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Readers Write (Aug. 25): Tax deductions, ACT tests, Eden Prairie coach, Southwest commuter rail, nursing home death, Vikings

  • August 24, 2013 - 4:32 PM

TAX DEDUCTIONS

All institutions should pay their fair share

Thanks to Mike Meyers for his intelligent and insightful discussion about taxes (“How taxpayers give away fistfuls of dollars,” Aug. 18). Many of us give charitable contributions because we believe in the work and would continue even if there wasn’t a tax deduction. For years, my husband and I have believed that all entities labeled “religious” should be taxed at a minimal level. Some are powerful, political organizations. Nonprofits and postsecondary schools should also be paying a fair-share tax that supports the infrastructure of their locations and the services they receive. Loopholes for the ultrarich need to be closed.

NANCY LANTHIER CARROLL, Roseville

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Meyers sidesteps the IRS scandal, perhaps because it shows the danger of his policy prescriptions. He inaccurately implies that conservative and liberal groups have been treated the same by the IRS. The treatment of conservative groups has been unusual, and repressive. Giving this country’s government more control of political speech would lead to more of what we’ve seen recently with the IRS, which effectively pushed the pause button on the conservative grass-roots movement.

JIM MELCHER, Edina

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ACT TESTS

Let’s put the good results in context

Making a point of the percentage of students in a state taking the ACT test is meaningless unless the percentage of students taking the SAT tests instead of the ACT tests is also included (“Minnesota is tops again in ACT results,” Aug. 21). The SAT tests are used more extensively in the East, which may explain the apparent low percentage of Massachusetts students, for example, who took the ACT tests.

RAYMOND VOSS, Edina

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FOOTBALL COACH

Bad headline, but good story on Mike Grant

I’m confused by the headline (“Don’t hate him,” Aug. 18) and subheadline (“A privileged background and a prep dynasty don’t make Mike Grant a bad guy”) in an otherwise nice article about Eden Prairie’s football coach. The article indicates that he’s a decent, virtuous, admired, hardworking, accomplished and humorous man. Who hates him? Does having a successful and virtuous upbringing make him “privileged”? Thanks for making the public aware that there are good people like Grant having a positive impact on young people.

BOB HAGEMAN, Chaska

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As a Blaine High School alumnus, I don’t care if Mike Grant is the fruit of Bud Grant’s loins or a slumdog millionaire. The highest governing principle of any sports fan is “hate thy neighbor.” This isn’t true hatred — more of a “I hate broccoli” kind of hatred. Such is the case when it comes to the relationship between the average Minnesota high school sports fan and Eden Prairie. It doesn’t matter who Mike Grant’s father is or that he’s kind of a nice guy. He’s a legendary coach in one of the richest cities in Minnesota, and so he will be hated. He’s from the Lake Conference, and so he will be hated. Focus on his success, his life story, and his future plans, but don’t beg readers to kiss this coach’s feet. He’s frustrated the rest of Minnesota on the gridiron for 20 years, and we need someone against whom to vent that frustration.

DAVID QUE, Ham Lake, Minn.

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SOUTHWEST LIGHT-RAIL

Forget the train and create a new bus line

I’ve been reading about the Southwest light-rail corridor problems for the past few weeks (“Southwest rail issues long since solved,” Aug. 22). My suggestion in solving this dilemma is to create a bus line, very much like the one now being used on Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis. The cost would be far less, and it could be more flexible in where it goes. In fact, with all of the savings from not building the light-rail system, the buses could be the best you could get for your money and still have some left over for maintaining them.

PATRICIA BLANC-ROGACKI, Minneapolis

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NURSING HOME DEATH

Why did police use Taser on elderly man?

It’s unbelievable that a St. Louis Park police officer used a Taser on a 76-year-old nursing home resident (“Tasered by cops, nursing home patient dies,” Aug. 22). It’s another example of our police forces running amok.

JERRY STRUTHERS, Otsego, Minn.

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Based on the headline, it would seem police officers Tasered a defenseless old man and caused his immediate death. But the reader learns in the article that police officers were called to the nursing home to subdue the resident, who was wielding both knife and scissors, and threatening harm to himself. In order to subdue the man and prevent him from harming himself or others, the officers used a Taser. I expect more from the Star Tribune.

MICHELLE LEJCHER, Apple Valley

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MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Ensure that state is covered in stadium deal

As long as there is a question of whether Zygi Wilf will honor his financial commitment to the new stadium, why not draw up an agreement in which he pledges his share of the Vikings as collateral should he default? (“Wilfs are on notice: Keep Minnesota dealings clean,” Aug. 13.) Vikings stock could then be sold to the public, and we would become another Green Bay. If he refuses, then we know we have a problem and can tell him the whole deal is off.

TOM RYAN, Excelsior

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