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

  • Updated: April 25, 2014 - 6:30 PM

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COLLEGE DEGREES

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

• • •

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

 

SOUTHWEST LRT

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

• • •

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

• • •

No matter how routing of SWLRT is explained by the Met Council, the fact remains that no passengers will be able to get on or off the trains between Lake Street and downtown Minneapolis.

Running the trains through the woods ruins the recreational value of the Kenilworth Trail area and wastes the cost of a massively expensive public resource by running it where it cannot be used to serve potential passengers.

Paul F. Leutgeb, Minneapolis

 

BYRON SMITH TRIAL

This is classic example of blaming the victim

Concerning the case of Byron Smith (“Defense: Break-ins left Smith terrified,” April 25), allow me to play the devil’s advocate: Had those two teenagers spent Thanksgiving with their respective families like most children instead of breaking into a man’s home, they would still be alive today. It is as simple as that. Why is it the victim always gets the blame?

Paul Trill, Glenwood, Minn.

 

CATHOLIC CHURCH

Archdiocese strategy is not reality-based

The recent depositions of Archbishop John Nienstedt and the Rev. Kevin McDonough portray vividly what happens when a belief system encounters a brutal truth: the belief system prevails.

David Hartung, Stillwater

 

PAINKILLERS

Yes, some will abuse, but more will benefit

Each time the FDA approves or proposes a new narcotic, the media focuses on nothing but the potential for abuse (front page, April 22).

The new drug Zohydro is meant to be used by patients with chronic pain. Many medical situations lead to pain that is brutal and unrelenting. Opioids may be necessary. Each individual reacts differently to opioid products, necessitating several different prescribing options for physicians.

Zohydro is a controlled-release formulation of hydrocodone, the narcotic contained in Vicodin. Of course it contains more drug; it is meant to last 24 hours, as opposed to six hours for Vicodin. Yes, it can be crushed. Addicts will crush any dosage form, not caring about the integrity of the controlled-release system.

Drug-seeking individuals will find a way to procure, alter and administer any opioid. That will happen, and we cannot let them stand in the path of bringing pain relief to these who desperately need it.

Pamela S. Haase, Rochester

 

The writer is a retired pharmacist.

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