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Continued: Readers Write: (Feb. 21): Social media, St. Paul contract talks, medical marijuana, NIMBY tactics

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  • Last update: February 20, 2014 - 6:34 PM

To be clear, in the ebb and flow of collective bargaining, management typically offers ridiculous little bits at the start (they control the money for taxpayers), and teachers ask for a heck of a lot (they don’t control the money). The best negotiations lead constructively, with offer and counteroffer, to eventual compromise.

The static bias of the editors, even in a single headline, is destructive. It can further galvanize opposing sides, slowing or stalling negotiations.

As a past teacher and negotiator, I hope that negotiations continue without distortion. The process is already complicated, but here is some necessary clarity: In St. Paul, teachers are responding to public demand for better education results. They are negotiating for lower class sizes, knowing they are more effective teachers when placed with fewer students.

Steve Watson, Minneapolis

 

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Empathize with those who may benefit

I understand the defenders of the law — that is, the police and sheriffs — being against the legalization of marijuana for medical use, but if what happened in my family happened in just one of theirs, it might change their minds.

My daughter, Melanie, grew up being a very healthy girl. At 12, she discovered the viola and practiced and played music for hours upon hours. She went to music school in Indiana and came home, and with friends she started the Groveland String Quartet. She was hired as a sub with the Minnesota Orchestra.

At 27, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She had to stop performing at 32. Today, and for the past many years, those hands that made such beautiful music cannot even be used to feed herself. I don’t know if her doctor would prescribe medical marijuana for her, but if it would help her, it should be available.

Alan Stone, Minnetonka

 

NIMBY TACTICS

Property values, public good: Which trumps?

Why do people think they have some sort of God-given right to increasing property values? The possibility of lowered property values has become the go-to excuse for opposing anything for the public good in one’s neighborhood, be it low-income housing, public transport, treatment centers, group homes, senior housing, and on and on. Where in the Constitution, the Bible or anywhere else, for that matter, does it say: “Thou shalt make a profit on thy shelter”?

LYNN BARRON, St. Paul

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