Letters: Just when it appeared that Rosedale-area traffic could get no worse …

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Letters: Just when it appeared that Rosedale-area traffic could get no worse …
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More buildings, more traffic, more trouble

Just when it appeared that Rosedale area traffic and could get no worse, the City of Roseville approves yet another set of restaurants and drive-throughs all but guaranteeing additional gridlock, road-rage, accidents and insurance claims.

On best days, the ever-changing and ever-shrinking road and parking system there is a disaster. Add holiday shopping, snow piles, blinding January sun and illegible lane markers and you’ve created an environment simply not worth the headache.

Just exactly how many buildings can you fit onto 150 acres of land? Roseville is apparently attempting to find out. And in what would appear to be some form of acknowledgement that Rosedale Mall is down to 53 parking spaces, the Roseville city council recently passed a resolution seeking to levy a half-cent sales tax, in part to pay for a pedestrian footbridge over Highway 36. Just exactly who’s going to brave that bridge between November and say March?

As internet-shopping adverse as I’ve been, my more recent trips to Rosedale area retailers have made me a convert. Try getting into/out of Dicks or Best Buy. Or try dodging cars going the wrong way out of Macy’s parking ramp only to have to look out for inbound traffic exiting off of Fairview and drive-through traffic -– none of which stop and happening at the same time.

With each new construction approval – it’s becoming more and more absurd to visit Rosedale. There is no plan, no pattern and no interest in improving things. Just build. In addition to building on every last inch of land, the City of Roseville appears to be in pursuit of every half cent of tax revenue. That’s the only plausible reason for all of this.

Hans Molenaar, Shoreview

 

Complaints about the IRS?

A Burnsville reader wrote recently to complain about inability to communicate with the IRS (“Waiting, waiting, waiting,” Jan. 30). I feel his pain. I too am dealing with a tax return that seems to have fallen into a black hole.

I note, however, that the letter suggests disappointment that his congresswoman was of no help. I’d like to remind the reader that his congresswoman, who also represents me, has tried hard, along with her fellow Democrats, to provide adequate funding for the IRS to enforce the tax laws and to serve taxpayers. The Republicans have consistently scuttled such efforts.

While that party often claims to represent the interests of ordinary hard-working people who pay their taxes, its actual approach to tax collection suggests a preference for ensuring that its extremely wealthy donors are not disturbed by IRS activities, including those pesky efforts to find out if taxes are being unlawfully dodged. This comes at the expense of basic fairness to you and me, not to mention basic customer service. I suggest that the reader in the future complain loudly not to his Democratic representative, but to the Republican leadership in Congress.

Kevin Callahan, Eagan

 

Is this double taxing really necessary?

The governor and the Minnesota state legislators are eager to spend the state’s windfall surplus of $7.75 billion. Ideas are being tossed around. They’ve already spent this surplus in their minds. Rebates and refunds seem to be an afterthought.

How much of this windfall is attributable to Minnesota senior citizens paying state income taxes on social security income?

At least 35 other states do not tax social security income.

As a seniors on fixed income, we know exactly where to direct our spending — housing, food, medicines and clothing come to mind.

Is it really necessary to double tax Minnesota senior citizens on their social security income? Is Minnesota that desperate for state income tax revenue from its senior citizens? Where is Minnesota’s moral compass set?

Barry Siebert, St. Paul

 

A few simple gun laws will help

Some people on the right are fond of saying that people on the left “hate our country.” I love our country, the grand and noble experiment in democracy that it stands for, its potential to make good on its founding values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all people. But I hate that our children are being killed. They are gunned down at schools, at home, at places of worship, at movie theaters, in the parks and in the streets.

For all our country’s vast resources and collective wealth, our comfortable lifestyles that are the envy of much of the world, and the good and honorable people one meets every day, we are a nation whose gun laws prioritize the rights and sensibilities of a minority of gun-owners over the lives of our children — indeed, over the lives of all people whose pursuit of happiness intersects with the path of a bullet.

Empirical evidence from states with stronger gun laws shows that a few simple laws will save lives — most notably criminal background checks for all gun purchases and extreme risk protection (“red flag law”). Will they eliminate gun violence? No. But they will save many lives. Will such laws be an inconvenience to law-abiding gun-owners? Perhaps for some, but less red tape than needing a license to drive. Will they violate Second Amendment rights? Not in the least. Strikingly, surveys repeatedly show that the vast majority of gun owners favors background checks on all sales.

Why are legislative leaders —  Sens. Gazelka and Limmer, for starters — hiding behind these silly excuses and not standing up for our kids, for life itself? Who is the next victim — a loved one of someone — to be gunned down while you are protecting gun-owners from being inconvenienced?

Rich Cowles, Eagan

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