Readers respond to "Death Cycle"

Ride at your own risk

Bicycles are very different from cars, and therefore should be governed by a different code of regulations ("Death Cycle," 10/8/08). Traffic lights are not timed to assist bicyclists, and so they should not always be expected to stop at them, but conversely it should never be permissible for bicyclists to ride down the middle of a traffic lane blocking car traffic. There should be a code of bike traffic regulations that takes into account the average weight, speed, and destructive capacity of a bicycle.

As for the dangerous intersections mentioned in your article, there should be stoplights on either side of bicycle/street intersections. No one has yet mentioned the intersection of the Greenway with 28th Street just before it enters the Martin Olav Sabo bicycle and pedestrian bridge over Hiawatha Avenue. There are four lanes of car traffic there with only two signs saying, "Stop for pedestrian traffic." Some cars stop while others don't and too many idiot bicyclists charge out into traffic assuming that they will.

So the solutions are a distinct traffic regulation code for bicyclists, more bike lanes and dedicated bike trails, and stoplights, stoplights, stoplights!

Mark H. Swanson Minneapolis

Boxing out bikers

Thank you for your article about biking in Minneapolis. I recently became acquainted with Green Boxes, an area in an intersection set aside in front of all car lanes for cyclists to use—it lets them get in front of cars without having to cross lanes of traffic dangerously. Minneapolis needs Green Boxes. Any quick search on the internet will yield photos, videos, etc. about Green Boxes. Thanks again!

Jill McGinnis Coon Rapids

Transsexual joke was over the line

An ad in a recent City Pages listed one of the many possible bad consequences of meeting a woman as "she's a dude." This kind of snide transphobia—smearing transgender women while simultaneously trying to seem "edgy" by the mere mention of our existence—is really vile. It is attitudes like this that allow murderers to get away with "transsexual panic" defenses; it is attitudes like this that make it clear how much society as a whole wants transgender women to stay oppressed, stay hypersexualized, and stay in the shadows. Would City Pages print an ad from a dating service that promised to screen out all people of color who posed as white? Why, in 2008, are transgender women still fair game for this kind of shit? And why does City Pages, which prides itself on being radically progressive, allow this kind of crap?

Rachel Kronick Minneapolis

Wine and Dine corrections

I would like to thank City Pages for its continuing generous support and coverage of Heartland Contemporary Midwestern Restaurant & Wine Bar, and I am especially thankful to Ed Huyck for his piece in "Wine and Dine" titled "Six Great Lists." I do, however, feel the need to pass on to you and your readership some factual corrections concerning our wine program.

It was reported that we "offer a small (about 100 wines) but deep list." In fact, on last count we offer nearly 300 selections between our main dining room and the wine bar.

In addition, the article states that wines by the glass in the wine bar "range from $8 to $19." While those wines are constantly changing due to availability and season, we have never had a glass wine in the bar that even remotely approached $19. Currently, wine bar selections by the glass start at $7 and top out at $11.

As I stated during the interview for this story, all of these facts are readily accessible on our website at Huyck's story did do a good job of conveying our commitment to offering wines that are fairly priced in a range that is comparable to what someone can find in his or her neighborhood wine shop.

Also commendable was the mention of my wife and partner Mega Hoehn's ability to choose wines that are not only quaffable but are also food-friendly in ways that work well with the type of fare we serve. For instance, we often have many game meats on the menu, so a wide selection of red Rhone and Rhone-style wines are included under the heading "Syrah/Grenache." At last count, there are 17 such offerings. In addition, the inclusion in the article of our insistence on having a wide variety of half bottles on the list, now numbering nearly 40, is something that has been often overlooked by other writers. I am very proud of the job that Mega does in not only selecting such great wines but also in her ability to remain vintage-sensitive in doing so. In that way, she ensures that our patrons are always being given a wine that is not only a great value but is also among the best that a particular label has to offer.

Once again, thank you to City Pages and to Ed Huyck for recognizing Heartland's wine program and for applauding Mega's outstanding work.

Lenny Russo, chef/proprietor, Heartland St. Paul

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