see their money multiply.
It should make us all sick.
Frankly, it’s time for class-action lawsuits of epic proportion. Every family devastated by a gun-related death, every American city eroded by gun violence and every traumatized community trying to pick up the pieces after a mass shooting have a case to make. Take these un-American mercenaries to court! Sue them for every penny they’ve got. Social-justice lawyers, we need you.
As long as it is profitable to militarize Americans, these corporations will do so.
Let’s make it epically unprofitable.
Sarah M. Nelson, Roseville
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I get that most letter writers have an agenda, but sometimes they are so deceitful or disingenuous that a response is necessary. Such a letter was printed Nov. 8. A writer relayed his experience of getting a handicapped-parking placard, specifically the length of time it took, and compared it to the law requiring a 30-day max wait time for getting a permit-to-carry permit.
Being a disabled vet and having gone through both processes myself, I’ll play Paul Harvey and tell “the rest of the story.” Unlike the permit-to-carry process, when you go to the DMV to do the handicap paperwork, you’re given temporary tags to use until your permanent ones arrive. There is zero waiting time. Would the writer prefer that was the case for permit-to-carry as well?
I realize telling the whole story conflicts with the writer’s agenda, but by twisting the facts he loses all credibility in the process.
John Morgan, Burnsville
Don’t paint us with a broad brush; we have sound rationale
I was not alarmed at the sudden outburst by a few people at a tar-sands pipeline hearing in Duluth in October. However, calling all who oppose the pipeline “anti-energy activists” is missing what we are for: a decision to move to clean, renewable energy as quickly as possible (“We need a safe and open discussion, so please allow it,” Readers Write, Nov. 8). I agree — please, members of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, reschedule the St. Cloud hearing that subsequently was canceled over safety concerns.
The entrenched belief that we cannot or should not break our addiction to fossil fuels is the biggest problem the world must face now. We are fighting wars over oil while the sun freely radiates enough energy for our daily needs.
A recent federal report says the impacts of climate change are upon us (“Climate report contradicts Trump’s policies,” Nov. 4). Scientific American reports that there is a 1 in 20 chance that the world temperature will rise to catastrophic levels by the end of this century. The president of the COP23 conference underway in Bonn, Germany, says, “The human suffering caused by intensifying hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, floods and threats to food security caused by climate change means there is no time to waste.” The entire world is at risk because of our continued, global use of fossil fuels. Step one for me to act on this worldwide threat is to stop building new carbon-intensive tar-sands pipelines — here and now, in Minnesota, by saying no to Enbridge Energy’s proposed Line 3.
Kathy Hollander, Minneapolis
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The Nov. 7 letter accusing Line 3 opponents of “preventing information from being shared” by being “loud and disruptive” had a few weaknesses:
• First, hundreds of individuals opposed to the pipeline have attended dozens of hearings peacefully throughout the year. There were a few attendees at the Duluth hearing who were disrespectful and ruined it for the rest of those who came to listen and speak. Those disrupters who started shouting were in fact complaining about racism rather than the pipeline.
• Next, Line 3 opponents are not “extreme anti-energy activists,” but are anti-pipeline, because building new infrastructure of this type perpetuates the use of fossil fuels, which contribute to climate change. We support clean, renewable energy and fear one or more of many threats the pipeline poses, including irreparable harm to water, land, tribal rights, land owners, businesses and future generations.
• Last, rather than “preventing information from being shared,” many pipeline opponents have submitted hundreds of pages of testimony commenting on the Department of Commerce’s draft environmental impact statement and on why they oppose Line 3. Much of this testimony is based on facts provided by the Department of Commerce, other government agencies and Enbridge.
On one issue we agree: We would like the PUC to reschedule the St. Cloud hearing to allow public comment in a safe, peaceful venue.
Eleanor Dvorak, Minnetonka