Readers write: Light rail safety, ‘cop always on the job’, inequity, Baseball Hall of Fame inductions

Review Editor’s Note: Star Tribune Opinion publishes letters readers online and in print every day. To contribute, click here.

•••

Several years ago, I was waiting to take the light rail to the airport. An anxious man walked up and said he was here on business from Cleveland and didn’t know where to validate his light rail ticket. I told him it was basically an honor system because there is no validation of tickets and transit agents rarely check tickets. He burst out laughing and said, “You’re kidding, aren’t you?” Obviously, that wasn’t how public transportation worked in Cleveland.

I thought about his reaction when I read the recent “Airline workers concerned about MSP light rail safety” (July 24).

I wonder how much the safety of light rail would improve if Metro Transit required everyone boarding a light rail to have a valid ticket.

Jo Ann Morse, New Brighton

‘CASE RUINED LIVES…’

The banner headline on the front page of the July 24 newspaper proclaimed “Case ruined lives, cop still at work.” Reading the story, the narrative seemed to be “Courts and cops did wrong, at the expense of Somali Americans”. But that’s not the story or the good takeaway.

In truth, the witnesses in the case lied, leading to the acquittal of some defendants and the dismissal of other cases by prosecutors. It is the legal system that works as it should. The article goes on to state that some of the former defendants have filed civil lawsuits against the St. Paul cop at the center of the investigation, but “courts have made it increasingly difficult to obtain redress against a cop who is delegated to the federal level”. Still wrong. The court decisions at issue relied on established precedent regarding “qualified immunity”. Again, the justice system does what it is supposed to do.

The Star Tribune should stick to reporting news, not making the news.

Carolyn Wolski, St. Paul

INIQUITY

Two July 24 articles highlight the growing divide in our state between rich and poor. One said that 13 top Minnesota CEOs all made more than $15 million, and three of them made more than $50 million. Another article noted that food aisle visits had already increased by 57% this year and that costs were over budget by 20%. Could we ask the top 50 CEOs, each of whom earned more than $1 million last year, to each sponsor one of our state’s food shelves?

Lane Ayres, Edina

BASEBALL HALL OF FAME

I wish the Star Tribune published more about Bud Fowler than what appeared in LaVelle E. Neal III’s article on the Minnesota connection during this year’s Baseball Hall of Fame induction (” It’s the Greatest Minnesota Baseball Hall of Fame Weekend Ever,” July 24).

Neal writes that Fowler “…is considered a pioneer of black baseball who played for various teams, although he was not a barber. He spent 1884 playing with an unsuccessful club at Stillwater.” That’s it! I’m surprised Neal didn’t say he was a lousy barber too!

Fowler was an exceptional baseball player who excelled in hitting, lineouts and pitching. He made his way into professional baseball in his early days, playing around the country for a time, calling Stillwater, Minnesota his home. During his career, he endured racist animosity from fans, the press and his teammates.

I am happy that Bud Fowler is finally recognized for his contribution to baseball and to America. I’m also thrilled that Dave Winfield (a very good baseball player when he wasn’t playing basketball) gave Fowler’s induction speech. I recommend people listen to Winfield’s speech to learn more about this remarkable pioneer.

Erick Reinikka, Minneapolis

Star Tribune Opinion Editor’s Note: See also “Minnesota History: ‘Barrier breaker’ once played in Stillwater”, May 8, 2022.

Jose P. Rogers