October 2008 Letters to the Editor


No Child Left Behind

Unfortunately, September’s Minnesota Monthly did not tell readers about other free public-school options, such as charter schools and post-secondary enrollment (“Making the Grade”). Why? “To keep this list manageable, however we did not catalog charter schools or alternative learning centers,” the article stated.

Almost 100,000 Minnesota students attend free alternative or charter public schools, or participate in the Post-Secondary Enrollment Options program. The number of families selecting these options has grown by tens of thousands in the last decade, as the number selecting district public schools has declined by more than 50,000.

Perhaps some Minnesota Monthly readers would be interested in the fact that several graduates of the St. Paul Conservatory of Performing Arts, a charter public school in downtown St. Paul, have been admitted to Julliard. Or that Minnesota has a Post-Secondary Options law, allowing high-school juniors and seniors to take college courses on campus, with state funds following them, paying all tuition, book, and lab fees. Students and parents can find this information at centerforschoolchange.org, maapmn.org, or mncharterschools.org.

In the future, I hope Minnesota Monthly will be more inclusive in helping parents and students understand their educational options.

Joe Nathan
Director, Center for School Change
Humphrey Institute,
University of Minnesota

Fan Club

Upon receiving Minnesota Monthly, the first thing I do is check out Mary Jo Pehl’s article. The wet-suit tale (“Suitable,” June) had me giggling throughout. What makes her writing so good is that I can picture myself having her experiences. Then, much to my delight, there was a second story in the same issue from Pehl (“Liquid Assets: Ladies in the Water,” June). The story about her sister was so warm and tender that it made me cry.

Patricia Oman
Coon Rapids

Better with Salt

Thank you for featuring the Salty Tart in this month’s edition of Minnesota Monthly (September). As a Powderhorn resident and employee of organizations that helped develop the Midtown Global Market, I know that the collection of food vendors offer an amazing array of local-yet-international menus. The market not only features prepared food, but a variety of ethnic shops, a meat market, and natural-foods grocery store. The Salty Tart is in good company, even if it is located in a “food court.”

Rachel Briseno

Sour Grapes

I’m sure you’ve received many messages regarding the various Minnesota wineries that did not make your list (“Taste of Minnesota,” August). With all due respect to the writer, I’d like to add WineHaven. This Chisago City winery would have been an easy addition to your tour in the St. Croix valley. Their Frontenac is amazing and you shouldn’t miss the Deer Garden varieties. It may not be Napa, but with eight medals at this year’s Finger Lakes Wine Festival (and nine in 2007), the Peterson family’s operation is not to be ignored.

Darcy Marx

I have just finished reading Nick Fauchald’s interesting article about wine making in Minnesota. I was disappointed that Woodland Hill Winery, located in Delano, was not included.

Woodland Hill has recently opened a tasting room, which rivals any Napa or Sonoma tasting rooms; my visit there was the highlight of my holiday in Minnesota this past May.

Marijana Sander
Windsor, California

Right on Target

I was pleasantly surprised to see a metro magazine supporting Minnesota hunters (“Endangered Species,” September). When my teenage son and I drive from the north woods with a deer on the roof, the honks with thumbs up begin to turn into disdainful glares when we get to Minneapolis.

I can’t wait for November to arrive so my son and I can enjoy the dirt under our nails, basking in the cold weather, if only to watch and listen. It’s a time that I can cherish being with my son and dream of him as a dad with his son/daughter/spouse. The skills he learns and his integration with nature will teach him a sense of respect and stewardship of this earth—something that cannot be taught by the TV, Internet, or classroom. Hunting is an age-old art and Minnesota tradition that won’t disappear here if I have any say in the matter.

Jason Reed, MD


Our September article about Merce Cunningham’s Ocean (“Rock Star”) mistakenly asserted that the piece was the choreographer’s final work. In fact, Cunningham has made and continues to make dances.

Also, the model named in the September fashion feature, “Black Gold,” was listed incorrectly. Her name is Zhanna, and she’s from the agency Wilhelmina NY.


Submit letters via e-mail to letters@mnmo.com, or the old-fashioned way to the Mail, Minnesota Monthly, 600 U.S. Trust Building, 730 Second Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55402. Please include your daytime phone number and city of residence. Text may be edited for length and clarity. Please limit letters to 200 words.