Upon reading and re-reading Tim Culpan's sophomoric commentary "Yes, what the world needs now is more moonshots" (Sept. 9), I could not grasp if he was being serious, facetious, lacking basic ethical and broad-based perspectives, or a combination of all of the above.
What the world needs now is not more budget-busting, wasteful competitive landings on the moon, but increased, cooperative efforts to deal with interconnected challenges here on earth, such as the climate crisis and its disastrous effects, pandemics, poverty and refugees, as well as our own outrageously bloated military budget with fleecing cost overruns caused by profiteering weapons contractors satisfying endless wars.
Space explorations have of course provided some measure of beneficial scientific, technological breakthroughs; we need, however, to reorient our priorities and values. To this end, the United Nations could be helpful if given more authority to emphasize peaceful, world citizenry.
Kai Laybourn, Bloomington
In the push ahead, don't forget charity
It really makes me angry to see the DFL planning to push sports gambling and make the tribes a partner in the endeavor (front page, Sept. 11). Just this past session the DFL restricted charitable gambling by, among other things, eliminating the ability to have progressive, bonus or spin games available. That was at the behest of the tribes worried about casino revenue.
I really have no issue with the partnership proposals or sports betting being allowed. I take issue with the people pushing this taking money out of the pockets of charitable gambling organizations and sites that partner with them to raise money for charitable donating. Charitable gambling carried the obligations for the Vikings stadium on its back and got it paid off early. With that accomplished the state then took away some of the ability to raise money for charitable causes.
Let's work together on this. When sports betting is approved and the state and tribes get to make more money, also rescind the restrictions on e-games and let charitable nonprofit gambling operations continue to maximize donations in their communities.
Gerald Feucht, McGregor, Minn.
The writer is a former charitable gambling manager.
HEALTH CLUB MEMBERSHIPS
Life Time is reasonable on Medicare rules
As an older person who is a regular member of Life Time (not on Medicare yet), I am surprised by the seemingly entitled attitudes some people have expressed in regard to a premium health club membership that Medicare insurance companies are purchasing at a discounted rate on their behalf ("Life Time limits access for Medicare seniors," Sept. 8).
For Life Time to limit hours for those people on Medicare fitness programs to non-peak times is a reasonable requirement, especially if it allows the company to maintain its participation in these programs. (It's relevant to note that at least one area Life Time has a waiting list for any type of memberships — regular memberships and Medicare-related). Additionally, offering anytime access by charging a flex fee that is significantly less than regular membership dues is more than reasonable.
Life Time has fully embraced senior-specific programming by creating its Arora program, which offers an array of free classes for older people of all abilities and fitness levels.
Life Time is a top tier fitness center that focuses on holistic wellness for all ages. If I'm able to be a member through Silver Sneakers or a similar program once eligible, I will count myself as extremely fortunate.
Helen LaFave, Minneapolis
MINNEAPOLIS CITY COUNCIL
The state of things in the Second and 13th Wards
As of this writing, Minneapolis City Council Member Robin Wonsley still has not provided a shred of evidence to support her accusations of Mayor Jacob Frey and his supposed Chicago-style politics ("Wonsley should recant Frey claims," editorial, Sept. 8). Nor has there been a retraction or even an apology.
I decided to spend six minutes and 29 seconds I'll never get back listening to Wonsley's interview on Unicorn Riot. I'll note that there were several f-bombs. I've been told Ms. Wonsley is quite intelligent, and perhaps she is, but my experience with smart people is their vocabularies are well-developed and frequent injection of profanity is not necessary.
Besides her outrageous and unfounded allegations toward the mayor, there was more in the interview to show Wonsley's unfitness for office. She didn't know the actual population of the city. She thought the rent control charter amendment required the passage of a rent control ordinance. (It did not — it only authorized such an ordinance. The City Council, exercising good judgment, asked the city to undertake a study. The study came back and said strict 3% rent control isn't a very good idea.) She also seems to think a 3% annual limit on rents is better than the 1% annual increases we are actually experiencing — best in the nation, as it happens. Actually it is worse; the experience of other cities shows that a limit also becomes a floor; the 3% increases will be taken even when not needed.
The Second Ward has produced some exceptional council members. Now it is represented by an ideologue who doesn't even know the basics of governance.
Yet she is running for re-election unopposed.
David J. Therkelsen, Minneapolis
The confused rationale of one of the challengers in Minneapolis' 13th Ward City Council race for trying to unseat our pragmatic council member, Linea Palmisano, is not compelling ("Why a City Hall clash of moderates matters," by Kate Mortenson, Sept. 8).
Palmisano has been a strong and independent voice on the council for 10 years. She stands up for what's right, even if it means she has to stand alone. In 2020, when nine of her colleagues demanded at Powderhorn Park that Minneapolis abolish its police, Palmisano showed up to present an opposing viewpoint — one that was eventually supported by a large majority of Minneapolis voters in 2021.
Last month, Palmisano took a lone vote against permanently eliminating the current Third Precinct police headquarters site from future consideration for a safety facility. Last week, the council could not settle on a temporary location, and therefore is sending the issue back to committee. Palmisano's position allowed for all options to be on the table.
We agree that Minneapolis City Hall does not adequately prioritize city services such as snow removal. But that is one of the many reasons we support Palmisano. She responds quickly to constituent concerns from safety to street maintenance and emphasizes the importance of these services at City Hall.
Council Vice President Palmisano works with Mayor Frey to unite a council majority to make the city work. The 13th Ward challenger appears to share many of the same goals for the city that we do. Our experience tells us that these goals would benefit from electing more council members like Linea Palmisano, not unseating our best advocate.
This letter was submitted on behalf of the following residents of the 13th Ward in Minneapolis: Julie Wicklund, Teresa Coryell House, Catherine Shreves, Lisa McDonald and Dylan McMahon.
MAKE PEACE WITH DEATH
And make your plans
With regard to Jeremy Norton's Sept. 9 commentary "To live more fully, let's make peace with death": I am a 93-year-old woman who has had a "funeral file" for years. In it are the friends to call, the service and my obit, which my daughter helped me write. I also have a list of my personal items and who they go to.
Folks remember that old saying "you can't get out of this world alive." With such preparation, you will be providing your family the greatest stress-free management of affairs possible. Please do it now no matter how old you are.
Patty Handler, Edina