Readers write for Saturday, Feb. 12

  • Updated: February 12, 2011 - 8:52 PM
Illustration by Bruce Bjerva

Illustration by Bruce Bjerva

Photo: Bruce Bjerva, Star Tribune

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New Vikings stadium need not be a palace

Most people would think that getting an insurance company to pay for a new Metrodome roof is a blessing in these days of deficits ("Dome decision: Raze the roof,'' Feb. 11).

But a replacement roof is viewed by some as a handicap to creating enthusiasm for a shiny new stadium.

In the space of a generation, we've gone from providing comfortable and affordable facilities for fans and players to wanting a palace.

Even though our taxes would be used for the construction of a stadium, few of us would ever be able to see it due to unaffordable ticket prices.

Even considering this while people can't find jobs and are losing homes is unthinkable.


Abortion editorial

Board got it wrong, board got it right

I write to express my concern and dismay regarding the Star Tribune's Feb. 8 editorial "Reject new limits on abortion rights."

I agree that reasonable people may differ over abortion based on health, moral, religious and privacy concerns. I cannot, however, agree with the idea that the taking of an innocent life is a woman's right.

The 1973 Supreme Court decision wasn't based on a "woman's right to choose" but rather on the right to privacy. I believe that it is misleading to suggest this decision affirms that, if a woman wants to have an abortion, taxpayers are expected to pay for it.

While it is reasonable to affirm a person's right to basic health care, it's also misleading to say that an elective abortion is a health issue.

Citizens do disagree on civil and legal matters, and when they do, legislative bodies react to their constituents. This is the process we are now seeing played out in Minnesota.

It's democracy at its best.


The writer is archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

• • •

The Editorial Board could not have articulated better the issues of legality and equity when it comes to women of lesser means having access to state and private health care programs that provide coverage for reproductive services, including abortion.

Not only did the Minnesota Supreme Court uphold this right in a 1995 ruling related to public programs, but the majority of health insurance plans include this service.

Moreover, the provision in the new federal health care law that prohibits small-business tax credits from funding insurance plans that cover abortions is an extreme instrusion into the personal and private decision of a woman and her family's right to choose what is best for them.


The writer is the state public affairs chair of the National Council of Jewish Women.


Artists are not getting rich off Legacy funds

After reading Jason Lewis' column about Legacy Amendment funding ("How are those Legacy funds working out?" Feb. 5), I wish to thank him for not destroying the visual arts.

Secondly, I'd like to take him for a visit to the art studios and schools that benefit from trickle-down funding.

Nationally, art instructors are required to create art. This is a requirement for any learning institution's accreditation.

I'll spare you the entire story, but the Legacy funds provide a Band-Aid to artists, not bread on the table.


Budget woes

Shouldn't state benefit from e-commerce?

Weighing in on the expansion of sales tax in Minnesota, I'll never understand why the state continues to give Internet e-commerce sales a free ride.

For example, if I order $1,000 worth of golf clubs from an out-of-state site rather than purchasing them from a dealer in Bloomington, the state loses $72.75 in sales tax, while the local merchant who didn't get the sale still has to pay his rent, taxes and employees. Minnesota is losing millions per year.

Let's level the playing field.


• • •

When Jesse Ventura became Minnesota's governor, the antitax crowd screamed "that's our money" and "give us the surplus back!" I remember the big rebate checks we got that year because we'd overpaid into the state budget.

Well, guess what, antitax crowd? You underpaid this time, and it's time to pay the piper.

Attempts to balance the budget through cuts to the poorest and youngest in the state is both selfish and cowardly. Get out your checkbooks and do what's right. Pay up or shut up.


Middle ground

Thanks for viewpoints from the middle

Thanks for highlighting the political middle ground in last Sunday's Opinion Exchange section. The commentaries exemplified the kind of positive public discourse that readers want.

Mitch Pearlstein and Dane Smith offered unique insights into Ronald Reagan and Hubert Humphrey ("Archetypes of an age gone by," Feb. 6).

Lori Sturdevant's column on Debra Thompson and the CPA Advisory Committee's proposal for an independent state agency in charge of strategic planning provided a bold and positive idea for helping Minnesotans find a common direction ("A state on the move, destination unknown").

Finally, Bishop Peter Rogness's clarion call challenged us to stop viewing government as "them," but instead to return to the notion of "we, the people" ("Government is not the enemy").

As a reader weary of extreme positions with little room for compromise, I applaud the Star Tribune for giving us voices offering ways to find common ground.


Egyptian revolution

Wishing all the best to the people there

A very big "congratulations" to the courageous people of Egypt. Godspeed to them as they see the promising dawn of a new democratic era.


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Illustration by Bruce Bjerva