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DIGITAL TV TRANSITION

No bidders

Your Aug. 2 editorial ("Will public gain from digital TV transition?") stated that "... The 9/11 Commission recommended we do this for emergency responders' interoperability. ..."

The editorial failed to note (though the New York Times reported it weeks ago) the results of the first round of auctions for the vacated analog band. Guess what? Not one bid on the "emergency" portion of the band, with only commercial applications receiving bids from the big media conglomerates.

Where does that leave the consumer? It seems we will be left funding another government program aimed at subsidizing the big media players. It remains to be seen if the bids will come close to covering the cost consumers will be bearing and whether emergency responders will be helped at all by this program. Score another one for big business.

DAVID PETERS, GOLDEN VALLEY

'SCIENCE NERD'

An insulting headline

An Aug. 3 headline stated "Science nerd has dark side."

Really? How about trying "Scientist has dark side."

I couldn't believe how stupid that headline was. And talk about disrespectful to a profession.

Here's a good headline: "Unskilled word dork works hard to dumb-down Minnesota."

SCOTT SMITH, MINNEAPOLIS

FIXING DOWNTOWN

An example to follow

I couldn't agree more with the last statement in the Aug. 4 editorial, "A private sector fix for a downtown in need." I would like to share what our Minneapolis neighborhood is doing to accomplish just that.

I live in Stevens Square, which is on the southern edge of downtown. We have a block-safety patrol that includes volunteers from the neighborhood who patrol the community, serving as the eyes and ears for the police; a beautification program that focuses on litter, dumpsters in alleys and graffiti cleanup, and a Good Neighbor pledge.

The pledge is presented to rental-building owners, businesses, condo associations and private homeowners. In the pledge they are asked to support the community by doing their part to help the initiatives addressed above. They are also asked to make a contribution to the community organization to help fund the services.

We have seen a marked difference in Stevens Square, and, I'm proud to say, asking everyone to help and contribute is working!

SUE CROCKETT, MINNEAPOLIS

THE DFL NOMINEE

There isn't one yet

An Aug. 3 Star Tribune story said "[Al] Franken is the DFL nominee for Senate." Not yet he isn't. He is the DFL endorsee. The DFL nominee will be the winner of the Sept. 9 primary election, in which voters will either accept or reject the DFL endorsee. Franken is in a very fluid primary contest with Priscilla Lord Faris, who may well win and become the DFL nominee.

JIM DUNLOP, SHOREVIEW;

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR,

PRISCILLA LORD FARIS FOR SENATE

THE ENERGY CRISIS

Democratic roadblocks

The ongoing stonewalling by Democrats preventing development of a comprehensive energy plan needs to be remembered by the voters this November.

We should be angry at the incompetence of the Democratic majority, which is dramatically driving up the energy costs in this country. A plan requires all of the alternatives available, which Republicans are proposing -- offshore drilling, nuclear power and practical renewable alternatives.

JERRY LARSEN, MINNEAPOLIS

Lower prices years away In his Aug. 2 commentary, "She thinks she is saving the planet," Charles Krauthammer tries to make the case that the Democrats are trying to prevent offshore oil drilling, and that this is driving up gasoline prices.

What he doesn't mention is how long it will take to convert the oil from offshore drilling to gasoline: seven to 10 years.

In addition, the Bush administration's own Energy Department said that offshore drilling will not have any immediate impact on gasoline prices. The demand for oil from China and India will continue to keep gasoline prices high.

I would like to know how the Republicans plan on lowering gasoline prices this year. I would hate to think they are trying to take advantage of this crisis for political gain.

JAMES PIGA, ST. PAUL

DEMISE OF THE BOOKMOBILE

Takes her back

Your Aug. 4 article on the demise of the bookmobile produced both waves of nostalgia and set off alarms. The bookmobile was a highlight of summers in my Iowa hometown. My parents were avid readers, but the bookmobile was only a short bike ride away to independent reading adventures. The smell of books, an air-conditioned bus and a good choice of books would entice any child to read.

The U.S. Department of Education estimates that 30 million adults can do little more than sign their names, and 63 million can perform only simple literary activities. As expected, full-time work and increases in weekly salaries are associated with levels of literacy.

Can we find funds to help Hennepin County's excellent library system explore every means to improve literacy? The magical experience of a library on wheels could help reading become a habit.

LYNNE M. LENT, ST. LOUIS PARK

CORRECTION

An Aug. 4 letter should have said that the state of Minnesota incorrectly sent a check to Sabrina Walker.