I would like to offer a heartfelt "thank you" to the Minnesotans who put on an amazing show for the Super Bowl. You really showed your mettle. Your 10,000-plus volunteers made things so smooth. Your city is absolutely gorgeous and your citizens are so friendly. Public transportation was gleaming. What a job well-done! You should host the Olympics!
Joseph Irwin, Lancaster, Pa.
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Purple, Pink and Green all over: Though not an NFL (or football) fan per se, I avidly love and support my home cities. Minneapolis (and the entire metro area), you are phenomenal. The most gracious host the world could wish for. Philadelphia, my gritty hometown city, let no one underestimate you. With Pink performing through the flu as our emissary of "Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection," our dear New England Patriot northeast neighbors didn't stand a chance. They did, however, perform up to their reputation, so dear Eagles, in besting them you truly became world champions. All in all, Sunday, and all of last week, lived up to the hype. Congratulations to all who labored so tremendously long and hard to make it so!
Susan Schaefer, Minneapolis
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I feel compelled to respond to the Star Tribune's staff suggesting that the military be dumped for future activities in Minneapolis ("The super bold and the super busted," Variety, Feb. 5). First of all, the governor directed that elements of the National Guard be activated for Super Bowl security. You arrogantly flipped them off with a curt "Thanks for your help." Who decided that the War on Terrorism was over? Would you rather some crazed person/terrorist drive down the mall in a vehicle running over and killing people instead of a Humvee patrolling it? Do you think those young men/women wanted to be patrolling or would they have preferred to watch the game? Do you think they were provided snacks/food like the Crew 52 volunteers? Please think more carefully the next time you want to write condescending remarks about our military.
While I'm at it, the Star Tribune staff also put thumbs down on Philadelphia football fans. While I have lived here for the past 10 years, I happen to have been born and raised in Philly and have supported the Eagles for 58 years in their quest for another championship. I don't condone violence, throwing beer cans or vandalism when celebrating a sports event. To my knowledge, there were no incidents in the Twin Cities of Philly fans being unruly. Get over the loss by the Vikings and move on.
Bernard Devine, Minnetonka
The writer is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel.
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This is a little late, but, as someone who works outdoors, I wanted to tell our visitors from warmer states two thing: First, if you wear enough of the right clothing in this weather, your body will eventually achieve its ideal temperature underneath, just as if you were in bed on a cool night with just the right number of blankets. And you don't always have to achieve a level of immobility like the boy in "A Christmas Story" to get there. Second, now that you have experienced Minnesota at its coldest, please come back when it's warm. In the summer, when the rest of the country is experiencing droughts and wildfires, sinking under hurricane waters, or buried under kudzu, Minnesota will be lush and green. We will have clean lakes and flowing rivers, all unsalted and shark/alligator-free.
Dave Rosene, Brooklyn Park
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As someone who lives and works in downtown Minneapolis, my life was heavily impacted by the Super Bowl festivities. As a music fan, I didn't mind too much; I had an absolute blast checking out the free concerts on Nicollet Mall. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis did a fantastic job curating a lineup that featured an incredibly deep cast of mostly local artists who did Minneapolis proud.
It makes me wonder, though, how a city the size of Minneapolis, with our wealth of talent and culture, doesn't have a single legitimate multiday music festival. Soundset comes closest, but it is only a single day and is held in St. Paul. Rock the Garden similarly is only one day. The Basilica Block Party is an easy listening festival put on by a church, not exactly the kind of event that inspires out-of-towners to visit.
Milwaukee, Des Moines and even Eau Claire, Wis., have massive, multiday music festivals. So why are we lagging behind? We are at least 25 years and another new billion-dollar stadium away from hosting the Super Bowl again. I hope we can figure out a way to facilitate another large-scale celebration of our music before then.
Bobby Kahn, Minneapolis
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Well, thank goodness that's finally over!
Sean Foley, Richfield
MINNESOTA PRECINCT CAUCUSES
Reach out to your neighbors
On Tuesday, when you're at your precinct caucus, take a moment to acknowledge your neighbors, regardless of which candidate or resolution you may support. Our democratic institutions are gravely threatened by corruption, a historic concentration of corporate and political power, foreign intervention in our elections, and profound paralysis in the face of Depression-era inequality and cataclysmic climate change. We need sweeping reforms at the top, but we also need to work more closely with our neighbors. To rise to the challenges, we'll need nimble local networks so that people can turn out by the millions on a day's notice; provide sanctuary to those targeted by vengeful immigration policies; coordinate rapid response in the face of worsening national disasters; and provide access to locally grown food and clean energy sources.
So, why caucus? Because in the face of rising tyranny and unmet crises, we should all cherish the messy spectacle of thousands of everyday Minnesotans taking the time to write out our best ideas, argue for our candidates and represent our neighborhoods, communities and values at conventions. Caucuses are part of our civic topsoil — thin and fragile, but nourishing of the seeds of democracy.
Finally, do what you can to make your caucus truly welcoming and inclusive. It's an all-hands-on-deck moment; to heck with slick cynicism — go caucus!
David Snyder, Richfield
The writer is organizing director of Jewish Community Action.
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I'm a moderate Republican or a blue dog Democrat. There are a lot of engaged voters (like me) who vote for the best person to serve, regardless of party affiliation. Who should we caucus with on Tuesday? Both major parties seem so polarized these days and won't support "moderate" candidates.
Matt Hansen, Eden Prairie
THE GOP'S FBI MEMO
Media must look beyond spin
I continue to be astounded at the media (the fact-based media) reporting on the Republican memo. It's treated as though it were a dueling partisan fight: What do the Republicans say? What do the Democrats respond? Frankly, I do not care what the partisan spinmasters say. The news is what the nonpartisan authorities say, the people who are concerned with protecting our nation rather than who is in charge. And they are in virtual unanimous agreement. The creation and release of this memo is a virtually unprecedented abuse of power by the Republicans, a disgraceful and frightening attack on our democracy and institutions of justice for the sole purpose of solidifying their power. The media needs to help people distinguish lies from fact, and looking beyond the partisans is the real story here.
Brian Ross, Minneapolis
A perk or a poke in the eye?
All those corporations handing out bonus payments attributable to last year's tax reform should be required to notify employees that "yours is a one-time bonus, but our tax cut is permanent, so we are not planning to share our good fortune with you next year or the year after" ("Best Buy bonuses join corporate crowd," Business, Feb. 3). Employers who hand out extra raises because of the tax changes are the ones that deserve headlines.
Duane Fike, Minneapolis