Letters to the editor for Monday, Dec. 10

  • Updated: December 9, 2007 - 4:21 PM

THE SOUL OF ST. THOMAS

It's probably just fine

In the Dec. 6 Star Tribune, Katherine Kersten laments the University of St. Thomas' decision to end the requirement that a sitting archbishop chair the university. She also accuses Archbishop Harry Flynn of doing little in his 12 years of UST leadership to resist the school's slide to secularization.

Because Kersten does not cite decisions made by Flynn that led to this so-called slide, one cannot judge the validity of her accusation. Her column caused me to question if the university's decision was truly a slide toward secularization or a stand for tolerance. In my mind, tolerance is as much a Christian/ spiritual value as it is a secular one.

CORY GUNDERSON, LAKEVILLE

A vision of morality

I was appalled when I read Katherine Kersten's Dec. 6 column, "Battle for soul of St. Thomas takes a turn for the worse." The suggestion that my faith as a Buddhist isn't as good as hers was outrageous. Implying that someone who was not the archbishop could not possibly create a "transcendant vision of faith and morality" was incredibly prejudiced and ignorant.

Further, does it matter if a college is becoming secular? Did it occur to her that "true diversity in education" might be achieved not by a college having one specific religion, but by acceptance of any religion? As far as learning "how to look out for Number One" goes, St. Thomas students are taught that already. It's primarily a business school, not a seminary.

JOSIE ALBERTSON-GROVE, ST. PAUL

TELECOMMUTING

Better than new roads

I enjoyed your Dec. 3 editorial, "Do you really need to work in a cubicle?" I have allowed all of my 36 employees to work from home two to three days a week for the past four years. When the weather is bad, as it was this past week, they can stay home and we don't miss a beat. They save time and money, not to mention the reduction in stress trying to commute in heavy, slow traffic.

I calculated that my employees have cut back on commuting by 288,480 miles per year. That is about 14,272 gallons of gas per year. At $2.80-plus per gallon, it adds up a lot of money. Even with these incentives, my staff saves the equivalent of 465 workdays per year, that they are actually working as opposed to sitting in traffic. I think this is a better solution than building more roads.

ROBERT A. SCHNEIDER, MINNETONKA

MCMANSION MORATORIUM

It deserved to fail

Congratulations to the Edina City Council for its good judgment last week in not enacting a restriction on what a homeowner may or may not do with his or her property. I hope such an ordinance will not be brought before the council again.

Remodeling or rebuilding must be the right of the property owner. Certainly limits are needed such as meeting building codes, floor area ratios relating to lot size, height restrictions, etc. But these must be based on good common sense.

For many people, their homes are a major part of their net worth, if not the greatest part. They may be looking to tap into that value later in life. If not allowed to sell, greatly remodel or even tear down their homes, they will lose considerable net worth.

No, "McMansions" should not be built if they do no meet sensible criteria. But instituting a form of "house arrest" is not the answer.

RON HARRIS, MINNETONKA

PROTECTED FROM CRIMINALS

Fence is appropriate

Regarding the Dec. 6 story concerning the proposed fencing for the Women's Corrections Facility located in Shakopee, I am amazed that the wonderful people from Minnesota are still in denial about the extent of crime here, especially when it comes to women offenders.

My first question would be "why buy a home close to an established correctional institution and then complain about it?" It is the same issue I take with people who buy next to an airport then complain about the noise. Get a clue. I have worked in corrections for 37 years and know the type of individuals we house , so let me clue you in: A fence is needed at the Shakopee institution. As the article stated, it is not only about keeping offenders in, it is also about keeping people and drugs out.

If you don't want to be protected from criminals who are incarcerated, then don't build the fence. If you do want to be protected, then build the fence, put your house up for sale before it the fence is built (if you're concerned about property values), and move to a place where there are no jails, prisons or airports.

MIKE CUMMINGS, PLYMOUTH

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT

Right for some kids

Regarding Katherine Kersten's Dec. 3 column ("Spank kids and lose them to overzealous government"): As a mother of four, I agree with her. What works for one doesn't necessarily work for all.

If more children were chastised for bad behavior instead of such behavior being viewed as an expression of their feelings, children would understand that "NO" is not a four-letter word. They would learn that yelling and screaming in public will not get them their way.

If more parents applied a little parochial school discipline, we would have fewer Columbines now.

DEBORAH L. JOHNSON, ST. PAUL

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