The Comeback Kid
That treatment felt wonderful ("Don't Call It a Comeback," 12/3/08). You got it very right and I'm proud to do what I do and proud of what I've done. Being a musician, one is actually very appreciated a lot of the time, compared to answering the phones at McNally Smith, or working with special-needs people, cutting veggies at Jimmy John's, et cetera. But that doesn't mean that when you feel like the story you're a part of is special and strong, well, it is just wonderful. I appreciate your work. Your dedication to the piece was wonderful and your follow-through was wonderful. I appreciate you. Have a wonderful evening.
Sean McPherson Bassist/guitarist for the Heiruspecs
Thanks for the great article about a little-known energy issue that is wreaking environmental havoc and has the potential to expand massively ("Drill, Maybe, Drill," 12/3/08). There are a couple of things worth noting that weren't in the article.
The article doesn't mention the indigenous communities at ground zero for tar sands development. The First Nation (Canadian for Native American) community of Ft. Chipewyan in Alberta has felt the direct health impacts of contamination from tar sands development already. Rare forms of cancer are showing up at unprecedented rates in the community, which is downstream from mining operations and relies on subsistence fishing from nearby waterways. The planned massive development (an area the size of New York state) is impacting indigenous communities first and most as their homelands are strip-mined, leaving behind toxic tailing ponds and gashes in the land. It's a continuation of a long pattern of meeting the U.S.'s excessive energy "needs" by exploiting the political and geographic isolation of Native communities.
Also, it's worth emphasizing that tar sands crude comes at a massive carbon cost compared with conventional crude, or better yet, alternatives to oil. Experts suggest that the scale of the project is such that if we allow the planned development of tar sands to occur, regardless of carbon reductions in other sectors we will have lost our chance at preventing devastating climate change. Breaking our addiction to "foreign" (generally meaning Middle Eastern) oil and replacing it with another unsustainable fuel source just doesn't make sense. We need to break our addiction to oil, period.
Tom Reed Minneapolis
Shelter from the storm
I wanted to say that I really appreciated that article ("Gimme Shelter," 11/26/08). I am 31, male. I enjoyed the writing by Matt, I appreciated the effort that he took to share a perspective with your readers. Please thank him for me, his article helped me to appreciate what I have a little more.
Adriel W. Hollywood, California
Murder isn't the whole story
I appreciate your effort to educate the Twin Cities about the violence happening in the Somali community ("The Somali Murders," 11/12/08). However, I struggled with the overall message in your article. I wonder what would happen if instead of continuing to instill fear and bias that people have about Somali youth, you covered other aspects of what young people are doing. I am wondering where the news reporters were when Somali and East African teens of the West Bank created and performed a play titled What Is Peace? Where were the reporters as middle and high school youth painted a mural on the West Bank? Where were you as the youth walked around Cedar-Riverside in the snow picking up trash? Where were you as young adults danced in the street on Riverside Avenue over the joy of Obama's election? I am glad there is action being called to end the violence in the Somali community, but it is up to the entire Twin Cities community to hear this call and be a part of the change that needs to happen.
Crystal Spring, youth worker and theater teacher Minneapolis
The changing face of crime
As a Cedar-Riverside non-Somali resident who is out of the loop, fearful, and still shocked over the three murders that happened not far from my house, I thank Erin Carlyle for "The Somali Murders" article that helped explain those tragic events. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to live in a country and state so different from Somalia in climate, culture, laws, and language. As a parent, my heart goes out to the families of the lost loved ones. As an old-time West Banker, I long for the days when all we had to worry about were barroom brawls, drug deals going down, and drunks urinating in our yards. Even those beat murder.
Carol Cochran Minneapolis