March 2009 Letters to the Editor
Letters from readers regarding the latest issues of Minnesota Monthly
I was surprised to read your article, “Power of Attorney” (January), about Minnesota attorney general Lori Swanson. Swanson’s office was instrumental in helping my sister, Dena Nix, a Minnesota school teacher, resolve a complex adoption/immigration case involving Brooklyn Center students that were abandoned in Africa by their adoptive parents.
Swanson’s dedication to helping level the playing field for ordinary people certainly helped my sister’s advocacy. The three abandoned children have recently been repatriated to Minnesota, thanks to the help of Swanson and former President Bush.
I found state economist Thomas Stinson on target in the January issue (Q&A, Talk) regarding our economic woes—until he revealed his discretionary-income projection of $200 billion from lower fuel prices. That was realistic only if those $4 per gallon prices had been sustained.
But it was a short spike in our dreadful economy of the past year. Recent low prices of $1.60 per gallon against a multi-year range of $2.20 to $2.60 would translate into something like $800 million.
It also lacks recognition of spikes in other areas of one’s budget, such as health care and education costs. His estimate reveals our society’s short-term memory. It’s the same mentality that will wrongfully reinvigorate our lust for roomy, gas-guzzling SUVs, rather than addressing our disproportionate appetite for the planet’s resources, and will send our credit-card debt to an even higher stratum. The current global dilemma was brewing for years; it won’t be resolved in a matter of months.
Chris Van Meter
Newfound French Fans
My friends and I recently dined at Vincent and ordered the prix fixe menu. One word: fabulous! We all loved each serving, the service was great, and we even got to meet Vincent Francoual himself. I Googled him and found his recipe for the butternut-squash soup you ran recently (“French Kicks,” February)—I just hope I can make it half as good as Vincent!
It’s time to change this magazine’s name to Twin Cities Monthly. Do you even stop to think for a moment about what might be happening or matter in the entire rest of the state before publishing? What about Ely, Giants Ridge, Rochester, East Grand Forks? What’s the best spa in Duluth? What if I didn’t know what city the Seward neighborhood is in? With the exception of a rare mention of Paul Bunyon or an ad for a Lake Superior resort, you ignore everything else.
Face the fact: You are not a full Minnesota publication.
First off, let me begin by saying I thoroughly enjoy reading Minnesota Monthly. As a native of northeast Minnesota and a long-time resident of the Twin Cities, I have subscribed to it for several years now. The articles and columns are interesting and informative.
That being said, I do not think the title of the magazine should be Minnesota Monthly. Hardly any articles are included that feature the greater Minnesota. I would guess that no more than 5 percent of the articles, features, and columns I have seen in the past few years have dealt with anything outside of the Twin Cities metro area.
Look at the February 2009 edition: “49 Reasons to Love the Twin Cities,” “At Ease: The Great Twin Cities Spa Guide 2009.” There are also articles about the Mall of America, a new shop in St. Louis Park, a new trumpeter at the Minnesota Orchestra, and photos from charity benefits around the Twin Cities. I could go on, but I trust you get my point.
Perhaps the magazine should change its name to Twin Cities Monthly. On the rare occasion an article is included about something outside of the metro area, it will seem more like a special feature rather than the afterthought that it currently seems.
Again, I love the magazine but think the title is both misleading and unfair to the rest of Minnesota. I will continue to subscribe, but will always read the word Minnesota in the magazine title with a grain of salt.
Due to an editing error, Punxsutawney Phil was inadvertently misspelled in the February column of Dear Paul.
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