Readers Write: (Aug. 18): Bus safety, unemployment, corporate inversions, Lessard-Sams, Minneapolis budget, football injuries, foreign policy

  • Updated: August 15, 2014 - 6:35 PM

Metro Transit’s automated announcements will let drivers keep their eyes on the road.


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I was thrilled to read that Metro Transit plans to install self-announcing stops in buses (Aug. 13). The Americans with Disabilities Act requires transit agencies to announce stops, transfer points, major intersections and destinations. Metro Transit requires bus drivers to make these announcements. That’s a distraction for the drivers.

Metro Transit spokesperson Drew Kerr stated that the cost of the proposed self-announcing system is not to exceed $50,000. That’s only $56 per bus when you figure Metro Transit has a fleet of almost 900 buses. I researched similar systems for my graduate class in corporate safety compliance during fall semester 2013. Taxpayers should be thankful that Metro Transit plans to spend only $56 per bus. It might have to wait a long time for bids to come in!

Wayne Dokken, Robbinsdale


Age discrimination goes unmentioned

I think age discrimination is being totally ignored in this nation (“Benefits run out, people go to work,” Aug. 11). Now the market has gotten much better, but my partner — who had many, many interviews — was out of work for almost three years. The self-esteem is the first to go after working, say, for 17, nine and finally two years in full-time positions and being laid off from three employers, then finding that no one will hire you. My partner had numerous interviews and no offers. Obviously age was a part of this problem, and I know it has been for others, too.

Margaret Cullen, Minneapolis



Minnesota benefits from Medtronic deal

I am tired of critics calling the Medtronic acquisition of Covidien a tax-avoidance strategy. I see it as an economic boost for Minnesota that will also generate additional tax revenue. The $9 billion that Medtronic proposes to bring to the United States through the inversion is part of an estimated $2 trillion held abroad because of a punitive policy that taxes U.S. companies up to 35 percent on profits earned outside the country. What other countries have such a punitive tax policy and high corporate tax rate?

Medtronic founder Earl Bakken and CEO Omar Ishrak have eloquently spoken about the benefits to health care from the $9 billion investment in the United States. But this will also stimulate the Minnesota economy by creating new jobs and generating additional state and federal tax revenue. Without the inversion, there would be no U.S. investment, and the $9 billion would continue to be invested abroad.

Congress needs to change the current tax policy to allow U.S. companies to bring back foreign profits without the punitive tax. Just think what the $2 trillion could do for the U.S. economy in terms of new jobs and tax revenues, if the tax policy was changed.

Chuck Swanson, Minnetonka



Politics and worse in director deliberations?

The executive director of a grant-recommending body that reviews proposals of more than $300 million and whittles them down to $100 million needs to be a sharp administrator. According to Dennis Anderson’s Aug. 8 column (Hiring fracas snarls Legacy funds panel”), a few members of the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council did not care for the director finalists and walked out. The Legacy Fund councils were set up so politics would have minimal impact on funding recommendations, and this situation reminds us why.

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