With all the evidence of global warming due to the pollution generated by the activities of humans, seldom is any mention made of the tons of burned hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide emitted by the exhaust of the jet engines of aircraft flying often at 30,000 to 40,000 feet or more, higher than the atmospheric cleansing actions of the majority of thunderstorms can reach. The jet engines can be used to provide flight to the aircraft by the use of propellers, or “turboprops,” that generally fly at lower altitudes that are in the range of the normal cleansing action of rainstorm activity. This would certainly hamstring a bit of our economy, generally slow air travel and result in more turbulence during flight. But sacrifices have to be made, by some more than others.

Bob LaBrash, Roseville


We twist ourselves to accommodate Islam

After reading that a Vermont restaurant sign that included the word “bacon” was found offensive by a Muslim woman and taken down, I saw the Aug. 28 headline “Feds sue over Islamic center vote” and was astounded … again. This on top of the previous furor over Muslim taxi drivers denying entry to service dogs and anyone with alcohol. On top of the university building a foot bath for Muslims with taxpayer dollars, and on top of a Target Muslim employee refusing to scan “pork.”

This country is not the Middle East. Not only are we supplying Al-Qaida and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant with formerly local Muslims to carry on jihad, but we are establishing a double standard for one particular religion.

The bottom line on the Islamic center vote is that the area is zoned commercial, so this should not be considered a religious discrimination issue. I stand by the city of St. Anthony!

Michelle Peterson, Plymouth

• • •

Imagine the story description with one word changed: Feds plan to sue city over rejection of Christian center.

I don’t believe for one moment that St. Anthony would have turned away a Christian center. People freely spoke their minds at the meeting, and that included disparaging remarks about Muslims. Jim Roth, the lone council member in favor of the Islamic center, was stunned by some of the remarks.

Other suburbs have tried to keep Muslim projects out (Plymouth, Bloomington, Blaine). In the end, the projects were all approved.

I was in second grade when people were trying to keep John Kennedy out of the White House because he was Catholic. And, contrary to what some people believe, we don’t currently have a Muslim in the White House. But we might someday!

Teresa Maki, Minnetonka



Grief understandable, but lawsuit unhelpful

While I offer condolences to the family of Nina Mackay, the woman killed by a falling tree in Eden Prairie a year ago, I am also wagging my finger in shame (“Fallen tree leads to lawsuit,” Aug. 29). This was an accident. If a court affirms the bereaved family’s argument that the city was at fault, get the chain saws oiled and ready to cut down anything on city land that might cause future injury. Again, the only people that profit from these kinds of lawsuits are the lawyers.

Richard Loken, Bloomington



Having a video sure does raise questions

On one hand, we have a video recording showing exactly what happened when Chris Lollie was confronted in a downtown skyway by three St. Paul police officers in January (“Video raises concerns about police use of Taser,” Aug. 29). On the other, we have a report submitted by the officers that pretty much in its entirety contradicts the video evidence.

Despite assaulting and wrongfully imprisoning Lollie, the officers were cleared of wrongdoing after an internal investigation. To add insult to injury, St. Paul Police Federation president Dave Titus accused Lollie of “acting like a jerk.”

How many people would have believed Lollie’s story had he not had video evidence to support it?

Jason Gabbert, St. Cloud



Assistance program must be fully funded

“Rural families face day-care dilemma” (Aug. 24) didn’t address why only a small percentage of eligible children receive child care assistance. One reason is that the Legislature missed an opportunity last session to fully fund the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and increase provider reimbursement rates from 25 percent to 50 percent.

Even in areas with a sufficient number of providers, low-income families can’t get the help they need, because CCAP isn’t fully funded. As of June, 6,679 families were on the waiting list.

A tool developed by Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota illustrates the hole created in a household budget when a low-income, working family is unable to access CCAP. The program and can mean the difference between economic stability and monthly deficits.

As the article noted, a lack of providers is an issue for families seeking child care in rural Minnesota. One way to grow the number of providers statewide — and maintain those currently serving families — would be to increase the state’s payment to providers and make child care assistance accessible to those who qualify.

Jodi Lengyel, Maple Lake



With natural gas, both sides could win

There have been many opinions in the paper lately about recreational fires — both for and against. The pro-fire group discusses the right to bond with their family and friends and suggests that recreational fires being “a freedom worth protecting” (“Let’s send prohibitive impulses up in smoke,” Readers Write, Aug. 23). The group against fires talks about the health hazards of smoke as well as the combustion pollution adding to global warming (“Ban the back-yard burn instead of trying to sell it,” Readers Write, Aug. 15).

Like all issues, both sides have a point. It is lovely to sit by a bonfire with friends and family, but it is also bad for your health. Wood smoke has many of the same toxic chemicals that are found in cigarette smoke, with the same adverse health effects (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency website). Unlike cigarettes, though, wood smoke is shared well beyond the bonfire circle as it spreads to the neighbors in the surrounding area.

There is an alternative that both sides could agree upon. I recently attended a wedding at a golf course, and there was a large bonfire on the deck of the clubhouse that at least 20 people congregated around — that bonfire was fueled with natural gas. Let’s continue to enjoy back-yard bonfires, but let’s use the healthier alternative fuel.

Sue Romain, Minneapolis