The July 19 article about wakeboarding ("Making waves") did not adequately describe the downside of the practice. If you are located on the shoreline near where surfers are repeatedly going back and forth wave-bombing you, it's awful. If you live in a protected cove or such, you may not realize what your neighbors have to endure — like waves that bowl over kids playing in shallow water, soil erosion that kills trees, damage to moored boats and docks, loons abandoning their eggs and nests, and the incredibly loud music. Lakeshore owners and associations need to band together to help control this.
Most of these wave problems are already illegal, but hard to enforce. Focusing new laws on the distance from shore as a measure of how bad the waves are may not help much. The reason is that these boats are highly engineered to create "perfect waves," which carry on quietly across the lake with remarkably little deterioration for easily 1,000 feet! A 300-foot limit may not be sufficient.
I recommend that legislators consider banning or limiting the use of the ballast tanks these boats use. These tanks hold hundreds of gallons of water to sink the stern and make higher waves. Also, emptying and refilling them with lake water risks spreading aquatic invasive species from lake to lake. These tanks are the difference between wake boats and all others that makes them so destructive. Perhaps research and legislation on the use of the ballast tanks would be most effective.
John Graber, Minneapolis
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To add to the information in the wakeboarding article, as residents on a small lake in a northern suburb we have experienced the safety and shoreline erosion concerns caused by the massive wakes created by wakeboard boats. The size of their wake capsizes kayaks, paddle boards and canoes and makes fishing and pontooning a rock 'n' roll adventure.
Wakeboard boats are very expensive, and their effect is to allow their privileged owners to access the lake while effectively limiting other lake users because the wake size threatens their safety. Added to the safety concern is the immense shoreline erosion caused by these massive wakes. Wake boats may be fun for a very few, but the reality is that they greatly affect lake usage by many others while impacting the lake environment.
Debra and Wayne Eck, New Brighton
FIFTH DISTRICT RACE
Let's have a rule about where the campaign money can come from
The July 19 article regarding Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District's upcoming primary ("Primary will test Omar's 1st term") noted that "millions of dollars from all over the country" are flowing into the district. I find this very problematic, and I do not feel it is right for anyone other than Fifth District residents to be having a say in the race. While it may concern others, they do not live there.
A good step toward voting reform would be to allow campaign contributions to come only from those who can vote for you. Or, put another way, a person can contribute only to a candidate who will be on their ballot. I should not be allowed to donate money to, say, a Senate candidate in Kentucky if I live in Minnesota. They do not represent me. Whoever wins the primary and likely goes on to be the representative of the Fifth District should go to Washington for the people of their district, and nobody else. Or at least that is the way it is supposed to be.
Chris Bradshaw, Columbus
THE COST OF REBUILDING
An out-of-towner sees Minneapolis only as he wishes to see it
Leave it to someone from Edina to care less about what happens in Minneapolis ("No federal aid? Good. This chaos was all on you, Minneapolitans," Readers Write, July 19). The writer is accurate to say that the damage was not caused by a natural disaster. That was as far as it goes. The state has its part in the terror the Third Precinct inflicts. The state's citizens were the majority of looters and destroyers, not the city's. And this last one is important: Minneapolis is the state's economic engine, not its drain. Why are you so intent on destroying it? Because it doesn't meet your political vision?
Susan Bloyer, St. Louis Park
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM
Would well-off private schools kindly return the money?
A July 20 article reported on how various organizations had received Paycheck Protection Program grants for use in their organizations. One company, 75F, had decided to return the $600,000 that had been awarded to it. The president and board felt that since they had just received $18 million in growth capital, it was incorrect to receive the grant.
The same article mentioned that two private schools, Breck and Blake, each had received $5 million from their grant requests. Both are among the more elite private schools in the state. It would appear that the students who attend these schools come from well-established families with the financial resources to pay for the student expenses of the school.
From information on the schools' websites, many of the personnel on their boards have high-level positions and may have knowledge of what it takes to obtain grants as well as the resources to better complete the application process.
Many if not all private and public schools in the state are struggling right now, not only with how to set up education plans for the future due to the coronavirus but also with having the financial resources to pay for the education.
The board and leadership of 75F saw that it was correct to return the grant to the federal government. My recommendation is that the boards and leadership of both Breck and Blake do the same. How about it?
Rich Gruenhagen, Chaska
STYLE AND USAGE
Uppercase 'Black' but lowercase 'brown'? That's half a good decision
First off, let me say I am white. And, privileged. I have watched as events have unfolded in Minneapolis and around the country since the death of George Floyd. It has been concerning to me.
A Sunday news article " Primary will test Omar's first term," speaks about the challenges the first-term congresswoman faces in her Fifth Congressional District battle.
My concern falls on page two of the story (paragraph five). It refers to a statement by Omar's challenger, Antone Melton-Meaux: "That's Black and brown folks, that [sic] immigrants, that's union workers."
The Star Tribune has professed a need to change black to Black in your pages since Floyd's death, which is commendable (editor's note, July 2). However, why does a group that also is oppressed, Hispanics, just get the designation of "brown"? No caps?
You can't pick winners or losers. You have to treat all afflicted groups by the same metrics on your newspaper pages.
Don Leathers, Austin, Minn.