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A couple of things are chafing my hide

There have been a couple of things that have chafed my hide over the past several months, and I have to take a moment to address these raw spots.
First, anybody who thinks the return of trolley cars to the metro area is a wise thing should look at why trolley cars went the way of the horse and buggy … they became obsolete! They were inefficient dinosaurs that snarled the growing use of motorized vehicles on metro streets!
Now some nostalgia fanatics think it would be great to bring back the trolley cars for old time sake at a cost of many millions of taxpayers’ dollars.
Coupled to that nonsense is the addition of the proposed Southwest Light Rail Transit in the western metro area at an estimated cost of $90 million to $100 million per mile (for about 15 miles and a few thousand passengers).
The insanity is pretty clear. We have screwed up transportation priorities in this state.
While all this mass transit nonsense is being kicked around like an old soccer ball, we patiently wait for a morsel of funding for two stretches of Highway 212 west of Chaska to Norwood Young America. We’ve waited over 60 years already, so what’s another couple of decades?
As the recent meeting in Glencoe of local officials and state legislators clearly indicated, the chance of the metro division of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) funding that stretch of Highway 212 is slim to not a snowball’s chance in hell. By the way, the cost of Highway 212 is estimated at about $10 million per mile.
So, where would our state transportation money be better spent?
Before you answer that, ponder this — the metro area has all the political power and decision-making ability. Us rural bumpkins have little or no clout. That’s the reality of this unfair transportation scenario.
One hope is to get Highway 212 into the state bonding bill this year or next. Our local legislators are pushing that idea, thankfully.
There, I feel better now.
But wait, here’s another itch that needs to be scratched.
Since when do we now need to buy alcohol on Sunday? Can’t we get drunk enough on the other six days to allow us at least one day to sober up?
The bill to allow for Sunday liquor sales is a hot-button topic this legislative session for some reason. As if we need Sunday liquor as the top legislative accomplishment in 2015. Aren’t there more important things to deal with (like roads and bridges)?
Cutting to the gist of the Sunday liquor issue — it’s all about money. If you can make more money in seven days than in six, that’s good business, right? But can you, or are you simply stretching the current six days of profits over a seven-day period? Are Sunday liquor sales actually going to increase sales substantially enough to warrant the extra expenses of more hours and more staffing?
Anybody remember the old neighborhood Mom-and-Pop grocery stores? They were never opened on Sunday. You simply planned ahead of time to get what you needed to make it through to Monday.
Those stores seemed to thrive quite well. Seems most of us have done the same up to now with liquor sales off limits on Sunday. So why change now?
Some of us can remember when no stores, liquor or otherwise, were open on Sunday. Then the malls, big-box stores and convenience gas stations arrived on the scene. Anything goes on Sunday, or holidays, nowadays. And the reason? Money.
Speaking about money to be made, don’t get me started on Thanksgiving Day store hours and the insanity that ensues! That will give me indigestion, too.
Rich Glennie was the editor of The Chronicle for 23 years. He retired Aug. 1, but still plans to submit an occasional column.