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It is difficult to read about Macy's financial woes ("Macy's closing stores, cutting thousands of jobs," Jan. 7). I appreciate the store in downtown Minneapolis. Reading CEO Terry Lundgren's comments about wanting to serve existing customers and acquire new ones makes me doubt that he has been keeping an eye on the Minneapolis store. Passing through the store via the skyway most winter days, I can tell you that it is not the lack of potential customers creating the problem. It is the lack of checkout availability. During the weeks before Christmas, several customer service locations on the skyway level were closed, and there were lines at the others. Even if I was thinking about purchasing a men's sweater at a good price, I would keep on walking.

People do not have time to wait in lines at poorly staffed stores. Amazon does not have lines. If the store management couldn't figure out how to staff appropriately during the important holiday season, I'm not sure how cutting more staff will save them.

Penny Van Kampen, Edina

Whatever you think about guns, his dictatorial move is troubling

In response to "Obama acts alone to quell gun violence" (Jan. 6), I ask you fellow citizens to reject the idea of the president — any president — to dictate law. Even if in this case you agree with President Obama's dictated law, please think beyond this one subject. Our founding fathers had the wisdom to create our system of law to have three separate branches of government that provide for checks and balances. No one branch was to have super power over the others. We fought the Revolutionary War to allow for a system of government that comes from "We the People," not from the whims of a dictator or a king, or a president.

Elizabeth Anderson, Minnetonka

Law enforcement education is more profound than it once was

Kudos to James Densley for his timely and historical look at the guns and race double standard used during the Black Panthers' era vs. today's Bundy in Oregon ("Guns and double standards in America," Jan. 6). But what was truly remarkable to me was that this opinion was submitted by an associate professor in the School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice (aka: police academy). This would not be the rookie school I attended in years past. Thanks to Densley, his students (and more of tomorrow's law enforcement recruits) will learn about scope, depth and critical thinking.

Juliann Brunzell, Minneapolis

Scrutiny at theater was of little inconvenience, was comforting

I attended "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" at the State Theatre in Minneapolis on Wednesday. In this new age of awareness because of terrorism, every patron was scanned with a handheld metal detector, and purses were checked. I love that this theater is taking security seriously. The extra two minutes this took was well worth it, and I think all theaters should adopt these standards. The lines moved quickly, and no one around me complained about the security measures. Thanks to the Hennepin Theatre Trust for taking these measures.

Nancy Kaiser, Blaine

Join us in standing against bigotry and ignorance

We, the 88 undersigned individuals and couples, are returned Peace Corps volunteers from Minnesota who have written this letter to counter the recent increase in anti-Muslim, anti-Islam and anti-immigrant rhetoric that is sweeping across America and our state. We served for two years in various countries around the world. Although we all had very different experiences in different cultures, one thing that binds us together is an understanding that the more you know about someone, the more you appreciate what we have in common, rather than dwelling on or being fearful of our differences. We feel that the hateful speech that permeates our society should be condemned not just by returned Peace Corps volunteers like us, but by every American who wants to stand up against bigotry and ignorance.

