Readers Write: (Sept. 1): Health care hygiene, "granny flats,” oil vs. grain, tuition costs, veterans, State Fair

  • Updated: August 29, 2014 - 7:07 PM

Simple steps like the following one can make a big difference.

Photo: Los Angeles Times,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

In response to the “Hands off?” article about hand hygiene in clinics and hospitals (Aug. 27), it’s not just hand contact that patients and medical personnel should consider. When my late husband was gravely ill in a Texas hospital where none of the patients in his hallway were mobile, each day I’d arrive to find yet another room under quarantine.

One day the director of infectious diseases stopped by for a visit. The first thing he did was take a disposable glove from the standard room box and put it on his stethoscope before attending to my husband. When I voiced my surprise, he explained that much skin bacteria would be carried from room to room on stethoscopes by the staff as they cared for patients. He told me he’d tried for years to get the staff to simply put a glove on their scopes as they went into each room, but that effecting the change was difficult.

Now I understood why each day I’d find a new room under quarantine. Here at home, I’ve seen individual stethoscopes left in a patient’s room for all the staff to use, but have rarely seen anyone “glove” their individual scope. Such a simple thing to do. About as simple as disinfecting the hands we worry so much about touching.

Kathryn Abram, Lakeville


We need density, so we need this

I’m writing to urge the Minneapolis City Council to allow accessory dwelling units (ADUs) — sometimes called “granny flats” — throughout the city.

From environmental, quality-of-life and sustainability perspectives, Minneapolis must increase its density. This change is absolutely crucial to preserving green space and fighting sprawl, providing the affordable housing and transit options needed to make the economy thrive and ensuring that Minneapolis is a diverse and welcoming city.

Granny flats provide a virtually painless approach to increasing density. They can help keep families together. They are good for neighborhoods. They can also provide an extra stream of income to help homeowners weather economic downturns or unemployment. They can provide reasonably priced housing options for low-income folks, seniors and students.

For too long, Minneapolis and St. Paul have been hobbled by a lovely, but sparse, ring of single-family homes around the center cities. Give us this badly needed tool to help solve the planning mistakes of the past.

Minneapolis must find ways to meet residents’ needs with a wider variety of housing options. Allowing ADUs throughout the city will move us closer to this goal, especially if we avoid the onerous requirement for additional off-street parking.

Andrea Kiepe, Minneapolis



Pipeline for one would free trains for the other

If Gov. Mark Dayton is truly concerned with rail traffic and its effect on Minnesota’s farmers (“Dayton presses railroads,” Aug. 28) perhaps he should place a call to the White House. President Obama has intentionally delayed his decision on the Keystone pipeline project for what appears to be purely political reasons. Not wanting to upset the environmentalist base of the Democratic Party, he seems willing to drag his feet until after the November elections.

A more timely decision (up or down) could have been made months ago and would have allowed the oil industry to move forward on its transportation needs. A “yes” vote would certainly decrease the dependence on rail service to ship their product. Apparently the needs of Minnesota’s farmers are not as important as protecting incumbent Democratic candidates.

Warren Iverson, Brooklyn Park

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


  • about opinion

  • The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.

  • Submit a letter or commentary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters