Readers Write: (July 12): Kaler's contract, immigration, distracted driving, Jesse Ventura, All-Star events, soccer

  • Updated: July 11, 2014 - 6:05 PM

University president's raise is an insult to paying students and parents.

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The University of Minnesota campus.

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In the eyes of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, praise is warranted for President Eric Kaler (“U leader gets 5-year extension and a raise,” July 10). But you have to ask: What are the standards for doing a good job? Tuition increases have continued during Kaler’s tenure in all but the most recent academic year.

The article states the Kaler is getting his first raise in three years and that his compensation ranks sixth among the leaders of Big Ten schools. First, it is offensive to parents who are paying for a child’s education at the U that Kaler needs more than $700,000 to live on (not including all the perks). In the last three years, many of these parents have taken pay cuts or other concessions, and many have just plain lost their jobs. Second, Minnesota is no Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois or Northwestern. The argument that we need to compensate Kaler so that we don’t lose his services to another institution has no merit.

Am I to believe that this country has no other qualified administrator to do Kaler’s job at the prior compensation or less?

Ty Yasukawa, Burnsville

DISTRACTED DRIVING

Asking nicely won’t help. A law will.

If the Minnesota commissioners of transportation, public safety and health are so concerned about distracted driving, why don’t they advocate for real change? They highlight the high number of related crashes and fatalities, the recent death of the young mother in Rock County and the steady increase in citations issued. They also characterize distracted driving as “a growing problem” and “unacceptable.” Yet they fail to address the obvious — Minnesota law is too narrowly focused on texting, web access and cellphone use by drivers under 18 (“Eyes on the road, hands on the wheel,” July 11).

Suggesting that we can rely on pledges or other voluntary actions by adult drivers to lessen the use of these weapons of mass distraction is nonsensical. Our state officials and legislators need to follow the lead of the 13 other states where it’s now illegal to use any handheld devices while driving.

Gregg Larson, Arden Hills

 

IMMIGRATION

No, the southern border is not secure

A July 11 letter writer claims that the capture of 50,000 unaccompanied minors at the Rio Grande sector proves that the border is sealed. Webster’s defines the word “capture” as apprehending with force. Folks, these children (as well as some family units) are not being captured but are turning themselves in to the first border official they encounter after crossing the border. Border agents are now being asked to perform duties associated with the processing of these immigrants. This takes them away from their normal duties and provides additional openings on the border for some very bad people.

The southern border is thousands of miles long. The writer might do well to consider this before making a blanket statement about border security and “hot language” from right-wingers.

Gary Dreyer, Bloomington

• • •

The wave of child migration from Central America demonstrates that when our southern neighbors are in crisis, so are we. This will not be resolved by trying to accommodate everyone who wants to come to the United States, nor by border security alone. It is going to take a sustained investment in development in Central American countries. We’ve spent more than a trillion dollars on war in the Middle East. Time to consider redirecting a portion of that stream to improving lives of our southern neighbors, as well as working through international bodies like the Organization of American States to improve governance in those countries.

Les Everett, St. Paul

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