Readers Write (July 30): Xcel Energy, scams, adoptions, race relations, bicycles, weather

  • Updated: July 29, 2013 - 7:21 PM

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Utility should play ball and stop the threats

In reply to exploration of a city-owned utility in Minneapolis to meet goals for clean, affordable and local energy, Xcel Energy has lashed out in a surprising fashion (“Xcel weighs exit from Mpls.,” July 26).

Company officials have threatened to move their headquarters, touted their 100 years of monopoly control, and defended their compliance with state mandates for renewable energy.

What Xcel hasn’t offered — in contrast to the city’s gas utility, CenterPoint Energy — is a plan to work with the city to meet its climate, energy and economic goals. Minneapolis hasn’t said that it wants to own the utility system, but rather that its energy needs and the climate threat are so urgent that it needs every option on the table. City voters may grant the city authority to buy the electric grid if offered the chance, but Xcel always has the upper hand if it simply puts a better offer on the table.

JOHN FARRELL, Minneapolis

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Elderly couple’s case highlights vulnerability

It was heartbreaking to read about the elderly couple scammed by their next-door neighbor (“Woman wanting lavish home bilks $840K from couple,” July 27). Vulnerability comes in all different shapes, sizes and circumstances, but it’s devastating when the people closest to you end up being the ones you should trust the least. It also begs the question, “Who is responsible?”

Self protection is the first place to start, and the earlier the better. Can you trust your children, the bank or your lawyers? Who comes into your home? The cleaning lady, the personal care attendant? Who is calling you or stopping by your home? And who are you friends with and why? Be knowledgeable about the different programs in your area that offer assistance to seniors. The local police and hot lines for elder abuse offer excellent information, advice and insight that keep innocents and gullibility at bay. Protections should be multilayered for the vulnerable, and not just the elderly. If you see something, say something.


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Legislature’s decision makes adoption costly

This past January my wife and I were blessed with the adoption of our daughter, who was born in the United States. Expenses relating to the adoption were about $19,000. This week I received a note from my employer that the state Legislature decided not to match the federal extension of a tax-free adoption assistance benefit. What this means is that the $10,000 reimbursement we received from my employer for eligible adoption expenses is now subject to state income tax.

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