David McDonald (Grand Rapids and Osseo), Morocco, 2012-14; Molly O'Meara (Minneapolis), Ecuador, 2007-09; Katie Olean (Cloquet), Ethiopia, 2011-13; Randee Edmundson (Minneapolis), Tanzania, 2007-09, and Peace Corps Response, South Africa, 2015; Kaying Vang (Maplewood), Guatemala, 2008-10; Lauris and Deb Grundmanis (Minneapolis), The Gambia, 1986-88; Jennifer Mazouz (Maple Grove), Morocco, 2006-08; Paul Karlson (Minneapolis), Poland, 1996-98; Robert Sturm (St. Paul), Azerbaijan, 2013-15; Suzanne Sheridan (St. Paul and Rosemount), Morocco, 1994-96; Jane Willard (St. Paul and Northfield), Afghanistan, 1972-74; Cathy Lee Gierke (Minneapolis and St. Paul), Jamaica, 1995-97; John Wozniak (Minneapolis), Malaysia, 1972-74; Susan Budig (St. Louis Park), Thailand, 1986; Alice DeMatteo (Mora), Philippines, 2011-13; Jack Conrad (Eagan), Swaziland, 1984-87, and Togo, 1987-89; Cindy Jurgensen and Curt Rahman (St. Louis Park), Kiribati, 1981-83; Lisa Boyd, (Minneapolis), Central African Republic, 1990-92; Ilse Griffin (St. Paul), Uganda, 2011-13; Rhoda Brooks (Excelsior), Ecuador, 1962-64, and Chile, 1980-82 country director; Andy Caranicas (St. Paul), Benin, 1993-95; Deb Most (West St. Paul), Latvia, 1994-96; Dennis Duffy (Minneapolis), Turkmenistan, 2007-09; Tammy Truong (Minneapolis), Bolivia, 2007-08, and The Gambia, 2008-09; Allison Bell (Minneapolis), Zambia, 2002-04; Angela Bernhardt (Medina), Kazakhstan, 1995-97; Kelly Gast (Minneapolis), Turkmenistan, 2007-09; Aara Johnson (Blaine), Colombia, 2013-15; Annie Olson-Reiners (St. Paul), Nicaragua, 2004-05; Megan Butler (St. Paul), El Salvador, 2008-11; Megan Wannarka (Minneapolis), Senegal, 2012-14, and Peace Corps Response, Grenada, 2015-16; Kate Shaughnessy (Minneapolis), Jordan, 2011-12; Brian Awsumb (Minneapolis), Botswana, 2005-08; Sarah Sheber (Minneapolis), Lesotho, 2004-05; Alicia Pilon (Minneapolis), Morocco, 2004-06; Vera Morbey (Minneapolis), Guinea, 2013-14, Mali, 2015, and Guinea, 2016; Tammie Weidendorf Norrish (New Brighton), Sierra Leone, 1990-92; Jacqueline Wright (Minneapolis), Zambia, 2002-03; Nora Bedard (St. Paul), Guatemala, 2001-03, and Peace Corps Response, Dominican Republic, 2004-05; Jonathan Carlson (St. Cloud), Tanzania, 2008-09; Kelsey Johnson (St. Paul), The Gambia, 2012-14; Jill Davies (Minneapolis), Uzbekistan, 2005, and Mozambique, 2006-08; Eric Angell (Minneapolis), Kenya, 1989-91; Dan Kane (Austin), Moldova, 2005-06; Carol Freeman (Minneapolis), Philippines, 1965-67; Kelly Gribauval (Pine City), Mauritania, 2000-02; Julie Chiasson (Winona), Sierra Leone, 1985-87; Kelly Blodgett (Minneapolis), Senegal, 2012-14; George Bernhardt (Medina), Kazakshstan, 1995-97; Kate Carroll (Minneapolis), Senegal, 2009-11; Kelly Abraham (Minneapolis), Botswana, 2012-13; Georgina Chinchilla (St. Paul), Jordan, 2012-14; Kathleen Moriarty (Minneapolis), Kiribati, 1990-92; Jane Bardon (St. Paul), Turkmenistan, 2003-05; Paul Verrette (St. Anthony), Togo, 1994-96; Debbie Hadas (Northfield), Senegal, 1982-84; Lanna Schwab (Minneapolis), South Africa, 2011-13; Elsa Frettem (St. Paul), India, 1968-70; Frank Hennick (Minneapolis), Macedonia, 2007-09; Benjamin Davies (Minneapolis), Lesotho, 2010-12; Mary Chung (White Bear Lake), Panama, 2002-04; Dori Berger Wozniak (Minneapolis), Malaysia, 1972-74; Frank Alarcon (Minneapolis), El Salvador, 2013-15; Sarah Goodspeed (Richfield), Ecuador, 2008-10; Stephanie Bartsch (Duluth), Cambodia, 2008-10; Mark Brandow (Minneapolis), Malaysia, 1967-69; Amy Fladeboe (Minneapolis), Albania, 2008-10; Kelly Rowe (Minneapolis), Thailand, 2008-10; Judy Marcouiller (Minneapolis), Liberia, 1977-79, and Botswana, 1982-84; Anne Kanyusik Yoakum (Mankato), Bangladesh, 1998-2000; Steve Wiley (Minneapolis), Fiji, 1970-72; Krista Michaelis (St. Paul), Madagascar, 1993-97; Tiffany Devoy (Minneapolis), Morocco, 2013-15; Marshall J. Washick (St. Paul), Botswana, 2013-15; Jay Haase (St. Cloud), Namibia, 2005-08; Alena Stewart (Duluth), Turkmenistan, 2008-10; Jennifer Johnson Schafer (Excelsior), Dominica, 1997-98; Jake Overgaard (Winona), Guatemala, 2005-08; Samuel Jewett (Minneapolis), Morocco, 2012-14; Lacey Allen (Minneapolis), Morocco, 2012-14; Renee Bachler (St. Paul), Nigeria, 1991-94; Krista Jorstad (Golden Valley), Morocco, 2012-14; Bill Moseley (St. Paul), Mali, 1987-89; Charles Stander (St. Paul), Korea, 1971-73; Rachel Welch (Minneapolis), Morocco, 2002-03; Patrick O'Leary (St. Paul), Sierra Leone, 1967-68; Arie Kroeger (St. Paul), Morocco, 2012-14, and Kate Gray (St. Paul), Morocco, 2012-14.


Your alternative, please?

Here we go, another session and six years later we have the 61st repeal of Obamacare ("Repeal of health law destined for a veto," Jan. 7). But one fact remains: Republicans in Congress still have no viable "plan B." Speaker Paul Ryan tells us "just wait" — obviously they have no plan. Meanwhile, real work needs to be done for this country, and they keep beating this subject to death.

Randy Sainio, New Hope

What's the message, exactly?

A former school board member finds it offensive that parents of color can't send their children to segregated schools ("School integration proposal draws opposition," Jan. 7). The president of an NAACP chapter sends her child to a segregated school that "meets her educational and cultural needs." However, a member of the St. Paul NAACP wants more than lip service on integration efforts. As usual, I guess it is up to the rest of us to close that achievement gap. No leadership here.

James M. Becker, Lakeville