Last week Gov. Mark Dayton stated that “I’ve always believed environmental protection and economic growth can be complementary objectives.” (“Dayton backs PolyMet mining project,” Oct. 25.) This week, the Star Tribune Editorial Board (“Dayton’s timely stance on PolyMet,” Nov. 1) called Dayton’s position reasonable.
Despite political wishful thinking, the reality is that we cannot have it both ways. There is a fundamental conflict between economic growth and environmental quality. Theoretical evidence of this conflict rests on ecological principles and the economic allocation of natural capital to the human economy. In the absence of humans, all-natural capital is available as habitat for nonhuman species. As the scale of the human enterprise expands, natural capital is reallocated from nonhuman economy to the human economy. The most compelling empirical evidence for the fundamental conflict between economic growth and conservation is illustrated in observed trends and causes of species endangerment and ecosystem loss. As the economy grows, biodiversity is reduced, affected or destroyed by development and extractive sectors of the human economy, i.e., logging, mining, agriculture, ranching, manufacturing, urbanization, etc. Pollution, climate disruption and habitat degradation are byproducts or externalities of the economic production process.
David L. Trauger, Marine on St. Croix
MINNEAPOLIS MAYOR’S RACE
Support for Raymond Dehn, Jacob Frey on issues of policing
As organizers who have worked to end police violence against our communities, we are invested in ensuring our elected leaders share our priorities. We want to tell you why Raymond Dehn is the candidate we’ll be supporting on Nov. 7.
After Jamar Clark was shot and killed by the Minneapolis Police Department in north Minneapolis, we were among those who organized and supported the occupation outside the Fourth Precinct police station. We stood up against white supremacy and police murder, forcing Minneapolis to pay attention to the violence visited by MPD on black folks, indigenous folks and other marginalized communities every day. And each day of that occupation, state Rep. Raymond Dehn showed up in solidarity — supporting us and demanding justice.
Ray understands the true nature of crime, knowing that safer communities aren’t created with racist stop-and-frisk policies or mass incarceration, but by giving them the resources they need to thrive. He knows the best deterrents to crime are affordable housing, healthy food, clean air and water, quality education and accessible health care — not more money invested into a department that has shown itself impervious to reform time and time again. His priorities for community safety include divesting from MPD, demilitarizing the force and building community-safety networks that aren’t based in white supremacy.
Ray has more experience working intergovernmentally with state, county and city policymakers than does any other candidate. He is an innovative thinker who creates comprehensive plans aimed at the root causes of inequity and understands that we require long-term strategies.
The preceding letter was signed by Black Lives Matter Minneapolis founding members Mica Mary Grimm, Kandace Montgomery, Oluchi Omeoga, and Michael McDowell.
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The loss of Justine Damond Ruszczyk to an unjustified police shooting is a horrible tragedy for me, my family, Justine’s family and so many communities across the globe. This act of police violence is a symptom of a Police Department that, in my opinion, was poorly managed. Whether through lack of training, poor hiring, or a lack of resources and experience, this senseless act fell under the watch of the incumbent mayor whose reactions were too little, too late.
We need new leadership in the mayor’s office. Having met with several candidates, I feel strongly that Jacob Frey is the best mayoral choice to lead the transformation of policing in Minneapolis.
Being a police officer is a highly stressful job. They put their lives on the line each and every day. Research shows that officers operating under severe or chronic stress are likely to be at greater risk of error, accidents and overreactions that can compromise their performance, jeopardize public safety and pose significant liability. It is imperative that they are provided tools and resources to help them better manage the chronic stress associated with their jobs.
I know that Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and Jacob Frey are both strongly committed to providing officers a higher level of wellness by providing the emotional, mental and physical tools necessary to help them. This in turn will help build trust with our community, keep people safe and ultimately ensure that no other family has to suffer an unjustified tragic loss of life at the hands of a police officer.
Don Damond, Minneapolis
The writer was the victim’s fiancé.
MINNEAPOLIS PARK BOARD
One thing at stake in election is the fate of Hiawatha Golf Club
As a follow-up to Bill Shroyer’s excellent Oct. 28 letter concerning the Hiawatha golf course water issue, at a recent meeting of the group “Save Hiawatha 18” it was explained that one plan that is under consideration by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to close the golf course and convert it to a park will do nothing to address the flooding issue.
An article published in the Star Tribune within the last few months stated that a consultant has provided a cost estimate of $28 million to convert the golf course to a park. This includes a new building and other facilities that are likely already available nearby at Lake Nokomis Park. So instead of wasting $28 million on a project that isn’t needed and won’t correct the problem, it would make sense to first address the real problem before even considering closing the golf course.
The current Park Board recently voted to close the golf course but has not yet decided about what to do with the site. The decision could be reversed if new members vote otherwise.
Bob Sullentrop and Jonathan Honerbrink, Minneapolis
The writers both are endorsed Republican candidates for at-large seats on the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.
HOUSE GOP TAX PLAN
A tax cut is a tax cut — it helps no matter the amount
I really have difficulty understanding the ire in the Nov. 3 letter addressing the proposed U.S. House Republican tax proposal.
I don’t care if the tax savings for me is $76.93 a week or $22.73 a week as proposed, or whatever. Any tax cut is better than what I have now! The time to become upset with Republicans and Democrats is if/when no tax cut is passed. Until then, bring on the savings, no matter what the size.
Richard Burton, Ramsey
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I was not surprised to see that the Republican tax plan would stick it to homeowners, (some) small businesses, people in high-tax blue states, the working poor and charities in order to gift big corporations and the super-rich. But I was appalled at the gall of the proposal to eliminate deductions for adoptions. This from the anti-choice party. They want to reverse Roe vs. Wade and repeal Obamacare, which would no doubt leave us with uninsured and unwanted babies. Eliminate the tax deduction for adoptions, too? Brilliant — what compassion.
Marc N. Burton, Minneapolis