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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 spent a lifetime in printing and publishing, mostly in educational materials. I don't want my daily newspaper to go away (″Eight more community newspapers soon will vanish," Opinion Exchange, April 10). I'm not going to sit on my computer chair in front of a screen and try to find everything I want to read. It's inconvenient, time-consuming, not user-friendly and it doesn't have the "meat" my daily has. We watched my wife's hometown of Duluth lose its daily newspaper as Forum Communications from North Dakota forced people on to online. They print the paper twice a week.

I do disagree with the idea of the government paying for our news. No. If communities want papers, their citizens and businesses must find a way to keep the papers alive. Our government cannot bail out every losing business in America. It's up to us. If we want a paper, subscribe. If we own a business, advertise. Charge affordable amounts so whole communities can afford to subscribe. The future of newsprint is up to us.

Jerry Carroll, Roseville


Excellent commentary by newspaper man Reed Anfinson outlining the harm to Minnesota communities and democracy with the loss of our local newspapers. We are fortunate to be able to see the documentary, "Stripped for Parts: American Journalism on the Brink," at our Minneapolis-St. Paul international Film Festival at the Main Cinema on April 16 at 7 p.m. or April 18 at 12:10 p.m.

Learn how investment firm Alden Global Capital buys up Minnesota newspapers and newspapers around the country, then purposefully dismantles them, creating a void for fake news and special, corporate and political interests to fill. Citizens' participation must push our state and federal governments to protect the financial sustainability of our community newspapers and promote an informed electorate. Democracy is at a crossroads.

Julie Holmen, Minneapolis


Running from a damning descriptor

Holy guacamole, gadzooks and shut the front door — what is it about that one three-letter word that seems so loaded, so right-on, so apparently scary that the press has to use — even create — euphemisms to use instead in an effort to soften its meaning?! The word? "Lie," a noun defined as a false statement made with the deliberate intent to deceive. "Liar," the person who tells the lies. And in the minds of many, the No. 1 liar in our country is the man we once entrusted to run our democracy, former President Donald J. Trump. The press is clearly no friend of Trump's, but for reasons I have yet to understand, it is afraid to use the "L" word. In one article alone in Wednesday's paper ("Poll: More in GOP now believe Trump's provable lies," April 10) his lies were referred to as "fictions, misleading claims, wild exaggerations, lies" — score! — "untruths," "falsehoods," "false claims," "misleading statements" and "ludicrous" claims.

Why can't they just say it like it is: the guy lies. A lot! Or ... are we ready to set a new precedent? Next time you ask your child if she lied when you asked if she took money from your wallet, you accept her claim that, "No, Mommy, it was simply a misleading statement."

Caryn Schall, Minnetonka


Why does someone lie? Most commonly it is for personal benefit or to avoid consequences. Trump sees the world as made of winners and losers, and he desperately needs to be seen as a winner. What he cherishes most is his brand, fame and fortune. He cannot tolerate any threat to such. Losing and not being seen as the best is to be avoided at any cost. As the article "Poll: More in GOP now believe Trump's provable lies" reports, however, since achieving the presidency, Trump has chronically spewed misinformation, disinformation and lies. He masterfully taught his followers to ignore mainstream media, calling it fake news. The media that supports Trump does not call out his misleading information and lies. I would argue that the mainstream media has fallen down on this as well. In the Bob Woodward's book "Fear," Trump's personal lawyer, Dowd, recognized him as a chronic liar and resigned because of it.

After Jan. 6, 2021, Sen. Mitt Romney pleaded with the GOP to tell the truth. But only a few briefly called Trump out before quickly closing ranks and providing unflinching, uncritical support. Why would this be? It seems it was lust for power at any cost. But power based on misinformation and lies seems like a really bad deal for America, doesn't it? Like a crushing blow to true democracy? Yet the GOP continues to fan the flames of Trump and professes to be honored to support him. I can't recall a more desperate state for America to be in. Trump's behavior appears primarily to regain power and maintain his name, brand and fortune. With Trump as the savior to so many, it seems obvious why the polarization is so deep.

Bruce Hermansen, Apple Valley


Dashboard screens can distract, but so can fiddling with those dials

When we bought an electric vehicle eight years ago, I was a little concerned about using that centralized touch screen for controls ("Dashboard screens add to distraction," reprinted editorial from the Los Angeles Times, April 8). But I quickly learned to use it, just like I learned to transition to a push-button phone, a computer mouse and "pinching" the screen on a cellphone.

Over those eight years, new "buttons" have been added, and existing ones moved to be more convenient, through over-the-air updates. Not confusing — instead, the screen gets better to navigate with each update. No previous car that I have owned has ever had buttons, levers or dials added after purchasing it, but many of those hardware components have stopped working over the years, needing repairs.

Last month we bought a new EV, which has even more controls on the screen. It started raining on the drive home. I had not yet learned how to turn on the windshield wipers and had not enabled the auto-sensing feature of the wipers. So, I pressed the voice control button on the steering wheel, without taking my eyes off the road and said, "Turn on windshield wipers." The wipers started and cleared the windshield. This was a much better experience compared to years ago, when I was driving a rental car in a rainstorm on a New York City expressway and inadvertently put the car in neutral trying to turn on the wipers … because I used the wrong stalk.

Our new EV came with a month of supervised self-driving. In this mode, the car has its "eyes" on the road for 360 degrees (better than my one direction at a time) and negates the need for a turn signal lever as it will turn on the indicators as needed. While I don't think it is quite there yet, it will not be long before we don't need any controls except the huge, center-mounted screen — and this includes the steering wheel!

I think the real distraction when driving is people taking their eyes off the road to look down at cellphones in their hands or laps, but that is another letter. Now, where is that buggy whip holder on my new car … ?

Paul Davis, Woodbury