Readers respond to "Skatepark of the Gods"
Chairmen of the board
Just like Dogtown and Z-Boys brought back good memories from the time when I skated the most, this article kick-started others from a later time ("Skatepark of the Gods," 8/11/09). I still skate occasionally and it is still fun—even though I am almost 50 and no more skilled than I was back then.
I would like to add three names of skaters who were a few levels above the rest of us from my days at the old concrete skatepark on Highway 36 and English (now an indoor soccer field). The guys are Eric Thompson, Aaron X. (can't remember last name), and Steve Olson (not Bulky from Cal.) whose mom "Bunny" ran the skateshop.
Guess who's coming to dinner
John from Minneapolis, I found your comments very interesting and thought rather than spending your time "crushing City Pages" that you would do what the Third Reich would not and invite three or four of these individuals to come live with you (Letters, 8/11/09). That way you can experience firsthand these wonderful individuals that terrorize our neighborhoods. Please do not blame City Pages when they beat up your grandmother, rape your wife, and assist your daughter in becoming a crack whore. I agree that there are all kinds of reasons for these individuals being in the situation they are in, but you must remove your rose-colored glasses and realize there are some bad people in the world. Finally, when one of these individuals kicks your ass and sends you to the hospital—remember, they are not responsible for their actions.
Sympathy for the devil
It's nice to see all this sympathy for the habitual incorrigible criminals living in our city (Letters, 8/19/09).
It'd be nicer still to see some sympathy for their victims—children and the elderly.
But I guess that's too much to ask from the "socially enlightened," isn't it?
Your recent cover story on mentally ill petty criminals in the Twin Cities has convinced me that you might possibly be now the most cowardly publication in the U.S. ("Usual Suspects," 7/29/09). I am a department head at McNally Smith College of Music, an institution that regularly purchases a great deal of advertising from you every year. I will be happy, inspired, and can promise you that I will be spending a good deal of time this coming fiscal year trying to change this practice. You embarrass me, and much of the Twin Cities musical community as well.
Cakewalk to the Oval Office
The field of Republican presidential candidates is parting in front of Tim Pawlenty like the Red Sea before Moses ("Pawlenty's Path to the Presidency," 7/15/09). The other contenders can't seem to keep their britches up. Just be careful how you spell britches.
Not so fast, T-Paw
"Pawlenty's Path to the Presidency" (7/15/09) was a waste of journalistic enterprise and column inches. Yes, of course, Pawlenty will try to be the "anti-Obama." All Republican contenders will try to be. That's because when an incumbent runs for reelection, the race is usually a referendum on the incumbent. Obama's record is just beginning to be written. The fate of health care reform, the economic stimulus, and union card-check legislation could alter the political landscape for years. In any event, it's way too early to hazard a guess about how being the anti-Obama will play.
Then there's Pawlenty's record. The collapse of the 35W bridge on his watch is a fitting symbol of his tenure as governor. Pawlenty has made Grover Norquist happy by not raising taxes on the wealthiest, but he has done little else. "Pawlenty could have a solid 'no new taxes' claim." Really? Ask property-tax payers about this claim.
If Pawlenty's record won't vault him out of second-tier status, what will? A recent Gallup poll put him the favorite of 3 percent of Republicans. When CPAC (a gathering for movement conservatives) conducted a straw poll earlier this year, he finished a Washington Senators-like ninth.
He's in the right-wing middle, but not necessarily in a good way. It's a milquetoast middle, there's no there there, and his Sam's Club Republicanism is a vapid slogan. We learn that he speaks about support "for more health care." That will come as a surprise to the low-income Minnesotans from whom he took away health care coverage.
Pawlenty has neither the compelling biography nor captivating speaking style to draw attention or passion to his candidacy. The speculation about Pawlenty being chosen to run for vice president amounted to just that—meaningless speculation. But Twin Cities media outlets seemingly never tired of it. Stranger things have happened in politics, of course. But let's get closer to 2012 before we start speculating (and worrying) if such a long-shot ascent shows signs of becoming a reality.
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