Readers Write for Thursday, June 25

  • Updated: June 24, 2009 - 7:50 PM

BOOZE BAN AT U GAMES

Decision only forces drinkers off-campus

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents' decision to ban alcohol from campus sporting events demonstrates a lack of leadership.

Yes, the board can pat itself on the back for standing up to evil alcohol and "going dry." But the regents avoided a real discussion about the core problem. Instituting a prohibition on alcohol at the new stadium does little to deal with the problem of binge drinking and dangerous consumption.

The policy will push more students, alumni and fans to binge drink even more prior to games. Is that the type of behavior that the university prefers? Without adopting a real policy to deal with alcohol behavior, all the Board of Regents has done is turn a blind eye to the core issue and eliminated a source of income at the same time.

ANDY KAHN, RICHFIELD

•••

I truly hope that President Bob Bruininks did not take the most recent Dinkytown riot into consideration when recommending that no alcohol be available at the new stadium.

Yes, binge drinking has become a huge problem on college campuses, but there is data tying those statistics to a drinking age of 21. John M. McCardell Jr., the former president at Middlebury College, has been at the forefront of a movement to encourage a change in the law based on those statistics as well as his own experience as a college administrator. Banning legal alcohol sales will in no way stop binge drinking.

I am curious why it would be so bad to be the only Big Ten school to make alcohol available to all who are of legal age. Perhaps Minnesota could choose to be a leader in encouraging people to make responsible choices in an equitable environment. It seems to me that binge drinking and alcohol availability at the stadium are two very separate issues. As a parent, I believe that the former should be the one the U concerns itself with, not the latter.

GINA STOCKS, EDINA

•••

Kudos to the Minnesota regents who have voted to ban alcohol in the new on-campus football stadium!

My husband and I have had season tickets for 50 years and have been appalled at how some people act after drinking during the game.

I'm so tired of this behavior, and it will be wonderful to not have to put up with this in the new stadium. Add to this the scary fact that some of these people drive home!

With all the loved ones who have been killed or maimed by drunken drivers and the lives ruined by alcohol, it is sad to think that there are some people who think they cannot, or will not, come to football games without being able to drink while there. It just boggles the mind that alcohol drinking is so important to some people that they might even reconsider buying the box seats in the stadium.

I admire and respect the regents, Athletic Director Joel Maturi and President Bob Bruininks.

JAN BOMSTAD, PLYMOUTH

CEO PAY WATCH

A little perspective would add a lot

I feel reader interest in CEO Pay Watch would be more riveting if the Star Tribune added an adjacent Mailroom Personnel Pay Watch for the same company: $7-an-hour, no health insurance. You know, that kind of stuff.

DOUG MEHRKENS, MINNEAPOLIS

CONTROVERSIAL FIRING

Obama had cause to show Walpin the door

Debra J. Saunders leaves out crucial facts about the firing of Gerald Walpin ("Obama says 'you're fired,'" June 24).

While it is true that Walpin found evidence of misuse and waste of AmeriCorps funds by St. HOPE Academy, it is also true that the President George W. Bush-appointee Walpin went well beyond his official mandate last year by publicizing supposed "criminal" wrongdoing by Kevin Johnson in the days before the Sacramento mayoral election. That case against Johnson was concluded last April, months before Walpin was fired.

Moreover, the U.S. attorney in northern California, Lawrence Brown -- also a Republican appointed by Bush -- received Walpin's findings and filed a complaint against him for an overzealous assault on Johnson and St. HOPE, claiming that Walpin had failed to provide substantive exculpatory facts to the U.S. attorney while trying to push the government into opening a criminal probe of Johnson.

According to Brown, Walpin had sought publicity for his findings against Johnson in the media before discussing them with the U.S. Attorney's Office, "hindering our investigation and handling of this matter."

It seems to me President Obama had good reason to fire him.

JOYCE DENN, WOODBURY

SANFORD ADMITS AFFAIR

GOP should tend to its families, not others

The hypocrisy of the Republican Party is staggering! Family values? I don't think so.

Nevada Sen. John Ensign, and now South Carolina Mark Sanford, admit extramarital affairs. And how many wives has Newt Gingrich had? They need to work on their own marriages and stay out of everyone else's lives.

PAULA GIBBONS, ROBBINSDALE

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