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A variety of pros and cons can be discussed in response to Timothy Taylor’s “76 Theses on American Patriotism” (July 3). Having narrowly escaped an attack on democracy unleashed by the kakistocracy of the Trump administration, we can be grateful for the patriotic duty of the Jan. 6 Special Committee that transcended the usual ideological barriers.
Let’s keep in mind the growing importance placed on a well-educated population, especially in light of the crucial upcoming elections in November. It involves developing a healthy dose of humility as opposed to a superficial belief that our country is endowed with some form of exceptional manifest destiny.
Kai Labourn, Bloomington
Taylor comes across as a smooth snarl. Like others of his tribe, he is usually right.
Mark Warner, Minneapolis
I was thrilled to read the July 3 article on Hennepin County’s progress in reducing homelessness (“In Homelessness Data, A Sense of Hope”). Congratulations to the department for the progress made in this area. But I fear that a hidden form of homelessness is not taken into account.
I volunteer for a non-profit organization that serves Richfield, Bloomington, Edina, and parts of Minneapolis with food and other social services. It is my responsibility to register and verify the number of people living in a given household who seek our services.
What I have noticed over the past month is a tremendous growth in the number of people in many households. Typically, this happens when a family loses their home and another family member takes them into their home. The result is significant overcrowding. It’s not uncommon for me to find up to 12 people, including many children, sharing a two-bedroom apartment. Obviously, landlords are either unaware of these situations (which are surely against municipal occupancy codes) or they turn a blind eye to this overcrowding out of compassion for tenants and their families.
Yes, the families evicted from their old homes are not on the streets or in a shelter. They do, however, live in extremely precarious situations that can lead to physical danger and lead to adverse health conditions, especially in these times of COVID. But I still wonder if Hennepin County has any idea how many people are living in these conditions and if they were counted among the homeless – because really, they are just that: homeless in them.
It is worth contemplating the reported dramatic decline in homelessness, one of our society’s most intractable problems. The recent one-day homelessness count is the lowest in 17 years in Hennepin County. In the first five months of this year, county staff helped 860 people move into permanent housing. The number of homeless veterans is at very low levels throughout Minnesota.
This is remarkable progress, and it is thanks to our government. Hennepin County Commissioners and state agencies provided leadership, and experienced public sector employees worked effectively on the front lines of the daily struggle to tailor solutions to individual needs, “person by person.” Their work has been facilitated by the allocation of substantial taxpayer funding, allowing them to hire dedicated staff, convert hotels into single-occupancy accommodation and develop additional low-cost housing options.
It demonstrates that when there is leadership backed by resources, our government can make progress on even the toughest issues facing our communities. There will always be homelessness, but we can, as the county’s Housing Stability Director said, “make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring.”
Steven S. Foldes, St. Louis Park
FOOD PRICE INFLATION
The June 30 article “General Mills Profits Soar” described recent food price inflation in grocery stores. General Mills, like other food manufacturing companies, saw increased sales and profits despite selling less food. How can a food manufacturing company boast of raising prices while increasing profits when so many people in our communities, state and country face food insecurity?
Food insecurity occurs when people do not have access to sufficient and nutritious amounts of affordable food. Rising consumer food prices are hurting local food shelves and food-insecure families. Local food aisles are experiencing a decrease in the amount of food given to them, meaning fewer families can use their services to receive food.
A critical question I have is, what steps are General Mills or other food manufacturing companies taking to reduce food insecurity in their communities?
My challenge to you is to consider the steps you can take to reduce food insecurity in your community and in our great state of Minnesota.
Curt Brown’s story about Robert Wilson (“Learning From His Father’s Past,” Minnesota History, July 3) was an interesting read. However, there is a palpable sense of glorification of essentially impulsive and reckless acts by a person who breaks the law. Somehow, criminal activity that has endangered the lives of police officers and citizens seems to be romanticized and portrayed as the acts of a “crooked suspect”. Although the circumstances are unrelated, one cannot help but think of all the cases where people of color have been killed or severely punished for minor offences.
Rakesh John, Inver Grove Heights
In Dennis Anderson’s July 3 column “How Vague, There’s Movement in the Wolf Plan,” he states that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ wolf management plan “says, essentially, that at As Minnesota urbanizes and more people take to wild creatures from television and the internet, the Disneyesque practice of anthropomorphizing wildlife will become more prevalent.” It’s a way of dismissing those legitimately concerned about killing wolves for sport and trapping them for their fur After reading the wolf management plan, I found no evidence that the DNR has such a derogatory view of wolf advocates .
But justifying such murder with the statement that “[m]maintaining the stability of wild animal populations while allowing regulated harvest is the backbone of modern wildlife management,” he underlines the anthropocentric nature of “modern” wildlife exploitation. and the recreational interests of people who hunt and trap.
He reinforces this human-centered view by noting that deer hunters and deer camp owners in northern Minnesota “have been and continue to be affected by a wolf population that 50 years ago was n was only a fraction of its current size. Then he goes on to blame wolves and bear predation for the declining moose population. In reality, habitat encroachment, climate change, winter tick infestations, brainworm infections transmitted by hardier white-tailed deer, as well as chronic wasting disease, likely exacerbated by practices” modern” wildlife management aimed at increasing white-tailed deer numbers as well as deer ranching, are factors that contribute to low moose viability.
Anderson’s attitude towards wolves needs a reality check. As my own research and that of others on the behavior, development and communication of wolves has revealed, they are very intelligent and empathetic animals and they need to be protected from those who manifestly lack such qualities and view them as “critters” and a natural resource to be harvested sustainably. .
Michael W. Fox, Golden Valley