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Was anyone taken aback (when reading the Friday article on the Minnesota State High School League demanding electronic payment at high school games, “Online ticketing meets mixed buy-in”) by the statement of Russ Reetz, Eden Prairie activities director, that with electronic payment, “we know who’s attending games”? Should a spectator have to submit to surveillance by Reetz in order to attend? Or was anyone bothered by the statement of Laura Mackenthun, a league employee, that, regarding electronic payment, “people are just going to have to get used to it”? Must the public suffer her uninformed ignorance? One remembers the arrogance of the league, at the height of the pandemic, strong-arming schools for more money.
The arguments offered for exclusively electronic payment are laughable. If the security situation involving either gate receipts or crowds is so dire, the games should either not be played or played with no fans, as is done in some cities.
The league, apparently oblivious to its hypocrisy, runs unctuous radio commercials urging people to support their local schools while it forbids a section of their potential audience to attend. And, similarly, it makes a cloying embrace of “equity” and “inclusion” lingo while discriminating against those who can’t afford a smartphone or choose not to have one.
The league is averse to cash, but it does have a connection to it. It’s as phony as a $3 bill.
George Greenfield, Shorewood
Wow. I guess I have to purchase a smartphone and pay to keep it active simply for the privilege of being able to attend high school activities. And isn’t it great that online ticketing means activity directors can now “know who’s attending games”? Does this mean privacy is officially dead? I do reluctantly accept the notion of no-cash sales, but do venues really want to send the message that their events are not freely available to all of the public?
Heidi Wortel, Bloomington
I wanted to offer a few comments regarding the Sept. 30 article “Online ticketing meets mixed buy-in.” Being 70 myself in regular attendance at various high school sporting events for over 35 years, am I the only one noticing a significant lack of older attendees? Of course, there could be many reasons, but some of the people that I know are extremely uncomfortable in accessing the appropriate apps needed for attendance. I know that the online method will be the method of the future, but it doesn’t take into account the complexity it creates for us elderly people in order for us just to attend. Some of us don’t have iPhones.
I suggest something that some schools here in the metro area and in other states do, and that is offering free admittance to seniors over 65. This will increase attendance, and also increase the amount of stuff bought at the concession stands (as oldies really like to eat!). It will also ease the transition to the all-online method of attendance.
George F. Eichinger, Shakopee
On Saturday afternoon I stopped in to a local watering hole for a beer only to find that it was closing because its internet was out. No internet, no credit card processing, couldn’t collect money, customers couldn’t spend money. I had cash so I had a beer. This real-world example should make people think about what can happen if we transition into a digital currency and how easy it would be for the “powers that be” to shut down commerce by simply turning off the internet or the electricity for whatever reason they deem fit. A digital currency will be sold to you under “convenience,” but what it will really do is put you under someone else’s control.
Bret R. Collier, Big Lake, Minn.
The site at 2010 E. Hennepin Avenue used to be a General Mills plant until 1977. Afterward, volatile organic compounds including trichloroethylene were discovered at the site and it was promptly closed as it required environmental remediation, done by the General Mills corporation. Since 1994, environmental cleanup of the soil, waterways and air surrounding the property has been underway. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency have supervised these efforts and the results have been satisfactory.
Groundwater pumping and treatment, air vapor mitigation and other efforts have resulted in businesses and apartment complexes that are safe to use. General Mills is in what is known as final remediation action. According to an EPA spokesperson, there is still some work to do, but this has been a successful project.
If things are going well, why even bother writing this at all? While the General Mills site is slowly concluding its efforts, adjacent areas were also occupied by industry in the early to mid 20th century. The surrounding Southeast Hennepin Groundwater and Vapor site is much larger and newer, requiring what will probably also amount to a few decades of environmental remediation.
Governmental environmental cleanup is slow, unsexy work, but it yields some of the most important results for our community. We need to remember that going forward with the Southeast Hennepin site. Don’t let this escape your attention just because it will be a long haul.
Dominic Dabrowski, Minneapolis
The writer is an occupational and environmental medicine physician.
Kim Crockett says she’s running for Minnesota secretary of state because of “real concerns voters have expressed” about election integrity (“Debate centers on election integrity,” Oct. 3). Those “real concerns” are the direct result of the “Big Lie” election smears widely propagated by certain disingenuous politicians, Crockett foremost among them. Crockett is a political arsonist selling fire insurance.
Peter Hill, Minnetonka
Crockett says she was just joking when she called herself “the election denier in chief.” Yet, while our current Secretary of State Steve Simon says he will abide by the results of the upcoming election, she refuses to commit to doing that. She may not yet be the “election denier in chief.” But if she loses the election, I think we can assume that she will be.
Crockett wants to make voting harder by shortening the window for absentee balloting and limiting who can vote by mail. She does not explain how making voting harder increases the integrity of the election process, presumably because it doesn’t.
Crockett claims she doesn’t know if President Joe Biden won the 2020 election. She says “a number of things … happened in 2020, but things before 2020 as well.” Such vague accusations, of course, inevitably erode confidence in elections. This only makes sense if a) she does not support democracy and wants to discourage voting, or b) there is good reason to believe the accusations are true. Crockett does not point to any evidence of voting irregularities, which — given the seriousness of the accusations — is at best irresponsible. It is more likely an indication that she knows there is no such evidence, and she is either being reckless or lying.
Unless you want to undermine elections and democracy, I think the choice for secretary of state is clear.
Randall Smith, Minneapolis
In a column ostensibly about the recent protests in Iran (“Iran revolt is about much more than clothes,” Opinion Exchange, Oct. 4), the writer ended his remarks by making a seemingly random charge that, in Israel, “they kill girls for wearing the Palestinian flag.” It’s an absurdly false claim that should have been caught by the Star Tribune’s editors. Further, while the falsehood seems curiously random in a column about domestic Iranian turmoil, sadly, it was an opportunity to single out Israel and demonize the Jewish state. A careful editor would have fact-checked the comment and asked, “What does that have to do with the rest of your column?”
Leslie Martin, Mendota Heights
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