Clearly St. Anthony badly needs the Islamic center that the City Council rejected Tuesday night, because only by actually spending time with people about whom we've heard terrible things do some of us learn that we're not the only normal, hard-working, family-loving, faith-following people in the world.
PHIL BOLINDER, WOODBURY
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Kudos to St. Anthony for upholding the zoning laws even while under threats from the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Muslims need to obey the laws just like everyone else. You are not special.
JERRY LARSON, WAYZATA
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I applaud state Sens. Gen Olson, R-Minnetrista, and Terri Bonoff, DFL-Minnetonka, for their promotion of Minnesota's Post-Secondary Enrollment Options ("Let 10th-graders spread their wings," commentary, June 8). This contribution to the development of career awareness at the secondary level will inform and encourage Minnesota students and their families.
As a former teacher of career courses at the secondary level, I know many students were not aware of the education and career options that were available and appropriate for their individual aptitudes and interests. Instead of promoting university/college education as the ideal, PSEO will help all of our students become successful -- whether they are welders, technical assistants or professors.
Olson and Bonoff are also demonstrating bipartisan efforts in a positive way. In these contentious times, that is encouraging.
PATRICIA WELLER ZALAZNIK, PLYMOUTH
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Kudos to the Anoka County Board for declining to support the Northern Lights Express passenger rail line from Minneapolis to Duluth ("Rail line to Duluth hits roadblock," June 13). Anyone who has ever taken an Econ 101 class knows it is very doubtful that this rail line could ever be economically successful.
The biggest issue I have with it concerns the comments made by Bob Manzoline, executive director of the Minneapolis-Duluth/Superior Passenger Rail Alliance who said the following: "Anoka County isn't looking at the big picture, or doesn't understand that the feds have earmarked billions of dollars for rail projects, paying up to 80 percent of the costs -- and somebody is going to get the money if Minnesota doesn't."
Attitudes like this are a large part of the reason we have a $16 trillion federal debt. Manzoline and millions of others in this nation think that if the money comes from Washington, it isn't our money. I'm sorry, but those are tax dollars. We can't keep burdening our children and our children's children with this unmanageable debt. This feeling that we've got to get our share of free money from Washington has to stop before this country disintegrates.
JERRY BICH, WAYZATA
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And the gambling monopoly continues ("Tribe, track deal is approved," June 14). No matter who holds office, Democrat or Republican, money speaks volumes. This is their idea of a "Representative Republic"?
LARRY LEIGHTON, ALEXANDRIA, MINN.
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Jamie Fritschel's commentary ("Tax planning for the end of the world as we know it," June 11) sounded interesting to me as a newly retired teacher, concerned with how my assets will take me into the future. I have lived a good life financially: a two-income family, both teachers with good salaries, we paid for two kids to go through a private college with manageable student loans.
We've saved for retirement and almost paid off our house, which is our only debt. We have been models of fiscal responsibility, according to our financial planner. And yet, after reading through this article I wondered, "To how many people does this message apply?"
Fritschel made it sound like many people are working to preserve money for future generations, employ regular family gifting, and that many should also be concerned that the estate tax exemption would be reduced to $1 million.
I know for a fact that I am better off than many others in our state and nation and yet, most likely, very little of the above will apply to me. Fritschel is writing to give general information to the public, but for how many people does this really apply? For me, this article was a stark reminder of income disparity.
NANCY MASON, CHANHASSEN
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There are many facets of our lives that are good. As you drive through various neighborhoods, you will notice road construction, homeowner projects, new homes being built and "sold" signs.
These are all positive signs of a brighter future. Yes, there are many people unemployed, but putting people back to work does not happen overnight. It starts with one job at a time. We are on the right path. Consumer confidence is good.
Companies are and will continue to hire more people as demand for their products or services increases. Each additional worker adds to our economy by spending or paying down debt. We are on the right path.
MARK VOORHEES, EDEN PRAIRIE