September 2008 Letters to the Editor

Comments from readers regarding the last issues of <em>Minnesota Monthly</em>

Portraits of a Governor

Do you realize that a majority of Minnesotans put our governor in office? You portray him in the pictures as Dracula—and an idiot. Please cancel my subscription to your elitist magazine!

Carol Soderquist

Land of Lakes

Thank you for profiling some of Minnesota’s most exceptional lakes in your June edition (“Liquid Assets”). We’re lucky to have 11,842 lakes larger than 10 acres to enjoy and protect. But because four out of 10 lakes tested don’t meet pollution standards for either swimming or fishing, it’s important to look at conditions for your favorite Minnesota lake before heading off for a summer visit. We’ve compiled state government data on lakes into a user-friendly website at Just type in the name of a Minnesota lake and find out if it’s safe for swimming and fishing.

Paul Austin
Conservation Minnesota

Weather Wonder

Thanks for the update on Paul Douglas (“Stormy Weather,” Talk, July). I was shocked and saddened when WCCO announced that they were letting Paul go. However, I know through experience that the end of one path often determines a new direction in our life. I was happy to read that Paul is starting a new company that will provide him with challenges in a new medium and that he plans to stay in Minnesota.

DeAnne Cherry

Burger Delight

Thanks to Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl for helping me in my quest to find the Perfect Burger (“Burger Kings,” July). For years, my husband and I have joked about my penchant for a burger and a cozy booth—who needs fancy food and a white tablecloth? I’m adding eat at all 18 of Dara’s recommended burger joints to my own list of Things To Do Before I Die!

Erica Marston

Thoughts on Theater

As co-producing director of the new Workhaus Playwrights Collective, I take issue with your article “Played Out?” (June) on two points. The first—and most glaring—is that slim houses and amateurish productions will be with us always, and are a common feature of theater in New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago. They are evidence of a sense of excitement about the theater and a desire (even among those derided as laughably untalented) to participate in the art. A truly anemic theater scene would have simply the Guthrie and nothing else.

The second point is simpler: Our last show, God Save Gertrude, sold out its entire run. The audiences were giddy, excited, and young.

So, while I might agree with DeSmith that there’s a lot of lame theater out there, I simply can’t agree that there is no audience. I saw them lined up outside the door and onto the street. I even turned some away.

All that said, thanks to Minnesota Monthly for starting this conversation. Theater is an important part of our lives here in the Twin Cities, and something we should talk about more often.

Dominic Orlando

Local Motion

Greg Breining’s piece on local foods (“La Vida Local,” May) needed the thoughts of someone who is very much involved with trying to bring about a new and better food system—someone who could bring some passion to the argument. We at Pastures A Plenty know that things are changing in food, and what was previously a practical and efficient system in farming is showing some stress cracks. Food scientists and agricultural economists are all doing pretty well in the current system, and may not be able or willing to see the long-term effects as others that work in the business do.

Jim VanDerPol


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