Letters: Don’t wait for officials to decide how to spend your infrastructure money

Does your town need to replace water pipes? Do you need reliable broadband in your schools? What about those township roads? Don't wait for federal and state officials.

Letters: Don’t wait for officials to decide how to spend your infrastructure money

Don’t wait for officials

The bill passed. Now, I hope citizens and community leaders all over Minnesota are organizing, planning and evaluating their needs.

Please don’t wait for state leaders, or federal officials. Get started now! List priorities. Does your town need to replace water pipes? Do you need reliable broadband in your schools? What about those township roads?

Don’t wait for federal and state officials. Start a list of needs. Talk about improvements with local citizens. This money is for us, not for the bureaucrats.

Carl Brookins, Roseville

 

Bike paths are great, but …

I own a bike. I ride my bike. I appreciate efforts to make bicycling around the Twin Cities easier. But not at all costs.

Case in point: I was driving south on Ayd Mill Road not long ago and a fire truck came from the other direction. In the past, it would have been able to quickly pass those cars in a second lane. The cars tried to make room but a high curb had been installed on the single lane, leaving them nowhere to pull over. Fortunately, the fire truck had enough clearance to go up over that curb, if slowly, but I wondered what will happen when snowbanks make that kind of move impossible?

Bike paths are great, but not at the expense of easy movement of emergency services.

This stretch of Ayd Mill ought to be reworked, even if it means that bikes have to squeeze a bit tighter than now.  Please, city officials, don’t wait until someone dies from a delay to get this set right.

Andrew Kirsch, South St. Paul

 

Help and responsibility

The two facing pages of the Opinion section on Sunday, Nov. 14, contained two columns that were very related and yet very different. Both spoke of the problems of racism and addressing the needs of the poor in our cities.

I am an old white male who believes in helping the poor and who opens his wallet each year to a number of food shelf and shelter organizations in our Twin Cities. I could do more but I at least do something.

George Will’s column references San Francisco to point out what can happen when misguided altruism is not tempered by a recognition of the role personal responsibility needs to play in helping others. And I applaud Diane Tran’s reasoning for the Hub at the site of the former St. Joe’s Hospital and agree that St. Paul’s East Metro communities deeply need such a resource of wellness and support services. But “giving” can be a slippery slope. We must make sure to help those who at least try to help themselves. Otherwise we risk creating more light-rail Green Lines.

Jim Stevens, St. Paul

 

Phase down vs. phase out

As I read two news stories in the Nov. 14 Pioneer Press, I couldn’t help but notice something either ironic, or simply a failure.

In one story about the climate change summit, India made a proposal to “phase down, vs. phase out coal” and the rest of the world went along with it (from Page 1).

Further back on Page 7 was another article that caught my eye, “Delhi shuts schools over pollution.” The article described how “authorities” asked government employees to work from home for a week, banned construction activity as the Indian capital fights a toxic smog that has blanketed the city for over a week. Schools will shift to online classes for a week. The capital city’s decision came after the Supreme Court excoriated the federal and state governments for hazardous pollution and demanded emergency measures.

And India asks to phase down, not phase out?

Brian L Campbell, North St. Paul

 

Mendota Heights development

As a 15-year resident, I am pleased to see the Mendota Heights City Council seriously consider the future of our community by approving an application for the Reserve Phase II, a 58-unit apartment building to be located in the Mendota Plaza complex. Sadly, a small, but highly vocal group of residents found it necessary to bring up a number of issues speciously related to the application as their reason for denial. This group is indeed small, and vocal, but certainly does not represent the majority of us tax-paying, law-abiding citizens.

The City Council saw fit to address traffic concerns (by far the largest issue voiced by this minority few) as a separate issue, as it is more of a regional issue than one directly tied to the proposed development.

Additionally, information presented at the Planning Commission meeting preceding the City Council meeting on November 3 (which Planning Commission used to recommend a denial of the development) was proven to be false; therefore, the City Council did their homework, got to the facts, and rightfully voted to approve the Phase II development.

Hopefully, similar logic will be applied by the Council when deciding on the Phase III development application, an 89-unit apartment building located in a different location within the same development.

Steve Nilsson, Mendota Heights