Letters: A new Highway 36? Danger in Lake Elmo

21August 2021

A safety issue on Highway 36

Last Sunday’s cover story (“A new Highway 36 emerges“) focused on the impacts to businesses as MN36 transitions to a highway.  This focus, while relevant, left out a very important topic — safety.

For most of the 22 miles between Minneapolis and Stillwater, 36 functions like a highway, with overpasses, acceleration and deceleration lanes, and controlled access. In Lake Elmo, where there is no frontage road, significant challenges emerge that will not be resolved in any plan I have seen in my communications with MnDOT. Residential and business driveways enter directly onto a 65 mph highway.  A busy arterial street (Keats Avenue) has a stop sign, with no acceleration lane, where hundreds of cars every day attempt to go from stopped to 65 mph to enter the increasingly busy flow of traffic. School buses, teenagers, people towing trailers, and the membership at Rock Point Church (among many others) brave this dangerous intersection in all weather conditions despite the obvious need for improvement.

MNDOT has plans to repave and improve a 12 mile stretch of 36 from Edgerton Street to Greeley Street starting next summer, but they have no plans to address the known safety issues at Keats and 36. They will simply repave the highway where it intersects Keats. The MNDOT project manager has acknowledged the safety issues at this intersection and has has attempted to secure funding to correct them without success. His proposed “solution” is to use the shoulder as a merge lane(!), despite the fact that the road striping clearly shows it is not an acceleration lane.

I fear that this issue will only be addressed after someone gets seriously hurt, or worse.

Officials from the city, county transportation planners, MNDOT leaders, as well as Sen. Housely and Rep. Christensen should try to use this intersection on any busy day, and then get to work to find a way to fix it.

John Ames, Lake Elmo

Biden’s bromides

As a supporter of President Biden, I was appalled by his address on the Afghanistan crisis.

He spent most of it reiterating bromides about the reasons for the troop withdrawal, which a large majority of the public supports; blaming nearly everyone he could find, foreign and domestic; making barely a passing afterthought praising the American troops; and offering no explanation at all for the unanticipated, humiliating, chaotic debacle unfolding now with the Taliban taking over that country after he assured the public last month that such an event was “highly unlikely.”

Not only did the president and his administration fail to prepare for what’s happening there, but he and his staff did not prepare well for his explanation of why it’s occurring.

Marshall H. Tanick, Minneapolis


In 1975 we chaotically left Saigon, leaving behind many who depended on the United States for safety and security. We lost so many good men and women who fought for what we stood for, that shining light on a hill. Fran, a graduate of Brown University, was a student I taught to fly fighter aircraft. When his plane was shot down he bailed out at 14,000 feet but his chute never opened. Jerry was a POW for 7½ years, enduring the criminal treatment of the Viet Cong. There were so many more.

Now, as these United States departed Kabul, we cried for the lives lost fighting for the past 20 years and for those who risked everything helping us but are ignored. We cannot be convinced that this was the right decision. Nor is it right to neglect our southern borders where hordes of people come across unvetted, so many with the COVID virus, with drugs and criminal records.

What will we do if China attacks Taiwan? Where has all the reason gone?

Terry and Margaret Flower, Hastings

The carnage lobby

Neo-neocon hysteria about the fall of Kabul leaves me scratching my head. Do they mean to re-invade Afghanistan?  Or first Vietnam?

These two defeats share one lesson. America loses wars utterly without consequence to our national security. We used to have a War Department that saw to our defense. Now we have a Defense Department waging war to wage war.

Our military takes orders from politicians, who in turn lead/follow a public indoctrinated by romanticized history texts and the false reality of motion pictures. We subscribe to a warrior culture having nothing to do with Founding principles. It is arrayed against no compelling enemy threat.

Our preparedness serves a permanent enterprise of war profiteering. The profiteers used to arise only generationally, for the length of the war. They rely on two “competing” parties, one too generous with other people’s money, the other with other people’s lives.

Think about Afghanistan, by all means. But the thinking that got us into Afghanistan should be shamed from the exchange of ideas.  (At least until the next war of opportunity presents itself to the carnage lobby.)

M. Warner, Minneapolis

The comic tells the tale

On Aug. 17 there was a Bizarro comic that is so true today regarding the mainstream media, ie: CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, NBC.

The comic showed management telling his employee the following. “As long as I’m still running this network, you’ll distort the news the way I tell you to.”

The truth comes out in a comic. The above media have and continue to distort news. They misrepresented President Trump, they are ignoring the Mexican border crisis, they said the 2020 riots were peaceful, and they have not reported anything on Hunter Biden’s computer and shenanigans. My list could go on and on.

The people who voted for Biden were duped big time by the media. Look at the mess Biden is making of the USA and now currently Afghanistan. Biden is feckless and should never have been elected.

Allison Huiras, St. Paul

Gray zone

The human eye contains over 120 million nerve cells in the retina, rods and cones capable of discerning about 100 shades of gray and over one million colors. Why, then, do we so often reduce social and political issues to black and white?

Is it because we are locked into a two-party system, Democrats vs. Republicans?

Is it because television and radio ‘news’ sources have morphed into entertainment venues that spoon-feed us only one side of controversial issues because they are more concerned about advertising revenue than impartial reporting?

Is it because we are not taught in school to think critically about the news we receive or to question the sources of those news stories?

Is it because we don’t feel empowered to do anything about politics or social issues anyway, so why bother expending energy sussing out the nuances of any story?

Is it because we are afraid to challenge the opinions of our friends and family?

Is it all of the above?

CAUTION:  You’ve just crossed over into the gray zone.

See how that works?

John Crea, St. Paul

No joy in Mailville

De Joy is not with us.

De Sadness is with us!

For 25 years we have had great postal service in Eagan.

Over the past half year, mail, when it arrives, can be as late as after dark.

Saturdays have become one or two advertising brochures.

Mail sent from neighboring cities can take a week or more.

Some days we don’t get any mail at all, which is very rare for us.

I only hope the Postal Board of Governors take notice, and act.

We would like real joy once again, and not what DeJoy has given us.

Sharon Miller, Eagan

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