Readers Write (March 8): Ukraine, traffic, marijuana, minimum wage, legal terminology

  • Updated: March 7, 2014 - 6:03 PM

Global affairs call for efforts to consider the needs of all sides.

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UKRAINE

We must try to satisfy competing interests

Unlike much of what has appeared in the media on Ukraine, the March 6 commentary by John Mazis (“A fight we can’t win and Russia can’t lose”) provides some clear thinking and valuable historical perspective on Vladimir Putin’s actions. As George Kennan told us during the Cold War, much of what those in Moscow do is not because they’re communists but because they’re Russians. Russia has looked at Crimea and access to the Black Sea as a vital national interest since the time of Peter the Great. Instead of beating our chests about Putin’s crimes and possible punishment, we ought to be focusing on searching for a solution that would satisfy Russia’s legitimate interests as well as those of Ukrainian patriots and our allies in NATO. It can be done.

Richard A. Virden, Plymouth

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I’m not smart enough to know what is right or wrong when it comes to foreign policy, but I did stay awake in history class. We are fighting a losing war in Afghanistan, and now we’re getting involved in Crimea. Is the United States 19th-century England? For heaven’s sake, what’s next? The Boers?

Todd Hughes, Minneapolis

 

TRAFFIC

Management is part of the problem

After reading the March 7 story about the Twin Cities area’s increasing gridlock, I thought I would share my experience driving south on Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis.

At 28th Street, the countdown timer for the green light still had 24 seconds on it after traffic had cleared. Meanwhile, dozens of cars needlessly idled on Hiawatha.

At 42nd Street, northbound Hiawatha traffic had a green light while the majority of traffic, southbound, inexplicably sat at a red.

At virtually every other light, I watched car after car race under the dropping crossing arms to beat the approaching train. Can someone please explain to me the logic in having cross traffic greenlighted as a train is approaching?

At other lights, the cross streets had two or three times the green light time the main thoroughfare had.

These scenarios are the rule, not the exception. Hiawatha is a major road. It runs parallel to the light-rail tracks. In no way should it be affected as adversely as it is by those tracks.

This needs to be fixed. Yesterday.

John G. Morgan, Burnsville

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