Readers Write (June 27): Violence and livability, Waseca plot, carbon tax, breast cancer, John Boehner

  • Updated: June 26, 2014 - 7:01 PM

More pride and respect start with homeownership — and fighting the little stuff.

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A shrine honors Steve Martin, who was shot in the 3300 block of Penn Avenue N.

Photo: Matt McKinney • mckinney@startribune.com,

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I just read about another tragic shooting death in north Minneapolis. As a resident for 12 years, I would like to offer my perspective on how to best clean up the neighborhood.

It starts with livability crimes. The little stuff that sets the tone for a block. Can’t we fine people or landlords whose property is strewn with litter blowing into neighboring yards? Or how about handing out tickets for insisting on playing your music too loud all day long, despite several police calls where they were told to turn it down? I really think setting a tone of strict law enforcement down to the small stuff would begin to turn the tide of general disrespect for others that permeates the area.

By and large, it is the rental properties that are the most ruinous. Landlords should have to be worrying about their rental licenses when selecting tenants. Is there anything we can do to enable more homeownership, which brings pride and care for a block? Let’s make it a place where misbehaving is just no fun anymore.

James Roettger, Minneapolis

• • •

Steve Martin’s death is a loss for the entire Minneapolis community. He lived by and died for the Biblical injunction: “Do not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is threatened” (Leviticus 19:16, New Living Translation). We are all encouraged not to be bystanders when we witness bullying, fighting or petty crime. But when being a good man and a good citizen means possible death, how can we do what the Bible and our own instincts tell us?

Elaine Frankowski, Minneapolis

WASECA TEEN PLOT

Consider this wake-up call on mental health

Because he is behind bars, John LaDue is now free (“On audio, teen coolly tells cops of bomb plot,” June 25). Unlike so many recent murder-suicides, LaDue has the opportunity to find out what’s been killing him before he’s gone — “I think I’m just really mentally ill and no one’s noticed and I’ve been trying to hide it.”

How much has to disappear for us to realize the invisible nature of mental illness and take a proactive, preventive approach?

Go find yourself and your loved ones a good mental health professional today before tomorrow finds you scratching your head and wondering, like LaDue’s uncle, “What, what, what happened?”

June Thiemann, Minneapolis

 

CARBON TAX

A revenue-neutral plan all parties can love

It gives me great hope to see an opinion piece by a Republican, Henry Paulson, who not only acknowledges that climate change is happening and is a crisis, but who also supports a carbon tax, an action that most experts believe could significantly reduce global warming (“Climate crisis calls for action,” June 24).

Although Paulson doesn’t mention the advantages of passing a revenue-neutral carbon tax, making it revenue neutral would involve giving rebates to citizens in order to offset the increased price of fossil fuel, while resulting in no growth in the size of government. It would also create 2.1 million jobs over a period of 10 years, according to a new study by Regional Economic Models Inc.

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