Will the circle be unbroken?
Congress is a most interesting institution with a most interesting constituency. Here is an institution with a 14 percent approval rating, according to Gallup Poll in August. Eighty-one percent believe it is doing a horrible job. Knowing this, Congress keeps operating the same way it always does. Yet constituents, if polls are to be trusted, seem to approve of their own representatives and senators for individually standing firm.
But if everyone in Congress digs in their heels, nothing gets done. Which is exactly why 81 percent of the constituents think so poorly of Congress. Go figure! Mark Twain would be having a field day!
TIM TENGBLAD, Maple Grove
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Once again reactive on abuse, not proactive
As a Catholic, I suppose I should be past the point of being at all surprised by official church responses about child abuse by priests (“Report: Church knew of priest’s past,” Sept. 24). It has become a standard response for officials to say that the church — or in this case, the archdiocese — “deeply regrets the harm Father ____ (in this case, Curtis Wehmeyer) caused his two young victims, their family and others in our community.” And there is also the familiar statement about what, in hindsight, could have been better addressed. But I’m not over it.
A few obvious questions: Why was a priest who’d had two sexual misadventures still in a parish setting? Why would Archbishop John Nienstedt have considered promoting an individual with this past record? And why would Rev. Kevin McDonough, who was responsible for child abuse prevention, not be on high alert about such an individual, rather than saying that Wehmeyer “was not all that interested in an actual sexual encounter, but rather was obtaining some stimulation by ‘playing with fire’ ”? (And how is he clinically able to make such an assessment?)
When will the church begin to use a little foresight instead of talking about regret and hindsight?
DAVID MILLER, Mendota Heights
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Boundaries should give neighborhoods stability
It was just a few years ago that the Minneapolis school district was divided into three zones. While there were many reasons for the overhaul, I fear that it was shortsighted and that we are in store for another unwelcome change (“Mpls. schools shift to growth mode,” Sept. 25).
My husband and I live in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood, in the house I grew up in. I went to Minneapolis schools (Jefferson, Anwatin and South High) and received a good education. My parents never worried about constant boundary changes and could count on buses taking me and my brother to school.
My three kids (4, 6 and 7) will not be so lucky. While the west-side neighborhood we live in is incredibly stable and strong, not many kids go to our “community” schools. Rather, most parents drive their kids all over the city and the nearby suburbs looking for schools that reflect their values of strong parental involvement and high academic achievement.
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