Readers Write (May 12): Neighbors in dispute, Amtrak, racial equity, science vs. theology

  • Updated: May 10, 2014 - 1:53 PM

There’s help for those in conflict; mediators can prevent escalation.

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NEIGHBORS IN DISPUTE

Don’t wait until conflict gets out of hand

Having mediated with Community Mediation & Restorative Services for 20 years, I’ve seen my share of neighbor-to-neighbor disputes and believe they can be the most emotional of disputes, disturbing us in our place of refuge and affecting the family we protect. They start out as small infractions or misunderstandings with presumed ulterior motives. Left unresolved, they escalate to police calls, “for sale” signs, lawsuits and even violence. From the perspective of a mediator, many tragic events — such as the recent fatal shooting in New Brighton (“Deer feeding also fed the rage of neighbor; two shot in feud,” May 7) — can be traced back to a lost window of opportunity: a chance for those affected to hear and be heard and, with the help of mediators, to develop a plan to live peacefully side-by-side.

CMRS works with local police and with Hennepin County’s Harassment Court to intervene, especially in summer, when neighbor-to-neighbor disputes increase. Those in conflict need not wait for a law to be broken. Help is available at communitymediations.org or 763-561-0033.

Beth Bailey, New Hope

 

AMTRAK

A new day, yet marred in several respects

The Union Depot has opened to Amtrak passenger service: What a great day for St. Paul and for all of us who enjoy traveling by train. Yet what an unfortunate paradox that the first trains arriving at this beautifully refurbished depot are significantly late!

My wife and I have enjoyed many Amtrak trips, and most were reasonably on time. But that was mostly before the track-clogging growth of North Dakota oil trains. With the huge number of oil, coal and freight trains taking priority over Amtrak passenger trains, it’s clearly time to lay more tracks dedicated to passenger travel. Following the lead of the high-speed track being constructed between Chicago and St. Louis, wouldn’t a dedicated high-speed line between St. Paul and Chicago be the perfect complement to the historic reopening of Union Depot?

Bill Steinbicker, Minnetonka

• • •

Yes, it’s good that Union Depot got fixed up, and nice that Amtrak stops there. But I wonder if Amtrak weighed the consequences of closing the Midway Station, where there’s easy long-term parking, something Union Depot doesn’t have. And going to downtown St. Paul isn’t particularly convenient, especially from Minneapolis. The new Green Line light-rail service won’t help much, taking more than 40 minutes to get from downtown to downtown.

David Markle, Minneapolis

 

RACIAL EQUITY

Minneapolis should do what really counts

The recent presentation of the racial equity plan to the Minneapolis City Council is one more sign of what ails the city. Civil-rights director Velma Korbel’s comments suggesting that council members (or anyone else, for that matter) questioning the effectiveness of yet another task force report “don’t care” about poverty or inequity were offensive (“City Council head says it’s time for action, not reports on racial equity,” May 8).

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