Readers Write (April 26): Value of college degrees, Southwest LRT, Byron Smith, Catholic Church, abuse of painkillers

  • Updated: April 25, 2014 - 6:30 PM

People doing business in Minnesota found quality workers coming from the U.


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Evidence shows U is stocking the workforce

Howard Root (“No hard sciences? Then no job offer,” Business Forum, April 21) makes the fairly obvious point that a degree in “communications” does not guarantee that the degree holder has anything to communicate. Perhaps he should be interviewing candidates who have a degree in one of the relevant sciences and hire one with good communication skills, rather than the other way around.

In more than three decades of working in a technical business with many graduates of the University of Minnesota in engineering, chemistry, material science and physics, I have found every one of them to be pretty good at the hard sciences they have studied.

Stan Kaufman, New Brighton

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During my 18 years in technical communications at Medtronic, technical aptitude was a critical hiring criterion. Unlike Root, we found technical aptitude repeatedly in graduates of the U’s programs in scientific and technical communication. We made more than 10 such hires, people who brought coursework in biology, chemistry, computer science, math, physics, medical terminology, human anatomy and physiology, and international business, along with courses in communication. In the thousands of résumés and transcripts I’ve reviewed, I have seen unprepared job applicants, and I agree that universities should provide guidance, but I also don’t let students off the hook for preparing themselves to work.

Daphne Walmer, St. Paul



This project ought to be sent back to beginning

I am weary of the opinions of “Policy Advisory Committee” members and other “urban planners” who think they know what is best for the growth and development of our metro area. The maps, charts and statistics that Bob Corrick and John DeWitt present (“Southwest LRT routing is best for a complete network,” April 24) make the project appealing on paper. However, in my opinion, these statistics do not accurately reflect the views and attitudes of the voting public. Frankly, a large percentage of Cedar-Isles-Dean, Kenilworth and Kenwood residents does not want LRT traveling through the Kenilworth corridor. In fact, my wife and I recently moved from the Cedar-Isles-Dean neighborhood in large part to escape from the light-rail line.

Like it or not, the freight trains, runners, bikers and residents of the Kenilworth corridor are not going anywhere. In contrast, the Southwest LRT trains can be rerouted to the Midtown Greenway and Nicollet Avenue. Like it or not, the Kenilworth corridor is no longer a feasible option. Like it or not, the Southwest LRT project needs to start over.

Andrew F. Arthur, Edina

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So the city of Minneapolis, which was perfectly happy to inflict massive berms on St. Louis Park to reroute Southwest Corridor freight trains, gets hives over an apparently mistaken suggestion that light-rail tunnels proposed to appease a handful of Cedar-Isles residents be bermed — just like the existing bermed tunnel that takes the Hiawatha Corridor LRT and road across Minnehaha Park in southeast Minneapolis (“Tunnel mix-up snags rail plan,” April 23). This reaction demonstrates perfectly the infantile and hypocritical animus behind the city’s whole stance on this issue. Perhaps the city would prefer that we go back to the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s original idea for this corridor: the Southwest Diagonal Freeway, a four-lane expressway connecting Highway 7 to I-394 at Parade Stadium via Cedar-Isles.

Andrew Selden, Edina

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