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Opinion editor's note: Star Tribune Opinion publishes letters from readers online and in print each day. To contribute, click here.


I read with disgust in the Star Tribune on April 4 the article "With obesity on the rise, 'anti-diet' backers find ally in General Mills." Shame on the cereal manufacturers. Shame on registered dietitians. There are nearly half a million Americans dying every year because of obesity, and these people want more. I can't think of a more ludicrous idea in promoting more sugar and fat into American diets. There is a segment of this society that has hatched the idea that an anti-diet is good for you, and industry has gladly hopped on board, to its delight. These groups are telling us to eat as we please and forget about regulating the food industry. Are we to sit around and let industry leaders tell us eating their sugarcoated cereal and processed foods is good for us and our kids because it makes them healthier and happier?

Lying in this age seems to get results. I think any scientific study conducted by the industry claiming it is beneficial for our health is flawed. Are registered dietitians afraid to stand up for what is right and refute this silly idea because they may lose their jobs? I just bought my last box of cereal.

Richard Wagner, Long Prairie, Minn.


Just read the April 4 piece on General Mills' corporate cooperation with the online anti-diet movement. I sold my General Mills stock after reading the Star Tribune piece on microplastics found in their cereals and other products ("Plastics found in General Mills food," Feb. 9). I'm glad to be kept informed by your reporters on this local food giant's complete disregard for its customers' health. The timely metaphor (updated) would be "peeing in our Cheerios."

Lori Wagner Hollenkamp, Mendota Heights


Resurrect the duplex bill

When my wife and I were looking for our first house to buy together in 2021, we began looking at single-family homes. We quickly realized that in the most desirable neighborhoods the monthly payment on a single-family exceeded what we were comfortable paying. So, we turned to looking at duplexes with the idea of living in one unit while renting out the other to offset the mortgage. We were fortunate to find a property within our budget in a highly coveted location with a high-ranking school district. The rent from the other unit covers over half of our mortgage (PITI), and we were able to use that rental income to qualify. Over time, our housing expenses will go down as rents increase and the monthly rent collected covers a larger portion of our expenses. And there are significant tax benefits to owning rental property.

Unfortunately, due to the prevalence of single-family zoning in many cities, duplexes are hard to come by in many neighborhoods, including ours.

As affordable single-family homes become harder to find, more home buyers may want to consider duplexes. I hope legislative leaders continue working toward a solution that will allow more duplexes in all communities ("Duplex bill likely dead for this year," April 4). Hopefully, they find a way to include local officials in this process without completely yielding to their demands for total control. I would love to see city and state leaders collaborate to find a solution to allow more families like ours to live where they most desire.

James Albrecht, Edina


How is this our reality?

Every day I wake up and ask myself the same question: "How is it possible a man who tried to overthrow our government is allowed to try once again to become its leader?" Our 45th president, Donald Trump, lost the 2020 election and instead of allowing for the peaceful transition of power that has occurred since the founding of our republic he plotted to foment an insurrection. He met with conspirators to set up slates of fake electors, he hounded the secretary of state in Georgia to get him to find the number of votes he would need to overturn that state's election results and, when he refused, Trump badgered his own vice president to not certify the results. When that failed Trump held a rally on the day Congress was to meet to certify the election where he encouraged a mob of angry followers to storm the capitol to attempt to overthrow the results.

I watched in horror that day as Trump's followers attacked the Capitol, knocking over barriers, beating police and chanting for the hanging of Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The assault lasted for hours, resulting in the death of multiple people and the injury of many law enforcement officials. Trump had wanted to join the mob but was instead taken back to the White House by his Secret Service detail where he watched the riot unfold on television. Members of his staff, his party and even his own family begged him to stop it, but for over two hours he did nothing to intervene.

In the riot's aftermath Trump was condemned by both parties, the media and the public. The belief was that his political career was over and that he would never be allowed to seek office again. But, members of the Republican Party who condemned his behavior just three years ago are now happily embracing him while the press is pretending that it is somehow normal. It isn't normal or logical for a man who tried to overthrow our government to once again take control of it. The situation we are in is as far from normal as it gets. Every day we allow an insurrectionist like Donald Trump to masquerade as a candidate for office makes a mockery of our democracy.

Michael Farnsworth, Minneapolis


Former President Trump recently declared that Nov. 5 (Election Day) should be celebrated as "Christian Visibility Day." If his wish were granted, wouldn't he risk not being seen at all?

Alan Bray, St. Peter, Minn.


Keep control of your pets, people

A huge thanks to the city of Waconia for passing an ordinance restricting cats! ("Waconia's feline friends must be kept on leashes," April 3.) I have owned many cats in my life, and I enjoy them. However, they should not be allowed to roam free under any circumstances. Wherever cats are, they stalk and kill. This is because they are master hunters. Recent research published in the journal Nature Communications "found that free-ranging domestic cats (including feral ones) eat more than 2,000 species," according to a New York Times story. This is extremely concerning for our environment and ecology. The article goes on: "Almost half of the species cats ate were birds, followed by reptiles and mammals." Surprisingly, they also ate many insects, including "monarch butterflies, pink-spotted hawk moths and emperor dragonflies." And: "Nearly 350 of the species, including monarch butterflies and green sea turtles, were imperiled or at risk of being imperiled."

Here in Minnesota we are moving into spring when many baby birds will be on the ground and in danger from hunting cats. I sincerely hope all towns and cities will follow Waconia's lead and pass cat-control ordinances. Simply catching, neutering or spaying and then releasing them again is not the answer. Cats need to be in homes and controlled every bit as much — if not more — than dogs.

Ruth E. Lovander Foley, Eden Prairie