I was born and raised in the “rocks and cows” part of the state. I graduated from a “rocks and cows” college we affectionately called Moo U. I’m a Vietnam veteran and am proud of those “19-year-old cooks” who faithfully defend our freedom.
My wife and I owned and operated a restaurant and catering service for almost 44 years. We survived inflation, recession, road construction and bad-weather days. We worked hard and made a decent living. We just recently retired.
We had an overhead of $170 every day we operated in the last year we owned it. That means we had theses expenses no matter if we were open or not. That translates to about $5,100 per month, $62,000 per year.
I don’t think we could have survived this shutdown. You can’t pay all these bars and restaurants enough money to keep them whole. The governor didn’t have a plan to do so and still doesn’t.
I hear him say again and again that he is following the science and the data. Governor, the science is inexact, and so is the data.
First of all, not all people who had COVID are surveyed. As far as tracing is concerned, how many went shopping to a big box store? How many used the restroom there or at a gas station or some other place? Were they questioned about the conditions about where they work? Were they at a demonstration? Were they at a casino or an airport? Are nursing homes heated or air-conditioned with one unit or for each room?
He is going after and fining and closing places that are opening against his orders, yet a person can destroy government property by pulling a statue down costing thousands of dollars if it were to be restored and get sentenced to community service.
The governor needs some more guidance when making decisions about closing small businesses.
Larry Miller, Howard Lake
Reporter Mara Gottfried did a good job of citing the criminal justice systems’ failure in the case of the “caretaker” on Rice Sreet involved in the 2-year-old’s death.
The article adjacent to that story was about Glenn Lee Burton, who is charged with killing Todd Gerleman. I wish the Pioneer Press would’ve gone over his criminal record the same way.
There would probably be another city council person implying that the proliferation of guns available to people like Burton made the death of Mr. Gerleman inevitable, and ignoring the fact that perhaps the accused killer should’ve been sitting in prison instead of wreaking havoc on what have become the mean streets of St. Paul.
Thomas P. Collins, Little Canada
Encouraging and disturbing
The recent article by a young Muslim woman was both encouraging and disturbing (“A single story can’t contain us,” Dec. 24). It is disturbing that someone so young (anyone, for that matter) should be subjected to such behavior as she mentioned, yet encouraging to read her articulate and responsible reaction.
I understand the charge of unfairness in the media, whether concerning Muslims or any other grouping, religious, social or political. It seems to be an easy practice to derive superficial linkages using “facts,” and then make sweeping statements, or at the least let the reader be led toward the inescapable (and desired) conclusion. For example, what might the commonalities be between certain terrorists and Muslims? The name, the book, the mosque, for example. Hence, let the reader beware … No substantiation needed, no nuance required. The result is a caricature that gets elevated to the level of truth.
Yet the author seems to indulge the same habit. Her statement that “anti-Muslim hate crimes were at an all-time high in 2016, the same year that … Trump was elected…” shows a linkage of two facts without substantiation. She could have just as easily written, “anti-Muslim hate crimes were at an all-time high in 2016, the last year of the Obama administration.” And the fact of 2017 hate crimes against all religions (Muslim hate crimes decreased 17% from the 2016 number) could have been linked not to the “Muslim ban” on travel but to the start of the Trump administration’s Mideast peace initiative. Each sentence contains facts, yet different messages are conveyed, depending upon which facts are chosen, and how they’re formulated and linked.
Granted, the article is in the opinion section. But that shouldn’t mean that anything goes. Opinions should at the least present to readers a reasoned approach to existing challenges, not merely move people into fragmented and isolated camps. My hope is that the author, and others of her generation, would not learn the habits that have invited distrust of our present media, but instead work to rebuild public trust. Her recent article was in many ways an excellent start.
Jim Nash, White Bear Lake
What’s the plan?
I called my doctor’s office to inquire how the vaccine for Covid would be dispersed. They said that is all under the governor’s control and they have not heard if they will be included. I would think that a plan is long overdue and it would seem to me there should be a plan and information forthcoming.
There are thousands of doctors’ clinics or offices in Minnesota and most if not all have people qualified to vaccinate. That is also where accurate records are kept. I have been receiving my flu shot there for years now and that would be a very efficient way to cover all of the population and in the correct order of dispersal.
Tom Kapsner, White Bear Lake
We are divided but can’t we just get along anyway? Or are some people bent on destruction? Like Attorney General Ellison or Gov. Walz? Businesses large and small have endured the worst of the Covid-inspired lockdowns – including single-mother restaurant owners. Many have permanently closed; many are just hanging on.
By contrast, most workers in the AG’s and governor’s office can work remotely and do not have to experience a pay stoppage or cut, while service providers and their employees are forced into unemployment lines and food shelves to beg. More sympathy and appreciation for their sacrifice instead of excessive enforcement, fines and jail time would sure go a long way to lessen the divide.
If we all must sacrifice to stop Covid, then shouldn’t leaders take the lead and make a much larger financial sacrifice, AG Ellison and Gov Walz?
Linda Stanton, Woodbury
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