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Readers Write (April 21): Boston, builders, income tax, gun vote, vice taxes, Fairview

  • April 20, 2013 - 5:01 PM

AFTER BOSTON

Terrorism will endure, but so will our nation

Our daughter ran the Boston Marathon and crossed the finish line 15 minutes before the blasts occurred. That evening, I called and talked to her for about one minute, and she was sobbing. The next day, she and her husband said that she had visited with a triage nurse who mentioned he had never in his life seen anything as tragic.

Our hearts and prayers go out to all the doctors, nurses, first responders and those who witnessed these terrible sounds and sights on this beautiful day in Boston. These images will be with them for the rest of their lives.

We killed Osama bin Laden about two years ago, but that will not stop terrorism around the world.

Let’s all try to keep America the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Harry Weingartner, Eden Prairie

* * *

GUN BILL

U.S. Senate let down the American people

Political capital, won or lost, is being counted after the Senate’s defeat of the universal-background-check bill (“Senate delivers stunning defeat to Obama on guns,” April 18). Opponents offered little beyond saying that the bill didn’t address the real problem. But the fact remains that a lot of innocent children and teachers have died tragically and that still isn’t enough to move Congress. I fear we have lost our ability to collectively act selflessly and problem-solve intelligently.

STEVE MARK, Minnetonka

• • •

It’s time to remove all of the safeguards that allow lawmakers to roam the halls of Congress knowing they are free from gun violence. Install the same security doors that schools have, and let them take the chance that no deranged killer with an AR-15 will be able break through. Common-sense gun safety laws would be passed before day’s end.

MARY FRASER, Eagan

• • •

The Senate delivered a saddening defeat to all of us who hoped for a turning point in America’s delusional belief that an armed populace is a safe populace. It delivered a maddening defeat to all of those who believe that a small step in the right direction was a positive one. It delivered a reaffirming defeat to all those who had feared that there were no more brave men and women in the Senate. But worse, it delivered a resounding victory to the NRA and its paranoid followers.

HAROLD W. ONSTAD, Plymouth

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FAIRVIEW-SANFORD

Attorney general did Minnesota a big favor

May I remind Dr. James LaRoy that a year ago Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson went to bat for the patients (including me) of Fairview Hospitals who had been bullied into making illegal upfront payments while waiting for emergency treatments, leading to the CEO’s downfall (“Heath care merger was played for politics,” April 17). I applaud her watchdog approach to Fairview. The current health care climate may require a merger at some point, but this recent event felt like bullying by Sanford Health.

DEB WALDIN, Edina

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BUILDERS’ COMPLAINTS

Are park fees really unfair to developers?

Last Sunday’s article on builders was almost comical (“Builders call park fees wildly unfair,” April 14). For years, cities have handed tax breaks to businesses and developers as an incentive to build in their cities. These breaks often exceeded the return for the city. To recoup these lost revenues, cities have mostly raised taxes on property owners, but they’ve also raised other fees. As a Minneapolis property owner, my tax burden seems to go up every time a sports franchise sneezes. How about we all just pay our fair share?

KEN HAYES, Minneapolis

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VICE TAXES

Alcohol, tobacco are bad; pulltabs are fine?

Minnesota lawmakers tell us they want to substantially increase taxes on tobacco and alcohol, arguing that this would cover the actual cost to the state of these so-called vices. Yet, they also convene a panel to figure out how to get their constituents to gamble more so they can help subsidize a billionaire’s dream stadium. I wonder who will cover the actual cost of that state-subsidized vice? Is there no morality, common sense or accountability left anywhere in our government?

MARK RAZIDLO, Edina

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INCOME TAX

Let’s keep talking about reform with fairness

Kudos to Mike Meyers for the entertaining, informative and useful anniversary piece on the federal income tax (“The income tax at 100,” April 21). He highlighted that in the last 30 years, effective tax rates for the top 1 percent of taxpayers dropped to 28.9 percent from 35.1 percent, and for the rest of the taxpayers from 22 percent to 17.4 percent. The GOP, the chambers of commerce and groups associated with the interests of the richer among us continue to talk about “an increasing tax burden.” Taxes are a critical part of our society and our democracy.

BEN KYRIAGIS, Plymouth

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