Readers Write (June 24): Breast cancer, DNR and hunting, movie theaters, the YMCA, data privacy

  • Updated: June 23, 2014 - 6:01 PM

Legislators shouldn’t have rushed to mandate notification of breast density.

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I applaud your June 20 editorial, “A new and dubious breast cancer law.” As a 24-year breast cancer survivor, co-founder of the Minnesota Breast Cancer Coalition and a board member of the National Breast Cancer Coalition, I share the concerns noted in your editorial.

As you point out, “The notification may also send the wrong message that this is the only breast cancer risk factor that women need to worry about.” Breast density is also a risk factor that is largely not modifiable. But there are important ways that a woman can lower her risk for breast cancer — reduce alcohol consumption, maintain a normal weight and exercise regularly. There are multiple quality studies detailing the importance of those three behaviors in reducing breast cancer risk.

Before rushing to mandate notification of breast density, Minnesota legislators would have been wise to consult with researchers and clinicians at Minnesota’s premier cancer facilities: the Masonic Cancer Center and the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center.

Readers can access additional balanced information about breast density at http://www.breastdensity.info. This website was developed by breast radiologists and breast cancer risk specialists in California to assist patients, clinicians and radiologists in understanding breast density laws

Christine K. Norton, Cottage Grove

 

The writer is president of the Minnesota Breast Cancer Coalition.

DNR AND HUNTING

Save our pristine areas for future generations

I want to thank Ellen Fuge and Bob Djupstrom for their continued service to Minnesota (“DNR weighs opening more rare natural sites to hunters,” June 23). Because they are seasoned experts, I trust their stewardship efforts in the debate over opening more pristine areas to hunting and trapping. While I support the rights of our citizens to hunt for a food source, we do not need access to rare and therefore sacred places to do so.

I have grave concerns regarding the ability or desire of our DNR leadership to manage our state’s natural resources in the best interest of all Minnesotans today and tomorrow. Our grandchildren deserve a state with pristine natural areas still intact.

It would appear that the moneyed interests behind hunting and trapping are impacting this decision, just as moneyed interests have impacted other recent and, I believe, poorly made decisions. I encourage other concerned Minnesotans to speak up and send this matter back to those we elect to represent us and then stay with the issue until it is resolved. This is the only path that can take the decision out of the hands of DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr and the moneyed few that have his ear.

Laurie Stammer, Buffalo, Minn.

• • •

These SNAs are what remain of our Minnesota natural heritage. Aren’t there enough places to hunt and trap in Minnesota? Is there anywhere left these purveyors of destruction cannot go? The DNR as stewards of these last remaining riches are behaving as foxes guarding the chicken coop. Have we become completely incapable of passively enjoying our natural world? Will we leave our children and grandchildren nothing unspoiled?

Gregory Nayman, Edina

 

MOVIE THEATERS

Amid all these perks, hearing help is absent

Theater owners have missed or are ignoring a huge segment of the potential movie-going population: those with hearing challenges (“The lap of luxury for moviegoers,” June 21). I would love to go to a theater, enjoy exorbitantly overpriced popcorn and have a true movie experience, but hearing loss makes that impossible. Here’s what it looks like: The intrigue and action draw you in. The actors move face to face and utter the lines on which the entire plot hangs, and as they speak those stunning words, they drop their voices for emphasis, the background music swells and they say “mosd fpoisdnf ekgoi dsne foigje!”

The boomer generation is aging and our health issues are multiplying. Sadly, hearing is a sense that is often less and less accessible to many of us. Many of us have the wealth and time to enjoy entertainment, but the entertainment industry ignores us. Even top-of-the-line hearing aids and the occasional headsets are not enough to overcome severe-to-profound hearing loss. But other technology exists; why not use it?

Several years ago, I researched shows with accommodations for the hearing challenged. I discovered that such accommodations applied to only one midafternoon show, one day a week, and not for the movie I wanted to see. So I’ll rent or stream the show of my choice, queue up the closed-captioning function, make my own snacks and stay home.

Laurie Brandt, Savage

 

YMCA SWIMMING LESSONS

Accommodations must apply to sign language

American Sign Language (ASL) is a recognized language here in the United States and at colleges and universities (“Lawsuit over interpreter asks: What’s ‘reasonable’ for the Y?”, June 20, and Readers Write, June 21). My question is: Where is equal access? Why does the Y have a right to not abide by the Americans with Disability Act?

All forms and signs are now printed in English, Spanish and Hmong. Why is this different for someone who uses ASL? This is not a matter of who this family is, who they married or their children. It is the law, and they are entitled to the same benefits of the Y as any other family who would attend there. They are not asking for the moon; they are asking to be treated like any other family taking their child to the Y for swimming lessons.

It is called dignity and respect.

Sara Lundquist, Benson, Minn.

 

DATA PRIVACY

Employers could help prevent ‘inside jobs’

It was upsetting to read “7 indicted as a fraud ring that stole $1M” (June 19). Hiring practices come with little assurance that our personal information will never be compromised. It’s quite scary, especially when considering ordinary employees have access to extraordinary data. Whether it is a temporary worker in the call center at MNsure, a teller at the bank, a receptionist at the doctor’s office or a government worker seeking eligibility for a client, we are all vulnerable. Due diligence is required when vetting these employees so “inside jobs” are few and far between. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Background checks, personality tests and job history should be used to determine security clearance. For victims of fraud and identity theft, the deleterious ramifications are severe and life-damaging. Employers take heed!

SHARON E. CARLSON, Andover

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