Gov. Mark Dayton proposes raising taxes on a mind-boggling array of goods and services
The new Vikings stadium was promoted, supported and voted on as a "people's stadium," to be used by the entire state as the Metrodome has been. Now the Vikings expect to build exactly to their needs ("Vikings dig in vs. plans for baseball in stadium," Jan. 27).
To shorten the field and make a mockery of the game of baseball and the hundreds of games that are played there by college and high schools is a shame.
Thirty years ago, the same NFL team dragged the Twins into a facility that was a subpar major league baseball venue, but thousands of young men and women have had the opportunity to use an enclosed facility during the months in which playing outside is not possible. Let's make sure this works out for all.
BRETT KLABUNDE, BROWNTON, MINN.
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Congratulations to commentary writer P.T. Magee ("College sports, professionalized," Jan. 28) for offering a sane solution to the mockery and idiocy of big-time college athletics and the NCAA. Admit that it is all about money, and professionalize it! One element Magee doesn't mention is that college football, basketball and hockey are taxpayer-subsidized farm teams for the professional leagues, allowing them a cost-free recruitment and training program for their eventual employees.
GEORGE MUELLNER, PLYMOUTH
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I was driving in Wisconsin last week when Wisconsin Public Radio reported on the current budget surplus in Wisconsin, and the legislature's plans for a income tax rebate for Wisconsinites. To our west, North Dakota surges ahead with money and tax revenue to spare.
Meanwhile, here at home, Gov. Mark Dayton proposes raising taxes on a mind-boggling array of goods and services (haircuts, clothing, accountants and legal fees, real estate commissions, even newspaper ink!).
At the same time, this $3.7 billion transfer of money would be used for "targeted" investments in education, among other things. How are we doing compared to our neighbors east and west? Not good.
DON PIONTEK, EDEN PRAIRIE
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The suggestion that women are choosing "optional" mastectomies ("Rise in optional masectomies," Jan. 27) due to a lack of understanding and fear or because "celebrities" are having mastectomies is both demeaning to women and insulting to their physicians.
As a physician, I have worked with many women facing the diagnosis of breast cancer. Recently I confronted my own diagnosis of breast cancer and, after much thought and discussion with my family and medical team, chose bilateral mastectomies as my treatment course.
My oncologist told me, as Dr. Isabelle Bedrosian stated in the article, that the medical community is becoming aware of this trend and trying to understand it, which is important and appropriate. What is not appropriate is the idea put forth by the researchers that women are making this choice lightly or because they are uninformed.
My experience suggests that the reason women make treatment decisions is as individual as the women themselves, and the decision to proceed with mastectomy is never easy or frivolous or without medical input.
In my case, my healthy breast was removed along with my cancerous one due to the potential for recurrence and the need for ongoing surveillance. I felt empowered and that I was taking my life back by my decision.
Women may have felt pressured to have mastectomies in the past, but now we are making our own thoughtful choices about our breasts, our treatment, and our lives.
KRISTIN ELLIOT, IRONTON, MINN.
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Shooting-sports programs are in high schools in Minnesota and across the country. They are incredibly safe, positive and popular.
The New York Times article you published ("Gun industry targets children for sales pitch," Jan. 27) put an unbelievably negative spin on those and other firearms safety programs promoted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the NRA, as well as our own Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Your staff is completely out of touch with its Minnesota readers and is showing increasingly poor judgment in the articles it chooses to publish.
DAVID HALSEY, MAPLE GROVE
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There is irony in two sets of headlines from the Jan. 27 newpaper. On Page A1: "Gun industry targets children for sales pitch." On Page A5: "Terrorists recruit children in Mali." On the one hand, the American firearms industry is trying to sell children as young as 8 on the "benefits" of guns, although in most cases they cannot buy or own a gun if they are under 18.
And on the other hand, a terrorist group is recruiting, often by force, child-soldiers who will fight and often die with guns in their small hands. How can one accept the first and condemn the second? A civilized society should not tolerate the marketing of guns to kids nor the excruciating specter of child-soldiers.
MICHAEL NORMAN, RIVER FALLS, WIS.
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I would like to bring to your attention an error I found in your Jan. 27 newspaper: There are no photographs of Ricky Rubio.
I looked through the entire paper, yet found nothing, not even in the Sports section. I'm sure this is just an unintentional oversight on your part, and hopefully it will be corrected immediately.
DAVID HOLMES, MINNETONKA
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