Letters to the Editor

Charity begins at home

Unbelievable! Amy Buchanan refers to people in need as "fucked-up" and then "dumb-asses" for taking offense to being called fucked-up ("Help Unwanted," 12/19/07)? How charitable of her! I feel sorry for her kids, if she has any, as they are the ones stuck with a "fucked-up dumb-ass" for a mother.

Megan (last name withheld by request) Minneapolis

Oh say can you sue

I am delighted to learn that the four Liberian-American women referred to in Jonathan Kaminsky's article "Shopping While Black?" (12/5/07) have assimilated our values so deeply. The dearest one of which is: Regardless of one's behavior, the negative consequences are someone else's responsibility.

Having escaped civil war in their homeland and found gainful employment in Minnesota, they were enjoying one of our inalienable rights: shopping. Their behavior raised the suspicion of the Guess? store manager and they were questioned, in private, away from other customers—not mishandled, nor detained for any length of time; the incident should have been forgotten.

But five years in the U.S. taught them well. It wasn't their behavior that got them into a jam. It was someone else's fault: the racist store manager. Their lawyer, David Wilson, agreed. Macy's and Safeway have paid out hefty settlements in similar cases. I guess Wilson has a shot at this deep-pocket retail chain. Welcome to America, land of the litigious, home of the payoff.

Adam Kuenzel  Minneapolis

Book burning

You know, even The Onion has a weekly book feature. With all your fabled connections to national alternative weeklies, you should be able to cobble together at least something in a quarter-page box. I know, I know: space limitations. Well, how about printing one fewer half-page movie review cribbed from The Village Voice? Or replace your astrology column (did you know you still have an astrology column? Please don't try to tell me Rob Brezsny fans will rise up en masse in boycott—are they really your audience?).

Since national music is covered everywhere, print fewer reviews of national releases. My god, I'll bet Garrison Keillor would give you a free regular review if you'd just pay attention to books. Since you lost Diablo's TV column, City Pages' cultural pages have been less about culture and more about ephemera. Inclusion of readings in The A-List is nice, but come on: Does Dara really need a full page and an eighth?

Bob Bledsoe Woodville, Wisconsin

Farewell, Dara

I felt a great sense of sentimental sadness to learn that Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl is leaving City Pages. It's the same feeling I have when a prominent local band breaks up, or when I retire a well-worn pair of favorite shoes, or when a neighborhood-fixture restaurant closes. It's the end of an era! The best columnists always manage to insinuate themselves into your everyday life, and I believe Dara's writing achieved this in spades. Now I'll have to find something else to read first when I pick up a fresh City Pages.

Hoainam Tran Minneapolis

Bikers on ice

Thank you for putting up the pictures about hardcore bicyclists who still commute on two wheels during the winter (online slideshow). I am one of them and it takes all of my motivation to get on my one-speed and ride the 4.5 miles to my job at 8:00 in the morning every day. Most cars will give you room, but many of the "bike lanes" aren't even fully plowed and are probably more dangerous than riding in a lane of traffic. However, I very much appreciate all those people who respect my space. I mean, shit, people should be thanking us for not releasing harmful chemicals into the environment, but the most I ever get is a dirty look because you have to wait, like, one second to pass me.

I try to use the greenway but the last time I was on it, I had about four inches of blacktop to ride on. Also, there have been some instances of violence on the trail and I would prefer not to get beaten up so someone can steal the $4 in my wallet. So it's kind of a toss-up: ride on the street and constantly worry about road conditions, cars, and drivers on their cell phones, or ride on the greenway that's barely plowed and maybe get mugged by a pack of 12-year-old boys.

I think I'll get a ride today.

Samantha Ness Minneapolis

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