Too many children are online and isolated

I have a growing concern for the younger generations and their addiction to technology. Children are growing up in families where texting each other is the main form of communication. Instead of going outside, getting dirty, and using their imaginations, kids are now sitting inside playing Xbox and PlayStation. By the time they are five years old, many children have a cellphone, iPod, iPad or laptop and know how to use all of them without instruction. This growing need and use of technology is leading our children to isolate themselves. This “new-age” world is destroying interpersonal relationships, especially within families. Yes, technology is important, but so are our families.

We need to bring our children back to life. Something needs to be done to teach parents how to teach their children the proper use and limitations of the Internet.

Caitlyn Hale, Mankato, Minn.

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NRA can arm America if it will cover the costs

I like the National Rifle Association’s proposal to have armed guards in all schools. I think the idea should be taken even further to include armed guards in shopping malls, movie theaters, ballparks and anywhere else people congregate.

I also think that the gun manufacturers, the NRA, Gun Owner’s of America and all the other gun groups should have to pay for the guards to protect the public.

RAY McMAHON, Cottage Grove

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OK, we know 90 percent of Americans favor expanded background checks to purchase guns, and we can’t even get a vote? Voting has more than one level. If a vote is not possible, the Senate should vote on cloture. If that fails, the media should step up and publish the names of every senator voting against it. I suspect with this clarity facing them, we might get honest representation. And if it succeeds but the bill is voted down, again publish names of all voting against it. We should not let our representatives hide without voting. But more important, the public needs to know who does what. And the Fourth Estate needs to step up.

Darrell Egertson, Bloomington

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Beware of the promises that all will be well

This state has much more to lose than to gain from the proposed merger of Sanford Health and Fairview Health Services (“Hospital bid meets with wide dissent,” April 9). Do we really believe that costly, but important, research will continue in the hands of a private, money-conscious corporation. We need a Minnesota-controlled University of Minnesota Medical Center. Just say “No” to this merger.

Lee Daly, Minneapolis

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What if the Legislature orchestrated funding of the Mayo Clinic’s expansion in Rochester, but as part of the package Mayo took over Fairview and the U Medical School. Wouldn’t everybody win and benefit?

Charles A. Lipkin, Golden Valley

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Eating Meat

Another study says we’d be healthier without it

The new link between meat consumption and heart disease, discovered by Dr. Stanley Hazen of the Cleveland Clinic, is just the latest evidence linking meat consumption to killer diseases that cripple, then kill, 1.3 million Americans annually. Hazen’s study showed that carnitine, an amino acid contained in all meat products, is a major factor in heart failure.

Similarly, an Oxford University study of nearly 45,000 adults in last January’s American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that vegetarians were 32 percent less likely to be suffer from heart disease than people who ate meat and fish. A Harvard University study of 37,698 men and 83,644 women in last April’s Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that meat consumption raises the risk of total, heart and cancer mortality.

We have sacrificed the lives of 10,000 American personnel and trillions of dollars waging two wars to avenge the deaths of 2,600 Americans in the 9/11 attacks. When will we wage a bloodless, low-cost war on the killer meat-based diet, potentially responsible for as many as 1.3 million American deaths annually?

In the meantime, we have the power to raise our own life expectancy by adopting a meat-free diet. An Internet search provides ample resources.

Mitch Sutterman, Minneapolis

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Winter’s Remains

Let’s move on without Christmas decorations

Winter still has us at its mercy and as we brace ourselves for a mid-April snowstorm, I beg of you: Please take down your outdoor Christmas lights, for the love of God! Everybody knows that keeping them up past March is a jinx, a curse on all of us because it delays the start of warm weather. I’m talking to you, owners of a dozen plastic penguins strewn about in the yard in a state of sad disarray. And you, of the mighty, seizure-inducing colored intermittent light display. Be responsible! Take action now to help us toward that goal we so fervently desire: springtime!

Katie Villasenor, Minneapolis

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State bonding

Let’s move on without Christmas decorations

After reading your article, I have a few problems with Gov. Mark Dayton’s fiscal priorities (“Dayton rolls out $750M wish list for state projects,” April 9). The article quotes Dayton as saying “a lot of really vitally needed projects” had to be left out of last year’s bonding bill. I suggest that he leave out a few items on his current list, including the Children’s Museum, the Minnesota Zoo and the Minneapolis sculpture garden. Vital? I doubt it. Eligible for other funding sources? I think so.