The automatic message came again: “The Minneapolis Public Schools will close tomorrow. Press one if you want to hear more.” (Although my children are past their school days, I get this message as a designated emergency contact for nieces and nephews.) But I, like you, am experiencing canceled meetings, dicey transit, frozen pipes and lots of bundling up.
Kids of the public schools, I have a theory. Some may even say conspiracy theory.
I think the adults are enjoying the “Great Cancellation Frenzy of 2019.” We adults are tired. We are worn out by anger in our public discourse. We are tired by the constant demands of work. We are already sick of the 2020 election. But we are loving the beauty of fresh snow.
We admit the ice, the extreme cold and the hassles of dragging grocery bags across a polar-vortex-wind-swept parking lot are irritating. But look outside, it is so quiet.
We’ve had a great idea. Cancel school to protect the poor darlings. Let’s cancel everything. We’d rather be at work but, really, what can we do? At home we’ll make the best of it by nestling up with popcorn and Netflix, hiding under blankets with a book, making snow people, and gazing out the window as the trees bend in the wind. We are happy to transfer meetings to phone conference or video call. Working from home? We will if we must. We’ll postpone hard conversations and reschedule extended staff meetings.
After all, it is a snow day and we adults are willing to make sacrifices to protect you.
Jocelyn Hale, Minneapolis
U.S. SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR
Some see her best leverage in the Senate; others in the presidency
In reference to the Feb. 7 letter “Why seek the presidency instead of leveraging power in the Senate?”: I do agree with both writers on that topic that it is not time for U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar to jump into the pool for a 2020 presidential candidacy. She is doing a phenomenal job at the Senate and rising in the ranks nationally. This does not mean she lacks presidential qualities, but the current national political environment is not conducive for her pedigree. Unless there is a scenario for a presidential ticket of Joe Biden and Klobuchar. That will give her thumbs-up. Otherwise, staying in the Senate is the best option for now.
David Sindiga, Roseville
• • •
I know most of the wannabe candidates will come and go long before the Iowa caucus in 2020. Amy Klobuchar has all the credentials necessary to win the presidency next year. First, she already has a 12-year track record as a senator, and second, she is from the all-important Midwest.
Klobuchar’s impressive re-election win on Nov. 6 proved she not only could do well in both urban and rural parts of Minnesota. This is a quality many, if not most, of her Democratic rivals would envy during the primaries and/or would have a problem duplicating in the 2020 general election.
The thing I like most about Klobuchar is that she has been hiding in plain sight. According to Business Insider, she could “bury” Donald Trump. The Hill and CNN report that her poll numbers have been steadily rising for the past eight weeks.
With these thoughts in mind, senator, if you decide to run for president count me in. My political radar says you are the one to watch.
Denny Freidenrich, Laguna Beach, Calif.
Cold can be overcome
The Feb. 8 front-page article on the range reduction of electric vehicles in cold weather (“Cold can cut electric car range by 40%”) was misleading. In fact, the cold-weather range reduction is a function of battery size, because unlike an internal-combustion engine, an electric motor produces very little heat, and so warming the cabin and defrosting the windshield use energy from the battery. With a smaller battery, this takes a larger proportion of the available range. My Bolt, with about a 250-mile range in warm weather, loses about 25 percent of its range at 20 degrees and close to 40 percent at 25 degrees below zero. Some of that is indeed because cold batteries have lower capacity, but mostly it’s because warming the occupants takes a lot more energy when it’s colder. One-hundred-fifty miles is still plenty of range in a day for most of us. We’ve never had to curtail our daily activities because of our car. The good news is that it always starts, and you don’t have to wait for the engine to warm up before you get heat.
John Collins, Hudson, Wis.
WALKING, BIKING, TRANSIT
The real statewide interest
A Feb. 4 letter writer (“Walking, biking and transit are needs of statewide interest”) extols the need of various methods of transportation. I agree with this in a few areas, such as improved roads for outstate Minnesota. But the writer puts too much emphasis on biking and walking trails. We rebuild outstate bike trails that have deteriorated, disused. The funds come from those of us who drive and buy automobiles and trucks. It is time that the bikers start to pay their share. A simple $15-per-year tab for everyone 18 years of age or older would help augment these funds. If you want it, you should pay for it.
Marvin E Garbe, Montevideo, Minn.
GENDER AND PRO SPORTS
The money follows the audience
I’d like to point out to a Feb. 7 letter writer — “Perhaps with more equitable pay and attention, she’d play in 2019,” referring to Minnesota Lynx player Maya Moore’s announcement that she’ll sit out a year — that all WNBA players currently have the opportunity to earn endorsement deals and higher pay.
The fact that they don’t is a representation that the economy in which they operate is not that interested in their product. Are we supposed to just give them more money because they are women? The WNBA hasn’t been profitable, whereas the NBA makes a fortune each year. Enough people care about the NBA to support those high salaries.
Jeffrey Krasky, Minneapolis
RACE AND SPORTS
No more stereotypes. Obviously.
Now that America is at long last enlightened to the disgraceful nature of black face paint, can we please once and for all dispense with the widespread practice of applying war paint and other dishonorable displays of native culture to cheer on professional and amateur sports teams?
Ed murphy, Minneapolis
There are better ways
The Feb. 5 Variety article on parenting calls for some alternatives. The parents seem to be doing all the deciding regarding what and when their children begin certain “interests.” Their decisions are too often based on the parent’s wants rather than the child’s.
Here’s an alternative. First, don’t move your children into these specialized activities so young. Let them be children. Second, let them make the choices of what they want to do and learn. Even though they have to wait a little while, have them enroll in organizations such as 4-H or Scouts at the age of about 9.
Then they have opportunities to choose from a nearly limitless list of enjoyable and intellectual activities and programs that expand their horizons and begin to fit them for a useful life in society. Consider these project options: indoor and outdoor floral and vegetable gardening; electronics; aerodynamics; rocketry; cooking; fashion; photography; pet care; public speaking; parliamentary procedure; conservation; climate change; woodworking; first aid; record-keeping; animal husbandry; and a host of others.
Children can try projects, discard them and move to something else, or expand them and discover ways they will fit into future life.
Fred Gonnerman, Northfield
Wary of the Wile E.
Regarding “As coyotes move in, neighbors get wary” (Jan. 27):
It has taken me a couple of weeks, but I finally figured out my advice for people living with these new dangerous neighbors and what to look out for:
(1) Coyote carrying boxed marked “Acme.”
(2) Coyotes using TNT.
(3) Coyotes in possession of giant magnets.
(4) Coyotes carrying signs saying “detour” or “free bird seed.”
(5) Coyotes possessing catapults.
And my final suggestion to surviving coyotes is to always look up in the sky to make sure there aren’t any hot-air balloons with anvils above you.
Avi Rosenman, Minneapolis