Readers Write (April 18): Boston explosions, health care mergers, Artability

  • Updated: April 17, 2013 - 7:48 PM
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BOSTON EXPLOSIONS

The FBI takes over. Worried about that.

Now that the FBI has taken over the Boston bombing case, one hopes it does better this time than it has on previous investigations. Remember after the Atlanta Olympics bombing? The first guy who looked like he could be a suspect was arrested without a shred of evidence. This poor guy and his mother were put through an ordeal akin to torture. They seized his truck and took it to Virginia in an Air Force plane for examination. They stripped his mother’s apartment, including carpet, dishes and everything that they could get loose. NBC got itself sued by identifying this suspect as the bomber, and eventually settled for an undisclosed amount.

There have been other serious blunders resulting in wrongful deaths by the FBI in trying to apprehend suspects. Ruby Ridge is where a man’s wife, child and dog were shot as authorities tried to arrest him on a gun charge in 1992. He was totally acquitted by a jury and walked out as a widowed, childless man. Or the deadly fire at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, in 1993.

John Irvin, Brooklyn Park

• • •

Except for the print, broadcast and cable information sources, I witnessed no terror in Boston. Many athletes and spectators immediately came to the aid of those injured and went to local hospitals to donate blood. Police, fire and other emergency personnel went immediately to their preassigned tasks. This is not a sign of terror, but an aware and prepared citizenry. It should make us all proud and should be a warning to those cowards who perpetrate such acts that their goals were not met and that we are prepared for their criminal acts.

To those who exploit these acts for what ever reason, shame on you! Is this really entertainment (feature story on “Entertainment Tonight” on Tuesday) or a way to demonstrate your ability to generate that very terror which you say you abhor?

Fred Meyer, Roseville

• • •

What happened in Boston is horrible beyond question, and I don’t want to belittle the suffering, but many people around the world experience these kinds of horrors on a daily basis (Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia), much of which is generated by the United States (drone strikes, bombing). I hope this will help create some empathy in Americans’ hearts for our brothers and sisters with whom we share this world. Violence will never bring peace to our world and will never solve these kind of horrors.

Barry Riesch, St. Paul

* * *

HEALTH MERGER

Good thing someone stood in the way

We must all remember that when the highly compensated upper-management types start talking about “synergies,” you had better hold on to your hats (“Health care merger was played for politics,” April 17).

Or in this case, jobs. When synergies are achieved, jobs are lost. And the impression given in all of the reporting was that Sanford Health would end being the controlling partner in its proposed merger with Fairview Health Services. Therefore, you could look for the majority of all business support jobs — IT, accounting, finance and the like — to move to South Dakota.

The only way this merger should be given the light of day again is for Fairview to step up and guarantee that it would be the controlling partner, and that the “synergies” would take place in Minnesota.

It was definitely in Minnesota’s interest to interfere in this process.

Ken Stagg, Mounds View

• • •

I congratulate the state on protecting the small, private practices of individual physicians, the autonomy of the University of Minnesota Medical School, and patient choice.

Those who claim that the Sanford merger with Fairview would have created jobs should talk to the department heads who are fired, the doctors who are forced to sell their private small businesses to an out-of-state organization so that they can continue practicing medicine, and to the employees who take pay and benefit cuts when Sanford Health acquires a hospital.

Those who claim it would have improved patient care should have been with me when I visited a family member at a Sanford hospital: The room was dirty, the IV line and other tubes were on the floor, and a critically ill patient’s case was being managed by a physician’s assistant who neither remembered nor read the chart to find out that the patient had an ileostomy.

Despite the supposed efficiencies of a for-profit hospital, patient costs have not gone down — but Sanford’s advertising is everywhere, as is Sanford’s name and image. Minnesota’s attorney general did her job: She protected the people of Minnesota.

Mollie Madden, Farmington

* * *

ARTABILITY

Initiative continues despite center’s closure

An April 16 article (“St. Paul losing drop-in center for mentally ill”) featured a client mourning the end of People Incorporated’s Artability initiative along with Ramsey County’s closure of the Apollo Resource Center. We’d like to clarify that Artability is not affected by this closure.

The Artability program began at Apollo in 1990 as a safe place for those with mental illness to create art with the help of local artists. Over time, it has grown and evolved into an arts program attracting more than 100 artists each year for a series of workshops, culminating in an annual art show and sale each fall.

For more information on Artability 2013, which is just getting underway, please contact People Incorporated’s Artability coordinator at 651-288-3532.

M. Tim Burkett, CEO, People Incorporated Mental Health Services

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