Humanity meets limits at a country’s borders

The April 5 Letter of the Day (“The inhumanity of America’s border wall, on display”) is a telling example of misplaced sympathies and incorrect analogies. It is understandable to be moved by the plight of millions of people trying to leave their country. However, the letter writer likens the security wall the United States has built along its border with Mexico to the Berlin Wall. But East Germany’s wall was designed to keep its citizens from leaving its Communist state, whereas ours was designed to help eliminate illegal passage into our country. The letter writer makes no distinction between legal and illegal immigrants and states that our country “goes to extraordinary lengths” to keep those “other immigrants” from sharing “our freedoms.” Does he really believe the rest of the world allows just anyone in?

If it does not matter how people get into this country, would the letter writer and others of his ilk stand behind this belief by leaving their homes unlocked to allow strangers to enter, unannounced, and enjoy their freedoms and comforts?

George K. Atkins, Minneapolis

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It is sad to hear Jeb Bush considering the illegal crossing of our border to be a felony of love. If it is, an immigrant’s robbing a store at gunpoint or stealing food to feed his family also can be considered a felony of love.

William Lundquist, Bloomington



Money is directed at a slice of commuters

Recent articles in the Star Tribune cited the number of riders for the Northstar commuter-rail line as totaling 878,000 for the year. While that may sound impressive, compared with daily vehicle totals reported by the Minnesota Department of Transportation for nearby Interstate 94 and Hwy. 10, it is minuscule.

Daily vehicle average for I-94 east of Hwy. 101 at Rogers is about 96,000 per day (roughly 35 million per year). Daily vehicle average for Hwy. 10 east of Hwy. 101 at Elk River is about 33,000 per day (12 million per year).

The current subsidy per rider on the Northstar rail is about $19.50 one way, or $39 round trip. Are state spending priorities addressing our needs, or someone else’s wants?

Richard Naaktgeboren, Maple Lake



Well, look who has the leverage on sulfates

Now that the state sulfate standard for wild rice and all that old, bad science has been upheld (“Iron Range rebellion halted rice initiative,” April 6), we would like to congratulate 20th-century state biologist John Moyle (posthumously) and his staff, along with the current researchers, for a job well done. But now we hear that more studies are needed because disloyal, out-of-state mine owners are threatening to leave the state. Is anyone surprised by this? The mining and industry groups, the Chamber of Commerce, and politicians far and wide wanted to do the latest study. The Legislature even funded it. Supposedly, this was done to keep politics (and politicians) out and let the science decide. But now we see that the real reason the study was done was to stall enforcement of the standard and ideally to discredit it. (And sulfates are also implicated in the process that converts mercury to methylmercury and affects many more bodies of water that may or may not be suitable for wild rice. Why is this issue not part of the discussion?)

Gov. Mark Dayton and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner John Linc Stine should know better than to fall for this old trick. The mining companies aren’t going anywhere. They’re making too much money where they are.

Dennis Good, Britt, Minn.



The predator? None other than national bird

Here in Becker County, the decline in blue heron numbers is not a mystery (“Fight or flight,” April 5). The Smokey Hills Rookery has been under attack by local bald eagles for several years. Not only is it easy picking from the nests, but my wife, on her way to the mailbox, witnessed an aerial attack on a low-flying blue heron along the Wolf Lake shoreline. Her screams and arm-waving saved this heron for the moment.

Our sightings of herons have declined to the point where we no longer see them at our ponds or on Wolf Lake. Unfortunately, these facts also apply to the loss of chicks by our two pair of nesting loons.

Les and Carol Ristinen, Frazee, Minn.



Risky? With modest effort, I got over it

I am nearing 80,000 career running miles, so you can imagine how upset I was after reading the “Don’t run for your life” article (April 7) warning of the dangers of years of extreme exercise effort. However, after running 10 miles, I felt a lot better.

Patrick Foley, Northfield