OLSON RELEASED, RE-JAILED

Keep her in prison

Sara Jane Olson participated in the cold-blooded murder of Myrna Opsahl, an innocent unarmed bank employee, and the attempted murder of innocent police officers. Her actions were premeditated.

Sara Jane Olson was willing to kill innocent people on more than one occasion. Remember the misery and suffering she has caused the Opsahl family for the last 33 years. During their 33-year sentence of grief, Sara Jane Olson had been busy -- married to a doctor, raising a family, running in marathons, going to soccer games, restaurants and the theater -- living the good life.

There were no signs of remorse. Her only remorse was that she got caught. Now she is trying to blame the system for upsetting her husband and children? Is she ever going to take responsibility for her actions?

Seven years is not long enough for what she has done to the Opsahl family.

CHUCK HOLDEN, EDEN PRAIRIE

Don't forget her crimes

While it may seem cruel to whisk Sara Jane Olson back to prison, we must not forget her serious crimes, her association with a terrorist organization, her fugitive status and the victims she affected.

I wish some of the energy and sympathy expended to help her with legal fundraising could be directed to help the victims' families. We too easily forget the saying, "if you do the crime, you do the time." She got off pretty easy if you ask me.

No wonder our kids aren't learning responsibility and accountability.

TOM O'CONNELL, PLYMOUTH

Time to forgive

In the case of Sara Jane Olson, perhaps Jon Opsahl might consider that his mother, who was killed in the bank robbery Olson helped commit, might want her to live a happy life, to see her children, to love her husband.

If he just would do some research, he might see how others have been able to forgive in very difficult circumstances.

H. BETH LABRECHE, FRIDLEY

Chilling turn of events

The rearrest of Sara Jane Olson should alarm us all. Are we to believe Olson's release date was not scrutinized to its minutiae prior to her release? In fact, if the extended sentence was not tacked on to her original sentence in an unlawful application of California's "Serious Offender" law, she would have been released and finished parole long ago, like all convicted of similar crimes.

That the law enforcement authorities can seize Olson at the airport just days after her release is chilling to say the least.

It will, in the end, be proven that her release was proper and overdue, but not before her family spends many thousands more on legal costs and Olson spends many more months in unwarranted incarceration.

We must not tolerate this gross abuse of power by law enforcement and corrections officials. The analogy to fascism by Olson's attorneys is not an exaggeration.

MARY ELLEN KALUZA, MINNEAPOLIS

4,000 DEAD

Was it worth it?

We have now passed two milestones in the Iraq war. More than five years of war and 4,000 U.S. troops killed.

It is time for the leaders in both parties to pause, take a breath and weigh any perceived benefit of the war against the horrific cost. May wiser heads prevail so that future milestones are ones of peaceful coexistence.

JIM DAHLGREN, CRYSTAL

Why we fight

Four thousand dead American military in Iraq! I don't know anyone who is not saddened by even one war casualty. But let's examine the rest of the story.

Last week I watched a cable TV talk show with two organizers of Code Pink, an anti-war group. They were proud of having 100,000 supporters in their organization. They seemed to divide Americans into two groups -- those who like war and those who hate it.

Our servicemen and women risk their lives defending Code Pink's right to express its opinion.

RUSS PAUMEN, MAPLE LAKE

SALES TAX FOR TRANSIT

Spend it on roads

Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin wonders how anyone can be against transit investment (Star Tribune, March 23). Simply put, wasting billions of dollars on transit will not reduce congestion or make our roads and bridges safe.

The $1.1 billion soon to be allocated to a dedicated transit fund should have been used to find and fix multiple bridges. That $1.1 billion should have fixed Crosstown, the "devil's triangle" and several other high-priority projects sooner. It could have added an entire 494-694 loop.

McLaughlin knows how to play this game; taxpayers saw a slightly different version with the Twins stadium. That worked so well this time they will use it in multiple counties to build a train.

Ramsey County Commissioner Tony Bennett tries to justify his vote for the sales tax increase with the tired old either/or lie. He believes he must vote to pass the sales tax increase or property taxes will go up. Now that's a promise he can't keep.

Taxpayers are demanding accountability. That $1.1 billion will now not be used to improve infrastructure or to hire cops and will surely never reduce property taxes. The taxpayers' pocket is a finite revenue source and taxpayers are stretched to the limit.

Commissioners and legislators, who willingly squander $1.1 billion on 19th-century transit boondoggles are only leading us down the path of higher property taxes and higher sales taxes. All the while Minnesota's families and businesses will continue to drive on congested roads and wait for bridge and road repairs.

SUE JEFFERS, NEW BRIGHTON

TURMOIL IN TIBET

We must be a beacon

I was in Tibet in 1989, and for a month witnessed the suppression of the last major uprising against Chinese occupation. The experience forever changed me.

Every American must know that, for all of our internal challenges, the many apparent imperfections and even our gross miscarriages of justice, we have much to teach the rest of the world about freedom.

STEPHEN CHICOINE, EDEN PRAIRIE