Readers Write: (May 6): Thwarted massacre, ride sharing, Jim Oberstar, capital punishment, swimming lessons, orchestra

  • Updated: May 5, 2014 - 6:15 PM

What is the role of the media in terms of the “Columbine effect”?

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THWARTED MASSACRE

Dutifully sustaining the ‘Columbine effect’

John David LaDue “wanted the same, shocked attention” (“Schools confront the ‘Columbine effect,’ ” May 4). Without killing anyone, he did get quite a bit of notice: a large photograph of him top and center of the Sunday edition of the largest newspaper in Minnesota. That may be another facet of the Columbine effect.

Robert Owen, Bloomington

 

RIDE SHARING

Established taxis offer something concrete

I’ve been watching the ride-­sharing debate and have come to several conclusions:

 

1) What transportation network companies (TNCs) provide is by definition taxi service.

2) Uber and Lyft offered nothing but fluff at the City Council regulatory committee public hearing on April 29. The taxi industry, on the other hand, presented factual information concerning, among other things, the lack of proper insurance and the noncooperative nature Uber and Lyft have exhibited in other cities.

3) Many taxi companies in Minneapolis use the same technology as Uber and Lyft. The differences, therefore, between TNCs and taxis are that taxi drivers are professionally trained and that taxis have commercial insurance. Uber’s and Lyft’s insurance is suspect, and their drivers do not receive professional training administered by an accredited training program.

4) Uber and Lyft are attempting to skirt the rules that other transportation services are required to follow, such as providing transportation to wheelchair-bound customers.

5) I would feel safe putting family members into a cab. I wouldn’t feel the same way about placing loved ones in a vehicle not properly inspected or insured with an amateur driver at the wheel.

 

Granted, I work in the taxi business, but no one has yet disputed the veracity of the points I have made. Taxi reform is way overdue in Minneapolis, and we should thank TNCs for unwittingly prompting it. But let’s keep in mind that it’s much easier to reform a homegrown and already-regulated transportation industry than it is to control an elusive and historically uncooperative entity with no roots in the community.

Frederic J. Anderson, Minneapolis

 

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