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In response to the Feb. 18 editorial (“Save smiling tower”) to the city of Freeport — message received loud and clear!

We sincerely thank you for sharing a heartfelt interest in our unique “smiley water tower.” Your eloquently written piece was well-received by many. The “world needs more smiles, not fewer” in an increasingly polarized world of “politics and social media,” resonated with residents and I-94 travelers far and wide. We have closely read many of the comments on the various message boards about what our piece of Americana brings to everyone who has seen our century-old tower. While there will always be differing opinions about what we should do for the tower, we have listened to, and learned from, other communities that have lost their own water towers as cultural landmarks. In outstate Minnesota, the many churches and water towers that dot the skylines act as the wayside markers for travelers. The time for us to act is now. While we do need to wait for the spring weather to have our updated study completed on the integrity and paint coatings of the structure, we have already put into action the efforts needed to save the tower. Work to secure donations from our local partners has been successful to assist in the preservation effort.

Additional donations are being accepted and are welcomed by all. Thanks to our Freeport Chamber of Commerce, those donations can be mailed to: Freeport Preservation Committee, Attn: Save the Smile, PO Box 162, Freeport, MN 56331. They can also be mailed or delivered to the Freeport State Bank. We have established a GoFundMe page ( and it is linked to the Freeport Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page. Please “like” the Freeport Chamber’s Facebook page for further updates on ways to give at

Mayor Mike Eveslage, Freeport, Minn.


Why I’m voting for Klobuchar, even though she won’t be the nominee

I plan to vote for Sen. Amy Klobuchar on Tuesday, but not because I think she is the likely presidential nominee. Let me explain: At this admittedly early stage, it appears that Sen. Bernie Sanders will reach a plurality, but probably not a majority of Democratic Party delegates. That means a brokered convention, with likely two candidates splitting the ticket. Here are possibilities among the most viable candidates:

1. Joe Biden or Mike Bloomberg with Klobuchar or Pete Buttigieg or Elizabeth Warren, or any other such combination. I think all these scenarios fail if Sanders is the plurality vote-getter. Notwithstanding that after a first vote failing to find a majority presidential candidate, delegates are free to cast votes as they wish, there will be great pressure to put Sanders on the ballot, if only because his followers might not even bother to vote if he is not, which would turn into a likely President Donald Trump win.

2. Biden with Sanders or Sanders with Biden. Swap in Bloomberg for Biden if you want. Still not a viable scenario. None would want to be vice president.

3. Sanders with Warren. Our two most liberal candidates on the ballot? Not going to happen, and would be a rout for Trump.

4. Sanders with Buttigieg. An interesting thought, but I think most people who are worried about Sanders’s age and health would have trouble with a vice president with such little experience.

That leaves us with Sanders with Klobuchar. Amy has her faults, as do all the other candidates, but she would be both a moderating influence and provide valuable experience should Sanders have health issues. She would be best able to get things done in Washington, complementing (and tempering) Sanders’s more aspirational qualities. And she would help shore up the Midwestern “blue wall” to thwart a Trump victory in the electoral college. Our vote for her here demonstrates that ability, as well as providing her with more delegates to achieve a vice president nomination.

Of course I might be wrong about all of this. Amy might just get the presidential nomination. But then again, I’ll have voted for her.

Douglas Johnson, Minnetonka

• • •

Though Minnesota’s own Sen. Klobuchar is still in the presidential race, our household will be voting for Mike Bloomberg in Tuesday’s primary. Here’s why.

Bloomberg has long been a strong advocate and leader in major issues that face our nation: climate change and protecting our environment, gun safety, providing education and opportunity to succeed for all people, and making health care affordable and accessible to all.

Is he perfect? Who among us can make that claim? All the Democratic candidates have some issues that might make them vulnerable in the general election (and Trump has his own very, very long list), but Bloomberg demonstrates that he learns from his mistakes. He is teachable; he changes course if a policy is shown to be wrongheaded. He seeks reconciliation and moves forward. He has demonstrated this even in the course of this campaign.

Bloomberg’s campaign slogan is that he gets things done, and I believe he will. He possesses tenacity and courage that helped him rise from modest means to become an ultrasuccessful businessman. He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth like the current occupant of the White House. He works hard, builds coalitions, fosters leadership in those around him, and strives to lift others up to be successful themselves.

Louis Asher, Vadnais Heights


Reaching equity involves change

I am writing in appreciation for the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) redesign and the changes that will result for our family (“How Minneapolis might reshape its school district,” Feb. 9). I am a white mother of a white child in south Minneapolis. I am also an educational psychologist and have been part of equity initiatives within my south metro district. From my perspective, the lack of racial, cultural and socioeconomic diversity at my son’s school is troubling, as is knowing that our students of color are achieving below their white peers. While the achievement gap is not specific to MPS, we cannot continue to tolerate it while insisting that we value all students.

Research indicates that integrated schools provide more effective learning environments for students of color and white students, and I have witnessed this turnaround within several magnet schools where I work. All students achieve and develop to higher levels within diverse environments with quality teachers, positive relationships and high expectations. I believe the comprehensive district plan is a step in the direction of systemic change and a balancing of resources. I want this for all children, and I prioritize the students who have been left behind by our district.

We cannot support equity in theory but raise our voices in opposition when it requires us to accommodate changes. The imbalance has always tipped in our favor, and it’s time to take our thumbs off the scale. We must move forward for all students and families; this begins with those who have benefited the very least within our district.

Jessica Hoida, Minneapolis


Is Big Pharma good or bad? I can’t remember.

Do you remember a few months ago how everyone hated pharmaceutical companies? Boy did we hate them because of opioids! But that hate has turned to love. Will you save us from the dreaded virus? Now that we need you of course. After you come up with a vaccine, we’ll be all over your back again; we have short memories. It’s all about “What have you done for me lately?”

Edward McHugh, East Bethel

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