It's not that difficult to diagnose the problem


Suppose instead of "SUPPORT MUSICIANS" the poster read "SUPPORT THE ROLLING STONES"? The Minnesota Orchestra is in the business of entertainment. Either it can sell tickets and fund putting on a show, or it cannot. It is most uncomplicated. If you cannot pay the performers with the ticket proceeds, then you don't put on the show. Enough already about the violin player who won't play Bach for the dough being offered.


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As season ticket holders, my wife and I miss the wonderful Minnesota Orchestra concert experience. The management cannot continue a current business model that fails to generate a sustained profit. The musicians seem locked into healthy income levels.

One solution would be a profit sharing arrangement with management. Pay musicians (and management) the proposed lower basic salary with incentive to share in the profits of mutual profit gain.

This would give everyone in the organization incentive to offer their best to attract adequate audience income. A healthy financial model would result. This approach has been well tested in the business community for years.


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Let's end the age of fear and build a better world


I belong to the baby boomer generation, and the world has moved with us. We were born into the world of Disney and under the cloud of the atomic bomb. We did believe in our country, and true to the dream there were jobs for us as industries expanded as we entered the workforce.

Now we are approaching retirement, and not only land use must change to sustain a healthy future, industries like medical insurance, tax accounting and the legal system could all use a wringing as we depart the workforce. All of those industries count on a fearful view of the future.

Would it not be healthier for the country, the culture and the economy to wring out the fear that the post-atomic age brought us?

Rather than separate us as one against the other in a system that treats taxpayers (individuals and all types of businesses) differently, a flat tax of a common percentage of all income would mean no deductions except for wages paid and capital improvements, which provide jobs. No loopholes and no need for accountants to do the taxes.

If insurance companies could count on their insureds to value and preserve their wellness, there would be less need for the inflated premiums. In the legal system, returning to life values of kindness and trust would shrink the need to pillage and burn through the courts.

We the Boomers would like to leave the world a better place. A return to a world of trust would be a good start.


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There's been progress, but work must continue


The Nov. 26 editorial ("Targeted action helps river mend") discusses the immense and effective efforts undergone since 2004 to clean up the Minnesota River. But as the editorial mentions, even greater stewardship efforts are needed to protect the river to limit pollution.

Regulations and standards established to prevent sewage plant discharges and storm water runoff from cities in the river's watershed have dramatically improved the health of the Minnesota, but standards for agricultural pollution, which has long been the largest unregulated source of pollution for the river, are still missing. Pesticides and chemicals sprayed onto fields by industrial farms in the Minnesota River Valley make their way not only into the soil, but also into the river, directly affecting its health.

The Minnesota Legislature has stalled on action to establish nutrient standards for nitrogen and phosphorus in Minnesota's rivers. We need to reach out to our leaders and urge them to adopt a comprehensive strategy to protect the quality of the state's waterways. Industrial agriculture has long been avoiding water quality standards, and it's time to demand a change. In order for this to stop, we need to tell our state and local leaders to establish regulations for non-point runoff solutions from industrial agriculture.


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Fond memories of 'Goodnight Moon'


Are there really parents out there who are bored reading "Goodnight Moon" to their kids? Or was the newspaper writer bored with the assignment to tell the world that, eureka!, another classic has been digitized ("Say goodnight to boredom of 'Goodnight Moon,' " Nov. 27)?

For all the time spent putting our boys to bed, I loved this book more than any other. No special voice required. No great plot. Just a patient drip of time to let the pictures on the page mesh with my child's imagination. Quiet time. Thankful time. The best part of being a dad.