Readers Write (March 9): Immigration, Pam Borton, gay marriage, voting, climate change, wolves, taxes

  • Updated: March 8, 2013 - 7:24 PM

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Shedding light on the plight of our neighbors

I’m grateful for Virgil Wiebe’s enlightened commentary on immigration policy (“For immigration policy, a timely prod,” March 9). I work with immigrants on a daily basis and see families torn apart because the father was deported for not having a driver’s license. The poorest of the poor are expected to come up with $10,000 (no bond — cash only). Many of these immigrants have been here for more than 20 years. They would gladly do whatever is needed to obtain documentation, but there is no path for them. Many thanks to Wiebe for exposing the truth about this desperate situation.


The writer is a Catholic Dominican nun who serves Holy Rosary Church.

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U made mistakes, but so did Star Tribune

The University of Minnesota is committed to being transparent and accountable. When we fall short, we correct it. Recent Star Tribune news and editorial coverage of Gopher women’s basketball coach Pam Borton’s contract extension did not report all of the facts and made an unfair insinuation (“Borton deal puts U on the defensive,” March 1, and “A contract blunder for U athletics,” March 5 editorial).

Last summer, the university negotiated a two-year contract extension with coach Borton. Did the university publicize Borton’s extension with a news release or press conference? No. And for that, shame on us. Borton’s extension received final approval just before the July 4 holiday, after Joel Maturi stepped down, and during the athletics department leadership transition. Publicity was simply overlooked.

As further evidence that the university did not intend to hide Borton’s contract, as implied by the Star Tribune, we also did not issue a news release about six other contract renewals last summer, including for wrestling coach of the year J Robinson and national champion women’s hockey coach Brad Frost. Holding us accountable for our mistake in not publicizing the contracts is fair game. But it is simply not fair, especially given evidence to the contrary, to imply the university intentionally tried to mislead the public or conceal information in this matter.

In its coverage, the Star Tribune also failed to report that under the state’s Data Practices Act it requested and received Borton’s original contract and the extension in October 2012. However, the Star Tribune did not report the extension until now — five months after the information was provided.

The bottom line: The Star Tribune should hold itself to the same standards it is expecting from us.

Eric W. Kaler

The writer is president of the University of Minnesota.

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