Readers Write: (Nov. 6): Minnesota Orchestra, affordable housing, bullying in the workplace, leaf blowers

  • Updated: November 5, 2013 - 7:20 PM

That season-ticket list gives the orchestra board a messaging advantage. It should share.

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MINNESOTA ORCHESTRA

Board has advantage in getting out message

The Nov. 5 Short Takes belabored the point that we don’t know what the musicians want in the Minnesota Orchestra’s labor/management impasse. It has bothered me from the beginning that the orchestra board and management have a huge advantage in the messaging business. I only have a mini-season ticket, but I can count 14 e-mails and even more snail-mail letters from management, and none from the musicians. It’s not the musicians’ fault that management happens to have custody of the list of patrons who, in fairness, were attracted to the institution primarily by the musicians’ excellence.

So, to the management: Allow the musicians to use your e-mail and mailing list to communicate with subscribers. This would be a huge boost to good-faith negotiations, I am sure, and would help you immensely in the eyes of the community.

MARY MCLEOD, St. Paul

 

RENTAL HOUSING

Affordable options must be in the equation

From the Nov. 5 article “Rentals abound, yet rents rise, too” it is clear that rental costs are driven by business demand, and not by community need. While thousands of new apartments have become available in the Twin Cities during the last year, most are marketed as luxury units for young urban professionals. For thousands of residents, however, the cost of renting in the Cities places increased stress on already thin resources.

Currently, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority estimates that the waitlist for low-income housing may be a year, and it is not even accepting applications for Section 8. Residents who qualify for these programs often have families and work full time, but do not make enough money to live above the poverty line. As a result, many residents live in cheap, privately owned apartments and houses that are not properly zoned or up to code.

With the increase in rental units available, landlords should include affordable housing in at least 25 percent of all new apartment complexes. This housing, based on income, would hardly impact profits, since rentals have such a low vacancy rate. Instead, stable and affordable housing would promote continued growth for all members of the community.

JEREMY FREER, Minneapolis

 

BULLYING

It’s in the workplace, and it’s not just men

I appreciate the Nov. 5 Letter of the Day writer who characterized NFL bullying as “machismo endemic in sports,” as well as how bullying in general is excused or ignored, even with adults. He’s right.

It isn’t just males or athletes who bully, however. Studies have shown that the majority of workplace bullying is directed at females, and mostly by other females.

I have experienced and witnessed it. These bullies present themselves as sweet, smiling innocents in front of others. When coworkers or supervisors are not there, however, they inflict verbal abuse, slander and physical intimidation. It’s really sick.

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