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Continued: Readers Write (April 29): Abortion, the Legislature, St. Croix Crossing, colonoscopy

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  • Last update: April 29, 2013 - 10:57 AM

Edward McHugh, East Bethel

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As a high school teacher of job skills and life skills the past 25 years, I have taught the economic principle of opportunity cost to my students every year. The April 24 article “House OKs $15B education bill” touted the merits of free all-day kindergarten. Wouldn’t it be more fair and accurate to describe the free all-day kindergarten program as either state-funded all-day kindergarten, or taxpayer-funded all-day kindergarten?

Ron Wagar, Edina

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There’s no substitute that’s as effective

I have concerns regarding the claims made in the April 24 letter “Colonoscopy is not to be taken lightly.”

First, procedures, like colonoscopy, that allow for direct visualization of the entire colon are the only measures that prevent colon cancer. It is true that not all polyps are cancerous; however, virtually all colon cancers arise from polyps. When polyps are removed during colonoscopy, their potential for cancer is eliminated.

Virtual colonoscopy procedures do not pick up all polyps, particularly small or flat lesions and those in the upper colon. This procedure is expensive, is not usually covered by insurance, requires the same bowel prep as a colonoscopy, and has limited research showing its effectiveness other than to detect advanced cancers.

Checking for blood in the stool does not prevent colon cancer, rather, it can detect colon cancer, meaning the disease is already in progress. Unless these tests are performed correctly and yearly, they are of limited value even as a detector of disease.

Additionally, there are many individuals for whom these alternative tests are not appropriate. Regular colonoscopy with biopsies and polypectomy can be lifesavers.

Teresa Bosacker, Chaska

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News about bidding process reveals waste

So the Minnesota Department of Transportation does not accept the low bid of the highest-rated bidder (“Suit threatens to halt work on St. Croix Crossing,” April 24). Citing hiring targets for subcontractors, it goes with the next lowest bidder at an additional cost of about $6 million to taxpayers.

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