Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Letters to the Editor

Posted on 26 March 2018 by calvin

Questions posed for Falls stairways
Why are the stairs at Minnehaha Falls closed during the winter? Is it for safety reasons? Then why not maintain them? There would be a cost involved, but it would be much less than the cost of patrolling them. Only one set of stairs would need to be maintained.

The main stairs have 109 steps, and if they were open, there would be no reason to use any other stairs. You can’t reasonably close them saying you are afraid it will encourage people to try and climb behind the falls. You can’t close the bank because someone might rob it. Using it and enjoying it is why the park is there.

If you don’t want to maintain them then why is there not a real barrier there? An actual, physical barrier, not a board you can simply step right over.

I have personally talked to Park Police officers who wondered the same thing. Concrete highway-divider style barriers would be easy to place and remove and would certainly deter the vast majority of people going down the stairs. The cost of this would be much, much less than patrolling them.

There is no way to keep everyone out of the bottom of the falls in winter. The side of the park by the VA home is wide open all year round, and anyone who wants can access any part of the park from that way.

It makes me wonder if the real focus of the Parks Department is to find a deterrent for safety reasons if they are deemed unsafe and they won’t maintain or block them. If that were the case, it would seem obvious one of these other courses would be better than what they are doing now.

The other day I saw a park police officer sitting in a vehicle not on the side of the falls from the main stairway, but the other side. I could not figure this out. Is the reason they are patrolled to act as a deterrent and keep people safe or was it to hand out citations to people who violate the flimsy security measures taken?

I could think of no other reason for an officer to be parked there. And if they do find a violator, do they give them a warning, which would seem obvious if the aim was safety? Or do they cite them?

I have lived in the neighborhood for almost 20 years and seen variations on the security ever since I moved here, but never anything that has worked, even marginally. It is time to do something that works better. There is no perfect solution, but there are certainly better solutions than what is being done now. Handing out citations to people for ‘trespassing’ in their own park is not the answer.

Dan Currie

Thanks to the Southside Singers
I recently attended my second concert given by the Minneapolis Southside Singers. Even better than the previous year!

Today there are so few groups that cater to the age group of 60+ for men and women who have retired from careers as professional musicians or theater performers, teachers, or those who just have a love and passion for the arts. The Minneapolis Southside Singers provides them with an opportunity to express their artistic abilities and participate in a safe, fun, musical environment. All the while making and creating new friendships. Whether they are in wheelchairs, depend upon walkers, oxygen tanks or can still do a dance on their own, the joy and enthusiasm that radiates from every person on that stage is contagious and delightful! Exceptionally heartwarming.

So, once again I THANK YOU because I left with that bounce in my step, a smile on my face, and a warm heart. I look forward to the next concert and supporting this incredible group of forever young folk known as The Minneapolis Southside Singers!

With gratitude,
Dorothy Benham
Professional Singer & Performer
Miss America 1977

Editor’s note: The Minneapolis Southside Singers are always looking for new people, 55+, to join their group. They practice every Monday, 1-3pm, at Trinity Lutheran Church of Minnehaha Falls, 5212 41st Ave. S. You can just show up, or if you would like more info, contact Clarice Johnson, 612-729-4984.

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