Readers Write: (Aug. 6): Priorities, Klobuchar on contact lens costs, foreign policy, governor's race, Kahn-Noor contest

  • Updated: August 7, 2014 - 12:25 PM

On one hand, the inertia of the 35W Bridge Memorial. On the other, the Vikings stadium site.

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Due to my work, I pass the 35W Bridge Memorial almost every day. I have noticed that the water feature on the memorial wall has not been functioning all year. It was suggested to me that perhaps it wouldn’t be turned on until Aug. 1, the anniversary of the tragedy. Made sense to me — but that day as I went past, still no water.

As much as I would like to attribute this to budget constraints in Minneapolis, I meanwhile observe the many cranes adorning the skyline at the site of the new Vikings stadium just two blocks away. I would think that the cost to either operate, or repair, the water feature would be minuscule compared with the state’s and city’s portions of the stadium. By the way, I also noticed that many of our beautiful fountains in and around downtown were also not working until about a week before baseball’s All-Star Game. It just seemed odd to me, I guess.

Maybe our 35W memorial will be turned on in time for the 2018 Super Bowl … oops — I guess it will be too cold. Never mind.

Greg Pizzolato, Minneapolis

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR

Focus on hearing aid costs, as with contacts

Reading that U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is questioning the policies of contact lens makers in setting prices (Aug. 4) led me to thinking about another major need people have. I have worn hearing aids for several years now, following a traumatic car crash that took away much of my hearing. The pair I am now wearing cost $6,800, but I had to buy them (with a credit card!) if I wanted to continue teaching.

The price of hearing aids is much more obscene than that of eye care, and many people have to go without, leaving them with a lower quality of life. Insurance does not help those of us who yearn to hear better. (If people cannot afford contacts, they can turn to glasses.)

Please, Amy, look into the price policies for hearing aids also. Those of us who struggle to hear, in many venues, need a voice like yours in government investigations.

Rita Speltz, Minneapolis

 

FOREIGN POLICY

Don’t like sanctions? Pray tell: Alternatives?

Not surprisingly, someone has written to criticize sanctions against Russia (“U.S., E.U. actions do more harm than good,” Readers Write, Aug. 2) and, not surprisingly, offered not one scintilla of an alternative.

Do nothing and Vladimir Putin (and anyone else with imperialist ambitions) will believe they can act with impunity, including shooting down civilian airliners.

Military actions are out of the question, other than non-troop assistance to Putin’s victim countries, in this case Ukraine. Military reprisals, most likely against those same victims, would increase tenfold.

Yes, Putin’s support ostensibly went up after the first round of sanctions, but whose poll results are those? And if sanctions are increased, how long will that putative support last? Already, we read that Russian businessmen are deserting Putin because the sanctions are being leveled at them. Russia’s economy is already stagnant, and sanctions will only intensify that.

No question, sanctions are the most effective weapon against would-be superpowers and the best deterrent against minor adventurists in smaller nations.

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